[Advaita-l] Shaivas in the varna system.

Srikanta Narayanaswami srikanta.narayanaswami at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 24 10:12:22 CDT 2012

In the thread by Kuntimaddi Sadanandji, 4 classifications based on
jati, i.e janma are given, namely Jati Brahmana, Jati Kshatriya, Jati
Vaishya and Jati Shudra. My doubt is, how do shaivas fit into this
system? Shaivism has existed for quite a long time and certainly they
must have a role in this system? The shaivas started by Basavanna
although recent, is an example for such shaiva communities.
Abhishek Madhyastha.
According to the Varna ashrama system,the Brahmana jati and kshatriya jati belonged originally to the Shaivaite system.The Vaishyas belonged to the Vaishnava system,as the statement says on Satyanarayana as "Vaishyajati karanam"The shudras belonged to the folk Gods like Kali,Ayyanar,Munisshwaran which is still being followed in TamilNadu and some other places.The Virashaiva system was staeted by Basavanna in the 12-13 th century A.D,during the time of Ramanuja who popularised Vaishnava movement,as a rival to the Vaishnava movement,which still had Yagas and Yagnas,which was opposed by Basavanna,who also belonged to the Aradhya Brahmana sect among the Brahmin community.Just like Ramanuja who converted the Jains like Vishnuvardhana,and allowed the Harijans into Temples at Melukote calling them "Thirukulathars",Basavanna made the "Kranti of Kalyana"by encouraging "intercaste marriages"and converted the King Bijjala into a "Shiva Sharana",just like the
 "Sharanagati tatva"of Ramanuja.But unlike Ramanuja who maintained the caste system intoto,Basavanna after their conversion called them "Shiva sharanas"There is lot of difference between Shaivas and Veerashaivas.While among the shaivas there are many castes(incidentally Brahmins are also shaivas),Veera shaivas donot have caste distinctions.A few years ago,the Verashaivas,in the "Akhila Bharatha veerashaiva sammelana"demanded from the government,that they be declared as a separate religion,broken away from "Hinduism",much like the demand of Ramakrishna mission.

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