BAGALKOT/VIJAYAPURA: A group of pontiffs from the Veerashaiva-Lingayat Panchamasali subsect is gearing up to set up a third Panchamasali Peeta in the state that will come up in Bagalkot district. The pontiffs, including Dr Mahadeva Shivacharya of Gurupadeshwara Mutt of Bableshwara and Abhinava Sanganabasava Swamiji of Managuli Here Mutt, set up the 'Veerashaiva-Lingayat Panchamasali Matadishara Okkuta' (V-LPMO) -- a charitable trust, at Jamkhandi on the eve of Deepavali.
It is said that the trust is the first step before the new peeta is established. Sources said, "The trust will do the groundwork for the third Peeta. The pontiffs have purchased 2 acres of land and are planning to buy 8 more acres to develop infrastructure for the new peeta."
The State now has two Panchamasali peetas - one at Kudalasangama headed by Basava Jaya Mruthyunjaya and another at Harihar led by Vachananda Swamiji. The two seers have emerged as heads of the Panchamasali community in the protest demanding OBC and 2A status in the state.
In all, 36 small mutts of the community have joined the trust and announced their support for the new peeta. The seers claim that the new peeta will carry out religious work, keeping away politics and politicians.
Abhinava Sanganabasava Swamiji said, "Pontiffs of the two existing peetas have sidelined the religious work and are indulging in political affairs. The new peeta has been established to carry out religious work and not to indulge in politics. The state has around 110 Panchamasali mutts. Of these, 36 have extended
support and more mutts are likely to join hands. We are neither consulting nor seeking permission from the two peetas."