Sri Mudigonda Nagalinga Sastry garu (1876-1948 AD) was the great exponent of the Srouta Sivadwaita philosophy in the 20th century. He was born in AD 1876 in Dhata Nama Samvatsara, Chaitra Suddha Navami, Monday in Tatikonda village, 8 Kms from Guntur, near the river Krishna in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh. His parents are Aghoranaradhya, son of Nagalingaradhya and Jwalamba, sister of Mukti Lingaradhya of Etamukkala village in Krishna District belonging to Mulugu Vemanaradhya Vamsam. Nagalinga Sastry is the second son, the first son being Naga Mallikharjunaradhya and third son Ramaling Sastry, who were all scholars in Vedas, Agama Sastras, Tarka, Mimamsa, Vyakarana, Ayurveda and Jyothisha Sastras and well verse in installing Siva Lingas in Temples, his sister's name is Mallikamba. He had his education for sometime under his uncle Sri Mallampalli Veeresalingaradhya of Pamidimukkala village of Krishna District. He left for Srikalahasti at the age of 15 and read Paanini Vyakaranam under Srinivas Sastrygal, respected by Sanskrit scholars in those days as Apara Patanjali. At the age of 19, he went to Nadukkaveri in Tamilnadu and read Tarka, Mimamsa, Nilakanta, Sankara, Ramanuja and Madhwa Bhashyams under Srinivas Sastrygal, sage and a great Saivite scholar well versed in Appayya Dikshitar and Nilakanta's Saiva philosophy. He was considered as authority in those days in Sanskrit Pada, Vakya Pramanams and author of severl authoritative texts on Saiva Siddhanta in Sanskrit and Tamil and editor of Brahma Vidya Patrika. Sri Nagalinga Sastry garu, discussed in detail with his guru the three Bhashyams cited above andall the twenty eight Saivagamas and won laurels from him. At that age only, he wrote a book in Sanskrit called Raksha Rudraksha Chandra Martandam, eulogizing the greatness and power of Rudraks and its wearing on one's body in Nagaralipi i.e. Tamili script and dedicated the book to his guru, who agreed with him that the Agama Sastras are equal to Vedas in all respects but notlower and should be respected and followed by all Sistas or scholars. It is stated that Sri Srinivasa Sastrygal gave him the Nilakanta Bhashyam available with hin on Palm leaves, exhorting him that it is the oldestand most authentic Bhashyam on Saiva Siddhanta followed by all from times immemorial and that it is upto him to propagate the Bhashyam by writing a suitable commentary thereon.
He started printing, publishing and distribution of the magazine called "Srouta Saiva Prakasica" in Telugu and Sanskrit, projecting the Saiva Siddhanta stated in the Vedas and translated Appayya Dikshitar's books on Saiva Siddhanta like (i) Brahma Tarkasthawam, and (ii) Bharata, (iii) Ramayana, (iv) Chaturveda Tatparya sangrahams, (v) Siva Karnamrutam and (vi) Pancharatnastuthi, by writing a detailed commentary on them in Sanskrit, explaining the meanings in Telugu. He wrote during this period five books in Sanskrit with Telugu and Sanskrit commentaries. They are - (1) Saiva Siddhanta Sangraha, (2) Siva Aeva Karanam, (3) Sroutamevahi Saiva Chihnavi, (4) Sroutamevahi Dharanam, Lingasya, and (5) Sista Sarveh Sivam Prapannah. All these books were printed in Srouta Saiva prakasika between 1900-1903. From 1904 till 1916, besides propagating and writing various books on Saiva Siddhanta, visited various places and taken part in Saiva Siddhanta and Bhashya discussions clearing doubts. All the above five books are now translated into English and printed and published by Siva Jnana Lahari (Regd.).
During the period from 1916 till his death in 1948, he printed, published and distributed Magazines on Saiva Siddhanta from Tenali under the names of "Saiva Rahasya Bodhini"- 1928-31 and "Jnana Vahini"- 1933 and projected in detail the greatness of Siva and Saiva Siddhanta, stated in the Vedas emphasising that it is the oldest religion of the world. He wrote extensively on the Vedic authority for Sivalinga puja, and on various customs followed by Saivites including Anthyesti or ceremonies performed for the departed souls and clearing the doubts raised as regards the customs followed by Saivites, like Bhasma Dharana, Rudraksha Dharana and Linga Dharana even at the time of "Asowchams" in their families. He discussed at length, the religious concepts contained in the Dwaita, Adwaita and Visista Adwaita philosophies and established authoritatively that the ways followed by the Dwaita and Adwaita philosophers would lead the Mumukshu or seeker of salvation nowhere and pointed out the inconsistencies in the commentaries written by those Mathacharyas and the meanings ascribed by them to the "Veda mantrams" and Vyasa Sutrams as not correct and not adhering to the Vedas and sent his works to Sanskrit scholars throughout India and abroad. None of them contradicted his writings.
He wrote more than hundred books mostly on Saiva Siddhanta establishing the Visista Adwaitam or Sivadwaitam stated by Nilakantacharya in his Bhashyam called Nilakanta Bhashyam, said to be the oldest and in vogue much earlier to Sankara and Ramanuja Bhashyams. The great Saivite scholars of south, Appayya Dikshitar and Halasyanatha Sastry have agreed that Nilakanta Bhashyam is the earliest and most authentic on Saiva Siddhanta in explaining the Vedamantrams and Vyasa sutrams correctly. Sri Nagalinga Sastry garu wrote commentary to Nilakanta Bhashyam under the title "Siva Chintamani Prabha", following Appayya Dikshitar's "Sivarka Mani Deepika", during 1930s in Sanskrit, covering all the 545 Brahma Sutrams stated by Veda Vyasa. This book was printed after his death and published by his student Sri Mudigonda Veeresalinga Sastry garu in the year 1950. This Sanskrit Bhashyam is now under print in Telugu, Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam, it is hoped that this Sanskrit Nilakanta Bhashyam is also translated into English, so that the seekers of truth, the world over can know the "Tatwatriams" i.e. Jeeva, Jagat and Eeswara in their true perspective.
The achievements of Sri Nagalinga Sastry garu are many, which may be read in the Biography printed in the books brought out by Siva Jnana Lahari(Regd.).
In 1937 on completion of sixty years, he was honoured by the people of Vijayawada at the Saiva Mahapeetham premises, opposite the present Durga Kalamandir Talkies at Vijayawada and performed Shashtyabdhi Poorthi Mahotsavam.
Between 1930 till he passed away in 1948, Sri Nagalinga Sastry garu wrote many more articles and commentaries on Saiva Siddhanta, which have got to be printed in book form. The Saiva Pracharini Grandhamala, Warangal under the stewardship of Sri Mudigonda Veeresalinga Sastry garu printed around 1929, some of them which includes "Dharma Sangraha" containing - (i) Aahnika Kanda running into nearly 400 pages in Sanskrit with the meanings in Telugu, besides (ii) Varnasrama Dharma Kanda, (iii) Anthyesti Kanda and (iv) Asoucha Kanda. The other two i.e. (v) Prayaschitta Kanda and (vi) Dhyana Yoga Kanda appear to have not been printed. Sri Nagalinga Sastry garu during this period wrote a detailed commentary covering all the 545 Brahma Sutrams, following the Srouta Saiva Siddhanta Stapaka, Jagadguru Nilakanta Bhagawatpada Saiva Bhashyam.
Sri Nagalinga Sastri garu propagated Saiva Siddhanta till his last breath. The great Saivite scholar Kasinadhuni Veeresalingam Ayyavaru of Machilipatnam paid glowing tributes to him, in a Champakamala poem in these words.
" He was a learned man with whom, one can discuss the sastras, to one's satisfaction, imbibed with all good qualities, a great poet, one who understood the essence of the vedas, one who worshipped Siva with great Devotion, a great commentator of the Veda Vagmayam without compromise or contradiction. May he alone bear this Bharatiya samskruti like the thousand hooded serpent king Sesha, bearing the weight of this entire universe and inspire the younger generations, on Indian values for years to come"