Guru Basava Vachanas

If I call them thieves, prisoners,
snake charmers, whoremongers,
servants and warriors,
and not call them you yourself
when the devotees come keeping you in the front
that is treachery.
In word and deed if there is falsity
I swear by Chennabasava
who showed me Koodalasanga. -Guru Basava/151/[1]

If a crow spots a grain of rice
would it not call all its kin?
If a hen sees a morsel
would it not call all its clan?
• Being a devotee of Shiva
if one is not partisan to devotion
that is far worse than crows and hens
Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/152/[1]

In stead of the golden pinnacle on which crow shits
make me into sandals that masters tread.
karmaavalambinaha kaechith kaechith jnanaavalambinaha vayam thu Shivabhaktanaam paadarakshaavalambinaha
I earnestly entreat you
grant me this, only this boon. -Guru Basava/153/[1]

If jeered unseen one should feel satisfied and happy.
Do you know why?
You make them happy without giving anything
or taking anything from them.
Let that hatred in my mind die away
and grace me Koodalasangamadeva
the submission to your sharanas. -Guru Basava/154/[1]

Could the mountain of touchstones appear to the blind?
Could the spring of aichemic mercury open up for the wretched? Could gold obtain to the poor?
Could the impure milk Kaamadhaenu?
Could a jackal with blisters on its tail
match a golden fly?
Could one without merit see
the sharanas of my master Koodalasanga? -Guru Basava/155/[1]

Greed for coins ruining the gain of millions, I don’t know.
Minds ruined without knowing devotion, I don’t know.
If I gain knowledge in the company of Koodalasanga’s sharanas
I would live and thrive. -Guru Basava/156/[1]

Fearing and fretting for the body
I won’t request you to guard me.
For my livelihood
I won’t ask you to lend me.
yad bhaavarn tad bhavatilet
it be flame or fortune
I won’t say I need nor that I don’t want this.
I won’t expect from you
I won’t beg from humans.
I swear, I swear on you, Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/157/[1]

Legs fettered to a boulder
neck fastened to a cork-
boulder does not let me float
and cork does not let me drown.
You the destroyer of Death
help me cross
such an ocean of worldly life
and save me Koodalsangayya. -Guru Basava/158/[1]

The pollution of the ears are cleansed
through the utterances of the guru.
The pollution of the eyes are cleansed
through the sight of devotees.
The pollution of the body is cleansed
through the touch of your feet.
The pollution of the mouth is cleansed
through the spiritual experience of your sharanas.
Diverse pollutions are cleansed
through accepting what you bestowed.
Listen, Koodalasangamadeva
the pollution of my mind is cleansed
through the understanding
that nothing else is but you. -Guru Basava/159/[1]

The spider that has wound
from the cords a nest of threads,
from where did it bring the threads?
There is no spinning wheel,
no cotton ball first of all,
and who spun the threads?
Drawing out the thread from its body
spreading it about, swinging in it in love
in the end concealing it within itself, is the spider.
our Koodalasangamadeva
can draw it into himself
the world that he has caused.-Guru Basava/160/[1]

However much the earthen wall is washed
would it rid mud?
‘Ihe vices that are there in my body,
remove them and favor me.
I LOk, my mind is
like dough kneaded on woolen blanket.
on surrendering to you, see,
I am pure.-Guru Basava/161/[1]

On sighting men
on horses and with royal parasols
they go head over heels to fall at their feet.
When humble devotees come
‘no place here, get lost,’ they say.
Would not my master Koodalasangayya
stop, drag them down
and saw their noses off? -Guru Basava/162/[1]

If to a pumpkin iron frame is bound
wouldn’t it rot? Would it grow?
If initiation is granted to the fickle minded
how would there be devotion?
It would be same as before.
it is like asking a mean minded person
to look after preserved offering. -Guru Basava/163/[1]

A herd of sheep barged
into a flourishing field of sugarcane
and without knowing the of flavor sweet juice
chewed at the leaves without.
If not an elephant
would sheep know you, Koodalasangamadeva? -Guru Basava/164/[1]

Locks, fingers, shoulder blade and teeth-take them.
If I open the plaits and cross over-don’t believe me.
Make me not to see the faces of other men.
Then, keep me as you wish.
Inscribe Koodalasangayya on my breast.
Pour mantra-water so that I won’t salute Han or Brahma. -Guru Basava/165/[1]

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

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