Selected Vachana 's of Akkamahadevi
(Mystic poem,Sayings)


On the human body:

"The body's wrong is like mother turning vampire."

If one could
draw the fangs of a snake
and charm the snake to play,
it's great to have snakes.

If one can single out
the body's ways
it's great to have bodies.
The body's wrong
is like mother turning vampire.

Don't say they have bodies
who have your love,
O lord Chennamallikarjuna


On the difficulty of devotion. Maya is illusion, samsara the cycle of rebirth:

Even if I want to stay apart,
Your maya will not leave me;
Even if I struggle against it, this maya stays unbroken;
Your maya doesn't leave even if one stands firm;
Those struggling to break this maya
Are themselves broken.
To the yogi, your maya became the yogini;
To the ascetic, maya was the fair woman ascetic.
For the god, the assumption of monthly
Offerings was the illusion;
If one climbed the mountain, maya,
Restless, climbed after.
If one goes into the deep forest, maya goes along;
O samsara, it does not leave my back, my hands;
It gives me faith and then makes me forget.
O mercy maker, I am afraid of your maya,
O supreme master, Channamallikarjuna, jasmine-tender,
Have mercy.
What else, O what shall I do, O great god,
O snake-adorned one, do have mercy, O god.

---
One body only I have, one only mind:
With what mind, then, to meditate,
O Lord, and with what mind engage
In the world's business, pray?
Alas, alas, I'm utterly lost
Between this world and the other world,
Like a calf loosed to suck two cows!
How could I hold together in my hand
Two different fruits,
O Chennamallikarjuna?

On the value of experience over ritual:

All the Vedas, scriptures and
Sacred lore, canons and codes
Are but grist and husk ground in the mill.
Why grind this, why winnow?
When you behead the mind that
Flows here and there,
O Channamallikarjuna, Then remains eternal space.

On her conversion:

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"Like puppet at the end of string..."
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Like monkey at the top of pole,
Like puppet at the end of string,
I played as Thou did make my play,
I lived as Thou did make me live,
Until Chennamallikarjuna, who drives
The world's machine, said, "It's enough."

Comparing human lovers to GOD:

I love the Handsome One:
he has no death
decay or form
no place or side
no end nor birthmarks.
I love him O mother. Listen.

I love the Beautiful One
with no bond nor fear,
no clan no land,
no landmarks,
for his beauty.

So my lord Chennamallikarjuna is my husband.

Take these husbands who die,
decay, and feed them
to your kitchen fires!

On the effects of union with GOD:

What is the use of knowing everything
If one does not know the self?
When one knows in oneself
Why ask others?
Channamallikarjuna, Yourself becoming knowledge,
Showed me the way.
I know you through yourself.

After my body became
Thyself, whom could I serve?
After my mind became
Thyself, whom could I invoke?
After my consciousness was lost in Thee,
Whom could I know?
Being Thyself in Thee,
O Chennamallikarjuna Lord,
Through Thee have I forgotten Thee!

On her desire for a renewal of union with Shiva:

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"Like an elephant lost from his herd...."
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Like an elephant
lost from his herd
suddenly captured, remembering his mountains,
his Vindyas,
I remember.

A parrot
come into a cage
remembering his mate,
I remember.

O lord Chennamallikarjuna
show me
your ways.
Call me: "Child, come here,
come this way."

And on her determination to worship, no matter what:

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"I will play on the swing of happiness."
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Lord, if you will listen, listen;
If you won't, don't---
I can't bear to live without singing of you.
If you will look, look;
If you won't, don't---
I can't bear life unless I look at you and be happy.
If you will agree, agree;
If you won't don't---
I can't bear life unless I embrace you.
If you will be pleased, be pleased,
If you won't, don't---
I can't bear life unless I worship you.
O Channamallikarjuna,
Offering you worship, I will play
On the swing of happiness.

On the life of a devotee:

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"And if I want companionship..."
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It's difficult to be small,
Not difficult to be great!
Not difficult to be a devotee.
It's difficult to be a sign, though not
To be the Tranquil One,
O Chnnamallikarjuna, Lord!

Should I feel hungry, there be alms;
Should I feel thirsty, well, there be
Tanks, streams and wells;
Ruins of temples for my sleep;
And if I want companionship,
Why, Thou are there,
O Chnnamallikarjuna Lord!

On non-devotees:

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"...how would these, these mosquitoes on the buffalo's hide?"
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Would a circling surface vulture
know such depths of sky
as the moon would know?

Would a weed on the riverbank
know such depths of water
as the lotus would know?

Would a fly darting nearby
know the smell of flowers
as the bee would know?

O lord Chennamallikarjuna
only you would know
the way of your devotees:
how would these, these
mosquitoes on the buffalo's hide?

Like a statue listening
To the recital of a wax parrot,
The one reciting has no life,
The listener has no knowledge;
The devotion of one
Who does not know you
Is like the statue listening to the wax parrot,
O Channamallikarjuna.
Like a statue listening
To the recital of a wax parrot,
The one reciting has no life,
The listener has no knowledge;
The devotion of one
Who does not know you
Is like the statue listening to the wax parrot,
O Channamallikarjuna.

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