PM Modi pays tribute to the spiritual leader in Siddaganga Math

TUMAKURU (KARNATAKA): Prime Minister Narendra Modi On Thursday he paid tribute to the 'Gadduge' (final resting place) of Shivakumara Swamiji at a prominent Lingayat seminar here, and said that Swamiji's work will continue to inspire everyone.

The Swamiji, known as the 'Walking God' among his countless followers, passed away last year at the age of 111.

The prime minister, who arrived at Yelahanka air base in Bangalore, went directly to Tumakuru, where Math is located, next to a helicopter along with Prime Minister BS Yediyurappa, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi and former Prime Minister DV Sadananda Gowda, among others.

Modi, after offering his respects to the 'Gadduge', planted the Bilva plant (Aegle Marmelos) at Math's facilities and also laid the foundations for the construction of a museum dedicated to Swamiji here before heading to the meeting, largely composed of students.

Speaking on the occasion, Modi said he felt blessed to start 2020 from the sacred land of Siddaganga, but at the same time he felt the emptiness in the absence of Shivakumara Swamiji.

It is rare to see the number of people that Swamiji had inspired during his life. I am really fortunate to lay the foundations of the museum in memory of Swamiji. Through this museum, his works will continue to inspire generations, he said.

In addition, the Prime Minister reminded Vishwesha Theertha of Pejawar Mathwho of Udupi recently passed away.

Yediyurappa and the current pontiff of the were among the others present.

Known as trivida dasohi by his triple sacraments (food, shelter and education) among his followers, Shivakumara swamiji was considered as the incarnation of Basavanna, the 12th century social reformer, since he accepted everything regardless of his religion or caste.

There has been a growing clamor of people from different walks of life, including politicians, for conferring Bharat Ratna to the late Swamiji.

After Swamiyi's disappearance, then-Prime Minister HD Kumaraswamy had written to Modi urging him to confer the country's highest civil order to the last seer.

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

When questioning Modi why he did not visit Tumakuru when Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga Math passed away, the main opposition party in the state assembly in a tweet also sought to know why the seer was not yet consulted with Bharat Ratna, while pointing out that He Former Prime Minister had written a letter about it in January 2018.

The current seer of the Siddalinga Swamiji seminar presented Modi with a silver statue of Shivakumara Swamiji as a souvenir.