Orthodoxy Revolted

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

25. Orthodoxy Revolted

The news of the marriage soon spread throughout the kingdom of Kalyana like a wild fire. The orthodoxy began to discuss over it. The marked advance of the Lingayat religion, coming of the in throngs from distant countries and settling as its followers in the city of Kalyana, the dwindling of the number of visitors to temples and other centres of worship, absence of those people consulting astrologers and almanacs, gradually people losing faith in the worship of nine planets done by priests and offering them gifts ; all these enraged the orthodoxy. The reactionary traditionalists branding this as anti-religion and anti-divine, they carried a complaint to the King. Consequently the architect of this revolution Basavanna was asked explanation.

Basavanna put forward his argument for equality on the basis of tradition and self-experience. He convinced the king that varna and caste were not created by God but by man. The reactionary traditionalists who were jittering with fright due to Basavanna's ability to analyse and argue on the basis of social obligation, said "O respected king why all these arguments ? Basavanna is a scholar and Mahatma. He has a best suitable personality for the post of prime minister. In order to be a prompt and honest officer, let him give up completely the activities of Anubhava Mantapa, revolutionary work, mass awakening and other crazy activities like visiting pariah colony etc.,"

"Yes, yes respected Basavanna you may do so ! With this you can concentrate more on your work...."Bijjala also suggested.

Basavanna smiled and said : "What is the use of a lion with broken waist ? What is the use of an elephant with broken trunk ? What is the use of a soldier running away from the battle field ? Similarly, what is the use of a position which can't create religious, social and moral awareness ? Therefore my inner conscience does not agree to this power which does not render itself to service."

"Is it a better service to include distressed and lowcaste people than rendering service to the great king and earning his favour ? Is it a big achievement to mix hundreds of castes and call them Sharanas ?" Konde Manchanna questioned.

Basavanna answered seriously, "O King Bijjala, this casteism is a curse on our country. It is inhuman and heinous to attach low and high status to people on the basis of birth. A person has to be evaluated on the basis of personality, principle and character. I am dreaming of that beautiful, ideal and noble state. I don't have any ambition except marching towards that goal "

" Your majesty, Basavanna's foresight has gone very deep. Is it so easy for him to take off his eyes from the throne? The task of organising the people is in this direction only to fulfil this purpose" Konde Manchanna accused Basavanna.

"Oh, my God! what a terrible accusation your majesty ! I don't have an ambition of longing for this piece of land. Long ago, I have realised that it is meaningless to fight for woman, land and money. When this accusation is made on me, I can't continue in the position. Please accept my resignation." Basavanna started removing the Royal symbols -crown and the sword. But Bijjala prevented Basavanna.

"Basavanna.... what are you doing !?"

Don't ! ..... don't be impulsive, don't take a precipitative step, please..." His throat was choked with grief.

"Your majesty, whereever I go, I will be a servant of this Land. Even without occupying any position I shall serve this country with my heart and mind together. Please give me permission "

Bijjala became helpless. Basavanna quietly started moving towards Mahamane after renouncing the position.

Still backbiter's mind was not in peace. "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 suggetions to Bijjala. Bijjala fell pray to this machinations and sent banish order to Basavanna.

Before sunrise, Basavanna left Kalyana and crossed the main door of the fort by accepting the banish order given by the king, who did not even have an independent thinking due to his vulnerability to fall prey to machinations of the fraudulent people. He gave the responsibility of protecting the Sharanas and Vachana literature to Channabasavanna and Madivala Machideva and told them to save the innocent Sharanas from injustice. All the Sharanas bade farewell to him. That was the second day of Phalguna month of Rakshasanama Samvatsara [1196 A.D].

The Sharanas were deeply grieved as they were bidding farewell to the fortune of Kalyana. His journey was towards Kudala Sangama where he had spent his lovely childhood.

When Bijjala, losing his balance of mind, gave Manchanna and Narana Kramitha the power to decide on the matter, Haralaiah, Madhuvarasa and Sheelavantha were sentenced to death. The very next day Basavanna left Kalyana, Sharanas were arrested and tried. The innocent and holy sharanas were accused of blasphemy and their eyes were plucked off. Later, arguing that the Sharanas were not confessing their sin, they were tied to legs of elephant and killed on the fourth day of Phalguna month. People were grieved by this inhuman act of Bijjala. Jagadeva, Mallanna and Bommanna loyal patriots of Chalukyan Empire, who were enraged by the usurping activity of Bijjala, stabbed and killed the King on the full moon day.

The Sharanas who were inhumanly executed became the martyrs and symbol of sacrifice in the Revolution and eternal stars in the Vachana literature and are depicted in folk songs as follows:

Becoming a shower of flowers,
Riding a carriage made of flowers,
Becoming flowers themselves for Siva's feet
They joined the holy garland of Sivasharanas !

Low caste Haralaiah became the gifted Sharana
The Lord Shiva blessed him in appreciation and took him
There grew a sandle tree

On Shiva's mountain
Two parrots sat on the crown and
sang the story of Haralaiah ||


Thus, goes the folk songs.

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