Dr. Shivakumara Swamy,One of Karnataka’s most revered and influential spiritual leader, the 111-year-old seer of Siddaganga Mutt, died on Monday at the Mutt in Tumakuru.
The head pontiff of Siddaganga Mutt of the dominant Lingayat community in Karnataka, who wielded social and political influence on account of his contributions to the educational sector through creation of over 70 schools and colleges, was declared dead Monday by doctors at the Siddaganga Hospital run by the Mutt in Tumkur.
Shivakumar Swami had been battling age-related complications over the past fortnight. He became an ascetic in 1930 and the head of the Mutt in 1941. Shivakumar Swami supervised the growth of Siddaganga Mutt — which traces itself back to the 11th century — by expanding the number of educational institutions of the Mutt from four in 1940 to over 70 at present.
From Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi to H D Deve Gowda and Narendra Modi and senior leaders Sonia Gandhi to Amit Shah, everyone made it a point to visit the mutt and exchange pleasantries with him each time they touched down in Bengaluru.
According to the math website, the highly revered swamiji was born on April 1, 1908 in Veerapura village in Karnataka. The website of Sree Siddaganga College of Education, founded by him, mentions his date of birth as April 1, 1907.
A recipient of Padma Bhushan and Karnataka Ratna awards, the seer was in a serious condition for the past two months and had undergone a surgery at a private hospital in Chennai about two months ago for his liver related complications. The swamiji showed signs of improvement but his condition suddenly deteriorated in the past few days.