Showing posts with label Lingayats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lingayats. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Was Mahadeviyakka?

 


 (12th century) Poet-saint and religious leader of the Lingayat religious group, a bhakti (devotional) religion centered on Shiva's worship as the one ultimate deity and the rejection of all caste rules.

The Lingayats originated in Karnataka, a southern Indian state where they still have a sizable population.

The Kannada language is used to compose the collections of poetry that make up their most significant religious writings.

Mahadeviyakka was a contemporary of Basavanna and Allama Prabhu, and the suffix akka ("older sister") indicates her status in the group.

She was dedicated to Shiva from an early age, according to legend, and regarded him to be her genuine spouse.

This created major issues during a short, miserable marriage between a carnally minded guy and a lady who refused to have a human lover.

She ultimately left her spouse, walking around nude as a message that she had let go of all ties.

She was subsequently linked to the Lingayats, also known as the "Lord's soldiers." The love for Shiva, sometimes as her husband and sometimes as her adulterous lover, runs through much of her poems, both depicting her difficulties with the world.

For further details, check A. K. Ramanujan's 1973 book Speaking of Shiva.


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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 - Where Is Karnataka In India?

 

Karnataka is one of four southern Indian states whose residents speak a Dravidian language, in this instance Kannada.

Karnataka is one of the "linguistic" states created following India's independence in 1947, with the goal of uniting people who speak the same language and have a same culture under one state government.

The previous kingdom of Mysore was primarily responsible for the formation of the state.

Karnataka was the center of prominent Hindu kingdoms in medieval periods, notably the Hoysala and Vijayanagar empires, who created towns such as Belur, Halebid, and Hampi, which are today notable archeological sites.

The Lingayats, Shiva worshipers (bhakta), live in Karnataka, and their missionary efforts finally pushed away the large Jain community.

However, Jain monuments such as the huge monolith at Shravanabelgola still survive.

Shrirangapatnam and Shringeri Math are two significant Hindu holy locations in Karnataka.

Despite the fact that majority of the state's economy is still based on agriculture, Bangalore, the state's capital, is a global hub for computer software development.

See Christine Nivin et al., India. 8th ed., Lonely Planet, 1998, for general information about Karnataka and other Indian states.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.