A Lingayat math in Gadag district of north Karnataka is all set to make a Muslim youth its pontiff. Diwan Sharief Rahimansab Mulla, 33, who will take charge on February 26, said he was influenced by the teachings of 12th-century reformer Basavanna since childhood and would work towards his ideals of social justice and harmony, reports the Times of India.
Sharief will become pontiff of the Murugharajendra Koraneshwara Shantidhama Math in Asuti village, which is linked to the 350-year-old Koraneshwara Sansthan Math in Khajuri village in Kalaburagi. They rank among the 361 maths of Sri Jagadguru Murugharajendra Math of Chitradurga, which draws lakhs of followers from across Karnataka and Maharashtra, besides other parts of the country.
Influenced by Shivayogi’s discourses in Asuti, Sharief’s father, the late Rahimansab Mulla, donated two acres to set up a math in the village. Shivayogi said the Asuti math has been functioning for 2-3 years now and construction of the premises was on.
“Sharief is dedicated to Basava’s philosophy and has been living by those tenets. His father was also a staunch follower and had obtained ‘linga deeksha’ from us. Sharief took ‘deeksha’ on November 10, 2019,” the pontiff said. “We have trained him on the various facets of Lingayat religion and Basavanna’s teachings over the past three years.” Sharief said he was drawn to Basava’s teachings since childhood.