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Basaweswara and Veerashaivam


This page is dedicated to Shree Basaveshwara, the founder of 'VeeraShaivism', and the Saint of Saints.



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Basavanna

One of the important Saivite sects known as Veerashaiva was founded by a Brahmin named Basava, who was for some time the minister of a ruler in Kalyan. The Basava Purana outlines Basava's life. This is also Basava's own writings in Kannada, describes the fundamentals of a doctrine based on rigid monotheism, Siva being regarded as the supreme, limitless and transcendent entity. Brahmana is the identity of "being", "bliss" and consciousness, and devoid of any form of differentiation. It is limitless and beyond all ways of knowledge. It is self-luminous and absolutely without any barrier of knowledge, passion or power. It is in Him that the whole world of the conscious and the unconscious remains, in a potential form untraceable by our senses, and it is from Him that the whole world becomes expressed or manifest of itself, without the operation of any other instrument.

The Veerashaivas, often called Lingayats, are distinguished by the Sivalinga and rudraksa on their person and they smear their bodies with ashes. They are strict vegetarians and abstain from drink. The Veerashaiva doctrine has four schools, but the differences are of a minor kind. All believe in the efficacy of a Guru or preceptor. All assert the reality of the Universe and unity with Siva, the only ultimate reality. The Veerashaiva doctrine is prevalent in Mysore , in the southern regions of Maharashtra and in some parts of Andhra Pradesh.


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