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Chennabasavanna (ಚೆನ್ನಬಸವಣ್ಣ)

Full Name: Chennabasavanna, Chenna Basavanna also known as Shatastala Chakravarti
Pen Name (Vachana Signature): Koodala Chennasangayya,Koodala Chennasanga, Koodalachennasangama
Kayaka (Occupation): Jangama (wandering mystic)
Speciality: 2nd President of Anubhavamantapa (The Hall of Experience)


Aadi Basavanna, anaadi Lingavedembaru
Husi, husi E nudiaya kelalagadu
Aadi Linga , anadi Basavannanu
Lingavu Basavannana udardalli huttitu
Jangamau Basavannana udaradalli huttitu
Prasadavu Basavannananu anukarisalayittu
Inti trividhakke Basavannane karanavendaridenayya
Koodalachenna Sangamadeva. - Chenna Basavanna Samagra Vachana Sahitya 3/ VNo5

There is a saying Basaveshwara is beginner (Aadi),
Linga existing from eternity (Anadi),
Lie, lie this cannot be heard,
Linga is beginner (Aadi),
Basavanna is senior to Linga (Anadi),
Linga is born in the stomach of Basavanna,
Jangama is born in the stomach of Basavanna,
Prasada is born in the stomach of Basavanna,
I came to notice, Basavanna is the only cause for this three fold ethics,
O Lord Koodalachennasangamadeva.

Chenna Basavanna

Chennabasavanna was Akkangarnma’s son, a nephew of Basavanna, Sivaswamy (Shivadeva) was his father. He was born at Koodalasangama (some narratives record it as Kalyaana). Though the youngest among the Kalyana Sharanas, Chennabasavanna bore the wisest head on his young shoulders. All acknowledged him as a born wise person.

At the Anubhava Mantapa, the title of shatsthala Chakravarti (the Emperor of the six-fold system) was conferred on him. Indeed, it was a great honour done to a young member of the Anubhava Mantapa. Age was no criterion, birth was no criterion, and caste was no criterion, to honour a person. Sharanas honoured wisdom and mystic experience, wherever they noticed it - be it in the low-born, be it in the high-born, be it in the young, be it in the old.

Basavanna was his maternal uncle. Chennabasavanna participated very actively in the great work undertaken by Basavanna. He gave Ishtalinga initiation to Siddharama. He ascends the Shoonyasimhasana after Prabhueva. After Basavanna left Bijjala’s court due to difference of opinion between them, Chennabasavanna seems to have stayed back in the capacity of a general.

After the Kalyaana revolution he went to Uluvi along with his mother Akkanagalambike and other sharanas, he fought against the Bijjala's soldier to protect the Vachana Sahithya (literature) and died there. The Samadhi of Channabasavanna lies in Ulavi. Ulavi is a town about 75 km from Karwar (via Kumbarawada) in Karnataka state, India.

Just like Basavanna and Prabhudeva, Chennabasavanna is a major vachanakaara. He wrote vachanas with the signature Koodala Channasangamadeva. He is author of Swaravachana, Mantragopya, Mishasarpana, Karana Hasige and many other works. He is considered to be foremost among those who advocated sharana principle. Some 1763 vachanas of Chennabasavanna are available at present. Their aim is to uphold shatsthala principle. Sharana dharma was in its nascent form at that time and Chennabasavanna took the responsibility of giving it a definite ethical and philosophical shape so that it became accessible to a large section of society. Therefore he earned the titles such as Shatsthalabrahma and Shatsthala Chakravarthy.

He is not one who has come for gold
He is not one who has come for woman
He is not one who has come for food
He is not one who has come for clothes
Basavanna is one who has come to show to the world the path of piety
Koodala Chennasangayya.
[Vachana No. 939] [1]



[1] "VACHANA" English Version Translation by: O.L. Nagabhushana Swamy, ISBN: 978-93-81457-12-2, 2012, Pub: Basava Samithi, Basava Bhavana Benguluru 560001.
[2] Shivasharaneyaru, by: Shri Somashekhar Munavalli and Shri Siddhayya Puranik, 1994, Pub: Shree Basaveshwara Peetha, Karnataka University Dharwad-580003.
[3] Heaven of Equality, Transalted by: Dr. C. R.Yaravintelimath and Dr. M. M. Kalburgi, 2003, Pub: Shree Basaveshwara Peetha, Karnataka University Dharwad-580003.

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