Sri Basaveswara


Basaveswara was the very embodiment of love and devotion. But he never approves of devotion that makes one neglect worldly obligations. Body is the temple of god and the world is God’s workshop where everyone is shaped and purified. It is only we, with our attitude and behavior that make this world a heaven or a hell. Sweet and truthful speech, good and right conduct, make it a heaven. Harsh and foul words, speech full of lies, wicked and immoral behavior make it a hell.

The practical philosophy of Basaveswara put forth not by precept but by his own living example contains three important tenets. The first one is equality and universal brotherhood. The second is liberation of women and the downtrodden fro ill-treatment, exploitation and discrimination (gross social injustice). The third is the principle of Kayaka cum Dasoha, the best solution for all social and economic problems. All these three are linked with spiritual sadhana. This indeed is a unique contribution of shiva sharana movement led by basaveswara. These three, no doubt, pertain to worldly life but worldly life is not the end but means to higher consciousness and spiritual progress. It may as well be considered as the first phase of Spiritual Sahana integrating all the four paths – Bjakthi, Jnana, Karma and Yoga.

Basaveswara was a revolutionary social-philosopher too. Even though he was born in the most orthodox and caste ridden society of his times, he was liberal and far advanced in his views. He tried to wipe out untouchability which was a blot on Hinduism. He awakened in their hearts aspiration for a better life socially and an awareness of divinity within, spiritually. He kindled in them a sense of self-respect and encouraged them to develop self-confidence by treating them with love and respect. He tried to empower them not by giving them electric cells as free gift but by inducing them to operate the dynamo of self-confidence and self-effort concealed in their personality. This dynamo with their effort could be make to generate power and light. This worked for a short time and great saints and thinkers emerged out of the lowest class. It is a pity that even in these modern times when liberty, equality and fraternity have been declared as the basis of democracy, proper steps and measures have not been taken for equality and equal opportunities for all.

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Sri Basaveswara


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