Basavaraju, Lingappa (ಎಲ್. ಬಸವರಾಜು) is a doyen among Kannada scholars. The areas of his specialization include textual criticism, prosody, literary research and translation. He has tried his hand in poetry as well and has published three collections.

Basavaraju was born in Idagur a small village in Kolar district. After receiving early education in Idagur, Siddaganga and Bangalore, he moved over to Mysore for higher education. He obtained B.A (Hons) (1946) and M.A. (1951) degrees in Kannada from the University of Mysore . He was awarded a D.Litt. degree from the same University for his work ‘Shivadasa Geetanjali’. After an early stint of teaching at Davanagere and The Yuvaraja’s college, Mysore, Basavaraju joined the Institute of Kannada Studies in the University of Mysore in 1967 and retired from service in 1979.

Basavaraju has brought many innovative ideas to the field of textual criticism. His sole aim is to bring the literary classics and scholarly treatises of Kannada within the reach of the common man un acquainted with old Kannada. He has prepared simplified prose versions of many an important text. He has also experimented with splitting the poems in ancient texts in to their morphological components and then arranging them in a more communicable order, with appropriate punctuation marks. Of course even before these innovative steps he has worked diligently with old manuscripts the paper ones as well as those of palm leaf and toiled hard to get at the original version. He has been quite secular in his choice of works and chosen Jaina classics such as Adipurana, Buddhist classics such as Ashvaghosha’s ‘Buddhacharita’ as also works such as Toraveya Ramayana and Shabdamanidarpana.

The works edited by L.Basavaraju are listed below.

1. Basaveshvara Vachanasangraha (1952)

2. Allamana Vachanachandrike (1960)

3. Shivadasa Geethanjali (1963)

4. Basava Vachanamrutha (In two parts) (1964, 1970 and 1989)

5. Akkana Vachanagalu (1966)

6. Allamana Vachanagalu (1969)

7. Basavannanavara Vachanagalu (1996)

8. Basavannanavara Shatsthalada

Vachanagalu (1990)

9. Devara Dasimayyana Vachanagalu

10. Sarvajnana VachanagaluParamartha’) (1972)

11. Bedagina Vachanagalu (1998)

12. Shivaganaprasadi Mahadevayyana

Prabhudevara Shunyasampadane (1969)

13. Kalyanada Mayidevana Shivanubhava

Sutra (1998)

14. Pampana ‘Adipurana’ (1976)

15. Pampana ‘Sarala Pampabharata’ (1999)

16. Pampana ‘Samasta Bharatha Kathamrutha’ (2000)

17. Pampana ‘Sarala Adipurana’ (2002)

18. Pampana Adipurana Kathamrutha (2003)

19. Rannana ‘Sarala Gadayuddha’ (2005)

20. ‘Chikkadevaraya Saptapadi’ by Tirumalarya (1971)

21. ‘Torave Ramayana Sangraha’ (1951)

23. ‘Sarala Siddaramacharite’ (2000)

24. Raghavankana ‘Sarala Harishchandra Kavya’ (2001)

25. ‘Kannada Chandassamputa’ (1974)

(This is an edited work, containing all the four ancient Kannada works on prosody. They are ‘Chandombudhi’ by Nagavarma, ‘Kavijihvabandhana’ by Eshvara Kavi, ‘Chandassara’ by Gunachandra and ‘Chandornava’ by Veerabhadra.)

26. “Keshirajana Shabdamanidarpana’ (1986)

L.Basavaraju has translated a few works from Sanskrit. They are

1. ‘Buddhacharite’ by Ashvaghosha (2000)

2. ‘Soundarananda’ by Ashvaghosha (2000)

3. Bhasana ‘Bharata Rupaka’ (1958)

4. ‘Natakamrutha Bindugalu’ (1958)

5. ‘Ramayana Nataka Triveni’ (1958)

(Translation of three plays by Bhasa including ‘Pratima Nataka’)

6. ‘Nijagunashivayogiya Tatvadarshana’ (1961)

(Prose rendering of six philosophical treatises of Nijaguna Shivayogi)

Basavaraju took to creative writing at the ripe age of seventy five and has so far published three collections of poems namely ‘Thanantara’, (1994) (TANAnthara) ‘Jalari’ (jAlAri) (1995) and ‘Chayibaba’ (cAyibAbA) (2005)

Dr Basavaraju has received many awards and honors from the state as well as a grateful public. Some of them are ‘Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award’, ‘Pampa Prashasti’, Basava Puraskara’, ‘Rajyotsva Prashasti’ and the ‘Nadoja Award’, (Honarary Doctorate from the Kannada University ) Central Sahitya Academy has bestowed its Translation Award and Bhasha Samman on this scholar. He was the president for the Kannada Sahitya Sammelan held at Chitradurga in 2009.

Dr Basavaraju has rendered yeoman service in fields that are usually marginalized by the general public.


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