Establishment of Anubhava Mantapa

- ✍ Her Holiness Maha Jagadguru Dr. Maate Mahadevi
ಪೂಜ್ಯ ಶ್ರೀ ಮಹಾಜಗದ್ಗುರು ಡಾ|| ಮಾತೆ ಮಹಾದೇವಿ.

18. Establishment of Anubhava Mantapa

Many thoughts, ideals and reforms were taking shape in the kernel of Basavanna's independent intellect. There was a great need for a laboratory in order to execute these ideals and reforms in the society to bring welfare state, which he had dreamt of, into reality. Basavanna wanted to experiment the ideas and reforms, which had taken shape in his heart, in the laboratory before bringing them into practice in the society just similar to a scientist releasing new variety of seeds after thoroughly testing it in the research centre. At this crucial point of time the Anubhava Mantapa was founded. It's main purpose was to give entry to spiritual lives and also by providing the necessary training to spread the religion through missionaries.

The people who wanted to build a state where in all were sharanas and no discrimination on the basis of caste, religion and sect were given whole hearted welcome. After, the people were admitted into the Mantapa, they were all given full freedom of thought, expression and practice in the discourse of knowledge. Basavanna, the founder and the organiser of this Mantapa used to welcome all aspirants whole heartedly by treating each and every one as Sharanas. The Principle that `God is one and all are His children' was in real practice.

The discourse of knowledge was held everyday- both during morning and the evening. One used to be the chairman of the assembly while others were free to ask any questions on social, moral, spiritual, educational, economical and other fields. Once a particular problem or an issue is brought to the notice of the assembly everyone used to present their arguments in the form of conversation. At the end, Basavanna, Channabasavanna and other learned leaders used to give the issue a concluding answer.

In such Anubhava Mantapa, Basavanna established a symbolic seat (Peetha). It was a symbol of spiritual attainment. He declared that since one can become Guru by knowledge, any body who has attained knowledge could become Guru irrespective of the caste. Therefore he called that seat as Shoonya Peetha - the seat of perfection - the throne of infinity - the symbol of the highest experience of oneness with God - and declared that any eligible person could occupy that peetha. There was a necessity for an able person to occupy this chair and manage the whole affairs of the Mantapa and give guidence to all. When Basavanna was waiting enthusiastically for the arrival of such a person, the great virtuous Allama Prabhu came to Kalyana. Basavanna's long standing desire was fulfilled when he handed over the complete responsibility of the peetha to Allama Prabhu.

Many people started coming to Anubhava Mantapa from all over the country. The most famous among those virtuous persons were Shivayoga Samrata Allama Prabhudeva, Vairagya Nidhi Akka Mahadevi, Kayakayogi Siddarameswara, Jnana Bhandari Channa Basavanna, Krantiveera Madivala Machidevaru. If Basavanna was like a soul then these five stalwarts were like the five vital breath. Some seven hundred seventy staunch devotees who had conquered the fear of death and lakhs of followers had also assembled here.

Since Basavanna declared the equality of women and gave religious initiation to all and allowed them to participate in the discourses held at Anubhava Mantapa, there emerged sixty noted sharanes (Women devotees). Among them 30 Sharanes wrote Vachanas. Thus, the Anubhava Mantapa became the first parliament in the world. Basavanna shone as its soul and spirit. Allama Prabhudeva became its head, Siddarameswara its life, Chennabasavanna its heart, Akka Nagalambike and Neelagangambike its eyes, Machideva and Moligeya Marayya its arms and Akka Mahadevi its nose. Thus they shone as different vital organs of the Mantapa. Basavanna's residence mahamane was as broad as his heart. It had the Magnanimity of giving shelter to all who came there and it became the centre for distribution of food (called Dasoha) to Sharanas and Sharanes. Along with the distribution of food there was also sharing of knowledge. We get many ideas if we ponder over the question-`why was it named Anubhava Mantapa ?' The essence of Basavaism is the firm belief in God. On the basis of this belief all other principles and ideals are built. The God, conceived by Anubhava Mantapa, is beyond the bounds of speech and mind. He is beyond the perception, reasoning and scriptural knowledge ; but can be ascertained in the heart. The only way to experience Him is through mystic experience. Therefore Basavanna had cherished a strong feeling in him that the Mantapa should be `built' on the basis of mystic experience (Anubhava), which is an essence of Dharma. Hence the name Anubhava Mantapa.

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