To this date, you might have encountered several websites, books, articles, youtube videos, UPSC preparation websites, and lectures from Edu-tech platforms which might have concluded the meaning of Veerashaiv or Vira Shaiva either as fanatics of Shiva or Heros of Shiva. This is the dumbest thing I have ever encountered.
I feel pity for the future of this country whose education system is so hollow that it does not even bother to refer to the basic text of this Sampradaya. Not just that many Ph.D. holders did the same. This shows how much the Indian state cares for Veerashaivas and its Siddhants. This blog will explain the real meaning of Veerashaiva and Veerashaivism.
To understand the meaning of Veerashaiva and/or Veerashaivism we need to understand the basics of this Siddhant. We will look into Sri Siddhant Shikhamani
Basics of Veerashaivism
Let’s look into Shri Siddhant Shikhamani.
The Siddhanta (Shaivāgamas) is said to be acceptable to Vedas as it advocates the Dharma taught in Vedas and rejects whatever is our side of Vedas (VedaBahya Virodhitva).
In the later parts, (Uttara Bhaga) of Siddhanta (Shaivāgamas) which starts with Kamika and ends with Vatula and which is taught by Shiva the doctrine of Veerashaivas is Advocated.
Sri Siddhant Shikhamani 5.14
So from these verses of Sri Siddhant Shikhamani, we understand that Veerashaivas hold Vedas and Agamas as equal and interdependent. Now let’s see ‘who is a veerashaiva’
Who is a Veerashaiva?
विद्यायां शिवरूपायां means knowledge in the form of Shiva, विशेषाद् रमणं यतः means special bliss, तस्मादेते महाभागा means that these great souls, वीरशैवा इति स्मृता: means are called Veerashaivas hence, it is because of the special experience of bliss in the knowledge which is in the form of Shiva that these great souls are called Veerashaivas.
This was the answer to the question of who are Veerashaivas now let’s come to our main topic ‘the meaning of the word Vi-ra-Shaiva or Vee-Ra-Shaiva’.
Meaning of words Veerashaiva and Veerashaivism.
The word ‘vi’ or ‘vee’ stands for vidya which advocates one-ness of Shiva and Jeeva (Shiva-Advaita) and the bhakta who takes delight(Ramate) in this Vidya is called a Veerashaiva/Virahaiva.
Sri Siddhant Shikhamani 5.17
What is Vidya?
The knowledge which arises from Vedantas is Vidya and which advocates the oneness of Shiva and Jeeva (Shiva-Advaita), the one takes delight(Ramate) in that Vidya is denoted as Veera or Vira.
Sri Siddhant Shikhamani 5.18
So the conclusion is that the meaning of Veerashaiva or Virashaiva is not fanatics of Shiva or Heros of Shiva.
The word is not Veera+Shaiva or Vira+Shaiva It’s Vee+Ra+Shaiva or Vi+Ra+Shaiva .
Vee= Vidya of Vedantas, Ra= ramate (the one who takes delight in “vee”) Shaiva= a Shaiva
Hence, Veerashaiva = the Shaiva who takes delight in the vidya of Vedantas. This is the correct definition/ meaning of the word Veerashaiva.