SOAS University of London

Shivamurthy Swami

Profile by John Dawer BACK

His Holiness Dr Shivamurthy Shivacharya Mahaswamiji is best known in India as the head of the Lingayat math in Sirigere, Karnataka. In this context, his primary role lies in education and social welfare: he is the chief administrator of over 200 schools and colleges in Karnataka. He is also the author of a number of books or booklets in English and Kannada on religion, society and the Lingayat or Virasaiva tradition.

Within the international community of Sanskrit scholars, however, Swamiji is also recognised as an expert in vyakarana, Sanskrit grammar, with a particular interest in the grammatical system of Panini. He obtained his doctorate in this field from the University of Vienna. In January 1997, he organised the Tenth world Sanskrit Conference in Bangalore, holding it at the splendid Taralabalu Kendra. At the Eleventh World Sanskrit Conference in Turin in April 2000, Swamiji gave a demonstration of a computer programme he has written, which uses the sutras of Panini's grammar to analyse Sanskrit grammatical forms and to provide paradigms and grammatical parsing.

His publications include: Religion and Society at the Crossroads (1990); Marriage and Family (1991); Hinduism and Harmony (1993); Communal conflicts in India (1993); Hindu Visions of Global Peace (2nd edition, 1994); and Vachananjali: A Prayer Book (1994).

Dr Shivamurthy Swami
Sri Taralabalu Jagadguru Brihanmath, Sirigere - 577 541
Chitradurga Dist., Karnataka INDIA
Tel: +91- 8194- 58829, 58842, 58853. Fax: +91- 8194- 58847

John Dawer ( is a third-year research student. The topic of his research is: 'Comparative Cosmogonies: The Concept of Creation in the Christian Tradition and Vishnu Purana'.