About Vow and purity (ವ್ರತ ಶೀಲ ನೇಮಗಳು)

Some have vow of milk, vow of cream,
If cream is not available vow of kichadi,
Others have vow of butter, and then vow of jaggery.
I have not seen any one with vow of rice-water.
Among the sharanas of Koodalasanga
Maadarachennayya has the vow of rice-water. -405 [1]

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. -406 [1]

He who follows the restriction of milk
will be born as a cat.
He who follows the restriction of gram
will be born as a horse.
He who follows the restriction of water
will be born as a frog.
He who follows the restriction of flowers
will be born as a bee.
These are inappropriate for shatsthala.
Guheshwara does not approve
those who have no real devotion. 635 [1]

People often talk of purity with pride,
but they do not know what purity is.
Not to misuse what one has is purity;
not to borrow what one does not have is purity;
not to covet other’s wealth and wife is purity;
not to go after other god and other faith is purity;
not to listen to the censure of guru, linga and jangama is purity;
if one feels happy when Koodala Chennasanga’s sharanas come home, that is purity. -913 [1]

Can there be vow for the lustful?
It is only for the abstinent one.
Can there be vow for the wrathful?
It is only for the peaceful one.
Can there be vow for the miserly?
It is only for the munificent one.
His body, mind and wealth
completely absorbed in guru lingajangama,
he who can command mercy and restraint, peace and equanimity
he who can live pure in his heart and mind to the best of his ability
that great devotee is a sharana who knows no karma.
His feet are etched in my heart.
Aacharave Praanavada Raameshwaralinga
will be a shed for his cattle. -1246 [1]

Can you take a vow fearing ruffians?
Such a vow is like
licking the edge of the sword
smeared with ghee
for the taste of ghee,
and then howling in pain.
Devotion without love,
faith without determination
is like a bird watching
the fruit of a thorny tree.
The vow of one
who doesn’t know its essence
is nothing but a defilement
equal to killing a life.
Aacharave Praanavada Raameshwaralinga
will not accept this. -1254 [1]

People often talk of purists.
We do not know what purity is, o Father.
Where is a person’s purity
when he kisses others’ women and
drinks deep from their lips?
Where is his purity
when the dog of three-fold infatuation chases him?
When the mind is steadied in the contemplation of the absolute, it is purity;
when the peace of mind prevails,
it is purity.
Therefore, purists are rare in Koodala Chennasangayya -Chennabasavanna/911 [1]

People often talk of purity,
but purity is not in piety.
you ask why? Because:
corn is the ort of the earth;
holy water is the ort of cloud;
fragrance is the ort of air;
food is the ort of fire.
Will Koodala Chennasangamadeva be pleased
with the crafty and crooked practitioners,
who, holding a lamp in their hands,
stumble like the blind? -Chennabasavanna/914[1]

If one can accept whatever that comes
that is precept.
If one doesn’t hide what one has and doesn’t deceive
that is the precept.
If one doesn’t act wrongly,
that is the precept.
If one’s words don’t go false,
that is the precept.
If sharanas of Koodalasangama come
offering the wealth to them
that is the precept. -Guru Basava/271[1]

What is a vow?
It’s a ladder to see the Thing.
What is a vow?
Its a pummel that breaks the bones of the senses.
What is a vow?
It’s a wildfire that annihilates every desire.
What is a vow?
It’s the destroyer of all evil.
What is a vow?
It’s a mark that helps the mind to be alert.
Aacharave Praanavada Raameshwaralinga
is the servant of such people. -Akkamma/1259[1]

Not to accept other’s wealth is the only vow;
not to enjoy other’s wife is the only pure action;
not to kill any living being is the only restriction;
to swear to shed falsehood is the only eternal rule.
This is the doubtless vow offered to
Ishaanyamurti Mallikaarjunalinga. -Shivalenka Manchanna/2039[1]

The pure ones, pure ones’, they say
Tell me, who knows what is purity?
Is the earth pure?
it is the same one for
all the low eighteen castes to walk and speak.
Is water pure?
The fish and crocodiles
birds and animals all bathe and drink in it.
Is the crop pure?
It is the leftover after
the cattle and the donkey eat.
Is the gold pure?
It is burden on the chest.
Is woman pure?
She tempts the eyes and distracts.
Tell me, what else is pure?
All those within the power of these are impure.
If one can have these and yet not hold on
look, what is pure to one’s mind is truly pure
Basavapriya Koodala Chennabasavanna. -Hadapada Appanna/2164[1]

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

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