Lingayat Rituals

Garbhalinga Dharane [ಗರ್ಭಲಿಂಗ ಧಾರಣೆ]

This is performed when a woman is around 7 month’s old pregnancy. Guru will blesses and gives the Ishtalinga to the pregnant woman on behalf of unborn baby. She will wear this Ishtalinga with her own one and she will perform puja with her own Ishtalinga puja till she delivers a baby.

Lingadharane [ಲಿಂಗ ಧಾರಣೆ] (Tying the Ishtalinga to the new born baby):

This is the first ritual to the new born baby. The Ishtalinga which mother got from a guru while “Garbhalinga Dharane”. The same Ishtalinga now tied to the new born baby irrespective of its sex (male/female).

Ishtalinga Deeksha [ಇಷ್ಟಲಿಂಗ ದೀಕ್ಷೆ]

This is the main and important ritual in the Lingayat. Any human being irrespective of rich or poor, male or female, officer or clerk, director or office boy, black or white any human can become a Lingayat by Ishtalinga Deeksha.

Lingadeekshe is the ceremony of initiation among Lingayats. Though, it can be performed at any age, it is usually performed when a child is 1-5 days old. The child receives Istalinga from the family Guru that is worshipped until age 12 -15 years. Usually between the ages of 12 and 15 years (but in few cases the age may be around 8-18), the child receives Diksha from the Guru . From then on, the child wears the Linga at all times for the remainder of his/her life and it is worshipped as their own Istalinga . The Linga is housed in a small silver and wooden box and cloth. It is worn on the chest or around the body using a thread. Unlike other castes of Hinduism like brahmins permitting upanayana to only males this ceremony or deeksha can be taken by both men and women in presence of a sadguru.

This practice was started by revolutionary Basavanna himself who refused to undergo upanayana seeing the discrimination of women.

Ishtalinga Deeksha will be performed when child become 12-15 years of age. We can say he/she is able to understand outside world and able to do Ishtalinga puja by himself/herself.

Guru will sanctify the disciple’s Ishtalinga * with his holy & spiritual/yogic powers and gives it to his disciple. And he will preach how to do Ishtalinga puja, and utters holy chant in his disciple’s ear, also he will bless by placing his hands on disciple’s head (it’s known as Hasta Mastaka Samyoga”).

Once Ishtalinga Deeksha done he will be considered as Lingayat and equals with other Lingayats.

People who are doing Ishtalinga puja daily and they wear Ishtalinga on their body are considered as Lingayat. (Lingayat its Kannada meaning is “Linga Wearer”).

*This Ishtalinga is the same which baby was got during Lingadharane. If Lingadharane is not performed then use the new Ishtalinga.

Burial System:

Why is it that we follow the practise of burial in our religion? does anyone has some real basic facts about this?
Human body came from soil, after death it is buried in soil. The concept is body is sent back to from where it came. Another thing as Lingayat worships Istalinga a symbolic manifestation of the form less God, its figure matches the round as shape of earth, often it is said Lingayikya to died persons, means getting oneness with linga means reaching the supreme. Another scientific reason, soil has the capability to resolve everything in it

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