Sri Siddheshwar Swami (1941-2023) was an Indian spiritual leader. He was a senior Lingayat pontiff and the seer of the Sri Jnanayogashrama of Vijayapura, an ashram in Bijapur, Karnataka, who passed away on 2 January 2023 following a prolonged illness.
Sri Siddheshwar Swami was born on Friday, 24 October 1941 (age 81 years; at the time of death) in Bijjaragi, Vijayapur district, Karnataka. His zodiac sign is Scorpio. He was studying in Class 4 at a local school in his native village when he made acquaintance with the spiritual leader Sri Mallikarjuna Swamiji, who immediately realised Siddheshwar’s spiritual soul. Thereafter, Mallikarjuna started taking Siddheshwar to places where he would preach.
However, he made sure that Siddheshwar’s formal education kept going side by side. He pursued his graduation from Karnataka University. Later, he obtained an MA in Philosophy from Kolhapur University, Maharashtra.
Height (approx.): 5′ 6″
Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper
Eye Colour: Black
He was born into an ordinary farmer’s family. His father’s name is Ogeppagouda Siddhagonda Patil, and his mother’s name is Sangamma Ogeppagouda Patil.
Swamiji got his spiritual calling at the age of just 14 after which he came under the discipleship of Sri Mallikarjuna Swamiji.
He founded the Jnanayogashrama in Vijayapura, Karnataka. He preached Jnana yoga (also known as the jnana marga), which is one of the three classical paths for moksha i.e., liberation. The other two are karma yoga (path of action) and bhakti yoga (path of loving devotion to a personal god). Jnana yoga is a spiritual practice that pursues knowledge with questions such as “who am I, what am I” among others. His lectures featured the ideology preached by Sri Basaveshwara and other Sharanas, the three Acharyas of Indian philosophy, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sufism.
On 2 January 2023, Sri Siddheshwar Swami passed away at 6.05 pm following a prolonged illness due to age-related ailments. His last rites were performed on the Ashram premises as per his wishes which he had recorded on ‘Guru Purnima’ day of 2014. According to an official notification, the Karnataka government decided to accord Swamiji a state funeral. Previously, he suffered multiple fractures after a fall at a devotee’s home but recovered fully. Before his death, he was confined to a wheelchair for a few weeks, and he was refused treatment. He only took pain relief medicines. His mortal remains were kept in the ashram for the public to pay their last respects until 4:30 am on 3 January 2022, thereafter it was shifted to Sainik School premises for his devotees to pay their respects. Later, his mortal remains were brought back to the ashram to perform his last rites. Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his last respect via a tweet.
Paramapujya Sri Siddheshwara Swami Ji will be remembered for his outstanding service to society. He worked tirelessly for the betterment of others and was also respected for his scholarly zeal. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with his countless devotees. Om Shanti. pic.twitter.com/DbWtdvROl1
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 2, 2023
- He gave pravachans (religious speeches) in Kannada, English, Marathi, Hindi, and Sanskrit.
- Swamiji has written several books on the Upanishads, Gita, Sharana philosophy and general spirituality. After his graduation at 19, Sri Siddheshwar Swami wrote “Siddantha Shiromani” book under the guidance of Sri Mallikarjun Swamiji. Some of his major works are God, World and Soul: Reflections on Saintly Sayings (Vachanas) (2021), Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (2020), Kathamrutha (2019), Tales told by Sri Siddheshwara Swamiji (2014), Anandayoga (2009), and Allamaprabhu’s Vachana Nirvachana’ (1997).
- He was often referred to as the ‘Nadedado Narayan’ (Walking God of North Karnataka) and fondly called Buddiji.
- In 2018, Siddheshwar Swamiji of Vijaypur wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi refusing to accept the Padma Shri award which was conferred upon him. The letter read,
I don’t need titles, I am a sanyasi.”