Guru Basava Vachanas

A wife without affection for her husband,
a devotee without affection for the linga,
what if they live or what if they die, o god?
it is like letting a calf that refuses to get fed
to a cow that is unwilling to feed. -Guru Basava/181/[1]

Husband is devotee of Shiv a linga,
wife is devotee of Man Masani.
Husband partakes paadodaka and prasada,
wife eats flesh and drinks liquor.
The devotion of those
in whom the container and the content are not pure
is like washing clean a liquor pot from the outside,
Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/182/[1]

I have not seen a brave person
shot by an arrow up to fletching.
I have not seen an ascetic
unmoved while touched by a lady’s sari folds.
What kind of bravery this?
What kind of asceticism this?
it is hay-flame, companionship of a holeya,
without any stuff. -Guru Basava/183/[1]

Putting parrot in the cage,
pouring oil to the lamp,
straightening the wick,
I was eagerly waiting.
Desiring to hear footsteps on dried leaves
I was eagerly listening.
Thinking that I was separated
I was scared.
When the sharanas of Koodalasangamadeva
came to the door and said ‘Shiva
I was blissful. -Guru Basava/184/[1]

What if a parrot can read future?
It cannot foresee the cat approaching.
The eyes that see the whole world
cannot see the stick that pierces.
those who say they know others
do not know themselves. -Guru Basava/185/[1]

One who knows song is not wise.
One who knows speech is not wise.
One who has faith in linga is wise.
One who serves jangama is wise.
Sharana of Koodalasangamadeva who conquered rebirth is wise. -Guru Basava/186/[1]

What if you sing songs, listen to scriptures
and read the Vedas and Vedanta?
those who cannot wholeheartedly worship linga and jangama what if they are great scholars?
Koodalasangamadeva doesn’t accept those who are without
devotion. -Guru Basava/187/[1]

Offering the body to guru,
offering the mind to linga,
offering wealth to jangama,
offering three to three
I became pure Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/188/[1]

This is the sign for relation established between guru and disciple:
one must give up the past and hold on to what is in the front.
Listen, Koodalasangamadeva,
one must be like a stick hidden in flames. -Guru Basava/189/[1]

When asked about your gotra
why do you stay tongue tied?
Why do you draw lines with your toes
hanging your head silently?
Maadara Chennayya and Dohara Kakkayya are names of gotras. -Guru Basava/190/[1]

The Chakora bird yearns for moonlight,
the lotus yearns for sunrise,
the honeybee yearns for fragrance,
and I yearn for the thought of
sharanas of Koodalasangama. -Guru Basava/191/[1]

The body that grows in the coolness of moon,
why should it yearn for moonlight?
Being in company of sharanas
why yearn to beg Shiva?
Isn’t it enough if
sharanas of Koodalasangamadeva say
‘you are our own’? -Guru Basava/192/[1]

What if the moon has rays cool and sweet,
when he has stigma within?
What if the sun is a great luminary,
when he has to take birth and die every day?
What if I have acquired your grace,
when the sharanas have gone away getting angry with me?
Koodalasangamadevayya make them take pity on me and return. -Guru Basava/193/[1]

The ocean surges when the moon rises.
The ocean will recede when the moon grows weak.
When the moon was eclipsed
did the ocean wail and shout?
When that ascetic took in the whole ocean
did the moon try to prevent that?
No one really helps others,
those who are destroyed have no friends.
You are the only true friend of the world, Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/194/[1]

For the scorpion, spawning is the end.
For the banana tree, fruiting is the end.
For the soldier in battlefield, turning away is the end.
For the sharana, weakening of the mind is the end,
Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/195/[1]

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

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