Leaving thousands of his devotees in utter grief, revered Siddaganga Mutt seer Dr. Shivakumara Swamiji passed away this morning in Tumakuru, Karnataka. Swamiji was 111. He was fondly called by everyone as 'Walking God' for his relentless service for the poor and was considered one of the most sacred religious and social practitioners of the Lingayat-Veerashaiva faith of Lingayatism.
Dr. Shivakumara Swamiji's sad demise was condoled by the who's who of the political world, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy. The chief minister has declared a one-day holiday across the state as a mark of respect. He said that his government will recommend Swamiji's name to the country's highest civilian award 'Bharat Ratna' posthumously.
For several decades, Swamiji had offered free education and free food to thousands of poor students and the hungry. His mortal remains will be kept for public viewing tomorrow at 3 pm after which his final journey will begin with full state honours.