The “Panchamasali” sect amongst Veerashaiva Religion is wide spread in Southern India and is more concentrated in the Karnataka State. The people of this sect are Economically, Socially, Educationally andPolitically backward. The feeling of this backwardness and sufferings were very much felt by the elders of the sects like 1) Sri. B.M.Hanamanala 2) Sri. S.V.Negali, 3) Sri. Basalingappa Bhuthe and others, which took initiative formation of “Karnataka Veerashaiva Panchamasali Sangha” (R) bearing Reg. No. 432/1994-95 under the leadership of founder president Sri. B.M. Hanamanal and their team on 02.09.1994.

Since then, the said organization struggled to bring together the Panchamasali Samaja or sect, who are about more than 76 lakhs in Karnataka and 28 lakhs in other States who are wide spread not only in Karnataka but also in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh & Tamil Nadu states, the majority of whom are living in rural areas as agriculturists and Agricultural labourers in a poor and backward condition, under one banner by forming Zilla Ghatakas, Taluka Ghatakas & Grama Ghatakas.

Recently in the year 2005 the entire Panchamasali Samaj People and the above said organization felt it necessary to have their own Jagadguru to lead and guide them Religiously, culturally, socially, educationally & economically. Therefore on 18.2.2008 the said organization and the Panchamsali Samaj

Established “Veerashaiva Lingayath Panchamasali Jagadguru Peetha – 2008” which is based on “Veerashaiva Aithihasika Parampare, Samskruthika Hinnele, Vaicharika Nelegattina Thathvika Talahadi Hagu Siddhanta Adarisida Guru Viraktara Tathva Melaisida Jagatika Pra-prathama “Veerashaiva Lingayath Panchamasali Jagadguru Peetha – 2008”.

About Mahantha Swamiji

Managuli is a small village in basavana bagevadi taluk of Bijapur district. There are two Veerashaiva Mutts in managuli, namely Hiremutt and Babaleshwara Mutt. The Hiremutts history dates back to 4th century A.D and it is a branch Mutt affiliated to Rambhapuri Peetha – one of Panchapeethas. This Mutt is disciple inheritance class of Mutt. In the past, fifteen swamijis have led this Mutt. They were all belonged to Veerashaiva Panchamasali sect.

The predecessor of sri Mahantha Swamiji was Sri Sha. Br. Sanganabasava Shivacharya who was a great seer and a staunch worshipper of ISTALINGA. During his period as the head of mutt, he came to lime light through rigorous religious practices. He died as a centurion in the month of June 1983, after living a fruitful life consisting of penance, yoga and dedication for Veershaiva principles.

Sri Sha. Br. Sanganabasava Swamiji at the age of 80 years felt that it was right time to select his successor. He considered many choices and finally zeroed on Tapasetty family in Managuli. Sri. Sanganabasappa Tapasetty and his wife Smt. Kalamma were simple, humble couple who rendered their services to the mutt with their plain hearts filled with devotion, surrender and faith. They were true believers of veerashaiva philosophy to the core of their being. They were blessed with material comforts and financial opulence. Many infants begotten by this couple died before seeing their first birthday (infant mortality rate was very high in those days) and only five children, three sons and two daughters, remained. In spite of sorrow of losing many infants, they had unwavering faith in Lord Shiva. Of the three sons survived, the second one is Sri Mahantha swamiji( ). He was born on 29th September 1938.

When Sri Sha. Br. Sanganabasava Swami asked Tapasettys to give their second son to the mutt, they readily gave consent. At that time young swami was studying in Sri Siddeshwara high school, Bijapur. Immediately he was summoned to mutt and interviewed by Sri Sanganabasava Swamiji. Sri Swamiji explained to the youngster that a monk life is bed of thorns and asked whether he is prepared to sacrifice every thing and lead a life of renunciation, young(Mahanta) replied that the guru’s wish is a command to him and with the blessings of guru nothing is difficult to him. Soon afterwards guru Sri Sangans Basava Swamiji gave initiation to young(mahanta) on 14-06-1959 and gave him a new name as Sri Mahanta Swamy. Subsequently Sri Sangana Basava Swamiji appointed Sri Mahanta Swamiji as his successor to the Hiremutt. From then onwards the life of Sri Mahanta Swamiji changed completely. He was sent to Bagalkot for college education. He passed B.A degree from Basaveshwara College Bagalkot(1959-63). Then he was sent to Kashi for higher studies. He stayed there from 1963-83 and spent his time in study and penance. During this period he got following degrees from different universities:

1. From Prayag University he got SAAHITYA VISHARADA degree in Hindi literature.
2. From Varanasi Sanskrit University he got AACHARYA degree in ADVAITA VEDANTA.
3. From Banaras Hindu University he got M.A in Sanskrit , M.A in Philosophy.

On top of all these achievements, he was conferred doctorate for his scholarly thesis by title “The Concept Of Ultimate Reality In Veerashaivism And Advaita Vedanta – A Complete Study.” From Banaras Hindu University.

Along with these studies, he even worked as a lecturer in Govt. Queens College and at BHH for some time. While in Banaras he used to follow predetermined strict disciplines, pooja and food practices during the month of Shravana. In 1979 while in Jangamavadi Mutt(Banaras) he lived on only one plantain per day for the whole month of Shravana and did Anustaana. During Shravana month of 1980-82 he involved himself in penance and poojas, using only on a bowl of soaked green gram dal and a tola(12gm) honey per day. In this way, swamiji during his stay at Banaras, gained inner spiritual strength through penance and yogic life.

Sri Sha. br. Sangana Basava Shivacharya Swamiji died in the month of June 1983 at Managuli. Hearing the news of demise of his guru, Sri Mahanta Swamiji rushed back to Managuli from Kashi and took over the charge of Hiremutt as its head. The mutt was in bad shape and the financial condition was pathetic. Even though the mutt owned 165 acres of agricultural land, the income from land was extremely meager. The Swamiji adopted modern agricultural methods and improved the income from the lands. He started many religious programs in the mutt. He regularly delivered scholarly discourses on scriptures and won the heart of listeners. Due to all these efforts of Swamiji, an environment of spirituality pervaded in the Managuli Mutt. Selfless work (Kayaka), unweaving faith in Veerashaiva Siddantha, stead fast devotion to the lord and eagerness to help the needy resulted in Lord’s grace ascending on Sri. Mahanta Swamiji in the form of ‘JAGADGURU’ title. Observing his concern towards Panchamasali sect, he himself was born in Panchamasali sect. the Panchamasli people choose him to be their guru and guide. He ascended the throne of Panchamasli Jagadguru Peetha on 18-2-2008 as STHIRA PEETADHYAKSHA in a grand celebration at Harihar. Finaly with this the dream of 7.6 million Panchamasali people to have their own GURU PEETHA and guru became a reality. The Panchamasali people feel bless to have such an eminent scholarly spiritual person as Mahanta Swamiji as their guru and leader.

About Siddalinga Swamiji

It was the beginning of 20th century. It was a turning point for the Indian society. Its social, political and religious structures were volatile and it was striving to ascertain its future strategies in these fronts. The freedom movement was gaining momentum. The attitude prevailed then was; with out revolutionizing the education system, social progress is impossible.

‘Freedom is my birth right’ declared BalagangadharaTilak. Jothirao Phule said ‘education is my birth right’ and began his endeavor. To feed the hungry, Sri Shivananda Shlvayogi of Swami of sonna village opened many feeding centers for the poor at various places in the north Karnataka region. Many persons were inspired by this Annadasohi and with blessings of this swami they in turn canalized their efforts towards social welfare. One among them was Sri Siddalinga swami of Nelogi Mutt. Late Sri Shivananda Shivayogi has once expressed that, one day Siddalinga will become famous through awakening the people by using his sword of knowledge on the basis of reasoning. The truth of this statement becomes evident when we reminiscence Sri Siddalinga Swami’s religious path trodden by him. The sparks of bright ideas emanated by the fastness of swing of his sword of knowledge enthrall the devotees. The flow of this stem reasoning stream will pierce the Maya shell of the devotees and enter their innermost hearts. Just remembering his words will rejuvenate them. Their hearts will freshen up like a red battery.

The origin of Swamij’s ancestros was Mudhol town. They were the chiefs army of Kittur kingdom. They were related to ‘Loyal Kadleppa .& Veerappa’,who were chief ministers of Surapura King. For this reason, the ancestors migrated to Gulbarga district. In that district, at Sonna in Jevargi Taluk, even to this day , there are families With surname ‘Mudhol’. Late Sri Shivananda Shivayogi was born in one of these families. He sanctified the whole region by his benign presence and he lived for 114 years . He was the personification of three kinds of Dasohas. His grand son is the present Sri Siddaling Swami of Nelogi. Sri Siddalinga Swami was born to Sri Maridevappa and Smt Malakamma on 1st june 1967. He had his primary and secondary education at the schools of Sonna Masabinal. He studied sanskrit, Yoga and religion at Shivayoga mandir. He graduated under the Kumareshwara sangha of Muru Savlra Mutt, Hubli.He became the head of Yellanur branch Mutt (in Andhra Pradesh) which was established by Late Shivananda Shivayogl as per the Basava Dharrma practices. Later, he established the “Shivanandeshwara Virakta Mutt” at Nelogi of Jevargi Taluk in the year 1992. He assumed the post of the head of this Mutt in 1993 as per the prevailing traditions. As a head of both Mutts — Yellanur and Nelogi Mutts— he has improved the financial status of both Mutts by modernizing the agriculture. In his branch Mutts he is continuing Dasoha tradition without any break . Under the Jagadguru Thontadarya Education Trust, he is engaged himself in rural welfare by giving prominence to orphanage, old age home, primary and higher secondary education.

Through the long associatlon with his grand father and guru Late Shivananda shivayogi, who supported ‘Vande Mataram’ satyagraha, who inspired freedom fighters and who spread Khadi movement, the present Swamiji has embraced all the ideals of Late Swamiji. In his Mutt, Sri Siddalinga Swamiji has given prominence to equality, Kayaka and Dasoha — the valued propagated by the Basava and other shiva sharanas who were the saviours of Lingayat Dharma.

Whatever the devotees give, Swamiji will accept as if it had come from the grace of God and spends it for the benefit of people at large. Kayaka and Dasoha services of Lingayat Mutts in Karnataka requires a special mentioning here and the and the Mutt at Sonna will stand as an example for other Mutts. Swamiji hails from such Mutts and he is now selected as Chara Peethadhyaksha* (President on move) of VEERASHAIVA LINGAYATA PANCHAMASALI JAGADGURU PEETHA 2008, which he greatly deserves.

To have their own spiritual and religious leader was the long cherished dream of 7 .6 million people belonging to Panchamasali sect, which materialized by the selection of Sri Siddalinga swamiji. With such a person at the helm, the Panchamasalis are confident that their unity is strengthened and their overall welfare is properly addressed. This young Swamiji has achieved this status by his hard work and soft heart. To worship the Lord on one hand and to work for the social wellbeing on the other hand is the way of life of this revered Swamiji. He has developed such a simple and balanced personality that is beyond the dualities of the world — namely praise & criticism, gain & loss, happiness & sorrow, etc. The Swamiji is young, has enthusiasm and shoulders responsibility. His nature is a fine combination of preaching, accommodative, move ability (Jangamatwa) and freshness. He is made to lead the nascent Panchamasali Peetha as its CHARA PEETHADHYAKSHA (President on move). He is the force to lead the 7.6 million Panchamasalis spread across India. Let the Swamiji’s dream of uplifting and uniting the Panchamasalis come to reality — we, the 7.6 millIon people are with him.

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