Basava Jayanthi is celebrated in honor of Mahatma Basaveshwar who was a famous Philosopher, Statesman, Social Reformer, and Saint in the Shaivism Bhakti Movement during the 12th Century. It is observed on the third of the bright half or Shukla paksha during the month of Vaisakha. Jagat Jyoti Basaveshwara was a well-known saint who worked tirelessly to spread social awareness among people with his poetry and philosophy. His main teachings included gender equality, social reforms, eradication of social discrimination, clarification of superstition, and unnecessary rituals. The 12th Century had witnessed these ideas from anyone and therefore the new teachings by Basaveshwara on these social issues made him quite popular among several people who later became his followers.
Basava jayanthi is celebrated by Lingayats in the State of Karnataka and marks the birth anniversary of philosopher and poet Basaveshwara. The famous Saint was born in 1105 CE to a family of Shiva devotees in the Northern parts of the State. He believed in human equality and reached about how everyone should be treated equally irrespective of their cast. He introduced the practice of wearing Ishtalinga necklace which symbolizes Lord Shiva and is worn by all Lingayats. Later he became the Chief Minister of his Kingdom and brought about several social reforms, introduced new laws that freed men and women from gender and class discrimination.
He was an ardent follower of Shaivism and spread his philosophy during the Bhakti movement in Southern India. Lord Basava put forward the idea that temple worship and rituals propagated by Brahmins could be replaced by a different form of devotion. It focused mainly on personal and direct worship of Lord Shiva through symbols like the Shiva Linga. His philosophies which have been captured perfectly by his poetry speak strongly against gender discrimination and different forms of superstitions that existed during the time.