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Prabhu Linga Leelai – Tamil Text On Virasaivism Preceptor Allama Prabhu

Prabhu Linga Leelai, or Prabulinga Lila, a text on Virasaivism, is a Tamil translation of the original Kannada work of the same title. Thuraimangalam Shivaprakash Swamigal translated Prabhulinga Leela in the 17th century CE. The text narrates the divine sports of Bhagavan Shiva in the form of Allama Prabhu. It consists of 1,158 verses, divided into 25 sections, representing the 24 atma tattvas and one mukti tattva.

Once Uma Parvati asked Mahadev Shiva whether the denizens of heave would attain liberation or not. The reply of Mahadeva Shiva was that they would not until they were possessed of forms and names. Further, they would have to abandon their present world of enjoyment and descend to earth to perform good deeds, to practice yoga and to obtain wisdom from the preceptor.

Such a preceptor was Allamma. When Shiva asserted that this Allamma was his manifestation and that he could not be visible even to Uma, Uma challenged the statement and sent her Maya to watch Allamma and report to her.

Maya accordingly was born as the daughter of a king of Vilvalam and grew up to be proficient in dance and music. She worshipped Bholenath Shiva in the temple, offering dance and music as her services, declaring that she would wed none other than Mahadev Shiva.

Allamma, a manifestation of Shiva, appeared as a percussionist and played his drum to the dance of Maya, who fell in love with him. Having sworn that she would marry only Mahadev Shiva, Maya now wanted to marry Allamma. But Allamma left the place and could not be found by Maya. Maya was thus defeated in her object of securing the love of Allamma.

Thus, Prabhulinga Leela speaks of the fight between knowledge and ignorance as represented by the chief characters – Allamma and Maya, respectively, with ultimate victory for gnosis. The message of the work is that Shiva cannot be reached so long as one remains under the spell of Maya. The work is full of rich imagery and contains all the salient cannons of Virashaivism.