Part 3: The Veerashaiva Community
An Interview with Dr. Shivamurthy Shivacharya Mahaswamiji (Swamiji) from Taralabalu
In this conversation with producer/director Marjonneke, Swamiji focuses on his community at Taralabalu, sharing personal stories, dispensing wisdom and reflecting on the legacy he wants to leave for the next generation.
With forward-minded thinking, he shares his passion for the importance of nurturing respect for all castes and religions. He talks about giving seedlings to the children, the long-term growth it instills and the many lessons to be learned from trees.
With the heart of a spiritual statesman, Swamiji answers questions about how he would like to see life in his community improved, suggesting our world would be better served if we learned how to educate our hearts instead of just our minds.
He finishes the last of this three part conversation by paying homage to education, a theme that has been at the heart of his long and fruitful tenure as pontiff - with a wish that no matter how old we become, we never lose our love for learning.
PLAYLIST: This video is part of the Voices in Dialogue Series
CINEMATOGRAPHY CREDITS: Aman Ahooja
MUSIC CREDITS [Used with Permission]
"Flying above the Mountains" by Video Blocks
"Unknown Past" by Video Blocks
"Bodhisattva" by Video Blocks
"Indian Acustic" by Jugen Lorenz
"Eastern Promise" by Purple Planet
"Tribal Wisdom" by Purple Planet
"Emerging Angels" by Footage Firm
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT DR. SHIVAMURTHY SHIVACHARYA MAHASWAMIJI
Dr. Shivamurthy Shivacharya Mahaswamiji is the pontiff of the Taralabalu community, which has centres in Bangalore and Sirigere in the state of Karnataka. He is the spiritual head of over a million people across the district of Chitradurga. As such, he is the head of Sri Taralabalu Jagadguru Brihanmath, or Brihanmath as it's often know, an organization that supports farmers, rural agricultural endeavors and educational institutions. With over 31,000 students in 172 schools across Karnataka, it is one of the largest private educational organizations in the state, offering free room and board for 6,000 rural students each year.
Brihanmath is also involved in a wide variety of other social, religious, educational and cultural activities in the region. It is perhaps most well known for the Taralabalu Hunnime Festival it hosts every year in early February. Swamiji presides over all activities during the 9 day event that draws enormous crowds. It is an exuberant, large affair with much pomp and ceremony as devotees and disciples of the mutt pay respect to swamji. The festival serves to promote world peace and universal brotherhood, presenting all religions as one, while teaching people to cultivate values in everyday life.
The celebrations are attended by officials, politicians, distinguished experts in the field of science and education, scholars and foreign dignitaries.
Swamiji is the 21st pontiff in a succession that began in the 12th century by Saint Marulasiddha, popularly known as Viswabandhu Marulasiddha.