Showing posts with label Basavanna. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Basavanna. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Are The Lingayats?

 

Lingayats are a Kannada-speaking religious group who are devotees (bhakta) of the deity Shiva and dwell mostly in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.

Lingayat origins may be traced back to the Nayanar poet-saints of Tamil Nadu, who migrated northward in the seventh century.

Basavanna, a poet saint, founded the group, together with Allama Prabhu and Mahadeviyakka.

The original members of the society were motivated by a desire to know God and were impatient with anything that went in the way, whether it was image worship, caste distinctions, or the obligations of family life.

Lingayat culture has been shaped by these early influences.

The Lingayats do not worship with pictures.

The linga of Shiva, which all Lingayats wear as a token of membership in the community, is their sole emblem.

The Lingayats have generally adhered to the egalitarian beliefs of their forefathers.

Although there are no caste divisions in the society, there are higher-status priestly families known as jangamas from whom the celibate monks known as viraktas are often chosen.

In fact, this egalitarian focus has turned the whole Lingayat community into a jati, one of the endogamous social groupings that make up broader Indian society; the difference being that the Lingayats are defined by their religious affiliation rather than their employment.

In contemporary Karnataka, the Lingayats are the most powerful group, both in terms of historic landholding patterns and political power.

A. K. Ramanujan's Speaking of Siva was published in 1973, and Sivalingayya Channabasavayya Nandimath's A Handbook of Virasaivism was published in 1979.


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Hinduism - Who Are The Jangama Of The Lingayat Community?

 


"Jangama" means "moving". The Virashaiva or Lingayat community has a priestly subgroup whose members are mostly located in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.

The Virashaivas are a devotional community that emphasizes Shiva's worship as the sole true god; they are fundamentally monotheistic and reject all types of image worship save for Shiva's emblem, the linga.

The Virashaivas were formed by the poet-saint Basavanna, who developed the jangamas as a rival priesthood to care for his community's members, partially in revolt against the prevalent caste system.

The jangamas' primary job is to preside at lifecycle ceremonies for community members, such as birth, coming-of-age, marriage, and death.

Jangamas may marry and have children, but this Virashaiva subcommunity is also a primary source of recruits for the celibate Virashaiva monks (viraktas), who are the community's top religious leaders.



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Hinduism - Who Is Basavanna?

 





(1106–67/68) Basavanna Was A Poet-Saint and Religious Leader of the Lingayat community, a Bhakti (Devotional) Sect/Society that Worships Shiva as the Only Ultimate God and Opposes all Caste Rules. 



The Lingayats originated in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, where they still have a significant presence, and their most important religious scriptures are collections of poetry written in Kannada. 


  • Basavanna was a great devotee (bhakta) of Shiva from his childhood, according to legend, and his piety was so strong that he disregarded all ideas of ceremony and caste. 
  • Basavanna became minister to a monarch called Bijjala after spending most of his childhood as a religious seeker. 
  • Basavanna utilized his riches and power to look after Shiva's traveling followers (jangama), and Bijjala's court attracted a slew of prominent people, including poet and religious leader Allama Prabhu. 



Basavanna's sponsorship was crucial in the formation of the Lingayat community, and the suffix anna ("older brother") was added to his name, Basava, as a mark of his significance. 


  • More traditional groups reacted angrily to the Lingayat community's outspoken resistance to ritual worship and caste differences as the Lingayat community became stronger. 
  • When the nascent Lingayat society allegedly arranged a marriage between an untouchable boy and a brahmin girl, the dispute came to a violent climax. 
    • Traditionalists were so angry that they killed the fathers of the bride and groom. 
  • Basavanna died shortly after the Lingayat community was scattered. 



Speaking of Siva, translated by A. K. Ramanujan, was published in 1973.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.