Kambali Nagideva's Incidence

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

20. Kambali Nagideva's Incidence

Basavanna's responsibility increased day by day. He launched multifaceted programmes aimed at material, moral, intellectual, mental & spiritual advancement of the people as a whole. He instrumentalised a programme to inculcate ideals in every individual and society. In addition to these, very often he used to visit different places and try to find out the problems of the people.

Just as a routine visit, Basavanna was coming on the royal horse in the Maaheswara colony (Basavanna used to call the untouchables as Maaheswaras or great sharanas hence their colony was named as Maaheswaras colony). As Basavanna was just passing by, a bell sound was heard from a Sharana Kambali Nagideva's house. Along with this, a pleasant fragrance of frankincense sailed across. A melodious chanting of Vachanas confirmed the ongoing pooja in Nagideva's house. Basavanna was overwhelmed. He noticed cleanliness, morality, religiousness filled in the colony. Basavanna had already realised that if the downtrodden-untouchables could progress, the development in the other sections of the society will be sponteneous. Therefore he had toiled for the betterment of the untouchables and he had succeeded in the venture. When he was delighted listening to the chanting of Vachanas, he could not resist his curiosity. He got down from the horse and entered into Kambali Nagideva's house.

Nagideva, who was captivated by Basavanna's unexpected visit, came out and welcomed Basavanna. Basavanna happily embraced Nagideva and uttered "My life and the revolution became meaningful. Nagideva, today I would like to have food in your house...."

"Basavanna, what a peculiar desire ? Don't you know that I am a Holeya (un untouchable) by birth ?"

"May be, but other the religious initiation the attached caste will be absolved and you have got new birth. When different woods are burnt, all their uniqueness will also be burnt and just reduced to ashes. Similarly due to the initiation all the castes will be abolished and attain Sharanatva (means becoming true divine being not considering for being subjected to the differentiation of caste, creed, sex etc) You have become Sharana, a true devotee of God through your righteous and virtuous characters. You have got that virtue which is dear to Shiva, Your status of Holeya has already been absolved. It is my duty to dine with the people who have got the religious initiation."

After the pooja, Basavanna had food in Nagideva's house. The other ministeral colleagues, court officials, who had accompanied Basavanna during the town visit, ran to the palace and told Bijjala above Basavanna's move ''Your majesty, Basavanna has taken food in a Holeya's house; By this he has lost his caste sanctity. When he come to the royal court he will spoil our caste superiority also."

Bijjala's hurried call reached Basavanna. As soon as Basavanna arrived, Bijjala asked :

"Basavanna, is it true that being a Brahmin by birth you had food in a Holeya's house?"

" Maharaja, it is true. But Kambali Nagideva is not a Holeya. He has received Istalinga through religious consecration and has become sharana by religious sanctification through Lingadeeksha (initiation). Thus, we both are of same status in this respect and dining together is not wrong at all. infact it is a religious duty, it is a formula, manthra for the unity and integrity of the followers of the same religious society."

"Is it not an offence Basavanna ?" No, your Majesty. I am not like those hypocrites who call themselves holy and consider these people as holeyas by rejecting and distancing them in the day time but wander in pariah colony during night. I saw talent and vigour in these people who were illtreated and ignored from contacts, and I have by giving the much needed initiation and enabled them, to become virtuous people. I can prove their genuinity if it is given a chance, you may examine this..."

Immediately Nagideva was summoned. Nagideva with a propitious look on this face entered the royal court. *

He offered his salutation to Basavanna and the king. A fanatic who was seated in the court stared at Nagideva. Bijjala offered a seat to Nagideva and very closely observed him. Due to his pure and truthful work, daily worship, righteous life and true thoughts, Nagideva's face was radiant. Bijjala was taken aback and wondered ; " Why upper caste people call these people Holeyas and treat them worst than animals ? He felt like salutimg him whole heartedly looking at his virtuous appearance. He was unable to argue anything neverthless by trying give all seriousness to his position, Bijjala said;

"Honourable minister, Nagimayya (Nagideva) has come, and also the Prime Minister Basavanna is present here. You can present your argument.

" You damn Holeya, your....."

When the court official started spellings Nagideva interrupted him and said ; ''My brother don't you know our great teacher Basavanna has 'taught courtesy is heaven; discourtesy is hell '? These condemning words should not come from the persons like you. We are not holeyas. Please look here, our clothes are not dirty. Words are not filthy and inner conscience is not polluted."

"Shut up ! We are of the higher strata. How arrogant you must be to teach me. Am I expected to address this idiot as sir or lord ?"

Unperturbed Nagideva replied "Look here sir, if it was the wish of the God to keep our mouth shut, he should have not given the strength to speak. Is it not the proof that the very fact we have mouth means we have the right to speak ?''

"Very fine ! have these utterly worthless people learnt to argue? The time has become bad. It's allright. Is it true that our esteemed Prime Minister has taken food in the house of such a despised person like you?"

"Honourable Sharana....." Nagamayya was interrupted.

"Stop it ! Don't use that dirty corrupt word to address me. You address me only as Vodeya (master)"

"Please excuse me ! We have only one master ; the master of the universe -God. All are His children and we don't call any one else as master...."

"Did you see this my Lord? What a loudness ! What else can happen if the religious initiation is accorded to 'donkeys' who don't know the difference between the upper caste and the lower caste ?''

"Superiority comes not because of caste but from the principles and spiritual attainment. Basavaprabhu is our great guru who has given us religious initiation. Now I am a follower of Basavaism. I am like his son and it is true that he performed pooja and he has taken food in my house. That is my fortune. What is wrong in it...?

"Hold your tongue ! What nonsense are you talking? You are a holeya - belonging to the lowest caste. Even if your shade falls on us we have to bathe thrice. My lord, can Basavanna, a Brahmin by birth, take food in such person's house ? Should have not Basavanna known about this ? Should not this fellow have sense?"

"Look here sir, we have true and pure practices at home. We don't take even water before bath and pooja. We don't take non veg-food and liquor. We perform pooja thrice a day and only after pooja we take food. We are not less than any Brahmins in practicing religious rights and norms. Then why the food in our house be impure....?"

"What is your opinion, Basavanna ?" asked Bijjala.

"Your majesty, it is inhuman, heinous to divide the society into upper and lower stratas and treat some people even worst than animals. This is an insult to the God's creation. I have accorded the religious initiation to Shudras and the outcastes i.e. the untouchables. What is the transformation this has brought about in them? What is the progress they have achieved ? It will be surprising to know about it . One will become angry about those who have exploited these people for the centuries. It is for the good of all if the wrongs of the past are corrected now. Please look at Kambali Nagideva. How brilliant and humble in his speech and what a divine glow he has in his eyes ! Only those who are inflicted by prejudice can call them Holeya and low caste people. Otherwise, if we look at them, in what way are they lower than us ? Many people have believed that a Shudra's tongue ineligible for literature. Didn't you see Nagimayya's eloquent speech? Is it not compre-hencible from the speech of Nagimayya that he is noble, cultured and superior and from the speeches of our colleagues, they are uncultured ? Please you may decide on your own by considering the facts. We and Nagimaiah are religiously equal. Food in his house is the most pure and it is Shiva's oschafe"

Bijjala agreed with what Basavanna said. The king was moved by the argument. He said "It is true Basavanna. Refined and sweet words were spoken by Nagideva; worms like bad words came out from our court officials. One can evaluate the personalities from the words they speak just similar to knowing the health and other problems of the stomach by seeing the tongue. Really, Nagideva is the most noble person''. Bijjala appreciated Nagideva and offered gold coins, silk clothes and fruits in a plate.

"My lord, please dont mistake me and donot consider me as a rude. We can use only those which earned by the work. Therefore I don't want gold coins. I use only those clothes which are woven on my own in the afternoon, hence I don't want silk clothes. Since our great king is offering, I will just take the fruits, Please have mercy".

``Basavanna, I am fortunate, I am really fortunate. How valuable jems and pearls your devotees are! Today I got the most fortunate moment to see this noble person. The name of our town Kalyana will become immortal. Not only you have become great but you have tried to elevate others to that greatness. That is really stupendous.'' And the king turned to Nagideva and said:

''Nagideva, you will be taken to your house by our Royal Palanquin. Please don't feel bad for testing you."

"It is not a test at all my Lord, It is just an affectionate interview. I could get opportunity and privilege to speak to you. May God bless you with long life."

Basavanna became overwhelmingly happy. His eyes were moistioned by joy. He turned towards Bijjala and uttered;

Look at their house, they 're poor indeed
Look at their heart, they 're great
Their simple touch is bliss,
They're brave from top to toe.
There is nothing for exhibition
but only for the hour that comes
Kudala Sangama Deva's Sharanas are brave and free.

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