111-year-old Siddaganga seer, Shivakumar Swami, passes away

111-year-old Siddaganga seer passes away

Sree Sree Sree Sivakumara Swami, the head of the Sree Siddaganga Math, one of the most prominent religious headquarters for the dominant Lingayat community, died on Monday in Tumakuru, Karnataka, after his health deteriorated since Sunday night. He was 111.

Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy told media in Bengaluru that Swami passed away at 11:44 am. The cremation will take place on Tuesday at 4:30 pm.

The 111-year-old Lingayat was being treated for a lung infection which he developed after an operation on December 8, which was carried out to treat his liver and bile duct infection.

The state government has declared three-day state mourning and one day holiday for all schools, colleges and government offices owing to Swami’s demise.

Known among his followers as a ‘walking god’ and an incarnation of the 12th century social reformer Basava, the Lingayat seer also headed the Sree Siddaganga Education Society, which runs about 125 educational institutions in the state – from engineering colleges to business schools.

Many of the institutions offer free education and boarding facilities to poor students.

Security has been tightened at the Mutt as hundreds of followers gathered.

He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2015. Last week, Kumaraswamy had demanded the highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna, for the seer as recognition of his service to the society.

After the news of his death, the President of India and Prime Minister offered condolences.

 

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