The 12th Century period of Sharanas is an illuminating chapter in the history of Karnataka. Sharanas of this era have left us a valuable heritage of rich literature which lead the mankind from darkness to enlightenment. The revolution that took place under the stewardship of Sri Basaveshvara is an in spring event for all who wish to become fore runners in the bid of social transformation. They gave expression to their genuine feelings and experiences in the form of Vachanas, which are simple verses in Kannada language and can be understood by even a lay man. Compassion and co-existence was their way of life. Hundreds of persons from all walks of life, nook and corners of the country joined the Sharanas movement to transform themselves and society. Their forum was formally called as 'Anubhava Mantap'. Allamaprabhu; nick named as the spiritual head; was made the head of this forum. The spiritual seat conceived for him in the Forum was called as the ‘Shoonya Peetha’. This organized activism of Sharanas, later, deliberated on spiritual and social issues that heartened the society.
Sri Jagadguru Murugharajendra Math, located on the outskirts of fort city of Chitradurga, Karnataka state, India, inherits this culture of Sharanas. The lineage of its pontiffs begins with sri Allamaprabhu holy seat of pontiffs of this Math, is called as, ‘Shoonya Peetha ‘ seat of vacuum. It has the long history of 800 years and enthroned by great spiritual personalities like Channabasavanna, Siddarameshwara, Thontada Siddalinga Yati, Siddaveera Odeya, Gaganadarya, Kattigehally Siddhalingaswami, Murige Shanthaveera Desika, Jayadeva Jagadguru and Mallikarjuna Murugharajendra Swamiji of the recent past.
Dr. Sri Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru is the present head of the Math, who was ordained on the Holly throne on 31st January, 1991, as successor of Sri Mallikarjuna Murugharajendra Swamiji.
Dr.Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru was born on 11th April, 1958, in Godabanahal, near Chitradurga. He did his education in Chitradurga and completed hs graduation here only from the University of Mysore. His sober, sincere and spiritual attitudes and aptitudes, attracted the attention Sri Mallikarjuna Murugharajendra Swamiji, who named him as his successor. Before enthroning him on Shoonya Peetha, Sri Mallikarjuna Muugharajendra Swamiji provided spiritual and social training at different branch Maths, including Sri Murugharajendra math at Haveri. Which is popularly called Haveri Hosamath.
Immediately after his inception as seer, functioning o Sri Math took a sudden turn. He discarded age-old meaningless rituals blindly practiced in the Math, which were inconsistent with Sharanas culture. By switching over to active social service from simple religious ceremonies, he gave a progressive outlook to the Math’s activities. Through his pragmatic approach and insightful decisions he initiated the transformation from the thresholds of Sri Math, Chitradurga. He set self example by renouncing the prefix “Jagadguru” and the suffix “Swamiji”, and humbly wished to call him as “Sharanas”, which means “one who has submitted himself to truth. Tradition of sitting in silver throne and holy Polanquin an ceremonial occasions has also been discontinued. Practic of traditional ‘Abhishekam’ to the ‘Karthru Gadduge’, the holy burial place of the fonder Sri Math, has also been given up. Entry to this place was restricted for women for centuries, was removed by Si Swamiji and set an example for the equal treatment for men and women.