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Lingayat At a Glance


Lingayathism is a very progressive and Non-Vedic, a Non-Hindu religion with its own special characteristics as detailed below.

Prophet founder: Guru Basavanna (1134-1196)
Religious scriptures: Vachana Literature
Language of the Religion: Kannada
Name of God, (the Creator): Lingadeva ("ಲಿಂಗದೇವ")
Religious symbol: A globular shaped emblem called Ishtalinga ( ಇಷ್ಟಲಿಂಗ ) that is worn on body
Holy religious place: Kudala Sangama in Bagalakot district of Karnataka, where founder-prophet Basavanna merged with God (Lingaikya)
Religious Custom: (Lingadharana) "Istalingadharana",Decorate forehead with Vibhoothi
Religious Consecration: Istalinga Diksha
Religious centre: Basava (Anubhava) Mantapa
Rites and rituals: Worship of Guru-Basavanna, Istalinga-globular Emblem, Jangama- holy person.
Holy month: Shravana
Flag symbol: Hexagonal star with Istalinga on Saffron coloured cloth.
Heritage: Sharana heritage started from Lord Basavanna with so many Sharanas and Jangama Yogis of Lingayat Religion.
Religious fraternity: Equality without any distinction of caste, creed, class or sex.
Aim of Lingayat Religion: To build up a welfare state free from caste, creed, class and based on religious values.

Lingayat Religion founded by Lord Basavanna and followed by one lakh ninety six thousand Sharanas at His life time is a non-Hindu, non-Vedic Faith for the following reasons.

  • Lingayathism has Lord Basavanna as its founder-prophet.
  • Lingayathism is not based on the preachings of Vedas, Agamas, Bhagawadgita, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Bhagawata, Puranas, etc. but based on Vachana literature which opposed four-fold caste system, untouchability, polytheism, inequality and preached equality, monotheism etc. and is the authoritative source of knowledge for Lingayats.
  • Lingayat religion totally rejects Homa, Yajna and Sacrifice and opposes such rituals.
  • Lingayathism is strictly monotheistic. Basavanna preached consistent monotheism which preaches belief in one only God who is all pervading, omnipotent, omniscient etc. He insisted to worship the only God in the form of globular Istalinga and nothing else.
  • Lingayathism does not consider any such places on earth as holy and any river or pond as sacred and mere dip in water will absolve all sins.
  • Lingayathism rejects these 5 pollutions. Pollution of birth, death, caste, menstruation and orts.
  • Lingayathism does not believe in astrology, Vastushilpa, horoscope etc.

Lingayat Religion nourished by the council type body called Anubhava Mantapa (similar to today's parliament). The proceedings of the Anubhava Mantapa are recorded in the form of Vachana literature, the new form of literature. These are typical Oath's written by various Sharana and Sharane's based on their experience and knowledge. Which provide very high moral, spiritual inspirations and crystal clear knowledge about supreme reality. However most of the Vachanakaras (writer of Vachana ) were common people. Vachana literature is basic literature (scripture) of the Lingayat religion.

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