'Veerashaivas, Lingayats integral part of Hinduism'

Pejawar Mutt pontiff Vishwesha Theertha Swami said that Hindu religion was above all castes and discrimination and both Veerashaivas and Lingayats were an integral part of Hinduism.

The pontiff told mediapersons that there should not be any sort of differences of opinion with regard to both Veerashaivas and Lingayats.

“They will remain part of Hinduism. There might be some ideological differences, but the base for both Veerashaivas and Lingayats is Hinduism,” he added.

Swami said that he was prepared to take part in any debate on this issue.

Urging the Veerashaivas and Lingayats to support Hindu religion, the pontiff said that it would make Hinduism stronger.

Emphasising on the vedas and vedic system, the pontiff said that there would be differences between any beliefs. For instance, there are also differences between Dwaita, Adwaita, and Vishishtadwaita philosophies and similarly the differences between both Veerashaivas and Lingayats as against Hinduism should not be taken seriously.

Lord Shiva is a Hindu God and both Veerashaivas and Lingayats worship him. They are also worshippers of ‘Linga’, a representation of Lord Shiva. “When they accept Hindu Gods, they should also accept Hinduism,” he said.

“It is essential for all Hindus to stay united and strong to counter the external attacks. The caste discrimination is not approved by both Veerashaivas and Lingayats as claimed by the supporters seeking separate recognition for both the cults. Even Hinduism is above all practices of discrimination,” Swami added.

The pontiff recollected that some followers of Ramakrishna Ashrama had argued initially that they are of a different religion and so they are Non-Hindus. The court in its verdict declared that Ramakrishna Ashrama followers were also Hindus.

He said Panditaradhya Shivacharya Swami of Sanehalli Taralabalu Mutt and others have invited me for the debate on the issue. The pontiff said he was available for the debate at Poornaprajna Vidyapeeta in Bengaluru till July 28.

“After that I will be undertaking ‘Chaturmasya Vratha’ in Mysuru, the debate can also be held there,” he said.

On appointing a successor to Shirur Mutt, the senior pontiff said the mutt had a huge amount of debt. The complications should be sorted out. Only then there would be further developments in the Mutt.

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