Siddharudha Swami of Hubli
Shri Siddharudh Swami Maharaj (1836-1929) was a Hindu religious leader.
Siddharudh Swami was born to a virtuous and religious couple, Gurushantappa (father) and Devamallamma (some people say only Mallamma), in a small village called (it has been mentioned clearly in "Shri Siddharudh Kathamrita" a poetic composition describing the life and the pastimes of Shri Siddharudh Swami and composed by his disciple, Shri Shivaram Chandragiri that Swamiji was born in a place called Vanshdurg in the kingdom of Nizam in Shaka year 1758 (i.e. in 1836) on Durmukhnam Samvatsar) Chalakapur in the Bidar district of the state of Karnataka, India. Some people also cite his birth place as Bidarkoti or Vanshadurg. From the very childhood he showed his inclination for the spiritual science and performed many miracles even before he was initiated. Once as a small child he cursed a buffalo to die for not moving and when it really fell dead he brought it back to life on his mother's pleas. He used to attend the spiritual discourse given by the family priest (Kulaguru), namely, Shri Veerabhadraswami, who visited his home daily and ask him questions. Once Shri Veerabhadraswami told them that during Pralaya, earth would dissolve in water, the Five Elements (Panchamahabhoot), heaven and all other Lokas (the places inhabited by DemiGods) too would be annihilated. Every human being would be destroyed." On listening to these words of Kulaguru, child Siddha asked him, "How would the sky be annihilated?" When he realized that answers to his questions could be obtained only from his Sadguru (spiritual master), one day he left his home in search of his Sadguru.
Initially he went to Shri Shailam where he learnt that a great spiritual master, Shri Gajadandaswami was staying at a place known as Gudigante. Young Siddha went and met Shri Gajadandaswami, who after testing him accepted as his disciple. After serving his master dutifully doing all menial jobs in the Ashrama happily and sincerely and performing his spiritual austerities (Tapas), Siddha was blessed by Gajadandaswami who named him as 'Siddharudha,' the one who as conquered the three Gunas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) as well as Six Doshas (faults) like, Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada, Matsara and asked him to first visit different pilgrimage centres and deliver the masses.
While leaving his Sadguru's Matha, Shri Siddharudha removed the Ishtalinga, which is worn by all the Lingayathas and left it there and proceeded. Thus, he roamed around all over India and finally settled at Hubli. He underwent a great deal of sufferings and troubles at the hands of people who were unhappy about his not wearing the Ishtalinga, as well as initiating the people of all the castes and the creeds with the holy Mantra of "Om Namah Shivay," which they thought was the sole right of the Lingayaths alone.
He spread the philosophy of Advaita and had innumerable devotees belonging to all castes, creeds and religions. He has performed innumerable miracles for the benefit of the masses. He was supposed to be the reincarnation of the 16th century saint-philosopher, Nijaguna Shivayogi.
He was known as Advaita-Chakravarti, the Emperor of the Advait Philosopher-Saints. Hundreds and the thousands of the devotees benefited from his religious discourses. He was a personification of non-detachment. He was the ascetic of the highest order.
Once he left his native place, he never visited it again. On the day of Shivaratri, there used to be a great Rathyatra in his honour, wherein the devotees used to seat him in the decorated Rath (Chariot) with a gold crown on his head and pull the Rath with the ropes. Thousands of the devotees would be fed on that day in the open kitchens, which are called as Dasohas. He also got five great written works of Nijaguna Yogi published for the benefit of the masses.
The supreme saints who were his contemporaries were Shri Madivallappa, Shri Sharief Saheb from Shishuvinhal, Nagaling Swami from Navalgund and Sivananda Swami from Gadag etc. His disciple, Smt. Rukmabai Mallapurkar, later became a Supreme saint, known as Parampoojya Shri Kalavati Aai who is famous for her teachings in Maharashtra as well as Karnataka and whose Samadhi is located at ShriHarimandir at Angol, Belgaum.
He devoted his life to the goal of spiritualism and universal brotherhood.
Among his followers and disciples the names of enlightened Maharaja's of the erstwhile States (Sansthans) stand out, such as Sandur, Kolhapur, Akkalkot etc. National leaders of the Indian Independence Movement viz Lokmanya Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi sought his blessings. He was the Guru of Parampoojya Shri Kalavati Aai.