Lingayatism is a distinct Shaivite religious tradition in India.
Its worship is centered on Hindu god Shiva as the universal god in the iconographic form of Ishtalinga.
The adherents of this faith are known as Lingayats.
Lingayatism was founded by the 12th-century philosopher and statesman Basava and spread by his followers, called Sharanas.
Lingayatism emphasizes qualified monism and bhakti (loving devotion) to Shiva, with philosophical foundations similar to those of the 11th–12th-century South Indian philosopher Ramanuja.
The terms Lingayatism and Veerashaivism have been used synonymously, and Lingayats also referred to as Veerashaivas.
Lingayatism is considered a Hindu sect, but some Lingayats have sought legal recognition as a religion distinct from Hinduism.They say that Lingayats had been neither part of the Hindu religion nor were a synonym for the Veerashaiva sect.
Contemporary Lingayatism is influential in South India, especially in the state of Karnataka.