Biography of Basav

Basavanna, also known as Saint Basava or Basaveshwara, was a philosopher, statesman, and social reformer in the 12th century in Karnataka, India. He is considered the founding saint of the Lingayat sect, a major religious and social movement in medieval Karnataka. Basavanna’s teachings emphasized equality, social justice, and devotion to Lord Shiva.
Biography of Basav
Biography of Basav

Early Life and Education:

Basavanna was born in 1105 CE in the town of Bagewadi, now in modern-day Karnataka, India. He belonged to the Brahmin community but stood against the prevailing social norms of caste discrimination.

Philosopher and Social Reformer:

Basavanna rejected the hierarchical caste system and advocated for social equality. He propagated the concept of “Lingayatism,” which emphasized devotion to Lord Shiva and rejected idol worship and caste distinctions. He encouraged people to wear “Ishtalinga,” a small lingam (an abstract representation of Lord Shiva), as a symbol of their faith.

Political Career:

Basavanna served as the Prime Minister (Raja Guru) in the court of King Bijjala II of the Kalachuri dynasty. He used his political influence to promote social reforms and religious tolerance.

Vachana Literature:

Basavanna and his followers composed Vachanas, devotional poems, which conveyed spiritual teachings in simple Kannada language. These Vachanas emphasized devotion, social equality, and ethical conduct. Basavanna’s literary contributions have had a profound impact on Kannada literature and culture.


Basavanna’s teachings and the Lingayat philosophy continue to influence millions of followers in Karnataka and neighboring regions. His emphasis on social equality, rejection of caste discrimination, and devotion to God have left a lasting legacy in Indian spiritual and social traditions.
Basavanna’s life and teachings are celebrated annually during the Basava Jayanti festival in Karnataka, where his followers pay homage to his contributions to humanity and spirituality.