“When a person responds to the joys and sorrows of others as if they were his own, he has attained the highest state of spiritual union.”
– Bhagavad Gita
Shivakumar Swamy-also called ‘Nadedaduva Devaru’ or ‘Walking God’ by locals was instrumental in his social, educational, and philanthropic activities spread over eight decades. Here are ten things you might not know about the late Lingayat saint who died at 111 years.
- Shivakumar was born on April 1, 1907, to a simple farmer family in Magadi Taluk, Ramanagara, Karnataka. He got initiated into the fold in 1930. In 1941, he was appointed the present Head of Siddaganga Mutt, by Shri Uddana Swamiji.
- Swamiji is proficient in three languages: Kannada, Sanskrit, and English.
- He has established more than 120 educational institutions. They offer courses in traditional languages like Sanskrit as well in modern science and technology. He is respected by persons of all faiths.
- His work swears by the motto of “Anna Danam” (offering food) and “Vidya Danam” (gaining knowledge is the path to clarity from ignorance).
- He was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature in 1965 by Karnataka University- for his humanitarian work. On his centenary year, 14 years ago, the State Government of Karnataka had awarded Swamiji the highest civilian award for the State-“Karnataka Ratna”
- The Government of India also did felicitate him with a Padma Bhushan.
- The Gurukula of Swamiji caters to more than 8000 children between the age of 5 to 16 years. There is no caste barrier and the students are provided with three basic requirements of life, free of cost-food, education, and shelter.
- Before any election, every political party in Karnataka makes it a rule to seek the blessings of the mutt seer. But being in staunch support of secularism, the seer stayed away from politics throughout his life.
- During the time of the Babri Masjid demolition, when the entire country went ablaze; the seer when interviewed, condemned the demolition.
- On, April 8, 2006, the then President of India APJ Abdul Kalam, praised the work of Swamiji stating he had done “tapas” for 76 years aiming to bring peace to the world.
Swamiji’s deep patriotism and love for humanity can be summarised by his quote-
”When there is unrest in the whole world, India is capable of leading the world to achieve global peace.”
References:Metrosaga, India Today, News 18