Siddaganga Seer Shivakumara Swamiji, who passed away on Monday, was known for his selfless service to mankind. And he also connected with people through cinema.
Known as the 'walking God' to his devotees, Swamiji was last seen in the 2018 Sandalwood blockbuster 'Tagaru'. The movie starred Shivarajkumar in the lead role and featured Swamiji as himself. The main character in the movie dedicates his life to the Swamiji. In the small appearance, Swamiji and the Siddaganga shrine drew whistles and shouts from cinema audiences.
Two Sandalwood films were made - 'Jnana Jyothi Siddaganga' and 'Siddaganga' - based on Swamiji's life and the history of Siddaganga Mutt. Sandalwood biggies such as Dr Vishnuvardhan, Bharthi Vishnuvardhan, Sridhar, Rastrakavi GS Shivarudrappa and 20,000 students of Siddaganga mutt were seen in 'Jnana Jyothi Siddaganga'. Swamiji was seen on the silver screen for the first time in the movie, which was directed by Omkar.
Swamiji was also seen in 'Siddaganga', which was believed to be based on the true story of an elder sister and younger brother called 'Ganga' and 'Sidda' and other stories from the Siddaganga Mutt. The movie also featured Siddalinga Swamiji, the successor to Shivakumara Swamiji.
Recently, a Swamiji biopic was announced by director Purushotham. The filmmaker said that he wants to feature Swamiji's complete life story.
Maverick filmmaker Guruprasad invoked Swamiji in his debut movie 'Matta'. Though Swamiji did not play the role, a lookalike portrayed Swamiji's walk and mannerisms. Enagi Balappa played the Swamiji role.
Like many other spheres, Shivakumara Swamiji had a profound impact on Sandalwood and filmmaking.