Jagadguru Basaveshwara


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    Recently, the Prime Minister bows to Jagadguru Basaveshwara on Basava Jayanthi.

    About Jagadguru Basaveshwara

    • He was born in Bagevadi ( of undivided Bijapur district in Karnataka) during 1131 AD. His father was Madarasa and Madalambike was his mother. They belonged to the Brahmin community.
    • He was a 12th Century Kannada social reformer, poet and philosopher during the rule of the Kalachuri-dynasty king Bijjala I in Karnataka.
    • He is the founding saint of the Lingayat sect.
    • His philosophy was based on the principles of Arivu (true knowledge), ethos (right conduct), and Anubhava (divine experience), which brought about a social, religious, and economic revolution in the 12th century.
    • He spread social awareness through his poetry, popularly known as Vachanaas

    Image Courtesy: Lingayat Religio

    Major Contributions

    • As a social reformer: He worked towards uplifting the underprivileged classes & women and believed that all humans are equal, irrespective of class, caste, creed, and gender.
      • He preached that there is only one Supreme Being and that is Shiva and that all animate and inanimate are equal before the Supreme Being.
    • Socio-economic principles: He  gave  two very important socio-economic principles:
      •  “Kayaka(Work-Divine work)–  According to this, every individual of society should take up the job of his choice and perform it with all sincerity.
      • Dasoha” (Distribution-Equal distribution)-There is no discrimination in vocations.
        • Workers (executive) can easily make a living with their hard-earned money. They should not conserve wealth or property for the future, rather they should use surplus money for the welfare of society and the poor.
    • Anubhava Mantapa: It was an academy of mystics, saints and philosophers of the Lingayat faith and acted as the fountainhead of thoughts on common human values and ethics.
      • It also had numerous Sharanas, people from the lower strata of society – as participants.
      • It is often referred to as the “first Parliament of the world”.
    • Sharana movement: Preaching egalitarianism, the movement was presided over by Basavanna.
    • The movement, which was too radical for its time, attracted people from all castes, and like most strands of the Bhakti movement, produced a corpus of literature, the vachanas, that unveiled the spiritual universe of the Virashaiva saints.
    • Kalyana Rajya: He established Kalyan Rajya in Karnataka, same in meaning to today’s welfare state.
    • Contribution to Judiciary: All the social and democratic principles of Basavanna are based on the legal provisions of the Sharana constitution. This vachana of Basavanna, which has been written in the 12th century itself, is highlighting the principles of the Indian penal code of our present constitution. 

    Steps taken to honour him:

    • The Karnataka Chief Minister laid the foundation stone for the ‘New Anubhava Mantapa’ at Basavakalyan. It is the place where 12th-century poet-philosopher Basaveshwara lived for most of his life.
      • It is projected to be a six-floor structure in a 7.5 acres plot and it embodies the principles Basaveshwara’s philosophy stood for.
    • The new structure will exhibit the 12th Century Anubhava Mantapa (often referred to as the “first Parliament of the world”).
    • Basaveshwara is the first Kannadiga in whose honour a commemorative coin has been minted in recognition of his social reforms.
    • In November 2015, the Prime Minister of India inaugurated the statue of Basaveshwara along the bank of the River Thames at Lambeth in London.
    • Extensive work has been done on the digitization of the holy Vachanas of Basavanna, which was started in 2017.


    • The term Lingayat denotes a person who wears a personal linga, an iconic form of god Shiva, on the body which is received during the initiation ceremony.
    • The tradition of Lingayatism is known to have been founded by social reformer and philosopher Basavanna in 12th century Karnataka. 
    • Lingayats had been classified as a Hindu subcaste called “Veerashaiva Lingayats” and they are considered to be Shaivites.
    • The emergence of the Lingayat sect can be located within the larger trend of Bhakti movements that had swept across South India from the 8th century AD onwards.

    Source: PIB