The ‘Nadedaduva Devaru’ or ‘Walking God’, Shivakumara Swamy, the seer of the Siddaganga Mutt in Tumakuru of Karnataka left us today creating a void in our lives that can never be filled. Swamiji was an embodiment of Poornatva & one of the greatest Shiva Gyanis that India has seen. He was a leading light of spiritual, social & Cultural Revolution
Born on April 1, 1907, in Magadi in the present-day Ramanagara district of Karnataka, Shivakumara Swamy was initiated as a Lingayat seer in 1930 and assumed responsibilities of the Mutt in 1941. He reportedly observed ‘tapas’ or penance for 76 years.
Around 50 years ago, he had opened a free boarding school for poor children at the Mutt. The gurukul, as it came to be known, houses more than 9,000 children in the age group of 5-15 and accepts students irrespective of caste, creed and religion. The Mutt also runs medical and engineering colleges.
The seer used to head the Siddaganga Educational Society, which runs around 125 educational institutions ranging from engineering to business schools/colleges in the state. The society also runs nearly 20 institutions, where the Sanskrit language and the Vedas are taught, and students are given free board and lodging.
The humanitarian work of the seer earned praise in 2006 from then President of India APJ Abdul Kalam, when he visited Tumakuru in 2006 during the celebrations of the seer’s 100th birthday.
Swamiji was the recipient of a doctorate of literature from Karnataka University in 1965, the Karnataka Ratna – the highest civilian honour in the state in 2007, as well as the Padma Bhushan in 2015 by the Union government. Karnataka CM had recently said the Central government should confer the Bharat Ratna on the seer.
Swamiji had hundreds of followers visiting him every day. Political leaders from all over nation are followers of Swamiji and often make a visit to the seer a priority on their visit to Karnataka. Almost all political figures, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, visited Shivakumara Swami in the lead-up to the Karnataka elections earlier this year.
Swamiji devoted his whole life to people. He continued to meet devotees at the ‘Hale Mata’ or Old Mutt inside the Siddaganga Mutt till his last moment. Swamiji’s demise is a great loss for the nation. May his soul rest in peace.