Basavanna

12th century Statesman, administrator, philosopher, mystic. Basavanna was the central figure in the Vachana movement. 1414 Vachanas have been found. He used the pen name,  Kudala-sangama-deva. During his work life he worked as the finance minister  to Bijjala who ruled from Kalyana near Bidar, Karnataka. His house which was open to all irrespective of caste, creed or gender was known as Mahamane. Basavanna saw Shiva in all and he rejected caste labels. He established Anubhava Mantapa, a forum where the Sharanas met and exchanged views.  The Sharana who presided over the meeting was given a seat of honour which was called Shunya simhasana or the throne of shunya.

Basavanna spent his last days at a place called Kudala Sangama where two rivers, Krishna and Mala-prabha meet.

Places associated with Basavanna: Bagevadi village where he was born is in Bijapur district. Koodala Sangama where he spent his early years worshipping Kudala Sangameshwara and also, his last days. Mangalawada where he joined the service of Bijjala. Kalyana where he shifted to when Bijjala took over as the king.

His Vachanas in this collection:

1. Reaching Shiva
2. Ocean of life
3. To sink or swim?
5. Before its too late …
11. Guru comes first
17. When the sharanas reveal their truth …
20. A stream of milk
23. As vast as the universe …
24. Wherever I look …
26. A symbol of awareness
44. Jangama is the mouth of Linga
45. If the Jangama is offered water
46. Love for Shiva
47. Each has his own anxiety
48. Today is the right day
49. What is it that Shiva loves?
50. Call Shiva
52. Thankless labour
53. You are Pashupati
56. I surrender
57. You are the doer
58. In your lotus feet I merge
59. Immersed in your worship
60. Milestones in the road to Shiva
61. Inside and outside
62. To think is to act
63. Clean it up
65. Gulf apart
66. Heal thyself
67. Heaven and Hell
68. Honesty is the best policy
69. Don’t get angry
70. Key to purity
71. May my mind remain steady
72. The speech Shiva approves of
74. To gain Shiva’s love
77. Stamping out ego
80. Cry, Oh Goat
79. Compassion is the root
85. Divine workshop
91. No Castes
92. Only one
95. Body and spirit
96. Finding Shiva in Jangama
97. Milk for stone
98. Share
100. Web of life
101. Eat, thinking of Shiva
103. Prasaada
106. All for Shiva
114. If you are pleased …
115. Not without His mercy