’, his characterization of Śiva)
(12th century ce)
A South Indian poet-saint at the beginning of the Liṅgāyat(a) (Vīraśaiva) tradition. A contemporary of Basava (Basavaṇṇa), Mahādēviyakka, and other Vīraśaiva poets composing religious lyrics (vacanas) in the Dravidian language of Kannada, Allama was considered to be their Master (prabhu) and guru. His life, and the legends surrounding it, are told in various works, including the 13th-century Śūnyasaṃpādane (‘Achievement of Nothingness’). A selection of his poetry in English translation can be found in A. K. Ramanujan's Speaking of Śiva (Penguin Books, 1973).