Previous Swatantra Siddalingeshwara (ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರ ಸಿದ್ಧಲಿಂಗೇಶ್ವರ) Yelegara Kamanna (ಎಲೆಗಾರ ಕಾಮಣ್ಣ) Next

Tontada Siddhalinga Shivayogi (ತೋಂಟದ ಸಿದ್ಧಲಿಂಗ ಶಿವಯೋಗಿ)

Full Name: Tontada Siddhalinga Shivayogi
Pen Name (Vachana Signature): Mahaalingaguru Shivasiddeshwaraprabhuve


The body being temple,
legs being pillars,
head being cupola,
heart-lotus the throne,
I establish the praanalinga called the great principle,
bathe it with water of great bliss,
offer the flowers of maha-dala-padma
offer the food of great satisfaction,
I worship relating praana with praanalinga
Mahaalingaguru Shivasiddheshwaraprabhuve.
[Vachana No.2338] [1]

Tontada Siddhalinga Shivayogi (c.l6th century, Post Basava age) occupies a very important place in the Lingayat religious history. He was a great visionary who reestablished the tenets of Anubhavamantapa of the twelfth century by dissemmiating the philosophy of shatsthala and ascending the shoonya peetha made famous by Allamaprabhu. Siddalinga’s life and achievements have been recorded in the vachanas, narratives and inscriptions. It is an indication of his influence that there are many mutts, temples and tombs throughout the length and breadth of Karnataka.

Touching light oil and wick too become light.
Touching linga with devotion, love and affection
the whole body, mind and organs of a devotee become linga.
After touching the linga not desiring to touch anything else
such a desire-less person I would call Maaheshwara,
Mahaalingaguru Shivasiddheshwaraprabhuve.
[Vachana No.2337] [1]

Haradanahalli of Chamarajanagar district was his birth place. Mallikarjuna was his father and Jnaanambe was his mother. Trading was the occupation of the family. Gosala Chennabasaveshwara was his guru. Since he observed penance for a period of six months in a farm at Kaggere he got the title Tontada Siddalinga. He visited Siddhagange and then moved on to Yedeyaru on the banks of Nagini and stayed at the stone mutt built by Chennaveerappa of Danivasa village. He conferred Niranjana status to Bolubasava and then attained liberation.

the soul hidden by the body,
Shiva hidden by the Shakti,
ghee hidden by the milk,
the unspeakable hidden by the speech,
the meaning of the other world hidden in the meaning of this world,
the principle of paramartha hidden in my soul
was like tree hidden in the seed,
it was hidden even before I understood
Mahaalingaguru Shivasiddheshwaraprabhuve.
[Vachana No.2339] [1]

His major contribution was that he inspired his disciples to collect and compile and edit the vachana literature by Basava and others. Siddalinga has contributed 701 vachanas. They have Mahaalingaguru Shivasiddeshwaraprabhuve as his signature. They are contained in the volume Satsthala Jnaanasaramritha. As the title indicates they define the feature of sathala - principle.

It is like
red-breast spreading its ‘feathers seeing the peacock,
a fox burning itself seeing the colors on tiger’s body,
a crow cawing in imitation of cuckoo-
if any but one firm in linga sings vachana it is
like fox eating crabs and howling by the river side
and I don’t care for it
Mahaalingaguru Shivasiddheshwaraprabhuve.
[Vachana No.2340] [1]


[1] "VACHANA" English Version Translation by: O.L. Nagabhushana Swamy, ISBN: 978-93-81457-12-2, 2012, Pub: Basava Samithi, Basava Bhavana Benguluru 560001.

Back to Index
Previous Swatantra Siddalingeshwara (ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರ ಸಿದ್ಧಲಿಂಗೇಶ್ವರ) Yelegara Kamanna (ಎಲೆಗಾರ ಕಾಮಣ್ಣ) Next