BASAVANALA S.S., 1893-1951


            Shivalingappa Shivayogappa Basavanala, (ಶಿವಲಿಂಗಪ್ಪ ಶಿವಯೋಗಪ್ಪ ಬಸವನಾಳ) (shivalingappa shivayOgappa, basavanALa) was a great scholar, a pioneering educationist, journalist and a person devoted to social service. He is ranked among the leaders of the Kannada renaissance in North Karnataka which was a part of Bombay presidency during those days.

            Basavanala was born in Dharawada and obtained an M.A. degree from the Deccan College, Poona. He did not opt for government service and devoted his entire life for the progress of society at large and his community in particular. He was the founder of the ‘Karnataka Lingayat Education Society’ and established high schools at Dharawada, Sollapura and Belgaum under its auspices. Lingaraj College a premier educational institution in Belgaum was started by the society. (1923) Basavanala was the Head Master of the R.L.S. High School at Dharawada and a lecturer in History and English at the Lingaraja College. He founded the ‘Veerashaiva Taruna Sangha’ and edited ‘Prabodha’, a monthly published by the organisation.(1918) (with H.F.Kattimani) He bought ‘Jaya Karnataka’ and edited it for some time.

            He has rendered yeoman service in the fields of textual criticism and literary criticism. He was an erudite scholar in Kannada, English and Marathi. Some of the ancient works edited by Basavanala are as follows:

1.    Kavyavalokanam                              by Nagavarma

2.    Chennabasavapurana                      by Virupaksha Pandita

3.    Prabhulingaleele                                   by Chamarasa 

4.    Kaivalya Paddhati                          by  Nijaguna Shivayogi

5.    Shabara Shankara Vilasam             by  Shadakshara Deva

6. Basavannanavara Shatsthalada Vachanagalu

7.    Revanasiddeshvaradevara Ragale

8.    Pampashataka                          by Harihara

9.    Rakshashataka                                 by  Harihara

10.  ‘Karnataka Shabdanushasana Prakashike

11. mailarada basavalingasharanara Krutigalu

12. Kaivalya kalpavallari                         by Nijaguna Shivayogi

13. Veerashaiva Tatva Prakashana’ (Anthology)

‘Musings of Basavanna’ is a collection of some vachanas of Basavanna. It was translated by Basavanala and K.R.Srinivasa Iyyanagar. He has published a number of research articles in periodicals and magazines.

The introductions and the supplementary material provided for all these publications by Basavanala are scholarly and illuminative. However a special mention must be made of his introduction to the book, ‘Basavannanavara Shatsthalada Vachanagalu. It is suffused with modern scholarship and native brilliance. He has studied the vachanas from the point of view of stylistics, prosody and poetics. This was, when those disciplines were in nascent stage as far as Kannada was concerned. He is credited with the practice of splitting a vachana in to a number of lines based on their semantic structure and rhyme patterns. This gave a new dimension to vachanas which were written till then with out a break. His analysis of a few vachanas provide wonderful examples of practical criticism.


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