Guru Basava Vachanas

If you fill a pot with sugar
and lick it from outside, can you taste it?
If you cannot touch linga
with whole hearted embrace,
life is just wasted away.
What kind of devotion is it?
What kind of propriety is it?
Be one with Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/376/[1]

If you mould Benaka out of cowdung and worship with Champak flowers
it might be amusing,
but the foul smell of dung will not leave it.
If you make an idol out of clay
and wash it in water
it is sure to turn the water muddy
quality of mud will not change.
If you initiate a worldly man to Shiva devotion will that wicked man turn into a true devotee, Koodalasangamadeva? -Guru Basava/377/[1]

If man and wife reflect each other
that is the perfect doing,
that is the way to become one with Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/378/[1]

He does not want them,
those who have no righteousness or devotion.
Their worship goes waste.
Koodalasangamadeva doesn’t want them,
they, who repent every day
and are a heavy load on this eartlh. -Guru Basava/379/[1]

Shall I say the sea is mighty?
It lays hidden on the earth.
Shall I say the earth is mighty?
It lays hidden atop the crown jewel of the king of snakes.
Shall I say the king of snakes is mighty?
It became a little ring in the coils of Parvati’s hair
Shall I say such a Parvati is mighty?
She became the better half of Parameshwara.
Shall I say such a Parameshwara is mighty?
He lays hidden on the sharp edge of the mind
of our Koodalasanga’s sharanas. -Guru Basava/380/[1]

I gasp like a shell in the ocean.
I have none but you who are mine.
none but you can take me in. -Guru Basava/381/[1]

Like ocean surging over a tiny plant-
my devotion became like that.
I leap in joy, dance with joy.
If sharanas of Koodalasanga come
I swell and swing in joy. -Guru Basava/382/[1]

Come: the company of good people is fine.
Get away: the company of wicked people destroys you.
There are two kinds of company-hold on to one
and give up the other.
Always be with the auspicious sharanas of Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/383/[1]

Come near: be in the company of good.
Go away: be far from the bad.
What does it matter which snake it is?
All have poison.
Don’t be in company of such people.
Company of the wicked
who are not pure within
is the company of world destroying poison,
Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/384/[1]

If at dawn linga is remembered with love
karmas and evil death are avoided.
Worship of god makes all evils run away.
Shiva, your sight creates a never quenched desire for union.
To be always near, to have faith
and worship jangama is the union with Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/385/[1]

Rising of the sun is life for lotus,
rising of the moon is life for water-lily
union is life for those who love
sight of the lover is life for the beloved
coming of sharanas of Koodalasanga
is my very life. -Guru Basava/386/[1]

Desiring a whore
this world eats the food defiled by whores servants; desiring mutton the world eats food defiled by dogs; but laughs at them who desire for jangama and prasaada. Koodalasangamadeva would send them to hell. -Guru Basava/387/[1]

How can I say Siriyaala is a merchant?
How can I say Machayya is a washer man?
How can I say Kakkayya is cobbler?
How can I say Chennayya is tanner?
If Isay lam a Brahmin
Will not Koodalasangayya laugh? -Guru Basava/388/[1]

Which is the path of relation between master and servant?
It speaking truth, and acting like what is spoken.
Koodalasangamadeva doesn’t want
the worldly one who fails in words and action. -Guru Basava/389/[1]

O parrot reciting fearlessly
thinking that your cage is strong,
you are convinced you are invincible.
When the cat Maya attacks you
it is not your cage which saves you
but Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/390/[1]

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

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