Basava



Average: 2.4 (7 votes)
Fast Facts
Basava.jpg
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Basavanna
Function: 
Guru
Traditions: 
Advaita
Main Countries of Activity: 
India
Date of Birth: 
1134
Place of Birth: 
Karnatkaka
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
No
Date Left His/Her Body: 
1196
Ancestor Gurus: 

Biography

Basava, sometimes referred to reverently as Basavanna or Basaveshwara, was a twelfth century devotee of Shiva and early organizer of the Virasaiva Lingayata sect in the Kannada-speaking regions of southern India.

The Virasaivas were a Shiva bhakti movement that rejected the elaborate ritualism and strict caste system of orthodox Hinduism which favored the wealthy, and instead emphasized direct mystical experience available to all through deep devotion to God. In this sense, the Virasaiva movement was a mystical protestant movement that also asserted social equality and justice for the poor. As Lingayatas they worship Shiva in the form of a linga, the stone symbol that represents God as creative generator of the universe or, more deeply, as a representation of the Formless taking form.

Basavanna was orphaned at a young age but adopted by a wealthy family with political connections. He received a good education but rejected a life of comfort and prestige to become a wandering ascetic dedicated to Shiva.

He received enlightenment at a sacred meeting of rivers. This is why all of Basavanna's poems include a reference to Shiva as "the lord of the meeting rivers." This also has a deeper, esoteric meaning relating to the subtle energies awakened in the yogi's awareness.

However, he soon was given a divine command to return to worldly life. Basavanna initially resisted, but eventually yielded and returned to his adopted family. Before long he attained high political office while, simultaneously, forming the new populist mystical movement of Virasaivas into a coherent, egalitarian community. This community fostered many other great poet-saints.

Sources: 
http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/B/Basava/index.htm

Teachings

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Con Opinions

may not be

NIDHI PARKASH's picture

Shivananda who was the second president of Ramakrishna Math and Mission may not be ancestor Guru of him because he was born in twelth century and Shivananda was available in twentieth century ( in the