From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Pañcācāryas of Śaivism[edit]

Śaivism, especially Vīraśaivism, is said to have been started originally by five great teachers known as Pañcācāryas. They are:

  1. Reṇukā
  2. Marulasiddha
  3. Ekorāma
  4. Viśveśvara
  5. Paṇḍitārādhya

Significance of Reṇukācārya[edit]

Reṇukācārya, also known by other names such as Revaṇasiddha and Piṇyāṅka, was considered as an incarnation of Reṇuka-gaṇeśa, the best among the pramathagaṇas.[1] He is said to have emerged out of the Someśvara-liṅga at Kollipāki in Andhra Pradesh. He toured the whole of the country of Bhārata, specially visiting the places dear to Śiva or dedicated to Śiva like Kāñcīpura and Ujjayinī. He performed many miracles like:

  • Giving wealth to the poor
  • Restoring the eyesight of the blind
  • Feeding a large number of people with a small quantity of food
  • Saving the lives of many women who were to be sacrificed
  • Etc.

He is supposed to have lived for 1400 years. He was the first pontiff of the Vīrasinhāsana monastery at Rambhāpurī in Karnataka State.


  1. It is Śiva’s retinue.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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