Basavanna: A man ahead of his time
Basava or Basavanna or Basaveshwara is a 12th Century thinker, social reformer, saint and religious teacher. Basavanna is considered to be the founder of Lingayatism or Lingayat Sect or Veerashaivism. A man ahead of his time who was responsible for sweeping social changes in Karnataka and surrounding regions around 900 years ago.
Who is Basavanna?
Vishwaguru Basavanna was a great revolutionary who established spiritual democracy called “Anubhava Mantapa” in the 12th century in India (Anubhava Mantapa – which is also called as the “FIRST PARLIAMENT CONCEPT OF THE WORLD”. And gave practical solutions to all kind of problems mankind was suffering at that time. His teachings are time tested, scientific and proven.
Why Basava Jayanti?
Jayanti is celebrated to commemorate the birth of a person. Basava Jayanthi is traditionally observed by the Lingayats and is observed as a holiday in the Indian state of Karnataka. It marks the birthday of Basavanna, 12th-century poet-philosopher, and the founding saint of the Lingayat religion. It is celebrated with much pomp and gaiety all over south India, majorly in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
Basava took birth on third day of Vaisakha month of the Anandanama (Samvatsara) year in Rohini (Nakshatra) star. [year 1134 A.D.]. Since a new era began with the birth of the great prophet Basavanna, the people have adored that year as ‘Basava Era’ (Kan:ಬಸವ ಶಕೆ) [Date of Birth is 30 March 1134]. Today we can see all panchangas used the Basava Era count from Basava birth onwards in 2012 Basava Shake is 879. Government of Maharashtra and Karnataka declared Government Holiday on Basava Jayanti.
A true humanist, Basaveshwara stood for the upliftment of the downtrodden and fought the evils that had crept into the Brahmanic Vedic tradition. 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.
Vachanas: The Philosophy and Teachings:
Vachana sahitya is a form of rhythmic writing in Kannada (see also Kannada poetry) that evolved in the 11th century C.E. and flourished in the 12th century, as a part of the Sharna movement. The wordvachanas literally means “(that which is) said”. Basavanna’s teachings were in terms of vachanas which were imparted to be understood by common man. The philosophy and teachings of Basaveshwara had universal appeal and eternal value and it attracted millions of people. The equality of sexes and social justice, which was unheard in many parts of the world in 12th century, was introduced at the grassroots level of the Kannada society by Basavanna.
His Famous Vachana’s
On Worshiping God:
ಉಳ್ಳವರು ಶಿವಾಲಯ ಮಾಡುವರು ನಾನೇನು ಮಾಡಲಿ ಬಡವನಯ್ಯಾ
ಎನ್ನ ಕಾಲೇ ಕಂಬ, ದೇಹವೇ ದೇಗುಲ, ಶಿರವೇ ಹೊನ್ನ ಕಳಸವಯ್ಯಾ
ಕೂಡಲಸಂಗಮದೇವಾ ಕೇಳಯ್ಯಾ, ಸ್ಥಾವರಕ್ಕಳಿವುಂಟು ಜಂಗಮಕ್ಕಳಿವಿಲ್ಲ ,
uLLavaru shiválaya máduvaru nánénu mádali badavanayyá
enna kále kambha dehavé degula shiravé honna kaLashavayyá
Kúdala Sangama Devá keLayya sthavarakkaLivunTu jangamakaLivilla
The Translation in English:
The rich will make temples for Siva.
What shall I, a poor man, do?
My legs are pillars, the body the shrine,
the head a cupola of gold.
Listen, O lord of the meeting rivers,
things standing shall fall,
but the moving ever shall stay.
On Ethics and Personality:
ಕಳಬೇಡ, ಕೊಲಬೇಡ, ಹುಸಿಯ ನುಡಿಯಲು ಬೇಡ
ಮುನಿಯ ಬೇಡ, ಅನ್ಯರಿಗೆ ಅಸಹ್ಯ ಪಡ ಬೇಡ
ತನ್ನ ಬಣ್ಣಿಸ ಬೇಡ, ಇದಿರ ಹಳಿಯಲು ಬೇಡ
ಇದೇ ಅಂತರಂಗ ಶುಧಿ, ಇದೇ ಬಹಿರಂಗ ಶುಧಿ
ಇದೇ ನಮ್ಮ ಕೂಡಲಸಂಗಮ ದೆವರನೊಲಿಸುವ ಪರಿ
Kaḷabēḍa, kolabēḍa, husiya nuḍiyalu bēḍa
muniya bēḍa, an’yarige asahya paḍa bēḍa
tanna baṇṇisa bēḍa, idira haḷiyalu bēḍa
idē antaraṅga śudhi, idē bahiraṅga śudhi
idē nam’ma kūḍalasaṅgama devaranolisuva pari
Do not steal, do not kill, do not lie
Do not be angry, do not be scornful of others
Do not glorify yourself, do not insult others
These are the means to inward purity, these are the means to outward purity
These are the means to please Kudalasangamadeva
His famous slogan ಕಾಯಕವೆ ಕೈಲಾಸ (Kaayakave Kailaasa) meaning “Work itself divine heaven” can be found in many offices of North Karnataka. His works speaks for itself. His teachings are time tested, scientific and proven. Basava-Tatva is never ending inspiration to achieve the welfare of mankind. Truly, a man ahead of his time.