Important dates of Guru Basava.

1 Basava born in 1134, left home at the tender age of 8 (1142) to fight against the gender in-equality (i.e. only male can wear Janivaar not female).
2 "Is religion just a restriction or an act of folly ? Is it not possible to remove the consciousness of high status and low status, which is responsible for the social evils ?" These thoughts used to come to his mind often.
3 Studied at the Kudala sangam, his cogitativeness’ increased day by day. Absurd practices, inhuman divisions and exploitations had made him more introvert.
4 He worshipped Kudala sangamanath, till the age of 21, after that he invented the new way of worshipping GOD in the form of “ISHTALINGA”, (1155).

God,
whichever way I look,
you are there everywhere.
The form of the entire expanse, you are.
The eye of the universe, you are.
The face of the universe, you are.
The hands of the universe, you are.
The feet of the universe, you are.
You are, Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/85 [1]

The width of the world, the width of the sky
still greater width is your width.
Below the nether world are your holy feet,
beyond the universe is your holy crown.
Oh, impenetrable, invisible, incomparable linga
oh, lord Koodalasangama
you appeared so tiny in the hollow of my palm.
-Guru Basava/201 [1]
5 “Ishtalinga” is globular in shape. Sphere is the symbol of eternity, endless, void and complete. God, who is endless and timeless is depicted in the form of sphere. When we see it, there will not be a feeling of male or female.
6 The feeling of endless and infinity will come to mind and its' colour can be made black in order to practice “Drishtiyoga” by concentrating on it. It's bottom can be made flat allowing it to be stable in the palm.
7 Basava went to Mangalawadhe, started his career as clerk (Karanika), He entered Kalyana in 1160, started preaching his new invention of Ishtalinga, the new way of worshipping GOD in the form Ishtalinga, Ishtalinga is different from temple Linga or Charalinga (Charalinga is miniature form of Templ linga).
8 Established “Anubhava Mantapa” in 1169, (Hall of Experiences), started providing education, spreaded the human equality. Started Shunya Peetha in 1185, a drummer by birth (maddalegaara) as its first president, and proved what he preached is practised, the Human equality.
9 He became Finance minister and then Prime Minister in the court of King Bijjala.
10 He convinced the people that Varna and caste were not created by God, these are created by man.

The earth is the same,
for the home of untouchables and for the temple.
Water is the same,
for washing dirt and for ablution.
Caste is the same,
for one who knows the self.
Fruit is the same,
for six darshanas of liberation.
Stance is the same,
for one who knows Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/263 [1]

He preached and practiced these
  • No man is high or low either by birth, sex or occupation.
  • Woman has equal rights with man to follow the path of self-evolution.
  • Universal brotherhood, Community approach (team work) and Practice before preach.
  • Each one should follow a profession of his own choice.
  • All Kayaka 's are honorable professions. No Kayaka is either low or high.
  • Varnas (or castes) and Ashrams (or stages) are to be discarded.
  • Renunciation and dwelling in forest are ruled out as cowardly tendencies to escape from life.
  • Inter-group marriages and free dining should be encouraged.
  • Untouchability has no place in the society.
  • Every man is free to think on all spiritual and social subjects.
  • Reason and experience are the only guiding lights for free thinking and spiritual advancement.
  • Language of the people should be the medium for imparting spiritual and secular education.
  • All men have equal rights to participate in spiritual discussions, to acquire spiritual knowledge and follow the same path of self evolution.
11 In his leadership marriage of Sheelavantha, son of a poor cobbler Haralayya, with a Brahmin girl, Lavanya, daughter of Madhavarsa executed successfully.
12 By this inter-caste marriage orthodoxy people revolted against this, and asked the king to ban Basava and his followers by saying "If Basavanna stays back in Kalyana even after renouncing the position, your majesty, people may raise in revolt. Therefore it is safer for your throne if you banish him immediately." Konde Manchanna and Naranakramitha gave suggestions to Bijjala. Bijjala fell prey to this machinations and sent banish(Gadiparu) order to Basavanna.
13 Basava left Kalyana 13th Feb 1196 travelled to Kudala Sangama. Once Basava left the Kalyana all the Sharanas who involved in marriage were arrested 14th Feb 1196.
14 On 15th Feb 1196, Haralayya and Madhuvarasa were arrested and condemned to death; bridegroom were blinded and then executed in the “elahootte’ punishment: They were chained to the leg of an elephant and then dragged to death along the streets of the town. The three men named Jagadeva, Mallaya, and Bommayya used the situation and killed the king Bijjala.
15 Tyrannical mind sets of Communal powers were not at all satisfied by this, they move to destroy the Vachana by killing all the Sharanas. All the Sharanas left Kalyana in different direction to save the Vachana the holy scriptures. One major group travelled towards Ulive (south Karnataka).
16 In Kudala sangama, Guru Basava merged with God on 30th July 1196. The Kudala sangama has the Guru Basva’s Samadhi.

[1] Number indicates at the end of each Vachana is from the book "Vachana", pub: Basava Samiti Bangalore 2012.

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[1] From the book "Vachana", pub: Basava Samiti Bangalore 2012.