From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, political leaders from across party lines condoled the demise of 111-year-old Shivakumara Swami, the prominent Lingayat seer from Siddaganga mutt in Karnataka’s Tumakuru. Shivakumara, popularly known as Nadedaduva Devaru or ‘the Walking God’, on Monday died after being on ventilator support for two weeks. He was one of the most highly revered leaders of Lingayats, the largest community of Karnataka.
Shivakumara, born on 1 April 1907 in Veerapura near Magadi Taluk, Ramanagara District was also a humanitarian and educationist. He founded the Sri Siddaganga Education Society and was described as the most esteemed adherent of Lingayatism. He was initiated into the Viraktashram Order in 1930.
Talking about his educational qualification, he studied English and was also proficient in Kannada and Sanskrit. Apart from Sri Siddaganga Education Society, he established several other educational institutions which offer courses in traditional learning of Sanskrit as well as modern science and technology. He is widely respected for his philanthropic work by all communities.
In recognition of his humanitarian work, the Swami was conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by Karnataka University in 1965. The Karnataka government and many people also sought for Bharat Ratna for his social service. A recipient of Padma Bhushan and Karnataka Ratna awards, the seer was the oldest person living in India.
Here is how political leaders mourn the demise of Shivakumara Swami:
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.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 21, 2019
Prayers and solidarity with his countless devotees spread all across the world. pic.twitter.com/AqgOLgqTrn
HH Dr. Sree Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamigalu remained at the forefront of ensuring better healthcare and education facilities for the marginalised.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 21, 2019
He represents the best of our traditions of compassionate service, spirituality and protecting the rights of the underprivileged. pic.twitter.com/Tp6o5ULU2d
I have had the privilege to visit the Sree Siddaganga Mutt and receive the blessings of His Holiness Dr. Sree Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamigalu.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 21, 2019
The wide range of community service initiatives being done there are outstanding and are at an unimaginably large scale. pic.twitter.com/wsmRp2cERd
I am sorry to hear about the passing of Shivakumar Swami Ji, Pontiff of the Siddaganga Mutt. Swami Ji was respected & revered by millions of Indians, from all religions & communities. His passing leaves behind a deep spiritual void. My condolences to all his followers.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 21, 2019
Deeply saddened at the demise of His Holiness Sree Sree #ShivakumaraSwamiji, the seer of #SiddagangaMutt. His remarkable contributions as a social reformer as well as an educationalist will forever be remembered. My deepest condolences to all his devotees & followers.— Pranab Mukherjee (@CitiznMukherjee) January 21, 2019
Anguished to hear about the demise of the seer of #SiddagangaMath pujay Sri #ShivakumaraSwamiji— Dr. Mahesh Sharma (@dr_maheshsharma) January 21, 2019
His rich contribution in uplifting the underprivileged & immense interest in serving the society with his knowledge is unmatched.
May Almighty bless him eternal peace.
Om Shanti pic.twitter.com/c5qlSwC8TD
My heartfelt condolences to the devotees and followers of the spiritual leader of Siddaganga Math seer #ShivakumaraSwamiji. Swamiji's teachings of peace, unity, and love will be a guiding light for generations to come.— Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) January 21, 2019
Deeply pained to learn about the demise of Nadedaduva Devaru, Sri Sri Sri Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddhaganga Mutt. Swamiji has transformed millions of lives with his immense knowledge and positivity. I was fortunate to have received his blessings. pic.twitter.com/HCu2VKciqn— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) January 21, 2019
His life is a message of humanity and noble-ness. May he continue to bless us with the strength to walk on the path he has shown us. My deepest condolences to his followers in this hour of grief. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti. pic.twitter.com/GFJsm0TSba— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) January 21, 2019
Ram Nath Kovind:
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 #PresidentKovind— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) January 21, 2019