BENGALURU: The pontiff of the Siddaganga Mutt in Tumakuru, 111-year-old Shivakumar Swami, died on Monday after a prolonged illness and slow recovery. The State Government has declared a one day holiday for all schools, colleges and Government offices as well as a three-day state mourning.
Popular for providing food, shelter and education to lakhs of students across society, the pontiff was popularly known as ‘the walking god’ and was active in spite of his advanced age. His cremation will be held on Tuesday at 4.30 PM at the Mutt premises.
The secretary of the Mutt T K Nanjundappa made an official press statement and declared two days of holiday for the schools and colleges run by the Mutt. The final rites will be held at the Mutt where the mortal remains will be placed inside the building constructed exclusively for the burial as per the Swamiji’s wish.
On Monday morning, several political leaders including Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, Deputy CM G Parameshwara and state BJP Chief BS Yeddyurappa rushed to Tumakuru as news of the pontiff’s health deteriorating spread.
I have had the privilege to visit the Sree Siddaganga Mutt and receive the blessings of His Holiness Dr. Sree Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamigalu.
The wide range of community service initiatives being done there are outstanding and are at an unimaginably large scale. pic.twitter.com/wsmRp2cERd
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 21, 2019
Shivakumar Swami passed away at 11.44 AM at his room in the old Mutt where he was undergoing treatment. He is said to have died of age-related ailments including a depression in the bone marrow coupled with effusion developed in the lungs.
A pall of gloom descended over the Mutt and in Tumakuru city in general as the traders started shutting their businesses and moving towards the Mutt for darshan.
The 111-year-old saint was ailing from pneumonia, infection in the lungs and bile duct and was battling for life for a couple of weeks after a successful bypass surgery at the Rela Institute and Medical Centre, Chennai, on Dec.8 and returned to the Mutt on Dec.19.
After the fluctuation in his health, the doctors too had left it to divine intervention as he would recover shortly before his condition worsened.