In Search of Śiva: Mahādēviyakka's V&īraśaivism

Asian Philosophy 12 (1):21-34 (2002)
Abstract
Mahadeviyakka was a radical 12th century Karnataka saint of whom surprisingly little has been written. Considered the most poetic of the Virásaivas, her vacanas are characterized by their desperate searching for iva. I attempt to convey Mahadevi's epistemology and its struggle to 'know' Shiva, necessitating a lifetime of searching for him; offer an interpretation of the innate presence of Shiva 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 Mahadevi's beautiful prose on her relationship with Shiva. .
Keywords Mahadevi  Mahadeviyakka  Shiva  Virashaiva  Indian philosophy  philosophy of religion  epistemology
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