Guru Basava Vachanas

Don’t gloat and speak
that gods are two or three.
Look, he is one.
To say he is two is false
None but Koodalasangamadeva is
says the Veda. -Guru Basava/61/[1]

They got stabbed, yet they became devotees.
They got mowed down, yet they became devotees.
‘[hey got sawed up, yet they became devotees.
lucy got insulted, yet they became devotees.
Hut, I being impatient to words of sharanas of Koodalasanga
my devotion became incomplete. -Guru Basava/62/[1]

What does night matter to the blind?
What does day matter to the blind?
What does it matter to the deaf
if the cymbals are clapped
or five great sounds rung?
What does it matter to one
who does not know the path of Koodalasangamadeva? -Guru Basava/63/[1]

Who is this
who is this-
do not let them feel like this.
He is ours,
he is ours
let them feel like this,
Koodalasangamadeva let me be known
as the vassal of your house. -Guru Basava/64/[1]

The eating plate is no other bronze
nor the looking glass another bronze,
the vessel is the same,
the metal is the same,
if made to shine
it is known as the mirror.
If aware you are a sharana,
if unaware you are mere mortal.
Without oblivion
worship Koodalasanga. -Guru Basava/65/[1]

While eating and while sharing
they say they have given up restrictions of purity.
While they offer or receive a bride
they search for the caste.
Ayya,
how at all would you call them devotees?
How at all would you call them worthy?
Listen,
Koodalasangamadeva,
it is similar to an the untouchable woman
bathing in clean waters. -Guru Basava/66/[1]

If I consider the clad and clean jangama as special
and the j angama in tatters and rags as mean
It is like committing five deadly sins.
That being the reason
if in matters of food, dress and wealth
if I differentiate
Koodalasangamadeva will dump me in hell. -Guru Basava/67/[1]

Ayya,
do not burden me with distress
that I was born high caste.
Look,
Kakkayya does not offer me grains,
Daasayya does not pour butter milk for me,
Chennayya does not pardon me.
Eminently glorious Koodalasangamadeva
save me, save me. -Guru Basava/68/[1]

If I treat jangama that comes
as superior, mediocre or inferior,
ayya
I grieve and get scorched,
my own fire eats me up.
Koodalasangamadeva,
is there
the luxurious jangama and simple jangama? -Guru Basava/69/[1]

Like the volcano hid in water, it was.
Like the sap-juice in the plant, it was.
Like the fragrance in the bud, it was.
Koodalasangamadeva
like the tender love in the virgin maid, it was. -Guru Basava/70/[1]

Sunshine at dawn in winter was soothing to the body.
Was heat of the sun remorseless and severe at noon?
In the beginning linga bhakti was agreeable.
Was jangama bhakti gruesome at the end?
Ayya,
that being the reason
as Koodalasangamadeva knows them
he would not want them. -Guru Basava/71/[1]

Dawn to dusk,
pining for my own burning belly
I find no time to think you.
What is this oh, linga father
what is this my fate?
But for collecting cow dung
I find no leisure to cook and eat.
You be merciful
Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/72/[1]

Ayya
Does the camphor in flame have coal?
Does the water of the mirage in the wide open have mud?
Does the fragrance blended with the winds have impurity?
Once I get your love do I have birth cycles?
Koodalasangamadeva
keep me in the lotus petals of your feet. -Guru Basava/73/[1]

If you comb your head with burning torch,
would it not burn?
If you eat pebble-grains
would you not lose your teeth?
If you flirt with the sharanas,
look,
you could never avoid the hell Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/74/[1]

The haves make temples for Shiva.
Ayya, what can I do?
I am poor.
my legs are pillars, my body the temple,
and my head the golden pinnacle.
Koodalásangamadeva,
listen,
the sthavara comes to an end
but the jangama does not. -Guru Basava/75/[1]

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

Back to Index
PreviousGuru Basava Vachanas-4Guru Basava Vachanas-6Next