Who is Lingayat?


The word Lingayath contains two terms first one is ' Linga ' + the second one is 'Aayat.' It means: one who wears (accept) the Linga . In full form Linga is ಇಷ್ಟಲಿಂಗ . Lingayat is one who is recieves from Guru through at the time of 7-8 months child in his/her mother's Abdomen concretion (Deekshe) it is not at all separated until death. In general Lingayath means the person who accepts God into his body in the form of Istalinga , there is no meaning in calling Lingayat religion with other unconcerned words. To strengthen the view we can refer a Vachana of Madivala Machideva a contemporary Sharana (person) of Basaveshwara.

We have Linga ,
We told as Lingayata
What shall I tell these monkey men?
Further lean towards worldly Shaiva deities O Lord Kalideva.

By above Vachana it is clear that Lingayath is one who wears Istalinga .

Person having Linga is called as a Lingayath, he should not think of all the other subtle. Lingayath religion is derived from the Saiva and its name has been recognized by the Sharanas of 12th century. Readopting the ethic and practices of Shaivism is nothing but foolishness. Madivala Machideva is giving subtle evidence in terms of Vachana.

ನಮಗೆ ಲಿಂಗವುಂಟು,
ನಾವು ಲಿಂಗವಂತರೆಂದು ನುಡಿವರು.
ಮತ್ತೆ ಮರಳಿ ಭವಿಶೈವದೈವಂಗಳಿಗೆರಗುವ
ಈ ಮಂಗಮಾನವರನೇನೆಂಬೆನಯ್ಯಾ,
ಕಲಿದೇವಯ್ಯಾ.

-- ಮಡಿವಾಳ ಮಾಚಿದೇವ ಸವಸ 8/637

Who is Lingayata? As explained by Poojya Mataji in her papers prepared for "Symposium on Indian Religion: held at London, which is altogether printed in her book called "Lingayathism"

  • Lingayatha is he who, with a form belief that Lord Basavanna, the proponent of equality of mankind, saviour of humanity and universal teacher is the Primal Guru of Lingayath religion, surrenders to his divine feet, regarding him as one's sole protector.
  • A Lingayata is he who, with implicit faith, looks upon the vachanas of Lord Basavanna, Allamaprabhu, Akka Mahandevi, Siddharameshwara, Chinmaya Gynani Chennabasavanna, Madivala Machayya and other sharanas of basava era, as well as followers of path of basava as the scriptural texts of Lingayath religion, and studies Vachana shastra, recites tha vachanas. and acts accordance with their teachings.
  • A Lingayata is he who, hbaing faith with the existence of Almighty God who is the creator, preserver and destroyer of universe of created things - living as well as nonliving, wiht earnestness wears on his body and worships Istalinga , in which spherical shape Lord Basavanna conceived God and presented to humanity.
  • He who looks upon "Om Lingaya Namaha" the shadakshari mantra as devine incantation. and "Om Sri Guru Basavalingayanamah" the dwadasakshara as the Guru mantra and recites them with implicit faith and fervor, is a Lingayatha.

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