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How to pronounce lingayat


What is the meaning of the word 'lingayat'?

  • Lingayat is a term used to refer to a community of people in Karnataka, India, who follow the Lingayatism religion. It is also used to describe the followers of the 12th-century reformer and saint, Basavanna.

What is the origin of the word 'lingayat'?

  • The word 'lingayat' is derived from the word 'Linga', which refers to the symbol of Lord Shiva, and 'ayat' meaning follower. So, 'lingayat' can be translated as 'follower of the Linga', representing devotion to Lord Shiva.

What are the beliefs and practices of Lingayats?

  • Lingayats believe in the concept of monotheism, with Lord Shiva as the supreme deity. They reject caste hierarchy and emphasize equality and social justice. Lingayats also follow the teachings of Basavanna, which include the principles of individual liberty, equality of all humans, and the rejection of rituals and idol worship.

Who is Basavanna?

  • Basavanna, also known as Basava, was a 12th-century philosopher, poet, and social reformer. He is considered the founder of the Lingayat religion and his teachings form the core principles of Lingayatism.

Where are Lingayats predominantly found?

  • Lingayats are predominantly found in the state of Karnataka, India. They are the largest community in Karnataka and have a significant presence in neighboring states such as Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

What is the significance of the Linga in Lingayatism?

  • The Linga is a symbol of Lord Shiva and holds great importance in Lingayatism. It represents the formless nature of God and the unity of all beings. Lingayats believe in wearing the Ishtalinga, a small Linga made of stone or metal, as a way to connect with the divine and express their devotion.

How do Lingayats worship?

  • Lingayats worship through a practice called 'Ishtalinga Pooje'. They offer prayers and perform rituals by placing the Ishtalinga on a silver or copper plate along with other offerings like flowers, fruits, and incense. Lingayats also engage in community prayers called 'pravachana' where religious discourses are conducted.

Do Lingayats have any religious texts?

  • Lingayats do not have a specific religious text like other major religions. However, they have a rich collection of Vachanas, which are poetic expressions of devotion and social reform written by Basavanna and other Lingayat saints. The Vachanas carry the spiritual and philosophical essence of Lingayatism.

Are Lingayats considered a separate religion?

  • Yes, Lingayats are considered a separate religion. Although they originated from Hinduism and share some cultural practices, Lingayatism is distinct in its beliefs, rituals, and social structure. Lingayats have been recognized as a separate religious community by the Government of Karnataka.

Are Lingayats a caste-based community?

  • No, Lingayats do not follow the caste system. They believe in social equality and reject caste-based distinctions. However, Lingayats are a community with diverse castes within it.