Belagavi, Jul 27: Endorsing the idea of independent religious status for Veerashaiva-Lingayat community, Jaya Mrutyunjaya Swami of Panchamasali Peetha, Kudalasangama, has said that the 12th century reformer Basavanna had strongly opposed Vedic (Hindu) religion and its practices.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the seer said Basavanna fought against caste system in the Vedic religion and for gender equality. He gave a philosophy of one god worship, inventing the ‘Ishta Linga’ concept, and founded Lingayatism religion. People who had opposed separate religious status to Jains and Sikhs were creating confusion. They were now opposing independent religion status to Lingayat religion, which flourished in Kannada land, the Swami said.
After a long delay, the community has become aware and the time is ripe for them to get their due. The term Veerashaiva is a new one and is not equivalent to Lingayat. All those who followed Basavanna were Lingayats, he said.
The leaders of BJP and Congress should pay tributes to Basavanna by ensuring separate religious status. With the government sending its recommendations in support of the demand to the Centre, BJP leaders under the leadership of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa should prevail upon the Narendra Modi government to accord the status. Lingayats had all the potential to become a separate religion, encompassing all sects, he said.
The seer said, Yeddyurappa, who had opposed the separate religious status, had changed his view and clarified he would be bound by the decision of the Veerashaiva/Lingayat Mahasabha. He said a convention of the Lingayat community to demand separate religion status would be held at Kudalasangama on August 20.
Basavanna taught us to worship one god; opposed Hindu practices: Lingayat seer