Dēvara Dāsimayya

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10th century ce)

A South Indian poet-saint, who was probably the earliest major author of the Liṅgāyat(a) tradition. His religious lyrics (vacanas), composed in the Dravidian language of Kannada, are addressed to Rāmanātha (‘Rāma's lord’), i.e. Śiva as worshipped by Rāma. Legends tell of his missionary and miracle-working activities, and he is said to have converted the Cālukya king, Jayasiṃha, from Jainism. A selection of his poetry in English translation can be found in A. K. Ramanujan's Speaking of Śiva (Penguin Books, 1973).

Subjects: Hinduism.

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