Guru Basava Vachanas

Let not the wax doll wag
the tongue of fire and flirt.
If you caress butter Benaka
with rice cake made of burning embers
his teeth would be lost.
With the sharanas of Koodalasanga
if you flirt you will be at odds. -Guru Basava/16/[1]

The deity made of wax that melts
how could I approve of it?
The deity that shrinks on sighting fire
how could I approve of it?
The deity that is sold on necessity
how could I approve of it?
The deity that is buried out of fear
how could I approve of it?
Natural and truly united
Koodalasangamadeva alone
is god. -Guru Basava/17/[1]

On sighting the king
if you forget your husband
it is like losing the grip
while climbing a tree.
You will be
far from this world and
far from the other,
our Koodalasangamadevayya
is the linga with the face of jangama. -Guru Basava/18/[1]

Rather than being a queen at the king’s place
it is better being a servant maid at the devotee’s home.
There they order to bring water, bring bilva leaves, offer food to linga.
Even in the mahaamane of Koodalasanga
they contemptuously order to eat whatever is given to you. -Guru Basava/19/[1]

If the king gets angry,
within that province
one can not be.
If the husband gets angry
within that home
one can not be.
if the jangama gets angry
how can I live? -Guru Basava/20/[1]

With the knowledge ôf the knower
Rahu called poverty played foul.
With the wealth of the haves
the Raahu called moha played foul.
With the vision of the discerning
the darkness called Kaama played foul.
Fearful of the anxiety of my mind
I took refuge in you Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/21/[1]

bathed fully in turmeric,
decked thoroughly in golden dress,
like the woman bereft of her husband’s love
I am.
Smeared with vibhuthi,
fastened with the rudraakshi, Shiva,
bereft of your love
I am.
No one leads an immoral life in my clan.
Nurture me is you wish,
Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/22/[1]

Never be neighbors to half devotees
never accept their championship
never their company on road.
Be far from them, never talk to them.
Be a maid among Koodalasanga’s sharanas
who are truly united in the linga. -Guru Basava/23/[1]

What if they go wrong with money,
what if they go wrong with life,
what if they go wrong with pride,
Do sharanas look for demerits in other sharanas?
Koodalasanga’s sharanas should suffer and bear. -Guru Basava/24/[1]

What use if there is a fortune-line in the palm without life-line?
What use if a coward has weapon Chandrayudha?
What use if a blind man has a looking glass?
What use if a monkey has a ruby?
What use if those who do not know our Koodalasanga’s sharanas have a linga in their palm until they know Shiva’s path? -Guru Basava/25/[1]

All those wealthy fear the king,
all those full of devotion fear the jangama,
all those charmed by the harlot eat her leftovers,
all those that like meat eat dog’s leftovers.
Only Chennabasavanna knows
those who became worthy
after offering to the linga
the leftovers of the offering to Koodalasanga’s sharanas. -Guru Basava/26/[1]

Ayya, look,
her utterance sweet like jaggery
but her heart has poison.
She invites one with her eyes
but cohabits with another in her mind.
Listen, Koodalasangamadeva,
never trust a mind-thieving woman. -Guru Basava/27/[1]

When I consider the wealth of theAsurahe
has a million wives virtuous like Sita,
a million intelligent principal ministers,
countless brigades and thousands of princes,
the guardians of eight directions are in his prison,
he imprisoned and ruled all the chiefs of gods.
not living according to your mercy
his desire for the wife of another cost his life.
Knowing this,
like a serpent
that descends into its hole on spotting the eagle
when I see those who desire others’ wives
I go hiding Koodalasangamadeva.-Guru Basava/28/[1]

If egotism charms the mind
where would the linga be?
Without letting egotism in
one must embody the linga.
without ego
one becomes united in Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/29/[1]

Measuring and measuring over they grow weary.
Does the measuring pot grow weary?
Walking and walking again, they grow weary.
Does the path grow weary?
Exercising over and again, they grow weary.
Does the club grow weary?
Unaware of the truth the devotee wearies.
Does the linga grow weary?
this is sheer unpaid labour unknown to the king. -Guru Basava/30/[1]

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

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