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Shivakumara Swamigalu

  • 02 Apr 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Prime Minister paid tribute to Shivakumara Swamigalu (Swami ji) on his Jayanti.

  • Shivakumara Swamiji was a prominent Lingayat scholar, educator and a spiritual leader.

Key Points

  • Birth:
    • He was born in the village of Veerapura, Ramanagara District, Karnataka on 1st April, 1907.
  • Early Life:
    • He was his parent’s thirteenth child and was named Shivanna at birth.
      • His interest in religion began in his childhood when he accompanied his parents to religious centers.
    • After completing his elementary education in the village he was born in, he moved to Nagavalli to complete his middle school.
      • Simultaneously, he also became a resident student at Siddaganga Math for a brief period.
      • Sree Siddaganga Math is an ancient ashram fostering a continuous line of illustrious "Shiva Yogi Siddapurushas". The Math was established by Sree Gosala Siddeshwara Swamiji in 15th century A.D.
        • The Math is situated at a distance of 63 Km from Bangalore (Karnataka).
    • In 1930, he earned a bachelor’s degree in arts from the Central College in Bangalore. He was proficient in English, Kannada, and Sanskrit.
    • In 1965, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Literature degree by Karnataka University.
  • About:
    • He was a Lingayat religious figure and head of the Siddaganga Matha in Karnataka. He was described as the most esteemed adherent of Lingayatism.
      • He entered the monk’s order or viraktashram at Siddaganga Math on 3rd March, 1930.
    • He was known as ''Nadedaaduva Devaru'' or the ''Walking God'' among his followers.
    • He was considered as the incarnation of Basaveshwara, the 12th century social reformer, as he accepted all irrespective of their religion or caste.
  • Social Work:
    • He had founded 132 institutions for education and training.
      • Here, the children are provided free shelter, food, and education.
      • Visitors and pilgrims coming to the Math also receive free food.
    • He founded Sri Siddaganga Education Society.
    • Under the swami’s guidance, an agricultural fair was also held annually to help the local people.
  • Awards:
    • In 2007, he was awarded the Karnataka Ratna (highest civilian award in Karnataka).
    • In 2015, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan (the third highest civilian award in India).
  • Death:
    • He was almost 112 years old when he passed away on 21st January 2019 as a result of multiple infections.


  • The term Lingayat denotes a person who wears a personal linga, the aniconic form of god Shiva, on the body, which is received during the initiation ceremony.
  • Lingayats are the followers of the 12th-century social reformer-philosopher poet, Basaveshwara.
    • Basaveshwara was against the caste system and Vedic rituals.
  • The Lingayats are strict monotheists. They enjoin the worship of only one God, namely, Linga (Shiva).
  • The word ‘Linga’ does not mean Linga established in temples, but universal consciousness qualified by the universal energy (Shakti).
  • The Veerashaivas sect of the community also worships Shiva idols and practises other Hindu customs.

Source: PIB

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