PM pays respect to spiritual leader at Siddaganga Math

PM pays respect to spiritual leader at Siddaganga Math

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday paid respects to the 'Gadduge' (final resting place) of Shivakumara Swamiji at Siddaganga Math, a prominent Lingayat seminary here, and said the Swamiji's work would continue to inspire everyone.

The Swamiji, who was known as the 'Walking God' among his countless followers, had passed away last year at the age of 111. The Prime Minister, who arrived at the Yelahanka Airbase in Bengaluru, went directly to Tumakuru, where the Math is located, by a chopper along with Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi and former Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda among others. Modi, after offering respects to the 'Gadduge', planted Bilva plant (Aegle marmelos) on the premises of the Math and also laid the foundation for the construction of a museum dedicated to Swamiji here before addressing the gathering, largely comprising students. Speaking on the occasion, Modi said he was feeling blessed to begin 2020 from the sacred land of Siddaganga, but at the same time was feeling the "vacuum" in the absence of Shivakumara Swamiji. "It is rare see the number of people swamiji had inspired during his life time. I'm really fortunate to lay the foundation for the museum in swamiji's memory. Through this museum, his works will continue to inspire generations," he said. Also, Prime Minister remembered Vishwesha Theertha of Udupi's Pejawar Math who passed away recently. Yediyurappa and the present pontiff of the Math Siddalinga Swamiji were among the others present. Known as "trivida dasohi" for his triple sacraments - food, shelter and education - among his followers, Shivakumara swamiji was considered as the incarnation of Basavanna, the 12th-century social reformer, as he accepted all irrespective of their religion or caste. There has been a growing clamour from people of different walks of life, including politicians, for conferring "Bharat Ratna" on the late Swamiji.

After the Swamiji's demise, the then Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had written to Modi urging him to confer the country's highest civilian order on the late seer.

Opposition Congress on Thursday questioned the Prime Minister about not conferring the"Bharat Ratna" on Shivakumara Swamiji.

Questioning Modi as to why he did not visit Tumakuru when Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga Math passed away, the principal opposition party in the state assembly in a tweet also sought to know why the seer was not conferred with the Bharat Ratna yet, while pointing out that former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had written a letter in this regard in January 2018.

The present seer of the seminary Siddalinga Swamiji presented Modi a silver statue of Shivakumara Swamiji as a memento.