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Devar Dasimayya

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Devar Dasimayya

Devar Dasimayya was a mid-10th century poet in Kannada. He is said to have been born in Mudanuru, a village in Shorapur district. Mudanuru village is full of temples. His village has Ramanath temple among its many temples, dedicated to Shiva as worshiped by Rama, the epic hero, an incarnation of Vishnu. He was a strong devotee of Ramanath.

Devar Dasimayya composed vachanas in the name of his god Ramnath. He was an early propagator of the Veerashaiva faith, which preceded Basavanna and Akka Mahadevi.

Dasimayya was performing intense ascetic practices in a jungle, when he claimed Shiva appeared to him. She allegedly told him to work in the practical world. As a result, Dasimayya renounced his practices and took up the trade of a weaver. He is also known as Jedar Dasimayya, “Dasimayya of the weavers”. Today there is a large community of weavers called "Devanga" or "Jandra kuruvina shetty" spread across the southern states of India who follow Devara Dasimayya.

Today, popular tradition identifies several places where Dasimayya set up his weavers looms in Mudanuru.

Like most Virasaivas that followed him, he taught a life of complete nonviolence, even teaching local hunting tribes to renounce meat and, instead, provide for themselves through pressing and selling oil.

Dasimayya married Duggale, who grew up in Shivapura. He later became a teacher, eventually giving initiation to the wife of the local king, who was a Jain. Dasimayya engaged in several debates with the Jain community and, through a series of events, converted many to the worship of Shiva.

References

  • 101 Mystics of India - Page 61 - Google Books
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