Karnataka's 111-year-old revered seer, Shivakumara Swami of Siddaganga Mutt at Tumakuru, passed away today after his health deteriorated.
He was in critical condition and put on life support, Home Minister M.B. Patil said on Monday.
"Shivakumara Swami is in critical condition and is on life support at the Mutt. Doctors are monitoring his condition," Patil had told mediapersons in Tumakuru, about 70 km northwest of here.
Known among his followers as a "walking god" and an incarnation of the 12th century social reformer Basava, the Lingayat seer also headed the Sree Siddaganga Education Society, which runs about 125 educational institutions in the state - from engineering colleges to business schools.
Many of the institutions offer free education and boarding facilities to poor students.
The Swami, who is said to be one of the oldest persons living in India, had been suffering from lung infection for the past few weeks. He had been in and out of hospitals over the last few years due to his advanced age.
Security has been tightened at the Mutt as hundreds of followers gathered..
Born on April 1, 1907 in Veerapura village of Ramanagara district in Karnataka, the Swami was also involved in several philanthropic activities and was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2015.
Last week, Kumaraswamy had demanded the highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna, for the seer as recognition of his service to the society.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted last week: "His Holiness Shivakumara Swami is a remarkable personality and has positively impacted crores of lives through his outstanding service. The entire nation is praying for his speedy recovery and good health."
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