Guru Basava Vachanas

Milk is already tasted by calf,
water is already sipped by fish,
flower is already smelt by bee,
how can I worship, Shiva?
Koodalasangamadeva it is not in my power,
I cannot avoid this defiling.
Whatever I get, I offer, and please accept it. -Guru Basava/406/[1]

The snake charmer with a snake in his hand
and his nose cut off
along with his wife with her nose cut off too
going to find a match for his son
sees another charmer with his wife’s nose cut off and says ‘it is bad omen’.
Look at this fun!
his wife has her nose cut off,
his nose is cut off,
he has a snake in hand,
and yet not aware of this
he blames the others.
How shall I describe such a dog Koodalasangamadeva? -Guru Basava/407/[1]

The crookedness of the snake
becomes straight enough for the ant-hill.
The crookedness of the river-
becomes straight enough for the sea.
The crookedness of our Koodalasanga’s sharanas
becomes straight enough for the linga. -Guru Basava/408/[1]

Like a frog in serpents mouth
jumping with hunger and desires for a fly,
how long will a thief about to be hanged
live if he desires to have milk and ghee?
Those who believe in body that dies
and try to live uttering falsehood for their belly’s sake such people
Koodalasangamadeva will not accept. -Guru Basava/409/[1]

It is like scratching your cheeks with snake’s hood,
Combing your hair with burning torch,
Swinging holding on to tiger’s whisker
if you are heedless and be playful
with sharanas of Koodalasangamadeva.
It is like jumping into the pond
with limestone tied up to your body. -Guru Basava/410/[1]

Those bitten by snake,
you can make them speak.
Those struck by evil planets,
you can make them speak.
Those who are stiff struck by wealth,
you cannot make them speak.
Koodalasangamadeva,
they will speak the very instant
when the magician called poverty strikes. -Guru Basava/411/[1]

If the son of man born poor becomes prosperous he will get millions and feel happy.
If a coward king who has never seen a battlefield has a warrior son he will enjoy and feel satisfied by seeing the flood of blood the hero has created.
I will feel happy and be satisfied,
if you Koodalasangamadeva come and beg. -Guru Basava/412/[1]

If they touch a rope on molehill
they will die-the doubtful.
Even with snake bite
they will not die-the doubtless and faithful.
Koodalasangamadeva,
for one who doubts
and for the doubtful of mind
prasaada will be great poison. -Guru Basava/413/[1]

Those who become a snake when they see molehill
Or a water-snake when they see water
will he appreciate such people?
Will he not make them take many births?
Will he not make them suffer great hell?
When he sees devotees who deceive
Koodalasangamadeva will trouble them no end. -Guru Basava/414/[1]

If you beat molehill will the snake die?
What if you do fierce penance?
Unless the your mind and soul are pure
How can Koodalasangamadeva believe you? -Guru Basava/415/[1]

Tiger’s milk is for tiger and not for the deer.
The anklet of bravery is for the determined warrior.
If one with wavering mind, shows such desire
Koodalasangamadeva will cut his nose deep. -Guru Basava/416/[1]

Cutting knife in my heart
and wards sweet on the tip of my tongue
but I play and I sing!
I perform Shivaraatri each night!
I remain like my self,
my mind like itself
and Koodalasangamadeva like himself! -Guru Basava/417/[1]

I am like a coward dressed up with titles of a hero.
I should fight, but have no mind.
At that very moment my title is gone.
My show off became ridiculous.
When the foe called jangama comes home
and I turn my face away,
Koodalasangamadeva clever,
will cut my nose away till bones show. -Guru Basava/418/[1]

What caste for him who is with you and eats what you offer?
What caste for him whom you love?
What caste for him when you hold his hand?
Our Maadarachennayya is superior to all castes,
superior even to you Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/419/[1]

Get up early in the morning,
bring holy water and leaves,
worship linga before it is time.
When the time is up
and you are taken to the grave
who will know you?
Before time is over
before death takes you away
do the servant-work of Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/420/[1]

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

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