‘GOD WHO WALKED’ VEERAPURA HONNE GOWDA GANGAMMA ‘S SON PASSES ON AFTER 111-YEAR JOURNEY
Bengaluru: One of Karnataka’s most revered and influential spiritual leaders, the 111-year-old Sri Shivakumara Swami of Siddaganga mutt, passed away on Monday morning. While he earned the sobriquet of ‘Nadedaduva Devaru’ or ‘Walking God’ for his pioneering social, educational and philanthropic activities spread over eight decades, it was the political influence he wielded that made leaders from all parties flock to his mutt, 70 km from Bengaluru, to seek his support and advice over decades.
Chief minister H D Kumaraswamy and state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa kept a vigil, on either side of the seer’s body, till late Monday night as thousands thronged to pay their respects to the departed soul. Though head of a powerful Lingayat mutt, he never openly associated himself with any political party, a reason why he was popular with Congress, BJP and JD(S) leaders. His impartial stance meant that he gave balanced guidance to all the leaders who visited him, said sources. A slew of national leaders of both BJP and Congress are expected to arrive for the final rites. There’s a vociferous demand, cutting across party lines, to confer India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, on the pontiff. As the demand for a separate religious status for Lingayats raged last year and several seers from that community made their political leanings clear, Sri Shivakumara Swami stood above the noise and tumult even as then ruling Congress leaders made desperate attempts to seek his support for their campaign.
Swamiji doesnt need a Bharat Ratna as he was already one in his real life. If you politicians want to do something for Swamiji, its not giving Bharat Ratna to him but just try to walk atleast 1 mile … 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. The seer was conferred the Padma Bhushan in 2015 and the state’s highest civilian award, Karnataka Ratna, on his 100th birthday in 2007.