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Rahul Gandhi initiated into Lingayat sect in Karnataka, receives 'Ishta Linga Deeksha'

The pontiff put ‘Shiva Linga’ around Gandhi’s neck and put the three lines of 'Vibhuti' (ash) on his forehead horizontally as worn by the Lingayats, the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee said in a statement.

Rahul Gandhi initiated into Lingayat sect in Karnataka receives Ishta Linga Deeksha gcw
New Delhi, First Published Aug 3, 2022, 4:47 PM IST

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was initiated into the Lingayat sect on Wednesday along with other party leaders in this district headquarters town in central Karnataka. After speaking with several Lingayat seers from different mutts, Shivamurthy Muruga Sharana, the seer of Muruga Mutt, inducted him into the Lingayat sect. Lingayats are regarded as the BJP's primary support base in Karnataka, where Assembly elections are scheduled for April or May of the following year.

As Dr. Sri Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru presented Gandhi with the "Ishtalinga Deekshe," Gandhi tweeted, "It is an incredible honour to attend Sri Jagadguru Murugharajendra Vidyapeetha."

The Guru Basavanna teachings are timeless, and I am humbled to learn more about them from the Sharanaru of the Math, he said.

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Rahul Gandhi received the "Ishta Linga Deeksha" from the Muruga Sharanaru on this historic day at the Muruga Mutt. This is a unique occasion, a Mutt representative stated. D K Shivakumar, the head of the state's Congress, was also present.

The three horizontal lines of "Vibhuti" (ash) worn by the Lingayats were placed on Gandhi's forehead, according to a statement from the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee. The pontiff also placed a "Shiva Linga" around Gandhi's neck.

Gandhi remarked, "I have been following Basavanna Ji a little and reading a little about him for a while now. It's a true honour for me, thus He asked the Muruga Mutt seer, "I will make a request to you if you can send me someone to teach me a little more in depth about 'Ishta Linga' and the practise of Shiva Yoga.

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Basaveshwara, a social reformer and poet who has a large following in Karnataka and several of the state's neighbouring areas including Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, formed the Lingayat sect in the 12th century. The Lingayat ethnic group predominates in Karnataka's northern region.


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