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Daily News Analysis

BASAVA JAYANTI

25th April, 2023 Culture

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Context

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Jagadguru Basaveshwara on the sacred occasion of Basava Jayanthi.

About Basava Jayanthi

  • It is a day traditionally observed by the Lingayats of the Indian state of Karnataka.
  • It marks the birthday of Basavanna, a 12th-century poet-philosopher and the founding saint of the Lingayat tradition.
  • The day is celebrated throughout South India, primarily in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

About Basavanna

  • He was a 12th-century CE Indian statesman, philosopher, poet, Lingayat social reformer in the Shiva-focussed bhakti movement, and a Hindu Shaivite social reformer during the reign of the Kalyani Chalukya/Kalachuri dynasty.
  • He believed in a society free of the caste system, with equal opportunity for all.
  • He founded the Anubhava Mantapa, an academy which included Lingayat mystics, saints, and philosophers.
  • Basava was active during the rule of both dynasties but reached the peak of his influence during the rule of King Bijjala II in Karnataka.
  • Basava spread social awareness through his poetry, popularly known as Vachanaas.
  • He rejected gender or social discrimination, superstitions and rituals but introduced Ishtalinga necklace, with an image of the Shiva Liṅga to every person regardless of their birth, to be a constant reminder of one's bhakti (devotion) to Shiva.
  • A strong promoter of ahimsa, he also condemned human and animal sacrifices.
  • The legends and hagiographic texts state Basava to be the founder of the Lingayats. However, modern scholarship relying on historical evidence such as the Kalachuri inscriptions state that Basava was the poet philosopher who revived, refined and energized an already existing tradition.

About Lingayatism

  • Lingayatism or Veera Saivism is a Hindu denomination based on Shaivism.
  • Initially known as Veerashaivas, since the 12th-century adherents of this faith are known as Lingayats.
  • Lingayatism may refer to the whole Veerashaiva Lingayat community, but also to a contemporary sub-tradition dedicated to Basava's original thought, and to a movement within this community which strives toward recognition as an independent religion.

PRACTICE QUESTION

Q) Which of the following statements with reference to Basava is/are incorrect?

a. He believed in a society free of the caste system.

b. Lingayatism is a Hindu denomination based on Shaivism.

  1. a only
  2. b only
  3. both a and b
  4. neither a nor b

Correct Answer: 4

https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1918885