Karnataka celebrates ‘Basava Jayanthi Utsav’ in memory of Basaveswara the great 12th century social reformer. He was a minister of a local king, but he devoted his life for the upliftment of the oppressed lower castes. He worked against the community discrimination like untouchability. He hailed from Bagewaadi, Bijapur in North Karnataka.
He was the founder of the Lingayat community, a community which believes in equality of the human race irrespective of caste creed or religion. “Our body is the abode of God, so we don’t need to worship anybody else,” was the gist of his teachings. The ideals and teachings of the 12th century saint and philosopher Sri Basaveshwara were more relevant now than they were eight centuries ago.
The message given by Basaveshwara transcended religion and caste. He emphasised on the welfare and well-being of the humankind. The “Anubhava Mantapa” established by Basaveshwara had representatives from all sections of society. It preached equality of all people. Love was the only emotion to unite society. If there was love and compassion, there would be no problems, he said.
In 1964 Basava Samithi was inaugurated at Shiv Yogi Mutt to disseminate the principles ofBasaveswara (Basava tathva), by the leadership of Dr B D Jatti who served as Governor and Vice President of India. The committee had been patronized by the then Maharaja of Mysore, Jaya Chamarajendra Wodeyar and Nijalingappa, a renowned Gandhian and the former Chief Minister of Karnataka and Brahmanada Reddy, the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. Since thirty-seven years the committee is into various social and cultural activities.
In 1971 they shifted into the present building, Basava Bhavan in the heart of the city. A grand auditiroum called Anubhava Mantap was added later for conducting cultural activities. Another building Arivuna Mane Auditorium was built in January 2000 to conduct religious discourses and seminars. Basava Samithi organizes various cultural and recreation programme on the occasion of Basava Jayanthi. The 2015 Basava Jaynthi falls on April, 21st.