Introduction

Sri Shankaralinga Bhagavan Saraswathi Paramahamsa is a confluence of three Gurupanthas of South India: Chidambara, Dattatreya and Ramadasa. He uplifted innumerable saamsariakas, showed them how to live well in this world and made them tread the one and the only path to salvation. Hallowed be His sacred name! May He always protect us from the evil! Let Him grant us the supreme boon of remembering Him always.

GURU PARAMPARAS

Sri Guru lifts the veil of ignorance and enlightens His disciples. Ignorance is defined as not knowing who one is. Upanishads declare 'one, who has Guru, knows', 'one who has got paraabhakthi in parabrahma and Guru can understand the Supreme truth'. 'He who knows Brahman becomes Brahma' (Brahmavid Brahmaiva Bhavathi)

Chidambara Gurupantha

Chidambara was born in Murugod on Monday Shasti of Kartika Krishna Paksha (1758 AD). His parents were Marthanda Dixit and Lakshmi Matha. Chidambara of Akashalinga kshetra of Chidambaram (in Tamilnadu) gave a boon to Marthanda Dikshit that He would be born as his son. Countless are Chidambara’s leelas. He established Shiva Panchayatana at Kengeri, performed Somayaaga of Gonnaagara on the banks of Malapahaari River, and gave 143 gold coins, as a loan, to Sri Venkateshwara of Tirupathi. Feeding thousands of people was a regular feature everyday. He spread Karmayoga all around. Once, when Chidambara was at Sirahatti (Dharwad District), Virupaksha Jois of Anaji and Krishnappa of Honnur sought His blessings. Chidambara said to Virupaksha Jois that his son would beget a daughter and that He would reincarnate Himself in her lineage. Chidambara became one with Shiva on the fourteenth day of Pushyamasa shukla paksha of 1815. Chidambara reincarnated as Sri Sheshachala of Anandavana, Agadi (Haveri Dist) on Chaitra Krishna Panchami of Yuva naama Samvatsara (1848 AD). Sri Sheshachala spread the message of Bhakthi all around and He is known as Sheshachala Maharaj and Sheshachala Sadhugalu. Sri Shankara Bhagavan was one of the main disciples of Sheshachala. He blessed Shankaralinga with His Anugraha.

Dattapantha

Dattareya, son of Anasuya and Athri, is the origin of Dattatreya Gurupantha. He reincarnated as Sripada Srivallabha and Sri Nrisimha Saraswati (of Ganigapur). Madhava Saraswathi was Sri Nrisimha Saraswati’s disciple. Janardhana Swami was a shishya of Madhava Saraswathi. Ekanath was a shishya of Janardhana Swami. In this lineage came Shankarananda. He showered his kripa on Sahajananda. Sahajananda blessed Sri Dattarajayogendra of Banavasi. Sri Dattaraja showered his Kripa on Shankaralinga. Sri Ganeshavadhutha was a shishya and sahachara of Dattatreya (in Tretayuga). He came to Varanasi at the end of Dwaparayuga and performed Thapas on the banks of the holy Ganga in Varanasi. Sri Brahmananda was a shishya of Ganeshavadhutha. (Brahmananda was a grandson of Krishnappa Honnur). Yellappa of Anaji, a shishya of Brahmananda, was the first Guru of Shankaralinga.

Nathapantha

Samartha Ramadasa (Guru of Shivaji) is the founder of Ramadasa Pantha. Samartha Brahma Chaitanya of Gondavali is one of the great icons of the pantha. He spread the message of the great efficacy of Ramanama, which is a solution for the problems of this world and a sure way to achieve salvation. Udhhava Chidghana, a shishya of Brahmachaitanya, transferred all the power of his Ramanama Japa to Sri Shankaralinga. It is worthwhile to note another influence on Sri Shankaralinga. Sri Sri Sri Chandrashekara Bharathi Mahasannidhanam of Dakshinamnaya Sharada peetha of Sringeri sent danda, Kammandalu, Sheshavastra and a note of assent to Shankaralinga to assume Sannyasa.