Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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(4,805 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 historical…

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Michael, R. Blake, “Basava”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 27 January 2022 <>
First published online: 2018

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