“Those born to one father are Lingayats. Those born to five fathers are Veerashaivas,” Mrityunjaya Swami said.

Lingayats vs Veerashaivas once again Row after seer says Veerashaivas have 5 fathers
news Religion Monday, November 06, 2017 - 16:01

A feud has erupted between the Veerashaiva and the Lingayat community once again, after a Lingayat seer abusing Veerashaivas at a rally in Hubballi.

On Sunday, the Lingayat mutts demanding a separate religion status held a massive rally in Karnataka’s Hubballi district. The rally was meant to put pressure on the state government to take up their cause. But it ended up being a platform where Lingayats leaders abused Veerashaivas.

Basavajaya Mrityunjaya Swami of the Koodalasangama Panchamasali Mahapeetha openly insulted the Veerashaiva community, said that they were creating problems and not allowing the demand for a separate Lingayat religion.

“Those born to one father are Lingayats. Those born to five fathers are Veerashaivas. Basavanna is our father, but Veerashaivas have five fathers,” Mrityunjaya Swami said.

“Lingayats are not Hindus, it is a separate religion and some vested interests are trying to project Lingayats as part of the Hindu religion, which is not true,” he added.

While the seer has clarified his comment in a statement, that hasn’t stopped a controversy from erupting.

Mrityunjaya Swami said that his speech was taken out of context. "I did not mean to insult anyone. I only meant to point out the differences between Lingayats and Veerashaivas. It is true that they look up to the Pancha Peetha. If my statement has offended anyone, I would like to tell them that my words were taken out of context. I did not mean to abuse any community," the pontiff said.

Over 50 seers of the Virkta Mutts, who were present at the rally, had openly abused the pontiffs of the Pancha Peetha Mutts and called them Pancha Peedakaru (five harassers).

Strongly condemning the abuses hurled at the Veerashaiva community, Principal Secretary of the Ahika Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha, BS Vagesh Prasad said that “Mrityunjaya Swami has lost his mind.”

“Is this how a pontiff speaks and insults the thousands of Veerashaiva Lingayats? I had great respect for him but now I am disappointed,” Vagesh Prasad told TNM.

He also said that the members of Mrityunjaya Swami’s mutt must banish him. “No seer should speak like this. Jaya Mrityunjaya Swami was the student of Murugaraja Sharana. He got kicked out of the mutt because they could not put up with his misdeeds,” he said.

“I strongly condemn his statement. Why are they (those demanding a separate Lingayat religion) not taking the matter to court?” he asked

“What was the need to insult Veerashaiva Lingayats? He was also a part of the Mahasabha before he got influenced by certain political elements. I think he has lost his mind.” Vagesh Prasad added.

Coming to Mrityunjaya Swami’s rescue, pontiff of Basava Dharma Peetha, Mate Mahadevi said that the seer spoke when he was extremely emotional.”

“He might have used those words but he did not mean to insult Veerashaivas. He was extremely emotional as this issue (obtaining a separate religion status) matters to a lot of people. Veerashaivas have five gurus – the Pancha Acharyas who headed the Pancha Peetas. Lingayats consider themselves the children of Basavanna. That was what he meant to say,” Mate Mahadevi told TNM.

Apologising to the Mrityunjaya Swami’s words, MLC Basvaraja Horahatti said that the seer had indeed made a mistake.

“I agree. It was his mistake. He must have spoken in an emotional state. What he said was in bad taste. When we are in a position of responsibility, we should not speak ill of others. We will put in all our efforts to make this right. I told him that what he said was not right. He told me that he did not mean it as an insult. I have asked him to issue a clarification,” the MLC said.

MLC Basvaraj also said that several efforts were made by the Lingayat community to hold talks with the Veerashaivas, which have so far proved futile.

“I have written to the President of the Veerashaiva Mahasabha, Shamanur Shivashankar multiple times. Three days ago, I wrote a letter asking him to sit down and discuss the matter. They don’t want that. They (Veerashaivas) have a vested interest in this and are not willing to come to terms. We don’t gain anything from this divide. We must come to a resolution,” MLC Basavaraj told TNM.


Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.