Lingayat seer Shivakumara Swamy was laid to rest at Siddaganga Mutt, Tumkur, with full state honours on Tuesday, 22 January. The pontiff passed away on Monday after battling a lung infection for the past few weeks.
During the funeral procession, lakhs of devotees and delegates, including Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and former Prime Minister Deve Gowda, paid tribute to the late seer, who died at the age of 111.
The Karnataka government, on Tuesday, announced a three-day state mourning and a one-day holiday for all educational institutions and government establishments.
Shivakumara Swamy Buried in ‘Kriya Samadhi’
The most revered seer was buried as “Kriya Samadhi”, according to Veerashaiva/Lingayat traditions, amid chanting of hymns.
The crowd also shouted slogans demanding that ‘Bharat Ratna” be conferred upon the seer.
Known as “trivida dasohi” for his triple sacraments – food, shelter and education – among his followers, the seer was buried in a sitting posture at the Samadhi with cakes of vibhoothi (sacred ash), salt, sand, bilva leaves (Aegle marmelos) and rudrakshi, among other things.
The place for the burial ceremony was notified by Shivakumara Swami himself, PTI quoted sources as saying.
The pontiff had also recorded the procedures that needed to be followed for his last rites, according to his successor and junior pontiff of the mutt, Siddalinga Swamiji.
‘Swamiji Had Wished to Enter Sajeeva Samadhi’
The seer had wished to enter “Sajeeva Samadhi” (giving up life by entering one’s own grave) on attaining 100 years of age, but gave it up due to legal reasons and pressure from his followers, news agency PTI quoted mutt sources as saying.
Hotels & Restaurants Distribute Free Food to Devotees
Following the path laid down by their guru, the mutt provided food as “prasad” to thousands of devotees who thronged the area to pay respects.
Though shops and establishments remained closed in Tumkuru and surrounding areas as a mark of respect, many civilians, as also hotels and restaurants, distributed food free of cost to devotees and the needy by setting up food counters at various places, PTI reported.
‘Walking God’ Shivakumara Swami Laid to Rest at Siddaganga Mutt
Lingayat seer Shivakumara Swamy was laid to rest at Siddaganga Mutt, Tumkur, on Tuesday, 22 January. The pontiff passed away on Monday after battling a lung infection for the past few weeks.
As the burial processions are over, seers present at the mutt will perform post-burial rituals.
Karnataka CM to Meet PM Modi, Will Request Bharat Ratna for Shivakumara
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy is set to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to request for a Bharat Ratna for Shivakumara.
Rituals Underway at Final Resting Place
Last rites are being performed by seers of Siddaganga Mutt before Shivakumara Swami is laid to rest. Junior seers of the mutt are also part of the procession.
In Pictures: Shivakumara Swami’s Last Rites at Siddaganga Mutt
Gun Salute at Shivakumara Swami’s Funeral Procession
The funeral procession of Shivakumara Swami’s is being conducted with state honours at the premises of Siddaganga mutt. The police also performed gun salute during the procession.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Pays Tribute to Shivakumara Swami
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman who earlier in the day visited the Siddaganga mutt, paid tribute to the late seer. She visited Tumkur on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Siddaganga Seer Shivakumara Swami Embarks on His Final Journey
Mortal remains of Siddaganga seer Shivakumara Swami’s were moved to a Rudrakshi ratha. Final procession begins.
HD Kumaraswamy, Deve Gowda Arrive at Siddaganga Mutt in Tumkur
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda arrived at Siddaganga Mutt in Tumkur to pay last tribute to Shivakumara Swami.
Karnataka Govt Event Stopped after Protesters Allege Disrespect to Siddaganga Seer
A series of panel discussions titled as ‘Conversations of the Constitution’ organised by the Karnataka government’s Social Welfare Department featuring high-profile speakers was called off abruptly on Tuesday in the face of protests by some pro-Kannada organisations, The News Minute reported.
The protestors demanded that the government call off the high-profile event in the wake of the demise of Shivakumara Swami.
HD Kumaraswamy, Deve Gowda Arrive in Tumkur
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda have arrived in Tumkur to pay last tribute to Shivakumara Swami of Siddaganga Mutt.
One Killed, Five Injured After Carrying Siddaganga Devotees Rams into Tree
One person was killed and five others injured after a car, carrying Siddaganga Mutt devotees, rammed into a tree near Kadur in Chikkamagaluru. The Victims were returning after paying their last respects to Shivakumara Swami in Tumkur.
Shivakumara Swami’s Contribution Will Be Remembered by Entire Nation: PM Modi
Addressing an event in Varanasi, PM Narendra Modi condoled the death of Dr Shivakumara Swami saying, “It is a great loss. His contribution towards human welfare will be remembered by the entire nation.”
KSRTC to Operate More Buses to Siddaganga Mutt
KSRTC will operate more than 100 buses in Tumkur city from KSRTC bus stand, railway station, APMC, Junior College to Siddaganga Mutt to facilitate devotees to attend the last rites of Shivakumara Swami.
Further, additional buses will be operated from all districts to Tumkur to cater devotees.
Sitharaman, Sadananda Gowda to Attend Funeral
Union ministers DV Sadananda Gowda and Nirmala Sitharaman will attend the funeral of the head pontiff of Siddaganga mutt and lay wreath on behalf of the prime minister.
According to official sources, the two ministers would fly down to Karnataka to attend the last rites of the Lingayat seer Shivakumar Swami, reported PTI.
Yeddyurappa Arrives at Siddaganga Mutt
Former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa arrived at Siddaganga Mutt in Tumkuru, where Shivakumara Swami will be laid to rest here today.
Who is Shivkumara Swami
Born in 1907, Dr Shivakumara Swami has been called the “most esteemed adherent” of Lingayatism by The Economist. Swami studied English in college and was proficient in Kannada and Sanskrit.
He became a Lingayat monk in 1930 and started out by opening a boarding school for the children of poor parents at the Siddaganga Mutt over 50 years ago. According to reports, this school now accommodates over 8,000 children from various backgrounds, irrespective of caste or religion.
The Mutt also runs higher education institutions in the state.
Swami was widely considered to be a voice of secular reason and modern wisdom, lending all his visitors an ear but choosing not to hold any partisan stand on his own. Devotees often described him as being a perfect combination of tradition and modernity.
It is believed that he spent his youth travelling the countryside of Karnataka and neighbouring states on foot, talking to people and educating them on the importance of moral integrity and self-reliance. In line with this, he was also frequently lauded for his efforts in poverty eradication in rural areas, with special emphasis on primary education, particularly in English for empowerment.
Read full profile here.
Devotees, Saints Throng Tumkur to Pay Final Respects
PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi Express Condolences
From PM Narendra Modi to Congress President Rahul Gandhi, all took to Twitter to mourn the seer’s death.
Kumaraswamy, Yeddyurappa Mourn Swami’s Demise
Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy who had cancelled all his commitments for the day and reached the mutt on Monday afternoon, said, “The walking god is no longer with us. The doctors treating him have informed us of his demise. The seer’s body will be kept for public viewing tomorrow at 3 pm. He has contributed a lot to society. He has provided free education to thousands of poor children and has provided free meals to thousands of people for as long as he lived. I am extremely saddened by his demise.”
Former Karnataka Chief Minister and BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa, who is a Lingayat himself, expressed his grief over Siddaganga seer’s demise. “I’m extremely saddened by the demise of the walking god. The world has become poorer without him. Personally, I’m at a huge loss. I have lost a guru who guided me at any point of time, no matter the situation. I hope God gives strength to all his devotees to overcome the loss,” he said.