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Bengaluru: Siddaganga Math seer Sri Shivakumara Swamiji, who was on ventilator passed away at 11.44 am on Monday. He was 111 years old.
Three days of state mourning has been announced in the state by Deputy chief minister G Parameshwara. Holiday declared in Karnataka on Tuesday as part of the state mourning.The cremation will be done on 22nd January at 4.30 pm.
Swami had been in a critical condition for the last 15 days. He was being treated for a lung infection which he developed after an operation in December last year.
Senior political leaders including the chief minister, HD Kumaraswamy and former chief minister, BS Yeddyurappa have expressed 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 the future of many people,” Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy told reporters in Tumakuru, where the seer passed away.
PM Narendra Modi said 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.Senior Congress leader and former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah expressed sorrow at the seer’s demise and hailed his contribution to the field of education.
President Ram Nath Kovind said, “Extremely sad to learn of the passing of spiritual leader Dr Sree Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamigalu Ji. He contributed immensely to society, particularly towards healthcare and education. My condolences to his countless followers.”
Security arrangements are in place as hundred of devotees have travelled to the Mutt hoping to catch a glimpse of their spiritual leader.
A recipient of Padma Bhushan and Karnataka Ratna awards, the seer was in a serious condition for the past two months and had undergone surgery at a private hospital in Chennai about two months ago for his liver-related complications.
Shivakumara Swami was considered one of the most esteemed religious and social practitioners of the Lingayat-Veerashaiva faith of Lingayatism.
Born on April 1, 1907 in Veerapura village of Ramanagara district in Karnataka, the Swami was also involved in several philanthropic activities and was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2015.