Kannada, Kannadiga, Kannadigaru, Karnataka,

Kannadigarella ondaagi Kannadavannu ulisona, kalisona and belesona




Twelfth century of Karnataka is noted for its socioeconomic, cultural and literary revolution. It was called a total revolution which brought in a sea-change in the life of Karnataka. A rare responsibility of leading that revolution fell on the broad and able shoulders of Basavanna. It was not an accident but opportunity, the time had offered to him. Basavanna was known for his humility coupled with introspection and self criticism. The education he had, made him rich not only in Sanskrit and Kannada literatures but also in religions. He was also gifted with a rare quality of creativity and subtle sensitivity. His studious nature with his subtle sensitivity helped him to exploit the rich treasures of both Sanskrit and Kannada literature. He was compassionate and his love of life helped his creative genius to bloom. His creative personality was sensitive to the problems of the Society. As he was destined to be a leader, his creative genius, scholarship and the social status did not make him arrogant. The compassionate heart he had made him become humble and mellowed his personality.

The social and religious conditions of the society and the agony of the oppressed people inspired his creative genius. And he waged a war against untouchability, caste system and inequalities between men and women on the basis of human values.

Like a prophet he visualised a dream of creating a new society. This vision of a new society was based on equality and human dignity. This attracted the imaginations of Mahadeva of Kashmir, Shankara Deva of Afghanisthan, Allamaprabhu of Balligave, Adayya of Sowrashtra, Siddarama of Sholapur and others. They were irresistably drawn towards this visionary of Karnataka. The discussion he had with these people related to the ways and means of probing the secrets of life and exploring the possibilities of establishing a new set of human values. It is here that the creative genius of many began to bloom.

His words were true and warm with love. They had the glow of a new dream. And the people flocked arround him to listen to his words of lore.

What was thrilling about this was that there were washermen, fishermen, cobblers, barbers, tax collectors, doctors, wood cutters, carpenters, blacksmiths, priests and others who belonged to the different stratas of society. Nowhere in the history of literature, we come across with such a rare range of men and women writing Vachanas which had given expression to their dreams of a new society. The creative atmosphere generated by Basavanna inspired even the so called common men like Machaiah, Chowdaiah, Kalavve, Satyakka, Maraiah, Sankavve, Kalakethaiah, Masanaiah, Masanamma, Mahadevi, Akkamma and others. They wrote Vachanas also apart from taking active part in the revolution. Compassionate Basavanna was blessed with simplicity and humility. His scholarship and creative abilities were astonishing. In fact it is rare to find a Vachanakara who does not respect and remember Basavanna in his/her Vachanas.

Basavanna’s achievements are multi-faceted. He is the founder of Vachana tradition which influenced the trends in Kannada literature. Kayaka Siddhanta which was cristalised under his dynamic leadership, even to this day, is a great economic theory based on ethics. The revolutionary ideas of Basavanna which inspired intercaste marriage in the 12th century itself is an idea which can help humanity in eradicating not only untouchability but also the ugly caste system.

Basavanna, Prime Minister of Emperor Bijjala of 12th Century, was a great mystic, treasurer of Lord’s love, social reformer, visionary, rationalist, socialist, advocate of non-violence, promoter of the cause of downtrodden and women, trend setter in Kannada literature, upholder of dignity of labour, and crusader against untouchability and superstition. He declared, ‘Work is bliss’. He struggled to establish a classless and casteless society based on spiritual and moral values. He endeavoured to establish democracy in religion, society and moral values. His multi-dimensional personality is unparalleled in the entire history of the world. He is the Light of the Universe.

Birth :

Basavesvara was born around the year 1131 A.D., on Vaishakha Shuddha Trutiya, the nakshatra being Rohini. Madiraja and Madalambe are the parents of Basaveshwara. They were the devotees of Nandisvara at Bagewadi. Gangambike, the daughter of Baladeva, was married to Basavesvara. Basavesvara by birth was a genuine devotee and a seeker after truth. It was in Kudala Sangama that Basavesvara’s inner self reached realization in full.

Lore of the Saiva Saints like Jedara Dasimayya, Sankara Dasimayya, Revanasiddhesvara, Sakalesa Madarasa and Kondaguli Kesiraja, Nayanars of Tamilnad seem to have impressed the mind of Basavesvara considerably. Such of the Saints as were worshipping God, without any ostentation, submitting themselves to His will, could easily appeal to Sri Basavesvara because he was a kindred soul.

Work is Worship :

Basavesvara left Kudala Sangama around the year 1152 A.D. Basavesvara first joined Bijjala’s office as a clerk. His sharp intellect very soon drew the attention of the higher officers like Soddala Bacarasa and Bhandari Siddharasa at Mangalawada.

When the senior accountants committed a grave mistake in the accounts, Basavesvara would point out the same to the great joy and surprise of Bhandari Siddarasa who took him to Bijjala and got him appointed as a clerk on a salary of 101 honnes per year.

Very soon, Bhandari position was also offered to Basavesvara as Siddharasa died without an heir, and Basavesvara was found to be the most appropriate choice.

Basavesvara became the Minister to King Bijjala in 1162. Basavesvara’s life at Kalyana since 1154 was most eventful. He wanted to establish a new religion which would elevate the people to heavenly felicity here and in this world itself.

Basava Matha :

Fundamental principles of religion, philosophy and society were discovered and the great Vachana literature took its final shape. Basavesvara was now not only a minister but a central figure and a leader of a great socio-religious movement. As a devotee of high order, as a leader of great movement, Basavesvara was in the heart of the people. The real Bhakti itself was transformed as Mukti. He also established Anubhavamantapa as a symbol of new religion which attracted saints from such far off places like Kashmir, Banaras etc.

The social revolution, however, is the hall-mark of this great movement. The cardinal principles for which Basavesvara stood were of equality, liberty and fraternity. He would never accept any hierarchy in society. To him all were equal irrespective of caste, creed, occupation etc.

Basavesvara attained union with Kudala Sangamesvara in 1167 A.D.


July 1, 2007 - Posted by | EKAVI COORG-KODAGU, History of Karnataka


  1. Great Article …!!!

    Comment by Madhu | July 2, 2007 | Reply

  2. ops! Longblog. mine is shorter
    Welcome for a qiuck visit. greetings sofia


    Comment by Sofia | July 2, 2007 | Reply

  3. […] This books reminds me of a vachana which I had read in my School written in 12th Century by “Jagajyothi Basaveshwara“. […]

    Pingback by Platonic » Blog Archive » Riches to Rags | December 30, 2007 | Reply

  4. hi

    Comment by shivayogi s mugbast | June 16, 2008 | Reply

  5. a vvery inspiring reading want to read the vachanas in original

    Comment by Dr. R P PANKAJA | November 15, 2008 | Reply

  6. please give me photoes of kannada vachanakara.

    =by siddharth hegde,nandalike,karnataka,karkala taluk

    Comment by siddharth hegsde | November 1, 2009 | Reply

  7. rrrrtrtrtrtrtrt good web site

    Comment by siddharth hegde | November 1, 2009 | Reply

  8. Good one

    Comment by Prakash CN | August 18, 2010 | Reply

  9. ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

    Comment by siddharth | August 28, 2011 | Reply

  10. Adya vachankar Devara Dhasimaiah is DEVANGA NEAKARA ater his Basavaadi Sharana’s are their

    Lore of the Saiva Saints like Jedara Dasimayya, Sankara Dasimayya, this or one that isAdya vachankar Devara Dhasimaiah is DEVANGA NEAKARA ater his Basavaadi Sharana’s are their

    Comment by yennegere r.venkataramaiah | November 1, 2013 | Reply

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