The Great Religious Developments ...                                                                                                                         Back
He left Bagewadi and spent the next 12 years studying Sangameshwara, at the
then-Shaivite stronghold of Kudala Sangama. There, he conversed with scholars
and developed his spiritual and religious views in association with his societal
understanding. His Guru was
Basava started his career as an accountant at Mangalaveda in the court of Kalachuri king Bijjala, a feudatory of the Kalyani Chalukya. When Bijjala acquired the power at Basavakalyana, by overpowering Tailapa IV(the garandson of Vikramaditya VI, the great Chalukya king), Basavanna also went to Kalyana. With his honesty, hardwork and visionary mission, Basava rose to the position of Prime Minister in the court of king Bijjala, who ruled from 1162-1167 at Kalyana (presently renamed as Basavakalyana). There, he established the Anubhava Mantapa, a spiritual parliament to openly discuss Lingayatism, which attracted many saints from throughout India. He believed in the principle Káyakavé Kailása (Work puts you on the path to heaven, Work is Heaven); one step ahead of Ravindranath Tagore's 'work is worship'. It was at this time that the Vachanas, simple and easy-to-understand poetic writings which contained essential teachings, were written. Below is one of the thousands of Vachanas that were written:
Basava created much controversy by actively ignoring the societal rules associated with the caste system, which he wished to abolish. By allowing untouchables to have lunch at his residence and praising the historic marriage of a Brahmin woman and an untouchable man, Basava caused orthodox members of King Bijjala's court to go to the King with such stories, some true and some false. Bijjala, afraid of a possible uprising in orthodox society, ordered the newly married couple to be harshly punished. Before punishing the couple Bijjala asked Basava to agree with caste system; but Basava strongly opposed caste system and said, both Haralayya and Madhuvaras were Lingayats and the rules of caste system are not applicable to them. Bijjala did not agree with Basavanna's ideas; and asked Basavanna to be silent and accept the punishment to couple or leave Kalyana. The "Being punished" (Danda-gonda) Basavanna left Kalyana with heavy heart and marched towards Kudala Sangama. He left Kalyana in 1167 A.D. for Kudala Sangama and en route to Kudala sangama, he preached the people about the humanity, morality, honesty, simplicity, and the dignity of labour, equality among all human beings, human rights etc. Being a perfect yogi he released the bonds of the body and soul and took nirvana (Lingaikya) in the year 1167/1168 in response to the call from Kudala Sangama Devá, the Almighty.