Tontada seer laid to rest; Siddarama Swami successor

Tontada seer laid to rest; Siddarama Swami successor

Seers and the pontiffs of Veerashaiva mutts perform the last rites of Tontada Siddalinga Swami on the mutt premises in Gadag on Sunday. DH PHOTO

Dr Siddalinga Swami of Tontadarya Mutt, who passed away in sleep, was laid to rest at the Mutt premises on Sunday. Final rites were performed as per the Lingayat faith, while the funeral took place with full state honours. Mallikarjuna Murugharajendra Swami of Anandapura Mutt, Shivamogga, led the rituals.

A host of dignitaries,including Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, elected representatives and pontiffs of leading Mutts in the state, attended the funeral. The pontiff’s mortal remains were kept for public view since Saturday. There was a rendering of vachanas and devotional compositions.

“I lost a guide as he would often guide me directly,” Kumaraswamy said. “I shared unique bond with Naganur Mutt as I consumed prasadam there and began my first ever Gram Vastyavya 12 years ago. The Naganur Mutt seer will now head the Tontadarya Mutt which will further strengthen my bond with the Tontadarya Mutt,” he said.

Siddarama Swami of Rudrakshi Mutt, Naganur, Belagavi has been chosen to succeed Dr Siddalinga Swami as the 20th pontiff in the Tontadarya Mutt tradition.Siddalinga Swami had finalised a will on March 10, 2008 appointing Siddarama Swami as his successor. He had kept the will in a closed cover and had handed it over to the Mutt’s manager. The cover was opened in the presence of office-bearers of administrative board and pontiffs of branch mutts on Sunday.

Mallikarjuna Murugharajendra Swami announced the successor’s name when preparations were in full swing for the funeral.