Philosophy and Ethics of the Virasaiva Community

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This important book presents the quintessence of the Virasaiva philosophy as revealed in the dialogues of the Virasaiva philosophers and revolutionary mystics of the twelfth century. These spiritually stimulating and intellectually challenging discourses are reminiscent of the Dialogues of Plato. Virasaiva thinkers proclaimed and practiced a monotheistic ideal, and values associated with human rights, gender equality, liberty and fraternity, a strong work ethic, social justice, community service, cultural diversity, non-violence, environmental protection and sustainable development. This landmark volume is an indispensable authoritative resource for scholars and educated readers interested in religion, philosophy, and culture.


“…when the reader has carefully browsed and perused through the book, he/she will be left with a distinct indelible impression that the author has studied (and still studies) the Veerashaiva religion as an ardent student, practices as a faithful follower, explains, expounds, rationalizes and reasons as a proficient professor and professes and propounds as a prolific author. His style is simple yet elegant, clear and concise and carefully drafted. The book is a systematically synchronized and organized presentation of cosmology, mysticism, philosophy and religion of the Lingayats and reflects the author’s knowledge and scholarship of the subject matter.” – Dr. S. Munavalli

"The present book, [the author] hopes, will serve as a companion volume to his previous book. It is "his modest attempt to provide in a single volume the essence of the Virasaiva Philosophy". The author has eminently succeeded in his endeavor. His style is simple yet elegant, clear, concise and carefully crafted. The book is a systematic presentation of the cosomology, mysticism, philosophy and religion of the Virasaivas and reflects the author's intimate knowledge and scholarship of the subject matter." - Basava Journal

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Foreword; Preface
Introduction: A Prolegomenon to the Philosophy and Ethics of Virasaivism
The Dialogues of the Mystics:
1. The Master’s Grace: Prabhu’s Initiation
2. The Supreme Truth: Sister Muktayi and Brother Ajaganna
3. Delusion and Absolute Reality: Siddharama
4. Master’s Blessings: Basava Initiates Cennabasava
5. Encounter of the Mystics: Prabhu’s Arrival at Kalyana
6. The Hidden Treasure: Marula Sankara
7. Knowledge, Devotion and Practice: Basava and Prabhu
8. Philosophy and Metaphysics: Cennabasava, Prabhu and Basava
9. The Supreme Grace: Madivalayya
10. Is the Symbol necessary? The Initiation of Siddharama
11. The Great and Glorious Mystic: Tributes to Prabhu
12. Work Itself is Heaven:Ayadakki Marayya and Lakkamma
13. Dedicated Work and Community Service: Molige Marayya and Mahadevi
14. God Too Must Work: Muliya Candayya
15. Pretension and Piety: Ghattivalayya
16. Love of the Divine: Sister Mahadevi
17. Divine Odyssey: Prabhu’s Tour and Return
18. spiritual Presentation: Prabhu’s Investiture
19. Infinite God Expects Infinite Love: Prabhu’s Mysterious Feast
20. From Sound to Silence: Prabhu’s Prophecy
21. Ultimate Union with the Divine: Saints’ Unitive State
Appendices: List of Philosopher-Mystics and Others; Places of Historical Interest; Map of India; Map of Karnataka
Notes, Glossary; Bibliography; Index

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