was influenced by Samkhya, Advaita Vedanta
divine grace the aspirant finds a true guru who initiates him. Thus the ‘power
of activity’ (kriyasakti) is awakened in his soul, and this leads ultimately to
liberation.
Suddhasaivas or Sivadvaita
A system expounded by Srikanta, it has some features similar to those of
Saiva Siddhanta and Kashmiri Saivism, as well as some unique
characteristics.
    Srikanta’s teaching is based on the Vedantasara. The Supreme Siva
(Para-Siva) is identified with Brahman—the material and the operative cause
of the world.
    Liberation is attained by deep meditation on Siva and this leads to the
knowledge that Siva is identical with the individual self.
Virasaivas
A south Indian devotional cult, also called the Lingayat cult, this was a form
of qualified non-dualism, Visishtadvaita. Although the Virasaiva main
scriptural text, the Sunyasampadane, does not mention the name Lingayat, it
is probable that originally it was an epithet applied to Virasaivas by other
cults, because of their concentration on the linga as the only true symbol of
divinity.
    Basava was the founder, or more probably the systematiser, of the
movement. At sixteen he left home and went to the pilgrimage town of
Sangama, where he worked to reform Saivism, to overcome caste distinctions
and to fight the ban on the remarriage of widows. Later he became a minister
of the usurper King Bijjala who reigned at Kalyani. While serving the king he
converted a number of Jainas to his cult. But his unorthodox views caused
tension between the king and his subjects and he left the king’s service. After
Basava’s death in 1168 AD the members of his sect were persecuted but today
the movement has many followers, mostly in Kamataka and AP.
    A model of the linga is presented to each devotee at initiation for daily
worship. It is worn in a container round the neck or held in the hand during
worship. The Virasaiva initiation replaces the investiture with the sacred
thread and this initiation usually takes place during infancy.