Siddaganga seer Shivakumara Swamiji, Walking God of Karnataka, passes away
Bengaluru: Shivakumara Swamiji, the 111-year-old head of the Siddaganga Math in Karnataka, known as 'Walking God' among his countless followers, died Monday after prolonged illness, the seminary said.
The senior pontiff who had undergone a surgery at a hospital in Chennai recently for liver complications, had shown signs of improvement but his condition deteriorated in the past few days, said doctors who attended on him.
Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and the education society run by the Swamiji announced the demise of the seer, plunging lakhs of his followers across the state into grief.
"I am deeply saddened to announce that the walking God, Parama Poojya Siddaganga Sri, has passed away. It is an irreparable loss to the state.
"His contribution to the society transformed lakhs of people from across the state. He shaped future of many people," said Kumaraswamy as he announced the seer's passing away in Tumakuru where the math is based.
The Siddaganga Education Society founded by the seer said, "The seer left for the heavenly abode leaving his mortal body at 11.44 am."
Kumaraswamy announced a three-day state mourning and government holiday on Tuesday.
The last rites of the seer will be performed Tuesday at 4.30 pm at Tumakuru, the math said.
Condoling the seer's death, President Ramnath Kovind said he was extremely sad to learn of the passing of spiritual leader.
"He contributed immensely to society particularly towards healthcare and education. My condolences to his countless followers," he tweeted.
Modi tweeted, "His Holiness Dr. Sree Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamigalu lived for the people, especially the poor and vulnerable.
"He devoted himself towards alleviating ills like poverty, hunger and social injustice. Prayers and solidarity with his countless devotees spread all across the world."
"The wide range of community service initiatives being done there are outstanding and are at an unimaginably large scale," Modi said.