Life lessons from Sri Siddaganga Shivakumara Swamiji

Sri Siddaganga Shivakumara Swamiji was a revered spiritual leader, humanitarian, educator and supercentenarian who passed away on 21 January 2019 at the age of 111. He was the head of the Siddaganga Matha, a Veerashaiva Lingayat religious institution in Tumakuru, Karnataka. He was also the founder of the Sri Siddaganga Education Society, which runs more than 130 educational and training institutions across Karnataka. He was widely known as the “Walking God” or “Nadedaduva Devaru” among his followers and admirers for his selfless service to humanity.

Swamiji dedicated his life to the upliftment of the poor and the marginalized, especially children. He provided free food, shelter and education to thousands of children irrespective of their caste, creed or religion. He also initiated various social welfare schemes such as free medical camps, mass marriages, rural development programs and environmental protection activities. He was a champion of social justice and harmony and advocated for the rights and dignity of all people.

Swamiji was also a great scholar and a patron of arts and culture. He had a profound knowledge of Kannada, Sanskrit and English languages and literature. He wrote several books and articles on religion, philosophy, history and culture. He also encouraged the preservation and promotion of traditional art forms such as folk music, dance and drama.

Swamiji was honored with many awards and recognitions for his noble deeds and contributions to society. He received the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award, in 2015. He was also conferred with honorary doctorates by several universities. He was widely respected by people from all walks of life, including political leaders, celebrities, religious heads and common people.


Swamiji’s life is an inspiration and a lesson for all of us. He taught us how to live a simple, humble and compassionate life. He showed us how to serve others without expecting anything in return. He demonstrated how to overcome challenges and difficulties with courage and faith. He exemplified how to be a true human being and a true devotee of God.

Here are some of the life lessons that we can learn from Swamiji’s life:

  • Be kind and generous: Swamiji was known for his kindness and generosity. He never discriminated anyone based on their religion, caste or status. He treated everyone with love and respect. He shared whatever he had with others. He helped many people who were in need or distress. He never asked for anything in return for his service. He believed that service to humanity is service to God.
  • Be humble and grateful: Swamiji was known for his humility and gratitude. He never boasted about his achievements or wealth. He always acknowledged his guru, God and his followers for their support and blessings. He always thanked God for everything he had in his life. He never complained or regretted anything in his life. He accepted everything as God’s will.
  • Be patriotic and proud: Swamiji was a staunch patriot who loved his country and his language. He always promoted Kannada culture and literature through his institutions and activities. He also participated in various movements and causes for the welfare of Karnataka and Kannada people. He played a key role in the Gokak agitation in 1983, which demanded primacy for Kannada language in education and administration.
  • Be courageous and resilient: Swamiji faced many challenges and difficulties in his life, but he never gave up or lost hope. He overcame poverty, illiteracy, competition, criticism, health problems, accidents, threats and kidnapping with courage and resilience. He always maintained a positive attitude and a cheerful smile on his face. He always prayed to God and trusted His will. He always inspired others with his optimism and faith


Here are some of his famous quotes that reflect his wisdom and vision:

  • “Education is the greatest wealth that one can possess in this world.”
  • “Service to humanity is service to God.”
  • “Religion is not a matter of rituals or dogmas, but a matter of love and compassion.”
  • “The purpose of life is not to accumulate wealth or fame, but to share it with others.”
  • “The best way to worship God is to serve His creation.”
  • “Peace and harmony can be achieved only when we respect each other’s beliefs and values.”
  • “The true strength of a nation lies in its culture and heritage.”
  • “The youth are the future of our country. They should be nurtured with moral values and social responsibility.”
  • “The greatest happiness in life is to make others happy.”
  • “The secret of longevity is to live a simple, healthy and spiritual life.”