Guru Basava Vachanas

Sanga will threaten,
Sanga will frighten,
Sanga will throw you away.
If you have faith and love, and embrace him
Sanga will embrace and caress you.
Sanga will trouble you,
Sanga will humiliate you through your enemy,
Sanga will wear you down,
Sanga will squeeze you inside out.
I am not afraid at all
as long as I have the grace of Madivala Machitande. -Guru Basava/286/[1]

Like the monkey that has eaten jagggery,
do not keep thinking of the sweet, o mind.
Like the fox that has tasted sugarcane,
do not keep drawing me back, o mind.
Like the crow flying in the sky,
do not yearn to move in all directions, o mind.
When you see sharanas of Koodalasangamadeva
trust them to be the linga, o mind. -Guru Basava/287/[1]

The wild swamp filling the farm land
doesn’t allow awakening or knowing.
Pluck the wild growth of my bad qualities
and save me, o father.
Then I will sprout and grow Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/288/[1]

Considering jangama from another place to be linga,
if one neglects the jangama of one’s own place
I am stung and you don’t know
how much I smart, Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/289/[1]

Sowing a neem seed,
making a bed of jaggery for it,
pouring milk and honey for its growth,
with all this can the fruit but be bitter?
One shouldn’t speak
to those who are not Shiva devotees, Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/290/[1]

The position of Brahma,
I don’t want.
The position of Vishnu,
I don’t want.
The position of Rudra,
I don’t want.
I don’t want any other position,
grant me the great position
of being knowingly at the feet of your sharanas. -Guru Basava/291/[1]

As bhakta-bodied god comes to a devotee
is it proper for a servant
to be sitting on a cot when the master comes?
As Sangayya may come in the form of a jangama
I swear, Koodalasangamadeva,
that I will never sit upon a cot. -Guru Basava/292/[1]

How can I call myself a bhakta?
Relation with bhavi has not ended.
How can I call myself a Maheswara?
Desire for others wealth and women has not ended.
How can I call myself a Prasaadi?
Birth and diseases have not been destroyed.
How can I call myself a Praanalingi?
Praana is not yet self-established.
How can I call myself a Sharana?
My five senses are not destroyed yet.
How can I call myself an Aikya?
I am not yet without births and deaths.
These kinds of words, acts and rituals I don’t know.
These kinds of un-happened happenings I don’t know.
I will just serve your sharanas as a slave,
Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/293/[1]

If a devotee comes to the house of another devotee
he should serve like a servant.
Thinking that he is the maker
if the devotee allows his feet to be washed
that will destroy all the devotion attained in the past.
Walking a thousand miles
and visiting another devotee is a virtuous act.
If they together make daasoha there
Koodalasangamadeva will be with them. -Guru Basava/294/[1]

Am I diamond bodied to say
I will become Bhakta, Prasaadi, Praanalingi, Sharana and Aikya
gradually and in course of time?
Have I sipped nectar?
Do I have marujavani?
If all the six sthalas
do not come and stay in mind
with each of my words
I will burn this body away Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/295/[1]

When you see devotees
you shave your heads.
When you see monks
you strip and go naked.
When you see the Brahmins
you chant the name of Han
and have the mark of Han.
You follow the ways of whoever you see.
Do not show me these whore-sons.
What can I say of these ignorant men,
who, after worshipping Koodalasangamadeva
prostrate before other gods
and call themselves devotees? -Guru Basava/296/[1]

Only the devotees are brave and able.
Can you say the devotees are weak?
What a great difference between Chenna and Chola!
But, Shiva ate food with Chenna.
Chenna, carried hay stacks for Chola.
Koodalasangamadeva is voluptuous lover of bhakti. -Guru Basava/297/[1]

I ama poor fellow without devotion.
I begged even at the door of Kakkayya.
I begged even at the door of Chennayya.
I begged even at the door of Dasayya.
When all the ancients gathered and gave me alms of devotion
my vessel was full, Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/298/[1]

On the soil of devotion
sprouted the seed called guru
and grew a leaf called linga.
On the leaf called linga blossomed
the flower of thought,
formed the fruit of good conduct.
When the fruit ripened into salvation
loosened from the stalk and about to fall
Koodalasangamadeva picked it up
saying he wanted it. -Guru Basava/299/[1]

It is impossible to practice bhakti.
Like a saw it cuts you both ways,
going and coming.
If you thrust your hands before a huge serpent
will it not grab you, Koodalasangamadeva? -Guru Basava/300/[1]

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

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