Guru Basava Vachanas

Look,
being brave
why then crave for an arrow?
Being a vassal
why then hanker after life?
Being a bhakta
why then desire life, mind and wealth?
If I turn a doubter
when you restrain or chide me
it ruins my being your vassal Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/1/[1]

A warrior’s flight
is master’s downfall.
Let me fight and make me win.
As there is no fraud in my body mind and wealth
make me win, Koodalasangamadevayya. -Guru Basava/2/[1]

Who would I offer the pleasure
without the linga?
It could not be,
as it is not proper for the bhakti path
as it is not proper for the sharana path
to be without linga.
The spit that is swallowed
without Koodalasangamadeva
is poisonous rust. -Guru Basava/3/[1]

When the linga becomes a property on your body
it is impossible to bow
to an installed god.
Would intercourse with another
abandoning on&s own man
be propriety?
Even as the god is your on palm
if you bow to one installed on the earth
Koodalasangamadeva will dump you in hell. -Guru Basava/4/[1]

Looking at the linga within
eyes brimful and tears flowing
when would I be like this?
Sight becoming my life breath
union becoming my life breath
when would I be like this
erasing all my bodily passions and uttering
linga, linga Koodalasangayya? -Guru Basava/5/[1]

Fearing would not rid it,
anxiety would not rid it,
lodging inside a diamond cage would not rid it,
destinys writ would never swerve.
Look
being sentimental,
losing fortitude,
losing mind’s strength,
wouldn’t do.
That which must happen can never be missed
Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/6/[1]

Like the dog
that sits on the palanquin
can not rid itself of prior nature
is this mind.
Shun it
shun this mind
it runs after passions
never lets me think of you lord, everyday.
My lord Koodalasangamadeva,
I beg you, with my hands folded
be compassionate so that I think of your feet. -Guru Basava/7/[1]

Do not say
then or today or some other time.
Today is the day
for him that say I surrender to Shiva,
Today is the day
for him that say I surrender to Hara.
Today is the day
for him that thinks our Koodalasanga
without break. -Guru Basava/8/[1]

It was as like spotting water
in a forest while one was too thirsty,
it was like a blind man gaining eyesight,
a poor man gaining hidden treasure.
Look,
the arrival of my Koodalasanga’s sharanas
is my life breath. -Guru Basava/9/[1]

Like a beast lost in the forest
I moo ‘ambe ambe’.
Like a calf I cry out ‘ambe ambe’
until
Koodalasangamadeva says ‘live on, live on.’ -Guru Basava/10/[1]

Elder brother
younger brother
the father that begot
what if they are kin?
Those without the fellowship of the linga,
I would not call them mine.
Devotion that keeps relations is deadly hell
Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/11/[1]

That I may not wander here and there
make me lame, father.
That my eyes do not stray
make me blind, father.
That I may not hear another thing
make me deaf, father
Keep me from desiring another thing
but the feet of your sharanas
Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/12/[1]

Would not a day’s worship of linga be enough
than eternal penance under trees and on mountains?
Would not a day’s service at the feet of the guru be enough than eternal worship of linga?
Would not a day’s offer of satiety to the jangama be enough than eternal service at the feet of gurus?
Would not a minute’s spiritual experience of your sharanas be enough
than eternal offer of satiety to the jangama
Koodalasangayya? -Guru Basava/13/[1]

Father is our Maadaara Chennayya,
elder uncle is our DOahara Kakkayya,
uncle is Chikkayya,
elder brother is our Kinnari Bommayya.
Why do you not know me as such Koodalasangayya? -Guru Basava/14/[1]

Ayya,
like the young calf wearying
looking for its mother
I am wearying in your search.
Show yourself up to my mind and grant compassion,
be you my mind’s abode,
grant compassion,
grant me this much little good
ambe ambe Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/15/[1]

[1] Number indicates at the end of each Vachana is from the book "Vachana", pub: Basava Samiti Bangalore 2012.

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