Basava Jayanti

News: The Prime Minister of India paid tribute to Jagadguru Basaveshwara on the occasion of Basava Jayanthi. In November 2015, the Prime Minister of India inaugurated the statue of Basaveshwara along the bank of the river Thames at Lambeth in London.

About Jagadguru Basaveshwara:

  • He was an Indian 12th-century Philosopher, Statesman and a social reformer. He was Lingayat saint in the Shiva-focussed Bhakti movement, and Hindu Shaivite social reformer during the reign of the Kalyani Chalukya/Kalachuri dynasty. The Lingayats are a Hindu sect with a wide following in southern India that worships Shiva as the only deity.
  • He is also known as Bhakti Bhandari (literally, the treasurer of devotion), or Basaveswara (Lord Basava).
  • Basavanna was a philosopher, statesman, Kannada poet and a social reformer during the reign of the Kalachuri-dynasty king Bijjala I in Karnataka. Basavanna spread social awareness through his poetry, popularly known as
  • Basavanna rejected gender or social discrimination, superstitions and rituals.
  • He introduced new public institutions such as the Anubhava Mantapa (or, the “hall of spiritual experience”), which welcomed men and women from all socio-economic backgrounds to discuss spiritual and mundane questions of life, in open.
  • As a leader, he developed and inspired a new devotional movement named Virashaivas, or “ardent, heroic worshippers of Shiva”. This movement shared its roots in the ongoing Tamil Bhakti movement, particularly the Shaiva Nayanars traditions, over the 7th- to 11th-century.
  • Basava championed devotional worship that rejected temple worship and rituals led by Brahmins, and replaced it with personalized direct worship of Shiva through practices such as individually worn icons and symbols like a small linga.
  • The Sharana movement he presided over 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 Veerashaiva saints.
  • The egalitarianism of Basavanna’s Sharana movement was too radical for its times.