LINGAIT, LINGAYET, LINGUIT, LINGAVANT, LINGADHARI, s. Mahr. Liñga-it, Can. Lingayata, a member of a Sivaite sect in W. and S. India, whose members wear the liñga (see LINGAM) in a small gol d or silver box suspended round the neck. The sect was founded in the 12th century by Basava. They are also called Jangama, or Vira Saiva, and have various subdivisions. [See Nelson, Madura, pt. iii. 48 seq.; Monier Williams, Brahmanism, 88.]

1673.—“At Hubly in this Kingdom are a caste called Linguits, who are buried upright.”—Fryer, 153. This is still their practice.

Lingua is given as the name or title of the King of Columbum (see QUILON) in the 14th century, by Friar Jordanus (p. 41), which might have been taken to denote that he belonged to this sect; but this seems never to have had followers in Malabar.

LINGAM, s. This is taken from the S. Indian form of the word, which in N. India is Skt. and Hind. liñga, ‘a token, ba dge,’ &c., thence the symbol of Siva which is so extensively an object of worship among the Hindus, in the form of a cylinder of stone. The great i dol of Somnath, destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni, and the object of so much romantic narrative, was a colossal symbol of this kind. In the quotation of 1838 below, the word is used simply for a badge of caste, which is certainly the original Skt. meaning, but is probably a mistake as attributed in that sense to modern vernacular use. The man may have been a lingait (q.v.), so that his badge was actually a figure of the lingam. But this clever authoress often gets out of her depth.

1311.—“The stone idols called Ling Mahádeo, which had been a long time established at that place … these, up to this time, the kick of the horse of Islam had not attempted to break. … Deo Narain fell down, and the other gods who had seats there raised their feet, and jumped so high, that at one leap they reached the foot of Lanka, and in that affright the lings themselves would have fled, had they had any legs to stand on.”—Amír Khusrú, in Elliot, iv. 91.

1616.—“… above this there is elevated the figure of an idol, which in decency I abstain from naming, but which is called by the heathen Linga, and which they worship with many superstitions; and indeed they regard it to such a degree that the heathen of Canara carry well-wrought images of the kind round their necks. This abominable custom was abolished by a certain Canara King, a man of reason and righteousness.”—Couto, Dec. VII. iii. 11.

1726.—“There are also some of them who wear a certain stone idol called Lingam … round the neck, or else in the hair of the head. …”—Valentijn, Choro. 74.

1781.—“These Pagodas have each a small chamber in the center of twelve feet square, with a lamp hanging over the Lingham.”—Hodges, 94.

1799.—“I had often remarked near the banks of the rivulet a number of little altars, with a linga of Mahádeva upon them. It seems they are placed over the ashes of Hindus who have been burnt near the spot.”—Colebrooke, in Life, p. 152.

1809.—“Without was an immense lingam of black stone.”—Ld. Valentia, i. 371.

1814.—“… two respectable Brahmuns, a man and his wife, of the secular order; who, having no children, had made several religious pilgrimages, performed the accustomed ceremonies to the linga, and consulted the divines.”—Forbes, Or. Mem. ii. 364; [2nd ed. ii. 4; in ii. 164, lingam].

1838.—“In addition to the preaching, Mr. G. got hold of a man’s Lingum, or badge of caste, and took it away.”—Letters from Madras, 156.

1843.—“The homage was paid to Lingamism. The insult was offered to Mahometanism. Lingamism is not merely idolatry, but idolatry in its most pernicious form.”—Macaulay, Speech on Gates of Somnauth.

LINGUIST, s. An old word for an interpreter, formerly much used in the East. It long survived in China, and is there perhaps not yet obsolete. Probably adopted from the Port. lingua, used for an interpreter.

1554.—“To a Ilingua of the factory (at Goa) 2 pardaos monthly. …”—S. Botelho, Tombo, 63.

„ “To the linguoa of this kingdom (Ormuz) a Portuguese … To the linguoa of the custom-house, a bramen.”—Ibid. 104.

[1612.—“Did Captain Saris’ Linguist attend?”—Danvers, Letters, i. 68.]

1700.—“I carried the Linguist into a Merchant’s House that was my Acquaintance to consult with that Merchant about removing that Remora, that stop’d the Man of War from entring into the Harbour.”—A. Hamilton, iii. 254; [ed. 1744].

1711.—“Linguists require not too much haste, having always five or six to make choice of, never a Barrel the better Herring.”—Lockyer, 102.

1760.—“I am sorry to think your Honour should have reason to think, that I have been anyway concerned in that unlucky affair that happened at the Negrais, in the month of October 1759; but give me leave to assure your Honour that I was no further concerned, than as a

  By PanEris using Melati.

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