Sex scandal casts shadow over centuries-old legacy of Murugha math

By MK Ashoka

Bangalore, September 4 (IANS): The alleged sex scandal involving Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru of Chitradurga Murugha Math is going to be a stain in its history, along with the reverence from people and rulers that it had received from the pre-independence era.

Thousands of worshipers following the reckoning are shocked by the arrest of Murugha Sharanaru, the main defendant in the case of the alleged sexual assault of two underage girls.

The math premises, still buzzing with worshipers and activity, has turned into a police fortress now.

Many devotees are now saddened by the turn of events, with Murugha Sharanaru now left to fend for himself.

Parashu, one of the founders of Odanadi, the NGO which exposed the alleged sex scandal, said the accused seer was still hiding behind the ‘khaavi’ (spiritual attire).

BJP MP and former minister KS Eshwarappa, however, said he still overthrew the accused seer. He maintained that he comes from a culture that respects the heritage of spiritual gurus and he cannot think of seeing the seer accused of rape.

“Gurus are like gods to me,” he said.

Basavaraj Sulibhavi, a social activist and political analyst, claimed that the scandal is an attempt to destroy the heritage of the Lingayats, the community to which the seer belongs.

“The Veerashaiva-Lingayat and Linagayat-Hindu religion debate should be watched carefully at this stage. There will be a full effort to use this episode against the Lingayat movement and its structure as an independent religion,” he said. declared.

“The case doesn’t just remain a case now. It’s now part of politics,” he said.

“The Lingayat philosophy sees no difference between male and female. Breaking the chains imposed on women by orthodox Hindu principles, the Lingayat tradition has empowered women to express themselves for the first time in the country”, Sulibhavi said.

“The concept of mathematics directed by a person who practices celibacy is not the Linagayat tradition. The Lingayat tradition is close to nature; it will not suggest anything unnatural like the practice of celibacy. There are several Lingayat mathematics that are directed by married religious pontiffs. It is the religion that propagates the union and integration of man and woman. Going against this natural principle has created problems,” he added. .

“This scandal took place at the level of an individual against the backdrop of personal weakness. This act should not be equated with the whole Lingayat heritage or the legacy of mathematics,” Sulibhavi said.

Historically, Murugha mathematics is a prominent Lingayat mathematics located in Chitradurga. Mathematics was created in 1703 and has contributed to the cultural, religious and academic fields for three centuries. Currently, more than 150 spiritual and academic institutions are led by mathematics. It has 3,000 branches nationwide.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, during his recent visit to this mathematics, said he loved the tradition and legacy of mathematics to empower the oppressed classes.

He also recalled how close mathematics was to his father, the late Rajiv Gandhi, and his grandmother, the late Indira Gandhi.

Interestingly, while most Lingayat mathematicians and seers identify with the ruling BJP, Murugha Sharanaru chose to identify with the Congress.

Attempts to transfer him to Bengaluru, with the local court ordering him to attend from ICU, denying his requests to have math ‘satvik’ food and the authorities refusing to allow him to do poops inside the prison turned out to be a nightmare, not only for the seer accused of rape, but also for his thousands of followers.

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