(4,882 words)

Basava (or Basavēśvara or Basavaṇṇa) is the purported founder of the Liṅgāyat (or Vīraśaiva) religious movement. His most likely dates are 1105-1167 CE, though some argue for 1134-1196 CE. As with most founders, there are both traditional versions of his life and challenges to the very claim that he, rather than a group of mystical teachers (ācāryas), founded the movement. Those traditional views, even if verified in broad scope, are challenged in their details by …

Cite this page
R. Blake Michael, “Basava”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 18 February 2019 <>
First published online: 2012

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