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.
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.
ನಾವು ಲಿಂಗವಂತರೆಂದು ನುಡಿವರು.
ಮತ್ತೆ ಮರಳಿ ಭವಿಶೈವದೈವಂಗಳಿಗೆರಗುವ
-- 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"
|Lingayat Social work||Hiremath Samsthana Bhalki|
 From the book "Vachana", pub: Basava Samiti Bangalore 2012.