- They are the worshippers of Lord Shiva.
- The community derives its name from the pendant of the Shivalinga, the symbol of Siva, worn by its members in a chain around their neck.
- They are spread across Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and other States.
- They do not believe in birth-based caste system and superstition( like in Hinduism), which makes Lingayat’s scientific and progressive.
- They criticised Vedic rituals, describing them as an attempt to manage and manipulate Shiva’s creation.
- As Lingayat’s are associated with Shiva, they are seen as being part of the Shaivism tradition within Hindusim, and are often taken as being synonymous with the Veerasaivas (strong Shaivites).
Why no clubbing with Veerasaivas?
- Lingayat religious leaders oppose their clubbing with Veerasaivas, for two reasons:
- Lingayats consider Basavanna as the founder of their community. The saint, who lived in Kalyana in northern Karnataka in the 12th century, was a key figure in the Bhakti movement. However Veerasaivas consider the mythical character Sri Renukacharya as the originator of their sect.
- Lingayats faith is founded on equality as the rejects the caste system and varna system.
Section : History & Culture