Guru Basava Vachanas

Like a fish-eating bird sitting on the banks
they hold their noses in meditation.
They let their hair grow tangled,
move their lips, close their eyes
and count on their fingers the number of chants.
Grass held in their hands
as if they yearn for protection, Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/331/[1]

Getting up at the break of dawn,
touching the feet of linga,
and looking at the face of Shiva sharana
at the break of day-
this is the way to make ones birth fruitful.
These words are true.
Koodalasangamadeva doesnt want them
who are not like this. -Guru Basava/332/[1]

Like lightning hidden behind clouds,
like soul hidden behind the the body,
like treasure hidden under the earth,
god, you are.
Who can ever know you?
Knowing this for long
and yet forgetting and ignoring I have gone mad.
My mistakes have no end,
Koodalasangamadeva, save me, save me. -Guru Basava/333/[1]

Doing exercise for three hundred and sixty days
and forgetting all the skills of the hand in the battle ground- my bhakti is like that.
When the mind is not firm
what use, what use, how long I worship linga?
Breaking the pot of milk,
is it possible for me to gather spilt milk, Koodalasangamadeva? -Guru Basava/334/[1]

Does Mount Meru seek for great qualities in a crow?
Does touchstone seek for qualities in iron?
Does the virtuous seek for goodness in a wicked person? Does the sandal-wood seek for qualities in all trees?
o linga filled with all qualities
why do you seek for negative qualities in me
Koodalasangamadeva? -Guru Basava/335/[1]

I don’t want to be high, but low.
Will the cow give milk if calf doesn’t go down low?
I will not rise high and dangle in hell,
keep me down low at your sharana’s feet
most generous Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/336/[1]

What can a sword do if it’s sharp edge is no more?
What will a snake do if its poison is no more?
What will a knowing devotee do if his words go false?
When the words go false and desire to live
it is like dog eating food reserved for god, Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/337/[1]

Offering sheep to tiny troublesome gods carried on winnowing fan they dance in joy.
Does sheep die and protect those with whom Shiva is angry?
No sheep, no calf,
just worship our Koodalasangamadeva with leaves, it is enough. -Guru Basava/338/[1]

Eating in silence is not righteousness.
After offering food to god
one should say Shiva’ for every morsel.
Then if you eat thinking of Koodalasanga
the ways of flesh are made quiet. -Guru Basava/339/[1]

My mind is for nothing but linga,
my wealth is for nothing butjangama,
my body is for nothing but prasaada.
It is my oath
that I will not open my mouth
but for linga jangama prasaada.
If not offered thus, mistake is mine,
cut my nose Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/340/[1]

Having faith that linga and jangama are one
one should know wives ofjangamas are wives of linga. Mating with this woman and that
does one mate with Chowdeshwari too?
If you embrace woman of jangama
without the feeling that you are her baby
Koodalasangamadeva will cut your head off. -Guru Basava/341/[1]

Is there harshness in linga?
Is there caste for jangama?
Is there tastelessness in prasaada?
I will not differentiate my feelings in these three Koodalasangamadeva,
my devotion is like steady stream of holy water from the vessel. -Guru Basava/342/[1]

Once you worship linga
you should fear and respect jangama.
Do not be stiff
as if you have swallowed an iron rod.
If you bow like a bunch of ripe banana
Koodalasangama will give you what you ask. -Guru Basava/343/[1]

What use worshiping linga
unless you have equanimity, love,
brightness and happiness equal to linga?
What use worshiping linga
unless worshiping Koodalasangamadeva you become like a river merging with river? -Guru Basava/344/[1]

Give me the joy of looking at the face of jangama as I worship linga.
Give me this ultimate bliss linga.
This is the boon I beg you Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/345/[1]

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

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