Global Basava Jayanthi
5th May, 2020
Global Basava Jayanthi – 2020 held digitally by connecting followers in India and abroad.
- Basava Jayanthi is an annual event celebrated in the honour of the birth of Vishwaguru Basaveshwara or Lord Basavanna, the 12th century philosopher and social reformer and the founding saint of the Lingayat faith.
Quick facts about Basavanna:
- Basavanna was born inKarnataka’s Ingaleshwar, Bagewadi town, which is 20 km away from Hungund taluk.
- He grew up in Kudalasangama and married Gangambikel, the daughter of Bijjala's (one of the famous Chalukya kings) prime minister.
- Some of the works credited to Basavanna include Vachana such as the Shat-sthala-vachana, Kala-jnana-vachana, Mantra-gopya, Ghatachakra-vachana and Raja-yoga-vachana.
- Basava advocated that every human being was equal, irrespective of caste and that all forms of manual labour were equally important.
- In 2015, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, inaugurated the statue of Basavanna along the bank of the river Thames at Lambeth in London.
- Furthermore, Basavanna is the first Kannadiga in whose honour a commemorative coin has been minted in recognition of his social reforms.
- He is also known as Bhaktibhandari (literally, the treasurer of devotion), or Basaveswara (Lord Basava).
- The festival is observed by people of the Lingayat community mostly in Karnataka and parts of Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh with much fanfare.
- On this day, people exchange greetings, meet each other and remember Lord Basavanna, recite his teachings and vachanas.
The objective of the festival is to pass the message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (universal brotherhood). His message found expression in the form of Vachanas that define a new way of looking at God and life.
- The Lingayat/Veerashaiva community, a politically dominant group in Karnataka, are devotees of Shiva.
- The Lingayats follow 12th-century saint-philosopher Basavanna who had rejected ritualistic worship and pre-eminence of the Vedas.
- The Veerashaivas sect of the community also worships Shiva idols and practises other Hindu customs.
- The Lingayats consider the Veershaivas to be part of Hinduism as they follow Hindu customs while the Veerashaivas think the community was an ancient religion established by Shiva and Basavanna was one of its saints.
- Basavanna staunchly believed in a caste-less society where each individual had equal opportunity to rise up in life.
- To give force to the noble mission, he conceptualised Anubhava Mantapa – an academy of mystics, saints and philosophers of the Lingayata faith and acted as the fountainhead of thoughts on common human values and ethics.
- Presided over another great mystic Allama Prabhu, the Anubhava Mantapa also had numerous Sharanas – people from the lower strata of society – as participants.
- Basavanna himself joined as a participant in the Anubhava Mantapa with other greats like Akka Mahadevi and
Vira Saiva movement:
- Basavanna was a reformer. He became the leader of the Vira Saiva movement. He established a cult that is accepted today by many people.
- It developed a school of poor priests. It abolished the old priestly class. It adopted the vernacular as the medium for inculcating the supreme truth into the people. It gave to women an important place in religious and social life.
- It prescribed one ideal of realisation for every individual, high or low.