Basavanna Jayanti, or Basava Jayanti, marks the birth anniversary of the 12th Century thinker, social reformer, saint and religious teacher, Basaveshwara. In 2017, the date of Basava Jayanti is April 29 - as per the Karnataka Government Calendar. Some general calendars have also given April 28 as date as majority portion of Vaishakh Shukla Paksha Tritiya Tithi falls on the day. Basvanna is considered to be the founder of Lingayatism or Lingayat Sect or Veerashaivism. He was responsible for sweeping social changes in Karnataka and surrounding regions around 900 years ago. In 2017, it is the 884th birth anniversary of the social reformer.
A true humanist, Basaveshwara stood for the upliftment of the downtrodden and fought the evils that had crept into the Brahmanic Vedic tradition. He preached that there is only one Supreme Being and that is Shiva; and that all animate and inanimate are equal before the Supreme Being.
The philosophy and teachings of Basaveshwara had universal appeal and eternal value and it attracted millions of people. The equality of sexes and social justice, which was unheard in many parts of the world in 12th century, was introduced at the grassroots level of the Kannada society by Basavanna.
Vachana, penned by Basavanna, propagates values of universal brotherhood, social awareness and aims at equality in the society. Vachana is a prosaic form well known in Kannada literature – great teaches in few words like the mahavakyas of the Upanishads.
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