--> Skip to main content

Sarana Siddharama – Virashaiva Saint

Sarana Siddharama is a great Virashaiva devotee, saint and mystic of the 12th century CE. Sarana Siddharama engaged himself in social services. He was born to an old couple in an agricultural family of a remote village, Sonnalige, was given the name of Dhulimakala, a local community God at his birth. He was a dull, taciturn and lonely boy and was engaged in grazing cattle.

Esoteric experience and complete surrender to God Mallikarjuna gave Sarana  Siddharama inner strength and scientific insight to work for the welfare of his fellow beings. He undertook a number of development programs, such as building irrigation tanks and wells, laying flower gardens, constructing roads and public dormitories for the use of travelers and destitute, organizing marriages for the commoners, undertaking relief works for the poor and the uncared for, and arranging for defraying debts of the forlorn. His attitudes, thoughts and actions changed as a result of his encounter with a great mystic, Allamaprabhu, a spiritual leader of the movement. He realized the limitations of the works related to the mundane world. After getting acquainted with several luminaries such as Basavanna, Channabasavanna, Akkamahadevi and getting initiated into Virasaivism by Channabasavanna from whom he received ishtalinga (the personal god), he developed his inner self by withdrawing from the external world and acquired mystic powers, because of which he earned the position of a sivayogi. That is how he developed the unique personality of a karmayogi and shivayogi among the illustrious Shivasaranas.

Siddharama is venerated as a God by his followers. There is a temple for him in Solapur (Maharashtra) and annual festivities are organized there with religious fervor.

Siddharama was not merely a constructive worker and a revealed self, but also a powerful and prolific writer of vacanas (a new form of prose-poetry devised by Shivasaranas for expressing their experiences and views) and trividhis (a type of meter). He composed thousands of vacanas, which were didactic in character.