Revolution In Kalyana
- ✍ Her Holiness Maha Jagadguru Dr. Maate Mahadevi
ಪೂಜ್ಯ ಶ್ರೀ ಮಹಾಜಗದ್ಗುರು ಡಾ|| ಮಾತೆ ಮಹಾದೇವಿ.
Thus with these miracles of revolutionary ideals, he earned an invaluable fame, which others could not achieve during their life-time. Similar to a beautiful temple dressed up with a golden pinnacle, at the end of his life, a revolutionary incident occured. That is the Kalyana kranthi, (Revolution in Kalyana) the daring and the unique step in the history of India.
Quite often many revolutions have taken place in the history of the world. Usually, when some traditions beliefs, customs, practices, ideals are established in the society, community will raise against these and install superior ideals by displains them, thus, a movement bringing a overall transformation in the established norms and practices can be called revolution. These type of revolutions might have happened for the progress of social, political, economic ideals or for the overall development of ideals of life ; The revolution started by Basavanna during the 12th Century brought a tremendous overall transformation in the spheres of social, religious, economic, political, moral, radical and was sharp enough to change the angle of perception of the people. Though small in magnitude, with a tremendous fame, it had a broad vision of guiding the whole world.
The revolution of Kalyana happened neither for woman nor for wealth or land but to establish the equality of human being by wiping out the discrimination of colour and classes. In this, many have sacrificed. Any new principle counts into being only after many sacrifices. A legend goes like this; once after seeing the untruth and injustice in this world, a thinker became dejected and went in search of truth, who had sat in the form of a man. He sat down in distress as no one enquired about him though he was a truthful man. Then this truth seeker questioned ; "O truth, since you have come away from the human society, there is a lot of injustice and untruth. Why you should not come there? Why you should not improve it ? Then that truth answered. "O thinker ! I have not left this human society on my own, they have chased me. It is allright; I am prepared to come. But, are you ready to sacrifice yourself for me ? How many people are ready to sacrifice; their body, mind and wealth ?" This is really true. No ideals can be established in the society until the people make up their mind to sacrifice. That is why one of the leaders of 12th century revolution Shree Channa Basavanna has said,
Do you not bother that
The seed fallen on the soil
Has perished, but find it
In the harvest that shall come ;
Do you not bother that
The gold that is heated and melted
Has perished but find it
In its lustre yet to be ;
Do you not bother that
the light that is enkindled
Has perished but find it
In the light that is to shine"
Only when a seed dies and gives out its fertility to the soil, another tree will be born. We get fruits from that tree. Then gold gets burnt and melted and stays with all patience, only then we get pure gold and from that different types of ornaments. We get light only when wick burns. Likewise in the revolution of 12 century, five wicks burnt themselves. By valiantly sacrificing their lives, they filled our mind with essence of ideals. Those immortal lights (Sharanas)-Samagara (cobbler) Haralaiah, his son Sheelavanthaiah, Brahmin minister Madhuvarasa, Haralaiah's wife-Kalyanamma & Madhuvarasa's daughter-Lavanyavathi.
Haralayya's hut was situated in cobbler's colony of Kalyana nagara. Kalyanamma was his wife and Sheelavantha his only son. Theirs was a small and a ideal. family. They were interested in spiritualism from the beginning itself. They were eager to purify their lives by the grace of God. But there were no opportunities. Working day and night was the burden the society had bestowed on them. Hence, though desire for God has sprouted in them, it used to dry down due to lack of encouragement. "Being a paraiah why do you want to worship ? Become meritorius by working and serving for the upper caste. After many births you may born an upper caste. Then perhaps you get a path to salvation." Their ambition was signed in these dischainful words. When many people like Kambali Nagideva, Madar Dhoolaiah and others were hurt and suffering these type of disgrace and discouragement, Basavanna's arrival to Kalyana took place. Anubhava Mantapa also started working. Then it started sending missionaries to all the places. Bahuroopi Chowdaiah, Echarikeya Mukti-nathanna and others started going to colonies of down trodden. During the free hours they used to deliver lectures in their colonies. Untouchables were quite scared due to the tradition that they should not be seen on the road when an upper caste person walks along the street and hence in the beginning they remained away from these lectures. But when Sharanas started calling them, standing in front of their houses with affection and love, they started coming out, Then these sharana's used to preach them ;" Every human being has 3 parts -body, mind and soul. Work is essential for body to live, But this is not the only aim. It is not sufficient if one eats and gets children. Animals also do this. Lectures, preachings, study of scriptures are essentials for the mind. For the development of this soul, worship and meditation are needed. All these should coexist. You should try to get that eternal joy. Basavanna says :
'People without aim and urge to seek God are equal to thousands of worms born in cowdung !'
Therefore you give a place for worship in your life." missionaries's preachings used to go on.
"That's right sirs...... but we are born untouchable, how can we worship God ?" one day a person asked.
"You should not say like that my brother.... you are all like other human beings ! There are no horns for the so called upper caste people and you do not have tail. All are born equally. Confidence should develop within you. The challenge of attaining that state should also develop in you. Basavanna says - O Lord, Almighty one who does not believe you is a holeya (an untouchable)' This word `holeya' is not an indicative of caste but an adjective..." That innocent person did not understand. He asked again...."
"My dear Sir.... we are the people who do low class jobs and carry dead animals. How can we, the inspire? people, worship God?
"My brother...... one who pains others mind, exploit other's house is impure. You people are innocent do not exploit others, do not cheat others. People who clean the villages by carrying dead animals are not low caste but service oriented people. Many people who call themselves as upper caste kill may people in the name of Yagnas and Yagas. We can call them violent people. Therefore you have an excellent opportunity. Open your eyes... Guru Basavanna, who is aspiring for our progress, says.....
"The man who slays is pariah
The man who eats the carrion is a low-caste person
Where is the caste here -where
Our Kudala Sangama Deva's Sharana
Who loves all living beings,
He is the well born one !
The saying "Untouchable slays, low-caste person eats the carrion" is obsolutely wrong. It has become a caste symbol. The Person will be untouchable if he kills, in any manner, by action, thought or speech and undoubtedly he is a low caste person. Through what ever sense one might eat filth one is pariah, such fellows are found in any caste".
"If that is so, do we have an opportunity for religious initiation ? can we attain salvation in this birth? or is it a dream ?" asked Haralaiah with impassiated heart. The sharana politely answered ;
" In this very birth..... O revered sir, as the fruit of your worshipping, Lord Kudala Sangam Deva is immediately in your hands. No jealousy in respect of virtue. The work you do will have its reward. Absolutely no room for doubt." Consider what Basavanna Says ;
There is one earth to hold
God's temple and the pariah colony
One water for the closet and the worship ;
One sect for those who know themselves ;
One community for those who are realised
By means of the six-fold mystic way
One stand for those who know thee,
Lord Kudala Sangama Deva.
What is needed for winning His grace is Bhakti" a gleam of joy danced on Haralaiah's face and an anticipating sense of fulfilment ran jubiliantly in his every vein. "If so, could you give initiation to me and my wife?"
"By all means" Haralaiah and his family thus joined Basavanna's Faith. Numerous others followed them, and started participating daily in the discussions of the Anubhava Mantapa. Observing the catholicity of outlook and the endearing sense of fraternity prevailing amongst the sharanas, and Basavanna's affection beyond compare and his perfectly ripened and integral personality that stood out privately here, they were simply captured by the Anubhava Mantapa. A gratified feeling of having accomplished something that was impossible and a sense of gratefulness could be seen reflected on the face of every one of them. Witnessing the deliberatious going on there in, thousands of others belonging to different castes became regular members of the Anubhava Mantapa.
Such a sense of gratitude pierced through and through every core of Haralaiah's body. By the unparalled adventure of Basavanna, the veritable guide in religious ways, the tide and current of tradition took a new direction. Haralaiah's life was overnight changed with alchemy.
In caste of pariah but not in his ways
knows its secret essence- the great sarana,
Haralaiah, dwelling in the city of Kalyana
After doing the dedicated work, pure and truthful and spending the remaining time in rendering service to God and His saranas, meditation upon Him and in undergoing the Divine Experience he attained fulfilment;
Spending out his body, mind and money
And doing his family (Cobbler's) Kayaks
A mystic as well as a wreth of gems to the Siva faith
Sharanu Sharanarthi (Twice Boweth)
Haralaiah, after getting the santification of Basava Dharma, daily pursued his honest and dedicated occupation. One day in the afternoon, "Jai Guru Basavesha Hara Hara Mahadeva" a loud voice was heard. The moment Haralaiah heard this, he was thrilled. That was the time Basavanna was returning to Mahamane after finishing the work at the royal court, for pooja and Lunch, But why is he coming this way on his horse? Lots of people gathered around him and started chanting loudly in praise of him. As though the more they met him the more eager to meet him, people would bow to Basavanna who appeared to him as an embodiment of their great fortune, greeting everybody in return, Basavanna was slowly coming with a smile on his face.
Haralaiah cameout deciding to offer in great devotion, his salutations to Basavanna with great reverence. Basavanna was coming with bent head and folded hands, would speak eloquently on his courtesy and affection, claded spotlessly, with his premier's headdress glittering in the sun and as though vying with it, his countenance radiant as the rising sun, his eyes warm and cheerful, his broad forehead anointed with vibhoothi was shining as though his mind's purity overflowed in profusion, he came riding on his milk-white horse. When he smiled ; all those around him irrespective of their age and sex, felt happy as if bathed in a shower of joy. When Haralaiah saw Basavanna thus coming on his horse, his heart was thrilled with love and admiration. He found in him, a fond mother, a considerate Guru and a loving brother and all these three rolled into one. He uttered in silence - Is it not because of this high-souled personality we are living like this atleast with a little bit of courage ? we are capable of Linga pooja and other meditations after receiving religious initiation. How to repay this enormous debt ?" When he was involved in this thought, Basavanna's disciple Sangaiah came in a hurry and said "Respected Sharana Haralaiah, today Guru is coming to your home to have food with you". Haralaiah was astonished. He almost moved to silence with joy, stood motionless.
" Kalyani, Sheelavantha, listen ! today Guru is coming to our home to have food with us !! My dear Kalyani, Sheelavantha how can I control this excitement ?" Haralaiah was immensely delighted, were no bounds to his joy.
They washed Basavanna's feet with great devotion and welcomed him. After the pooja Basavanna drank Ragi malt prepared by Kalyanamma and felt happy. After this, he got ready to leave. Haralaiah was moved by Basavanna's simplicity, concern for the people and offered his salutations to him ; "Sharanu, my Lord, Basavanna". Haralaiah is standing in full of devotion. By looking at him, Basavanna too became happy. The society which he was struggling to build was taking a firm shape. He considered himself fortunate, he brought his two hands together and said "Sharanu Sharanarthi" (twice salutations to you) O Shivasharana Haralaiah". Basavanna alighted the horse. While Haralaiah rapt in his bhakti for Basavanna stood dumb like a pillar, the horse carrying the latter moved fast. Haralaiah without any external sensations, was thinking about the happened incidence. " O my Lord what a mistake ! I received twice salutations from Basavanna who gave us religious initiation. I have become indebted to him. I did not even roll falling on his feet". Thus, Haralaiah was thinking, Kalyanamma and Sheelavantha, who had come to see off Basavanna, were amused by Haralaiah's condition.
"Do Sharanas worry ? Is not the worry a character feature of illusion ?" Kalyani questioned Haralaiah.
"Kalyani, worry is neither about food nor clothes nor any thing else. It is about supreme truth. When we were not in a position to repay what Guru Basavanna has done to us, I am more indebted by receiving twice salutations". Kalyanamma also plunged into deep thought.
"Yes, it is true, he has given us rebirth, he is a Mahatma. On one hand he has given the religious equality for the downtrodden and also on the other hand was successfully given the religious equality to women. From these two angles we should not be indebted to him.... therefore we shall do one thing ; we shall dedicate a beautiful pair of shoes to him prepared using skin from your left thigh and my right thigh."
"Oh ! what a noble and divine idea Kalyani ! I am greatly satisfied by this idea..." uttered Haralaiah. He finished pooja and started working. They removed skin from their thigh and prepared a beautiful pair of shoes.
In the next day, by covering those shoes - the symbol of dedication- in care and devotion with a silk cloth, Haralaiah's family set out for Mahamane-Basavanna's residence while hundreds of people were visiting Mahamane to have a glimpse of Basavanna, Haralaiah was struken as he was hesitant to go on with his small gift and was standing outside. Basavanna's though eyes could not see the heart could and he came out and hugged him with great affection and welcomed Haralaiah. Haralaiah was shocked by this gesture." Is it possible for him to hug and welcome a pariah like me ? This caused him pain. But Basavanna, with a regretting smile, said "Haralaiah, still don't you know the essence of my principle whether he is a son of a Dasi or a son of prostitute. One should understand that after the initiation he is a devotee of shiva. The concepts of high or low is just an illusion. All are equal in the eyes of God. That which glitter in the eyes and the soul is nothing but the sentient of God ! If you can thwart off this mis-concept of low status and become bold with brimming confidence that would be a great fortune for me, please come !..." With great affection he took them inside. Basavanna was astonished by the beauty and artistic excellence of the shoes dedicated by Haralaiah" O Guru Basava, you are my father, mother and everything. You are the Mahatma and you have given us religion - God and initiation. I don't have suitable gift for such a great personality. But please accept these shoes with generosity as gift without rejecting them." With great humbleness he requested him "Respected Haralaiah even a grass given with devotion is equivalent to mountain ! then is it possible to reject these lovely shoes ? Allright! what skin is used to make these shoes ? Basavanna asked by observing them closely.
"O Mahatma please don't reject them by hearing the truth. These shoes have been made up of skin taken from my wife's left thigh and my right thigh...'' Basavanna was terribly shaken and became unmoved by listening to these. "O my God what a terrible sacrifice ! Why did you resort to such an act ?" Though he became silent, he was immensed in emotions and he placed the shoes over his head.
"Sir, this earth does not stand up to the value of these shoes. The value of these can't be fixed even if the whole earth is weighed against these" uttered Basavanna"
"Haralaiah, these are the symbols of your dedication, sacrifice and great understanding and home the parts of the pure souls like yours".
"No one, not even me, should dare to wear this set; the shoes special should remain as the immortal symbol of sacrifice...." Basavanna returned the shoes by uttering these sentences and consoled Haralaiah and bid him farewell after dining with him.
Haralaiah's family was shocked by this, it coult not do anything, just started moving towards the house silently. At that time Madhuvarasa, a colleague in Basavanna's cabinet was coming on the way, He saw Haralaiah walking along the street emotionally. "Harala.... where are you going ? you are wandering in the Royal street with arrogance since you have become sharana. You people used to go away just seeing the shade of higher caste people, now you are walking without fear ?" Madhuvarasa roared in anger.
"Is it fault for us to walk on earth given by God holding this human form also given by Him....?
"Not a fault, not at all, it is the fault of the training given by that Basavanna...."while talking with impatience, Madhuvarasa saw the silken parcel on Haralaiah's head and also he observed, the Royal street on which Haralaiah's family coming from Mahamane and he asked "What is it ?"Haralaiah did not show it. But Madhuvarasa snatched the packet with the help of bodyguards. After seeing the shoes, he asked the cost of them. He did not listen to Haralaiah's plea that those shoes can't be sold for only earthy prize and he forcibly put on the pair howling with rage. The moment he put his feet on the shoes, through his entire body ran blazing irritation as though he was roasting in a pit of fire and fell unconscious. Body-guards took him home. Haralaiah terribly depressed, went home with the shoes.
Madhuvarasa's illness went on increasing. After hearing the news Basavanna started thinking seriously. "The disease, which has come to him because of disgrace to sharana, can be healed by his grace only"; and thus Basavanna decided. He gave suggestion that, Madhuvarasa should bathe in the water of Haralaiah's vat which he had used to prepare the shoes" Though this was not acceptable to Madhuvarasa, his daughter Lavanyavathi came to know about this and prepared a plan to bring water from that vat. She did not send the servant Lakumayi to Tripuranthaka pond to get water but she herself went to Haralaiah's house and begged for water. Haralaiah initially hesitated fearing any untoward consequences. But after he convinced himself that it was the suggestion by Basavanna, he poured water from his vat to Lavanya's pot. Lavanyavathi carried the water and arranged for Madhuvarasa's bath. Then Madhuvarasa after finishing bath, stepped into pooja room, he noticed tremendous change in his condition and he was greatly surprised. Then he called his daughter "Lavanya, Lavanya" Lavanya began sweating out of fear"
"My God.... my father would have smelt a vat. Who knows how much he will roar with fury ? What shall I say in answer ?" She began thinking as she slowly stepped into the room and stand with her head bent not daring to look at him.
"From where did you bring water my dear daughter? asked Madhuvarasa. His curiosity and smoothness could be obviously felt in his voice. Unable to understand her silence, he asked with added anxiety,
"Don't tell a lie, daughter, tell me the truth."
"My father, I went to Haralaiah's house and begged his pardon on your behalf and then brought water from the vessel in which he sinks his leather in. Father, I could not bear to see you agony. If I have done anything wrong, forgive me, dear father. Madhuvarasa got up at once.
"Is it so, daughter, my dear daughter?" According her and holding her hands, he added ;
"Lavanya, you are not just my daughter but one who has given me a new life. You saved me like mother, from this incurable ailment". So saying, he lovingly pressed her hands on his eyes with due respect.
Madhuvarasa realised Haralaiah's spiritual power and repented for his arrogant attitude. In the very next day he went to Haralaiah's house with his family and begged his parden.
"Whatever happens, I believe happens for the good. Thereby my eye of conscience has opened, the pride of caste has smashed, I could understand the height of your greatness. Please, kindly accept my humble gifts." The attendants, placing five plates in front of Haralaiah removed the cover. The plates were full of golden coins and ornaments, costly clothes and brocades for Kalyanamma. Haralaiah smiled and said.
"Madhuvarasa Sir, this poor man's hut is not able to protect them. I am ever grateful to you for your generosity. What shall I do with them, Please ?" Gently voicing forth his feelings, Haralaiah kept silent.
"You could end your poverty!" suggested Madhuvarasa's subordinate, who accompanied his master.
" When God is there, ever vigilent to protect us.... we have no poverty at all. We accept nothing except the fruit of true and pure Kayaka or dedicated labour. For us, Basava's followers, to hoard more than we need is a grave sin." Madhuvarasa was surprised.
"You at least, my great mother, kindly accept these brocades and make me happy".
"Excuse me, O Madhuvarasa Sir, your heart is too magnanimous! I do not wear anything except the cloth woven of self-spun yarn. In the afternoon it is a habit with us, all the women of this colony to assemble and speak of yesterday's deliberations of the Anubhava Mantapa. As we talk we spin yarn on the wheel and we all wear the produce of that yarn".
"How splendid... before these sharana's wealth of self-content these golden ornaments and rich brocades look less than a straw's worth !" exclaimed Madhuvarasa in his mind.
"Should I carry them back ?" His disappointed voice was understood by a subordinate officer.
"Your Excellancy, they can be as well distriburted, to the people of this colony." Haralaiah smiled and said. "Kindly do not take it to heart, O Sharanas ; people of our colony never accept anything save the fruit of their true, pure and dedicated labour, make a test if you wish."
"Good God.... today I came to know that even gold and jewels could be worthless!" exclaimed Madhuvarasa.
Then Madhuvarasa, with great humility and humbleness requested Haralaiah to accept another gift.
"Could you not accept my daughter Lavanyavathi for Sheelavantha and ennoble my caste ?"
"Save me, Basava, my Basava, what a demand !" Haralaiah was astounded. All who were standing around had a shocking experience of being struck by a bunch of thunder bolts, as it were all at once. This relation was not only special but was revolutionary marriage in the subcontinent. While Madhuvarasa was at the highest strata of this Varnashrama Society, Haralaiah was at the lowest strata. And the possible marriage between these two strata was going to create a terrible havoc in the society. Therefore Haralaiah hesitated. But, Madhuvarasa as a follower of Sharana Dharma, he placed his request before Anubhava Mantapa. It was accepted by Basavanna and all other Sharanas agreed to this marriage. When Haralaiah got this approval, he also agreed to this wedding. Marriage took place without any problems.
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