|Sri Siddhaganga Mutt||Lingayat FAQ|
Her Holiness Sriman Niranjana
Dr. Poojya Maate Mahadevi
Born: 13 March 1946, Chitradurga
Died: 14 March 2019, Manipal Hospital, Bengaluru
"Though young in age she carries in her intellect the wisdom of the ages'' exclaimed everybody who came in the presence of and heard the discourses and speeches of Her Holiness Jagadguru Mathe Mahadevi, even at her young age of 20 years. The Goddess of knowledge seems to be dancing on her eloquent tongue. Besides being an orator of genius, she is a sound scholar, a revolutionary preacher, an impressive writer, a mystic and above all a reformative thinker with progressive ideologies. Being a devoted student of Indian heritage, she has made a special and thorough study of Indian scriptures and lives of Indian sages. She has dedicated herself to the deep study of the mystic literature of the great Saranas of 12th century and has attained a mastery over that special literature in Kannada. She gives a lucid but deep exposition of the scriptures in her discourses and writings. It is not an exaggeration if one exclaims that hours roll away like minutes while hearing her lectures. Her metallic and yet melodious voice with tremendous clarity of thinking and with spontaneous flow of expression, is a continual source of thrilling experience. Her spiritual discourses provoke our intellect, quench our thirst for knowledge, inspire our will to step forward with self-confidence and bathe our hearts in the shower of bliss. It is a matter of pride to see her as the first woman in the history of religion, ascending the pontifical seat of a Jagadguru, so far reserved for men only. By taking this bold and vehement step she has established a sublime tradition of recognising the women as preceptors (Gurus).
Her Holiness Jagad Guru Mathe Mahadevi, popularly known and shortly addressed as Mataji, was born on 13th March, 1946 at Chitradurga (Karnataka State) as the eldest daughter of a noble father, late Dr. S.R. Basappa and an ideal and pious mother, Smt. Gangamma. And she was named Ratna, a jewel of that family (Probably it was the will of God that she should become a jewel of religious tradition). From childhood Mataji showed an extraordinary brilliance and was studious in nature. Being a precocious genius, most of her talent inclusive of her aptitude for literature and philosophy bloomed at an early age. She was attracted to things devotional quite soon at her teen age, and with an unquenchable thirst for acquisition of knowledge she was spending most of her time in studying religious scriptures, some times being mocked at by her playmates of girlhood as a "Book-Worm'' and as 'Grandma' and was much interested in activities like worship, prayer etc., But, as a tender bud of jasmine unfolds, as the new moon grows whole into full-moon, Mataji's personality blossomed incessantly.
After the completion of science-graduation in 1965, Mataji's mind swayed so much towards intense ascetic life that, in spite of unwillingness and resentment of her family members, she could not be prevented from stepping into the spiritual life. Mataji's inner-self yearned for proper guidance that could shape (or mould) her future life and she was praying for Divine Grace. As though by divine will, she met the revered Sad Guru Linga nanda Swamiji, who was one of the greatest revolutionary-religious leaders of the land, and who was popular as Abhinava Vivekananda. Revered Guruji was able to read the Divine will behind her decision to enter the ascetic life. Being successful to trace the precocious genius of the new comer during her first interview itself, Swamiji provided shelter and guided her in the spiritual path of Sivayoga.
To highlight her literary achievements, Jagad Guru Mataji is a writer of deep thinking. She weaves speculative thoughts and noble ideas in the warp and weft of her lectures and writings as beautiful golden flowers are woven in silk cloth. Even at her young age of 25, she had written not less than twentyfive-books on varied subjects. She has written under the title of "Suyidhana Sugrantha Maala" 75 books and has published more than hundred books. Two of her publications have won state Academy Award, and one other Amminabhavi Memorial Award. At the age of twenty she wrote a philosophical work of 860 pages titled " Basava Tatwa Darshan'' perhaps the first work dealing with multifarious aspects of Lord Basava 's social reformations. Mataji is able to deal not only with serious reflective type of philosophical works, but she can handle with uniform ease and lucidity many other forms of literature. She has composed several lyrics and songs of praises of God and His saints, which can be classically sung. She has produced light literature also inclusive of stories for children. At the same time she has stepped in the arena of novel-writing. Her first novel "HEPPITTA HALU'' (Curdled Milk), a social novel that runs to 600 pages was rewarded State Academy prize of 1973, and is considered as one of the classics in Kannada literature, being widely read. Mataji's second novel, which bears the title ' TARANGINI ' (The River) that runs to 800 pages deals with the life and achievements of Akkamahadevi , already referred to as the spiritual model for Mataji. Tarangini which is treated as a master piece of Mataji's writings has won Amminabhavi Memorial Award of Karnataka Vidya Vardhaka Sangha of Dharwar. Mataji is also the editor of KALYANA KIRANA a socio-spiritual monthly magazine, started in 1970. Very recently she has written a scholarly book, " Basava Dharmada Samskaragalu'' dealing with the rites and rituals of Linga yat religion and further she has edited and published Lord Basava nna's Vachana s.
Another concept contributed by Mataji is a socio-religious and moral organisation by name Rashtreeya Basava Dala with the idea that the life of an individual and society should go on two rails viz. one, the 'Religion' and the other, the 'Nation'. It is non-communal, non-political and non-violent organisation. Patriotism blended with religious faith and devotion is necessary to any genuine religious individual. Whatever may be one's religion he should be loyal to the nation, he lives in. With this ideology, Rashtreeya Basava Dala aims at building up "Kalyana Rajya'', an Utopian Divine Society in this mortal world pregnant with material, moral and spiritual values, achieving pleasure, happiness, and bliss. Rashtreeya Basava Dala is training youths in a disciplined manner and conducting weekly prayers, spiritual congregations and training camps. Further, it renders yeomen service during natural calamities. At present it has hundreds of branches both in Karnataka and other states.
To fulfil God's commandment, Pujya Mataji decided to install ''Gana Linga '' (Mammoth Linga ) of 8Ft. height. Holy consecration of this Gana Linga took place on 14th January 1996. This stands as a witness for the unification of Basaveswara's followers who believe that God is one, HE is the Supreme Cosmic Soul, all human beings are HIS children, there is no other person or deity to be compared with God, the Almighty who has no form. It is the bounden duty of every Basava yat to have the sacred darshan of this Gana Linga at least once in his life time and confirm his following (fellowship).
Mataji has become a continual source of inspiration to earnest-minded souls. People of all grades of mental calibre from learned scholars to laymen are fascinated by Mataji's discourses and writings enriched with profound thought and logical reasonings and get a new vision in life. Mataji, who re-evaluated the ancient tenets of religion in the light of modern thoughts, convinces us that religion in its pure and uncorrupted form, is an ambrosia for all the ills of modern life. According to her exposition, religion is not merely a pile of blind customs and worthless superstitions but a source of comfort and peace to disturbed minds.
Thus, Her Holiness Mahajagad Guru Mathe Mahadevi is a great star in the religious firmament of India, actively dedicated to the service of God and humanity carrying people with unparalleled zeal, on rationalistic and humanistic guidelines. Animated by lofty ideal of Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Humanity preached by Lord Basava of 12th century, she aims at bringing about a confluence of eastern religious values and western scientific values resulting in cultural unity and religious harmony.
|Sri Siddhaganga Mutt||Lingayat FAQ|