Prime News, State, (Tumakuru), January 21:-Lingayat religious head of Sree Siddaganga Math, 111-year-old Sri Shivakumara Swamiji, is battling ill health owing to a lung infection. The ‘walking god’, as he is fondly referred to, has been put on ventilator support and is said to be in a critical condition.
Giving the update of his health, Dr Parameshwara said: “We noted variations in health parameters of the seer last night. He is on ventilator support and is in critical condition. We will give a further update”.
Security has been beefed up outside the Siddaganga Math in Karnataka’s Tumkuru where the seer is undergoing treatment. Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara also arrived at the Math to enquire about the centenarian seer’s health.
He is being treated for a lung infection which he developed after undergoing a liver bypass last month.
The religious head is described as the most esteemed adherent of Lingayatism. Born in 1907 in Karnataka, Swamiji heads the Sri Siddaganga Mutt in the Tumkuru district of the state. He is the founder of the Sri Siddaganga Education Society trust which runs several primary schools, high schools, school for the blind, higher secondary schools, colleges of arts, science and commerce, college of pharmacy, teacher training college and engineering college.
He had established the education society in 1963 with a view that the world is on the brink of disaster and only two group of persons can save the world – an ideal mother and ideal teachers. He has often said that teachers are the architects of the nation and torch bearers of civilisation. “Education is the debt to be paid by the present generation to the future generation,” he said.
He has profound knowledge of English, Kannada and Sanskrit literatures. In recognition of his humanitarian work, an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature was conferred on him by Karnataka University in 1965. He continues his humanitarian work even at the age of 111.
He was also awarded the prestigious Karnataka Ratna award, the highest civilian award given by Karnataka Government on his centenary year 2007, for his social service.
Politicians across party lines have been demanding a Bharat Ratna for the Lingayat seer.
Emotions have been running high due to Shivakumara Swamiji’s ill health. Over the past few days, several devotees including VIPs have been heading towards Tumkur in the hope of getting a glimpse of the ‘walking god’. Those who have made their way to the seer’s residence in the last few days include Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge and former PM HD Deve Gowda.
-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)