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Veerashaiva Panchacharya – Five Fold Conduct in Lingayat Sect

Panchacharya is the fivefold conduct that should be followed by the members of Lingayat Sect also known as Veerashaiva.

Origin of Veerashaiva Panchacharya 

Basavanna, the founder of Veerashaivism, instituted the Shiv Anubhava Mantapa, where persons of all ranks and professions, irrespective of their position in society, took part in discussions on matters pertaining to religion, spirituality, and society. About 300 saints, including sixty women, attended the deliberations presided by Allama Prabhu. It was this institution which introduced some important religious, practices including Panchacharya also known as Panchacharya.

The Five Fold Conduct in Lingayat Sect

The rules set forth for Panchacharya are as follows:
  1. Lingacharya – a Virashaiva has to worship the linga, the symbol of Shiva with an attitude of monotheism
  2. Sadachara – Right livelihood
  3. Shivacharya – all devotees of Shiva must be treated alike. There should be no communal or vocational bias.
  4. Bhratyacharya – show respect for all forms of life – complete humility – total modesty towards men and women.
  5. Ganacharya – making all efforts for the upliftment and development of Veerashaiva community.
It is believed that the constant and unrelenting practice of fivefold conduct will help a devotee in achieving union of the individual self (anga) with universal self (linga).