Walking God walks away from earth

By: Surinder Jain.

Sri Sri Sri Shivakumara Swamiji [1] a Hindu spiritual leader, revered saint, humanitarian and educator, religious figure and head of the Siddaganga Matha in Karnataka,[5] founder of the Sri Siddaganga Education Society,[6] also known as Nadedaaduva Devaru (walking God)[2] passed away at the age of 111 on Monday 21st January 2019.

Swamiji founded a total of 132 institutions for education and training, that range from nursery to colleges for engineering, science, arts and management as well as vocational training.[18] He established educational institutions which offer courses in traditional learning of Sanskrit as well as modern science and technology. He was widely respected by all communities for his philanthropic work.[19]

In 2015, he was awarded by the Government of India the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award.[2]

Swamiji’s gurukula houses more than 10,000 children from ages five to sixteen years at any point in time and is open to children from all religions, castes, and creeds who are provided free food, education, and shelter (Trivida Dasohi).[18][3] The pilgrims and visitors to the mutt also receive free meals.[18] Under the pontiff’s guidance, an annual agricultural fair is held for the benefit of the local population. The Government of Karnataka announced the institution of Shivakumara Swamiji Prashasti from 2007, the centennial birth anniversary of Swamiji.[19] A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the former President of India, visited him at Tumkur and praised the initiatives of Swamiji in education and humanitarian work.[19]

In recognition of his humanitarian work, Swamiji was conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by the Karnataka University in 1965.[34] On his centenary in 2007, the Government of Karnataka awarded him the prestigious Karnataka Ratna award, the highest civilian award of the state.[4] In 2015 the Government of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan.[2]

In 2017, the Government of Karnataka and his followers sought Bharat Ratna for him for his social service.[35][4]

Swami Ji’s demise and irreplaceable loss has immersed the whole of Hindu Community into deep sorrow.

Swami Ji headed the Sri Siddaganga math since 1941. Under his watch the math run institutes students have excelled in education and are working all over the world.

 

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