Quotes about Basava

Whatever legend may say about Basava the fact is pretty clear that he was the first Indian free thinker. He might be called the Luther of India the acknowledge leadership of the priests was in full swing when Basava came upon the scene and there was a movement on foot to replace caste and priestly authority with intelligence and free thinking Basava a shaivaite Brahmin, was in the camp of liberals.

He mounted the rostrum for the abolition of caste and ceremonies and preached that all men by birth equal that one sex was important as another. That child marriage was wrong and widows should be permitted to re marry he promised the Lingayat's the freedom of individual action. All wherever of divine Linga , where to occupy a common level. They were to eat together and intermarry.

-Arthor Miles (Land of Lingama, London 1933 P-iii)

“Rev. N. C. Sargent aptly says, “Basava’s aim was not to oppose or propose any religious or philosophical system; but to show people the existing social and religious evils and, if possible, to remove these evils from society”.[1]

At the Belgaum session of the Indian National Congress in 1924, Mahatma Gandhi spoke about Basavanna.

It has not been possible for me to practice all precepts of Basaveshwara which he taught 800 years ago and which he also practiced. Eradication of untouchability and dignity of labour were among his core precepts. One does not find even shades of casteism in him. Had he lived during our times, he would have been a saint worthy of worship”.

Among the galaxy of eminent savant-saints of India. Lord Basaveshwara can legitimately claim a pride of place by virtue of his distinguish services in the field of Kannada literature and humanitarian activity. His saintly philosophical through embodied in the illustrious ‘Basava Vachanas’ has enriched Kannada poetry. The 12th century celebrations of lord Basaveshwara will, therefore, be hailed on a nation wide scale.

- Zakir Husain (former President of India)

Basavanna was a great saint and social reformer and we should try not merely to express our appreciation of his valuable teaching but to put them into practice in our daily life”.

- S. Radha Krishanan (former President of India)

Lord Basaveshwara is one of the great saints who heralded social change in mediaeval India. He stressed devotion and intellect. He expounded his profound ideas in the common speech, charged with power and beauty. He stressed the quality of man in the eyes of his maker”.

- Indira Gandhi (former Prime Ministor)

It is no exaggeration to say that message of Basava is like a reservoir into which all previous thoughts flowed in and from which all later thoughts flowed out. Kind like Buddha, simple like Mahaveera, gentle like Jesus, Bold like Mohammad. Basava strikes us as almost as a wonder of creation. But what attracts us almost to him are those teachings of his in which he anticipated the greatest of modern thinkers Karl marks & Mahatma Gandhi.

- K.S. Srikanthan

The Times of India in its issue dated may 17, 1918 paid a glowing tribute to Basava:

It was the distinctive feature of his mission that while illustrious religious and social reformers in India before him had each laid his emphasis on one or other items of religion and social reformer, either subordinating more or less other items toit or ignoring them altogether, Basava sketched and boldly tried to work out a large and comprehensive programme of social reform with the elevation and independence of womanhood as its guiding pointing. Neither social conferences which are usually held in these days in several parts of India, nor Indian social reformers, an improve upon that programme as to essentials. The present day’s social reformer in India is but speaking the language and seeking to enforce the mind of Basava

Totally Basavanna stands out as one of the most outstanding personalities in the religious history of India. His life and teachings have been source of inspiration to millions of people in south India for the last 800 plus years and influenced and moulded their lives.

Basava’s great task as a religious preacher and a social reformer, he brought, as an inalienable ancestral heritage, a great spiritual tradition of sacrificial devotion and dedicated service. He was a great standard-bearer of the honour of his society and the soldier of her ancient religion, and a tireless champion of the suffering and downtrodden. He had no prejudice of caste, colour, creed or race. He was one of God’s chosen to pilot the overburdened ship of a troubled society across the stormy sea of those times, to the safe shore of peace and happiness.

[1] Prof V. V. Sangamad In the book Basaveshwara is founder of Lingayath Religion the author collected the statement
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