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Revana Siddha – Virashaivism

Revana Siddha is one of the five main exponents of the philosophical-religious school of Virashaivism, also called Lingayat School. This school of philosophy is different from the other Shaivite schools, such as the Pasupata school of Lakulisa, Kashmir Shaivism, the Saiva Siddhanta or the Southern Shaivism, and the Vatha Siddha sect of North India. Virashaivism arose in the Karnataka region of South India. It was forwarded by Basava on the basis of its exposition to him by his teacher, Allamaprabhu who is considered to be an incarnation of God Shiva himself.

Revana Siddha has been mentioned in the work Siddhanta Shikhamani by Renukacharya. Herein Revana Siddha has been stated to be the first of the five teachers (pancha acharyas), the other teachers being Marularadhya, Ekoramaradhya, Panditaradhya and Vivaradhya.

Renukaradhya states the essence of Virashaivism was set out by Sage Agastya to Revana Siddha through a dialogue between the two, and that he, Renukaradhya, was reproducing the dialogue. No distinct work of Revana Siddha has been identified but the tenets of the system expounded by him are well known.

In essence, the school advocates the view that God Shiva is supreme. Brahman is the identity of Being, Bliss and Consciousness. It is devoid of any form and is limitless, and beyond all ways of knowledge. It is self luminous and without any obstruction of knowledge, passion or power. The emphasis of the Virashaiva system lies in the necessity of realizing the unity of the self with Shiva.