BENGALURU: In recent years, readers of Kannada literature have evinced a major interest towards the mystical ‘Shivadharma’ and the literature related to the Sharana Chaluvali of the 12th century, touted as one of the first and most powerful egalitarian social movements in the history of humankind. Devotees of Lord Shiva, Sharanas came from all walks of life and their discourses, known as Vachanas, refer to everyday experiences of common people, combining them with spiritual concepts. Several literary works by Veerashaiva poets and authors are known to delve on divine conceptions that need detailed study.
In order to facilitate such reading, JSS Granthamale has published ‘Shivapada Ratnakosha’, a comprehensive glossary of Veerashaiva-Lingayat lexicon, aided by the Department of Kannada and Culture, Govt of Karnataka. Conceptualised in 2011, this work has taken several years of planning and work by a team of scholars. It contains over 4,000 citations and more than 40,000 usages from Veerashaiva literature and Vachanas.
In his foreword, Seer of Suttur JSS Mutt, Jagadguru Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Mahaswamiji, who is the honorary editor of Shivapada Ratnakosha, stresses on the importance of glossaries that unravel the social, spiritual vocabulary of a particular community or faith, saying that they encompass the ideas related to history, culture and heritage.
In this glossary, natural language definitions from available sources have been offered and simple expressions have been applied to identify their general use and specific principle. In his introduction to the glossary, executive editor of Shivapada Ratnakosha, Dr Nandeesh Hanchye, says the project materialised as there was a strong need for a comprehensive, extended phrasebook on Veerashaiva-Lingayat literature that can facilitate religious, social and cultural studies as well as research. Shivapada Ratnakosha has taken shape following the principles of linguistics, comprising scientific and historic explanations, backed by apt references, he adds.