Who is Basavanna?
Eight hundred years ago, there lived a couple by name' Madarasa and Madalambike in a village called Bagewadi of Bijapur District, in Karnataka, (South India). They were very pious and deeply religious. There was a temple of andeesh- wara in that village. The husband and the wife were devotees of Nandeeshwara. Madalambike was longing to have a son. She offered worship every day to God Shiva and prayed to Him to fulfil her desire. One day after performing the worship she sat in meditation. A jasmine flower, placed on the Shivalinga as an offering, fell into her lap. She took it with great devotion, pressed it gently to her eyes and then wore it in her hair. The whole day she was beside herself with joy. At night she had a dream: Shiva from Kailasa had sent Nandi, the bull on which he rode, to this world. Nandi came to the house of Madarasa and Madalambike. Then there was light everywhere.
The next morning Madalambike revealed this dream to Madarasa. He in turn reported it to the Guru, a spiritual guide of the village. The Guru told him that it was a good sign. The couple would have a worthy son; he would exalt the entire family. He would also uplift and enlighten the whole world. The couple felt very happy when they heard these words of prophecy.
Bagewadi was a small village. Madarasa was its chief. Soon the news of Madalambike's dream spread all over the village.
In course of time Madalambike gave birth to a son. It was a charming baby. Its face shone with a brightness not of this world. But strangely enough it did not cry at all as babies usually do. It did not open its eyes. It did not move its limbs. It was still and silent like a sage in meditation. The mother
was worried. The revered Guru of the family was in Kudalasangarna. Madarasa decided to report this curious state of the baby to him.
Kudalasangama is a holy place where the two rivers Krishna and Malapahari meet. A temple of God Sangameshwara is there. The revered Guru of Madarasa's family was in sole charge of the temple where he was running a Gurukula (a school). By his devout meditation and scholarship he
commanded the respect of all and wielded much influence. To him came Madarasa with the news of his new, born baby and its curious state. The Guru immediately went with him to Bagewadi.
He realized that this was no ordinary babe. He smeared its forehead with the sacred ashes brought from the holy Sangama. Only then the baby opened its eyes. The Guru tied the 'Linga' round its neck. It started smiling. Thus the Guru admitted the little infant into a spiritual order. This was something new to Madarasa and Madalambike. The Guru then said: "By the grace of God Shiva, Nandi (Vrishabha) himself has been born as your son. He will become a great man and will promote Dharma in the world. The welfare of the entire mankind will be accomplished by him. This indeed is your good fortune as also of this land. Name him as 'Basava'."
Basava is the Kannada form of theSanskrit word 'Vrishabha'. As instructed by the Guru the baby was named 'Basava'. Later, out of respect, people called him 'Basaveshwara'. While working for the good of all his fellowmen, he showed great love for them and was very close to them. So they began to call him affectionately 'Basavanna' (Basava, the elder brother). He was born in 1131 A.D.
[[Click Here To Read Best Of Basavanna Vachanas With Translation ]]