In search of Shiva: Mahādeviyakka's Virashaivism

Asian Philosophy 12 (1):21 – 34 (2002)
Abstract
Mahādeviyakka was a radical 12th century Karnataka saint of whom surprisingly little has been written. Considered the most poetic of the Virashaivas, her vacanas are characterized by their desperate searching for Shiva. I attempt to convey Mahādevi's epistemology and its struggle to 'know' Shiva, necessitating a lifetime of searching for him; offer an interpretation of the innate presence of iva in the world and its consequences for epistemology; and explore the sense of tragic love inherent in devotional searching for Shiva. My primary goal is to offer a powerful and positive, yet critical, interpretation of Mahādevi's beautiful prose on her relationship with Shiva.
Keywords Hindu  Hinduism  Shiva  Mahadevi  Mahadeviyakka  Virashaiva  Indian philosophy  epistemology  philosophy of religion
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