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News: Recently, Basavanna Jayanti was celebrated in Karnataka.
Who is Basavanna?
Basavanna was born in 1131 CE in the town of Bagewadi in Karnataka, India was trained in Sanskrit and Vedas.
However, Basavanna was disillusioned with the caste system and social inequality prevalent in Hindu society at the time. He rejected the traditional Brahminical practices and founded the Lingayat sect, which sought to promote equality and social justice.
He was known for his practical approach and establishment of a “Kalyana Rajya” (Welfare state), which brought a new status and position for all citizens of society, irrespective of class, caste, creed, and sex. It is celebrated and held in high regard, especially by the Lingayat community.
What were his teachings based on?
Basavanna's teachings were based on the principles of Vachana Sahitya, a form of Kannada literature that emphasized devotion to the god Shiva and rejected caste distinctions.
He used poetry and music to spread his message, and his followers came to be known as Sharanas or devotees of Shiva.
Advocated for a society free of the caste system, with equal opportunity for all, and preached about manual hard work.
He also founded the Anubhava Mantapa. It was established as a common forum for discussing social, economic, political, religious, and spiritual principles, and personal problems. It is considered as the first Parliament of India.
What do we understand by the term ‘Lingayat’?
The term Lingayat denotes a person who wears a personal linga, an iconic form of the god Shiva, on the body which is received during the initiation ceremony.
The Lingayat community constitutes about 17 per cent of the population in Karnataka.