Kembavi Bhogayya, a worshiper of Shiva, has already been visited by the same god, but as a stranger carrying a dead calf. The stranger asked Bhogayya Cook the calf flesh and he agreed. By preparing several delicious dishes that are served abroad Bhogayya.
But the Brahmins of the locality of Bhogayya gathered and condemned to have cooked meat. They attacked his house with sticks and threatened to leave the village immediately. On hearing the commotion, foreign Bhogayya disappeared and left the village angry.
The story (which shares many similarities with the lynching wave in India today) is part of Basava Purana, written in the 13th century by CE Palkuriki Somanatha. The saga is the main text of Lingayats, who love Shiva as a lingam (phallus).
Unlike the great turning point of the last episodes of mob violence in India, this story had a happy ending. The departure of the Bhogayya people was followed by the liberation of all Liñgas, leaving behind death and scarcity. Realizing his madness, the Brahmins apologized to Bhogayya.
His return was followed by the return of liñgas and prosperity to the town. Another aspect of Bhogayya history also contrasts with history in India today. Last week, several publications have reported that the government of Uttar Pradesh had banned the sale of meat and eggs to Dadri.
This was done to facilitate Kanwar Yatra, an annual march to the Ganges in Haridwar, where devotees collect water from the sacred river in the jars which are then offered to Shiva. The pilgrimage takes place in the month of Shravan (which falls in July and August), dedicated to Shiva.
The prohibition is ironic, given the Shiva inclination for the flesh (as illustrated in the previous story) and points out how the vegetarianism bound to Hindutva is contrary to the beliefs and practices of the various sects of India.
Shiva, a Puranic god, started small as Rudra (meaning wild or wild) in the Rig Veda. A minor god, with only two and a half hymns dedicated to him, Rudra is attractive, with a reddish complexion and powdered hair. An inhabitant of the woods and an archer, who hunts and eats his prey.
Rudra gaining importance in the Yajur Veda (especially Krishna Yajur Veda, one of two sections in which the text is grouped) where he acquired several names, including Shiva, and many features seen as sinister. Like how Krishna went from being a supreme god deity in the Puranic tribal tradition Rudra merged with a non-Aryan mountain deity.
Therefore, being a muscular god, well built, he becomes an old and poor dwarf with hair that has been shaken. Curiously, it begins to show opposing characteristics like cattle guard (Pashupati) and cattle slaughter (pashughna), traits that signify and embody the duality of the Shiva world.
In Atharva Veda, horrible associations multiply. Rudra is said to be glad to supply parts of the body, such as the liver of sacrificial victims. He is also regarded as the god of thieves and cheats and the lord of demons.