Shivakumara Swami

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Shivakumara Swami
Shivakumara Swami.png
Shivakumara Swami in 2007
Born
Shivanna

(1907-04-01)1 April 1907
Died(2019-01-21)21 January 2019
(aged 111 years, 295 days)[2]
Tumkur, Karnataka, India
Other namesSiddaganga Swamijigalu, Nadedaduva Devaru, Kayaka Yogi, Trivida Daasohi, Abhinava Basavanna[3]
OccupationHumanitarian,
head of Siddaganga Matha
Years active1930–2019
OrganizationSiddaganga Education Society
AwardsPadma Bhushan (2015)[2]
Karnataka Ratna (2007)[4]

Shivakumara Swami (born Shivanna; 1 April 1907 – 21 January 2019)[1] was an Indian supercentenarian, humanitarian, spiritual leader and educator. He was a Lingayat religious figure, he joined the Siddaganga Matha in 1930 Karnataka and became head seer from 1941.[5] He also founded the Sri Siddaganga Education Society.[6] Described as the most esteemed adherent of Lingayatism,[7] he was referred to as Nadedaaduva Devaru (walking God) in the state.[2]

Before his death at the age of 111 years, 295 days, he was one of the oldest people living in India.[8] In 2015, he was awarded by the Government of India the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award.[2]

Early life[edit]

Shivanna was born on 1 April 1907 in Veerapura, a village near Magadi in the erstwhile Kingdom of Mysore (in present-day Ramanagara district of Karnataka state). He was the youngest of thirteen children of Gangamma and Honnegowda. Having been devoted followers of the deities Gangadhareshwara and Honnadevi, Shivanna's parents took him to the shrines in Shivagange, alongside other religious centres around Veerapura.[9][10] His mother Gangamma died when he was eight.[11]

Shivanna completed his elementary education in a rural anglo-vernacular school in Nagavalli, a village in the present-day Tumkur district. He passed his matriculation in 1926. He was also a resident-student at the Siddaganga Math for a brief span during this time. He enrolled in Central College of Bangalore to study in arts with physics and mathematics as optional subjects,[12] but was unable to earn the bachelor's degree as he was named successor of Uddana Shivayogi Swami to head the Siddaganga Matha.[13] Shivanna was proficient in Kannada, Sanskrit and English languages.[14]

After losing his friend and the heir to head the Siddaganga Matha, Sri Marularadhya, in January 1930, Shivanna was chosen in his place by the incumbent chief Shivayogi Swami. Shivanna, then renamed Shivakumara, entered the viraktashram (the monks' order) on 3 March that year upon formal initiation, and assumed the pontifical name Shivakumara Swami.[15][16] He assumed charge of the Matha on 11 January 1941, following the death of Shivayogi Swami.[17]

Social work[edit]

The Swami 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]

The Swami'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 Swami'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 Swami in education and humanitarian work.[19]

Illness and death[edit]

In June 2016, the Swami was hospitalised with jaundice and discharged later after treatment.[20] He was again hospitalised in May 2017 and was diagnosed with various infections[21] but completely recovered after treatment. In September 2017, he was hospitalised again.[22] In January 2018, he was diagnosed with pneumonia and a gallbladder infection, but made a full recovery after a brief hospitalisation.[23] In June 2018, he was hospitalised again for a recurrence of the gallbladder infection.[24]

The Swami returned to hospital on 1 December 2018, after suffering from a liver tube infection.[25] Although he was initially discharged, he was admitted again two days later. On 8 December, he underwent liver bypass and gallbladder removal surgeries, performed by Mohamed Rela.[26] The surgeries were successful and the Swami was discharged after various days spent in the intensive care unit. On 29 December, he was diagnosed with a lung infection[27] and on 3 January 2019, he was hospitalised again.[28] On 11 January, he was placed on life support as his conditions deteriorated.[29] On 16 January, despite a complete lack of recovery, the Swami was shifted back to Siddaganga Matha as per his own will.[30] On 21 January, it was reported that he was in a critical condition after his pulse and blood pressure dropped. Attempts to revive him failed and he was pronounced dead at 11:44 a.m. (IST) that day.[31][32] The Government of Karnataka declared a public holiday on 22 January as part of the three-day state mourning period in a mark of respect.[33]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Swami in September 2014

In recognition of his humanitarian work, the Swami 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 Swami 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]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Who was Shivakumara Swami?". The Indian Express. 21 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e Bhuvaneshwari, S. (21 January 2019). "Siddaganga Mutt head Shivakumara Swamy passes away". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Shivakumara Swami's 111 years will be remembered as a life dedicated to simplicity, learning and service to society". Firstpost. 21 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Seer turns 110, devotees seek Bharat Ratna". The New Indian Express. 1 April 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Sree Siddaganga Mutt". Sreesiddagangamutt.org. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Siddaganga Institute of Technology". Sit.ac.in. Retrieved 25 September 2009.
  7. ^ "A medieval poet bedevils India's most powerful political party". The Economist. 21 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Lingayat seer Shivakumara Swami dies at 111, Karnataka declares 3-day state mourning". India Today. 21 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Childhood". siddagangamath.org. Archived from the original on 21 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Sri Shivakumara Swami: A proud Veerapura says adieu to its famous son". The New Indian Express. 22 January 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Prominent Lingayat seer Shivakumara Swami dies at 111". Rediff.com. 21 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Education". siddagangamath.org. Archived from the original on 21 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  13. ^ Bhuvaneshwari, S. (21 January 2019). "Shivakumara Swami: the 'Walking God' who left no one behind". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Shivakumara Swamiji: 'Walking god' who believed in the power of education". The Week. 21 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Shivanna to Sree Sivakumara Swamigalu". siddagangamath.org. Archived from the original on 21 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  16. ^ B. R., Rohith (21 January 2019). "Shivakumara Swamiji, 'walking god' of Karnataka, passes away". The Times of India. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Shivakumara Swami: timeline". The Hindu. 22 January 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  18. ^ a b c Bhuvaneshwari, S. (1 April 2015). "108th birthday of Siddaganga mutt Seer celebrated". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  19. ^ a b c "Kalam hails Siddaganga seer's contribution to society". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 8 April 2006. Retrieved 25 September 2009.
  20. ^ Correspondent, Staff (25 June 2016). "Siddaganga seer returns to Tumakuru". Retrieved 21 January 2019 – via www.thehindu.com.
  21. ^ "Siddaganga Mutt seer hospitalised". The Times of India.
  22. ^ "Mutt seer hospitalised in Kengeri".
  23. ^ Reporter, Staff (27 January 2018). "Siddaganga seer back in Tumakuru mutt". Retrieved 21 January 2019 – via www.thehindu.com.
  24. ^ "Siddaganga seer Shivakumara Swami hospitalised, discharged later". The New Indian Express.
  25. ^ "Siddaganga Mutt seer hospitalised". The Hindu. 1 December 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  26. ^ "Siddaganga seer undergoes surgery". 8 December 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2019 – via www.thehindu.com.
  27. ^ ನಡೆದಾಡುವ ದೇವರ ಶ್ವಾಸಕೋಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಸೋಂಕು ಪತ್ತೆ – ಶ್ರೀಗಳ ಆಪ್ತ ವೈದ್ಯರು ಸ್ಪಷ್ಟನೆ (in Kannada)
  28. ^ "Shivakumara Swami shifted to hospital". Deccan Herald. 3 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  29. ^ "Siddaganga seer to stay on ventilator: Dr Manjunath". Deccan Herald. 12 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  30. ^ Reporter, Staff (16 January 2019). "Shivakumara Swami shifted to Siddaganga mutt". Retrieved 21 January 2019 – via www.thehindu.com.
  31. ^ "Live updates: Siddaganga seer Shivakumara Swamiji critical, put on ventilator". The Times of India. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  32. ^ "Lingayat seer Shivakumara Swami dies at 111, Karnataka declares 3-day state mourning". India Today. Delhi. 21 January 2019.
  33. ^ "Siddaganga Mutt seer death: Karnataka declares holiday tomorrow". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  34. ^ "Shivakumara Swami, "Walking God", Dies At 111. Politicians Unite In Grief". NDTV.com. 21 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  35. ^ "Bharat Ratna sought for Siddaganga seer". The Hindu. 15 October 2008.

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