Veerashaivism is a subtradition within Shaivism. According to tradition, it was transmitted by five Panchacharayas, ಪಂಚಾಚಾರ್ಯರು , पंचचार्य (five acharya)[clarification needed] Renukacharya, Darukacharya, Ekorama, Panditharadhya, and Vishweswara, and first taught by Renukacharya to Agastya, a Vedic seer. The preachings of Jagadguru Renukacharya Bhagavadpada to rishi Agastya is recorded in the form of a book, "Shri Siddhantha Shikamani", which is regarded as the holiest book for the Veerashaiva's.
According to tradition, the Panchacharyas arose out of five great Sthavaralingas[clarification needed] located in Balehonnur in Karnataka, Ujjini in Karnataka, Kedar in Uttarakhand, Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh, and Kashi or Banaras in Uttar Pradesh under different names in different Yugas. The Panchacharyas established five peethas,[clarification needed] which play an important role in Veerashaiva:
Veerashaivism is continued to this day and is preserved and transmitted by five peethas (Rambhapuri, Ujjaini, Kedar, Shreeshail, Kashi), who play an essential role in the Veerashaiva tradition.
Its philosophy of Veerashaivism is explained in Siddhanta Shikhamani. While the Veerashaiva-tradition incorporates Vedic elements, the origin of panchacharyas has been explained in Sivagamas, especially in Svayambhuva Agama, Suprabhedagama and Viragama. The earlier portions of Agama literature are the fundamental source of Saiva religion, while the latter portions are of special importance to Veerashaivism.