Bengaluru: Lakhs of people bid a tearful adieu to their “Walking God”, as the mortal remains of 111-year-old Sree Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga mutt, were laid to rest on Tuesday with full state honours at the premises of the seminary he headed for over seven decades.
The most revered swamiji, who left an indelible imprint with his stellar contributions in the education sector and philanthropy targeted at children in whom he saw the Almighty, was buried as “Kriya Samadhi”, according to Veerashaiva/ Lingayat traditions, amid chanting of hymns.
Known as “trivida dasohi” for his triple sacraments — food, shelter and education — among his followers, the Swamiji, who passed away on Monday, was buried in a sitting posture at the Samadhi with cakes of viboothi (sacred ash), salt, sand, bilva leaves (Aegle marmelos) and rudrakshi, among other things.
Preparations and rituals for the burial ceremony were on since morning at the place, which, according to sources, was notified by Shivakumara Swami himself. He had also recorded the procedures that needed to be followed for his last rites, according to his successor and junior pontiff of the mutt, Siddalinga Swamiji. The junior swami had said that the last rites would be performed according to the swami’s wish.
The mortal remains, placed in a “Rudrakshi Mantapa” (chariot made of rudrakshi), was carried from the ground where it was kept for public view to the final resting place.
The crowd also shouted slogans demanding that Bharat Ratna be conferred on the seer....