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VEERASHAIVISM MADE SIMPLE Contents: 2. Veerashaivism (Lingayathism) - defined 3. Being a good Veerashaiva 4. Linga pooja 5. Yoga & Meditation 6. Kayaka 7. Dasoha 8. Anubhava Goshti 4. What Veerashaivism does not believe in 5. Veerashaiva Myths 6. Summary

Appendix: 11. Vachanas 12. Lingastakam 13. Ohm Guru Basava Prabo 14. Veerashaiva festivals 15. Tools of worship 16. Spiritual stages

By Sateesh Kavi Contributions Sri Guruswamy Ayya, Ms. Prema Shankar, Dr. Munavalli, Dr. Jayaraj Kalmat, G. Doddamani, G. Shankar, Raj Adapur, Prabhu Patil, Muktha Konanahalli, and Mamtha Kavi 1


Veerashaivism (Lingayathism) Veerashaivism (Lingayathism) advocates universal and egalitarian values that are beyond the bounds of time, religion, place, and people. ! ! !

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Veerashaivism is a set of principles or way of life for some one who believes in those principles. It is not achieved by being born into a family of Veerashaivas and is not limited only to people of certain origin or region. It advocates fundamental rights to all. Freedom of expression of thought; strict observance of non-discrimination; equal rights to women in all respects; compassion to all living beings; caring and sharing with fellow human beings; dignity of labor- practice of spiritual path without renouncing the world; absence of priests as mediators to worship God It incorporates experiences (Anubhava) and allows exchange forums (Goshti) for the betterment of society. It believes in the of worship of a formless all powerful God symbolized in the form of a black oval / pyramidal shaped object called Ista Linga (literally stands for personal God) which many veerashaivas choose to wear on their body. It believes in the teachings of Basavanna (a revolutionary philosopher and the prophet of Veerashaiva principles) and his contemporary Sharanas (disciples of God). 2


Being a good Veerashaiva Being a good Veerashaiva is not complicated. Though having a mentor will help, one does not have to go looking for an all knowing pundit or a saint. One does not have to go to temples or visit holy places or conduct hard rituals. It is just a simple set of good and sensible practices. These practices are good for health, wealth, society, mind, and soul. 5 tenets of Veerashaivism are 1. Forbids killing, stealing, lying, and praising oneself, and scolding or humiliating others 2. Compassion to all Living beings and Equality for everyone. 3. Anubhava Mantapa / Gosti 4. Work is worship (Kayakawe Kailasa) 5. Community service (Dasoha)

5 practices that help you be a good Veerashaiva are 1. Do ista Linga pooja 2. Practice yoga (dristi yoga, pranayama, meditation) 3. Study Vachanas and discuss with others for mutual growth 4. Practice Kayaka. Earn your living through legitimate work. prosper through hard sincere work 5. Practice Dasoha. Share your resources (wealth and talent ) with the needy. Do community service

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Ista Linga Pooja Requirements: Ista Linga, state of mind to submit to god, a few minutes, and Vibuthi (holy ash – available in the shape of a cube) if available 1. Sit cross legged in a steady yogic pose (You can stand or sit on a chair if physically unable to sit cross legged). 2. Apply Vibuthi on your forehead and on left palm. 3. Wash and place Ista Linga on your left palm. 4. Apply Vibuthi on the Linga. 5. Raise your left hand with Linga to level with your eye 6. Focus the middle of your eyes on the Linga. 7. Chant “OM NAMAHA SHIVAYA” or “OM SRI GURU BASAVA LINGAYA NAMAHA” 12 times slowly. 8. Let go of all your thoughts, close your eyes or semi-close and meditate – try not to allow any thoughts to enter your mind as long as possible. 9. Offer yourselves to God (Linga), some people offer food, fruit, etc. to signify all that is given to you by God, but what is required is a pure mind and a state of submission to God. 10. Wash the Linga and wear it on you or store it away if you develop the faith that God is inside you.

Linga Pooja – is a spiritual exercise. It is scientifically designed to focus your mind on God. A focused Linga Pooja will refresh a persons mind and heart and eliminates stress

Time required : 5 – 10 mins / day 4


Yoga & Meditation Yoga is the union of mind, body, & soul. It restores your mind and body into an aligned relaxed and natural state. Yoga cleanses your mind and uplifts your spirituality. " The benefits of yoga include: Fitness, Safety, Weight Management, Vitality and Energy, Portability, Proper Breathing, Improves Athletic Performance, Stress Management, Flexibility, Inner Balance/Calm, Spiritual Awareness " The previous slide on Ista Linga Pooja already covered Dristi Yoga and Meditation ! Focusing with your eyes on Linga is dristi Yoga ! Letting all things go and emptying your mind of everything is meditation. Normally meditation works most effectively after a yoga session in the form of Shavasana. " The best method of beginning Yoga and Pranayama is to find an instructor / friend who already has some experience in Yoga. The other alternative is to view videos on Yoga for beginners and follow the instructions. " Take it easy until you have mastered steps before you go to advanced levels. Time required : 20 – 30 mins / day Some web links on yoga: http://www.yogabasics.com/ 5 "

http://www.yoga.com/


Kayaka & Dasoha "

Kayaka – Work that is filled with passion and devotion and it is legitimate labor to support one’s ethical life. It emphasizes dignity of labor. !

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Work of any sort done with the zeal of Kayaka will always get noticed by your friends, community, boss, customers, etc. This will increase your brand value and respect as a dependable, ethical, and high quality worker / supplier, etc. The brand value that you establish will help you bring prosperity So Work hard, sincerely, ethically, and achieve your dreams

Dasoha – Community service (give back to community) !

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Many ways to give back to community (Direct work contribution, money (earned through legitimate and ethical means), knowledge, time, dedication, inspiration, mentoring, etc.) A strong commitment to community service will build ones spiritual bank account This makes person strong all around. Gives a very good role model for children, friends, & family to look up to and feel proud of.

Time required : As much as you can 6


Vachanas / Anubhava Goshti "

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Vachanas are gems of knowledge in a prose verse written by great Sharanas, majority of them were living in 12th century. ! Some pre-Basava period Shaivas and post Basava period pontiffs such as Yediyur Siddalingeshwara have written the Vachanas in their own right. Vachanas are time free classics that apply and adopt to any country or any situation. Vachanas are basically simple common principles delivering a wake up message to the evils of the society. Discussing Vachanas and / or sharing experiences or knowledge with others in a very open manner is called as Anubhava Goshti. In 12th century Basava period Anubhava Goshti was a place where experience and spiritual discussions were conducted recognizing equality in a mutually supportive way leading to self growth of the participants. This Anubhava Goshti does not have to be in a VSNA meeting or in a formal setting, this can be in the confines of your homes within your family or friends. Set time aside in your life to teach the value of these Vachanas to children and discuss them with your family or friends.

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What Veerashaivism does NOT believe Karma, Incarnation, and Heaven and Hell; Veerashaivism holds individuals responsible for one's actions !

for karma is for a person who does not have the courage to accept responsibility;

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incarnation is for a person who places the responsibility on the past and the future,

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heaven and hell are for a person who places his faith in the nonexistent illusionary unreal concepts all other religions have embraced and

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One enjoys heaven or hell on this earth and in one's life-time depending on one's actions.

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Veerashaiva Myths The following are not true about Veerashaivism ! A person of Veerashaiva upbringing has to marry a person of Veerashaiva upbringing. ! Marriage is a very personal thing and should happen only when the couple takes vows to love and respect each other. ! Marrying a person from similar upbringing definitely helps in many situations including satisfying parents peace of mind towards children’s future and in the ability to bring up children as Veerashaivas. If we raise our children as Veerashaivas, even if they marry non-veerashaivas, they will influence their spouses to follow Veerashaiva principles. ! The rituals within Veerashaivism are very rigid. ! The rituals such as Naming ceremony, Lingadharana (similar to baptism –tying Ista Linga on child), Poojas, Wedding ceremony, Funeral have been developed over centuries and are conducted as a normal practice. These rituals bring people together, create bonding, and enhances the sense of community ! Veerashaivism does not dictate that only a priest should perform rituals. Rituals can be performed by any Veerashaiva who is accepted by the family. Objective should be to keep the rituals simple. Rituals need not be performed if they take you away from your work. Vachanas reiterate this thought process. ! Eating meat is prohibited ! Eating habits are very personal to the individual. Veerashaiva principles preach nonviolence and tolerance to all living beings but has no rule against eating meat. ! One should be sensitive for the eating preference of others and should not look them down just because they do not have similar habits

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Summary "

Veerashaivism (Lingayathism) advocates universal and egalitarian values that are beyond the bounds of time, religion, place, and people.

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Veerashaivism preaches compassion & love towards all living things, acceptance, equality, work ethic, community service, experience & knowledge exchange, results on your deeds during your lifetime, and worshipping one supreme God.

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5 simple steps to be a good Veerashaiva (within 1 hour a week to start) are ! Do ista Linga pooja ! Practice yoga ( dristi yoga, pranayama. meditation ) ! Study Vachanas and discuss with others for mutual growth. ! Practice Kayaka. Earn your living through legitimate work. prosper through hard sincere work. ! Practice Dasoha. Share your resources (wealth and talent ) with the needy. Do community service. 10


Appendix 1 - Some simple Vachanas

1. Kala beda kola beda husiya nudiyalu beda thanna bannisabeda idira haliyalu beda muniya 3. nuDidare muttina hAradantirabEku nuDidare beda anyarige asahyapadabeda ide antharanga mANikyada dIptiyantirabEku nuDidare shuddhi ide bahiranga shuddhi ide koodala sphaTikada salAkeyantirabEku nuDidare linga sangamanolisuva pari mechchi ahudahudenabEku niDiyoLagAgi Meaning: Do not steal, slay, or lie. Do not be naDeyadiddavara mechcha kUDala angry and do not despise others Do not glorify sangamadEva thyself or insult others, This is the internal Meaning: When you talk your words should be cleansing This itself is the means to please the like a pearl necklace, it should as sharp as a Lord (Kudala Sangama Deva) diamond, and as clear as a crystal, it should so good that the lord himself should be pleased 2. ullavaru Shivalaya maaduvaru naanena maadali by your words. badavanayya, naanena maadali badavanayya || kaale kambhagalu dehave degula, enna 4. beTTada mElondu maneya mADi kaale kambhagalu dehave degula shirave mrugagaLiganjidoDentayya samudrada honna kalashavayya, naanena maadali taDiyalli maneya mADi nore badavanayya || ullavaru Shivalaya maaduvaru eregaLiganjidoDentayya santeya naDuve naanena maadali badavanayya, naanena maneya mADi shabdakke nAchdoDentayya maadali badavanayya || Koodala Sangama chenna mallikArjuna dEva kELayya Deva kelayya, Koodala Sangama Deva kelayya Meaning: When you have a house on the hill sthavarakalivuntu jangamagalivilla, why fear for wild animals, when you have the Meaning: Affluent build Shiva's temple what can I house on the beach why fear for the waves, do, a poor man ? My legs are the pillars; body and when you have house in a busy market the shrine; Listen, O Lord ! Material structures why fear of the noise (temples) are perishable But, the enlightened Other good sources of Vachanas are: soul is imperishable ! 1. http://www.vachanasahitya.org/ 2. http://www.vsne.org/vsne-vmenu.html# 3 htt // t t d / k lki/k d /

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Appendix 2 – Ohm Guru Basava Prabo "

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Ohm guru Basava Prabo, vara guru Sharana vibhu, asritha jana samrakshaka, asritha jana samrakshaka, sadhguru basava prabo, vara guru sharana vibhu Sharana lolanu nee, parama purushanu nee, karuna sindhuvu nee, deenara banduvu nee, shubaga gatranu nee, prema netranu nee, parama charithanu nee, jana barithanu nee Bhava byaya tharakane, nava patha dayakane, haragana tharegala, naduvina chandirane, matha pithanu nee, bandhu balagavu nee, bhaktha jana manarjitha, manthra purushanu nee

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Moha rahithanu nee, mamatha sahithanu nee, maya dhuraka nee, mukuthiya dhayaka nee, manukula jyothiyu nee, kranthiya dheeranu nee, shanthiya honalanu harisalu bhanda sachidhanandanu nee

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Om guru basava prabo, vara guru sharana vibhu, asritha jana samrakshaka, asritha jana samrakshaka, sadhguru basava prabo, vara guru sharana vibhu

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Appendix 3 - Lingastakam Bramhamurarri surarjita lingam Nirmala bashita shobita lingam Janmaja duka vinasaka lingam Tatpranamami sadashiva lingam Devamuni pravarajita lingam Kamadahana karunakara lingam Ravanadarpa vinashaka lingam Tatpranamami sadashiva lingam Sarvasuganda sulapitha lingam Budivivardhana karana lingam Sidha surasura nanditha lingam Tatpranamami sadashiva lingam Kanakamahamani bushitha lingam Banipathi vashitha shobitha lingam Dakshasu yagna vinasaka lingam Tatpranamami sadashiva lingam

Kunkuma chandana lapitha lingam Pankajahara shushobitha lingam Kanchitha papa vinashaka lingam Tatpranamami sadashiva lingam Devaganarchitha saavitha lingam Bavarbakthibi varchita lingam Dinakarakoti prabhakara lingam Tatpranamami sadashiva lilngam Ashthadala parivachitha lingam Sarva samubdhava karana lingam Ashta daridra vinasaka lingam Tatpranamami sadashiva lingam Sura guru sura vara poojitha lingam Suravana pushpa sadarphitha lingam Parama padam paramathaka lingam Tatpranami sadashiva lingam Lingashtakam edam punyam pathichitha shivasanidhoou Shivaloka mavaplotha shivana sahamoodatha. 13


Appendix 4 – Festivals / Deities Veerashaivas have participated in festivals such as Shivarathri, Ganesha Chathurthi, Diwali, and Dushera along with festivals such as Basava Jayanthi and other Sharana events. " For a true Veerashaiva Shivarathri is every night and Veerashaivism believes in the worship of one formless God so is it right for a Veerashaiva to celebrate Hindu festivals, visit temples or worship Hindu deities? ! If some particular days or locations such as temples provide a sense of peace and sanctity, or embody a moral or cultural message and the spirit of all year long efforts there is no harm in celebrating or participating. ! Diwali and Dushera celebrate the victory of the Good over evil and also a victory over personal vices. ! Ganesha depicts a unique concept in the union of extremes and a message which probably some knowledgeable and noble saints tried to convey of the delicate balance of the universe - a mighty all powerful person, sitting on a meek rat, but at the same time has a snake around him which could eat the rat and a elephant head depicts intelligence and knowledge ! Durga is Shakthi or another definition of Linga. " Worshipping deities, participating in festivals, or visiting temples is very personal, however the most important thing is to rise above blind beliefs and achieve a higher spiritual level by following the simple steps listed in the previous slides. " A Veerashaiva is one who can embody the message these deities and festivals convey in the true spirit as opposed to following blind beliefs and rituals which prey on the innocence and ignorance of people. " Some core Veerashaiva festivals are Basava Jayanthi and other Sharanas Jayanthis. " Veerashaivas in North America celebrates various festivals in different VSNA chapters some members even gather together to celebrate Christmas and New "

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Appendix 5 - 8 Aids of worship Veerashaivism uses eight aids to help followers to enter the inner spiritual world and to progress in the spiritual path. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Guru is the spiritual teacher and removes the darkness of ignorance. Ista-Linga is not an idol, but an ideal, the absolute, given to a disciple by a guru. Jangama is a spiritual teacher who moves around to spread the word of God and guides followers. Padodaka, is the blessed water or grace received from guru, Ista-Linga, and Jangama. Prasada, food consecrated by guru, is a devotee's reverence that all food and materials are offerings of God. Vibuthi is sacred ash applied on the forehead, indicating an aspirant's adherence to the spiritual way of life. Rudrakshi are seeds worn to adorn oneself with spiritual thoughts. 'Ohm Nemaha Shivaya' is the holy mantra meaning 'Salutations to Shiva (God)'

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Appendix 6 – 6 steps in spiritual attainment The 12th century devotees laid down this path and practiced it. In the beginning of a seeker's spiritual pursuit, there is a distinction between individual soul (anga) and the universal soul (Linga, that from which every thing originates and in which everything is absorbed, i.e., God). 1. 2. 3. 4.

Bhakta is the phase of devotion in God Mahesha is the phase of strong will In Prasadi phase seeker becomes aware of God's grace in Pranalingi phase seeker realizes the presence of ultimate soul in the breath 5. Sharana is the stage of total surrender 6. Aikya is the phase of sublime union of Linga (Shiva) and anga (soul). That is merging of individual soul in the final state of perpetual Shiva consciousness

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Veerashaivaism Made Simple  

Veerashaivaism Made Simple

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