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Siddaganga Swamiji’s successor: Who will be the pontiff of Siddaganga mutt

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Bengaluru, Jan 22: With the passing away of Siddaganga seer, Shivakumar Swami, the question is who will take over the mutt. It would be Siddalinga Mahaswami who will be appointed as the new pontiff of the Siddaganga Mutt.

Devotees carry the body of Hindu spiritual leader Shivakumara Swamiji before being placed for public viewing in Tumkur, northwest of Bengaluru

Siddalinga Mahaswami has been the de-facto pontiff of the mutt in Tumakuru. The 55-year-old Siddalinga Mahaswami has been an ardent follower of Shivakumar Swami. Born on July 22, 1963, he completed his education in the institutions owned by the mutt. His maiden name was Vishwanatha and he was born to Sadasivaiah and Sivarudramma in Magadi, Bengaluru.

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When he was studying in high school the local seer of Kanakapura, Mahalinga swami asked his parents to send him to Sree Siddaganga Gurukula. It is here that he came under the care of Shivakumar Swami. He completed his bachelors and then masters in arts, specialising in economics.

Following this, he joined the spiritual education system of the mutt and then entered into full-time services of Shivakumar Swami.

It was in the year 1988 that he entered the virakthashrama. These were turbulent times in the mutt with the then junior pontiff, Gowrishankara swami getting entangled in controversies over misappropriation. He was even accused of sodomy. He was convicted by the High Court, but later the Supreme Court absolved him of the charge.

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Gowrishankara swami was asked to leave the mutt and Siddalinga Mahaswami was instilled as the junior pontiff on March 31, 1988. Due to the ill health of Shivakumar Swami, he discharged the duties as president of the mutt and its educational institutions.

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