Basavanna & Vir Shaivism Lingayat Movement


Kalyana is today a small town in Bidar district and is named after B as Basavakalyana. There are caves and temples where B etc are believed to have done tapas or religious meditation. Historically it was a big city humming with religious, political and business activities. There were temples dedicated to many gods and goddesses, one of which was controlled by the Kalamukhas. The ruler Bijjala was god fearing and he donated liberally to the Shaiva monks there. However, Bijjala was a bhavi (one who has a birth). While B served the king with 100 % loyalty, he had scant regard for the bhavis. Caught as he was in this conflict, one day B was questioned by his own men as to how could he be serving for bhavi like Bijjala.

Since B was a reformist movement aimed at the lower classes, the upper castes did not take kindly to him. They complained to Bijjala that B was spending large sums of state money on his own people. When the accounts were checked they were found to be correct. Amidst a stream of continuos allegations, the rift between B and Bijjala started widening.

B had both official duties and social obligations to perform. He was satisfied with what he had done for the upliftment of society. B was a man of religion, a bhakta by nature. His goal was the realization of God but he never abandoned material work for attaining the spiritual. He lived in the world with all its turmoil’s and problems and faced them bravely. His wife called him a person who experienced only miseries. The man who led a good life in this world, he thought, would be acceptable to God in the other world.

It was this philosophy which tied him to the world, made him take up a job, and also be the leader of a great social movement.

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