Guru Basava Vachanas

Should one pull a grinding stone on him
who has fallen into a granary-pit?
Should chains be put over the handcuffs?
Should a wound be pierced with an iron rod?
Who but Siriyaala could tolerate
the annoyance of Koodalasangamadeva? -Guru Basava/391/[1]

Whatever wealth or things one acquires
is for the devotees of Shiva
and not to lend for interest.
It is good if it is returned,
it is good too if it is not returned.
It is food to linga
if it is there and food to linga
if it is here as linga gains linga’s property
no consolation that it is returned, and no anxiety that it is not returned.
That’s why Koodalasangamadeva
wealth is for sharanas and not for lending. -Guru Basava/392/[1]

Those who say that they donate
many acres of land,
cows that are never barren,
light that never fades,
one should not look at their faces
and hear their words.
Who gave life to creatures
that are born out of eggs, sweat, wetness of earth or wombs?
Like a person who offers a morsel of food to his master
if one says ‘I am the maker and doer’
will not Koodalasangamadeva trample him
and pour dust in his mouth? -Guru Basava/393/[1]

Unless you know how to reach the goal
of what use singing ten thousand songs
and interpreting them?
What if you have or do not have linga on your body
unless your mind touches linga?
Wooing with words, and saying they have vision
our Koodalasangamadeva will not accept such sinners. -Guru Basava/394/[1]

Sacrificial sheep bought for the feast
grazed on leaves meant for festoons.
Unaware that they will kill
the sheep is quenching fire in its stomach.
Lived just that day
and died the same day.
Those who kill, do they survive, Koodalasangamadeva? -Guru Basava/395/[1]

While sitting in line with other diners,
me having the dog’s glory of being master,
and my wife serves me more divine food than she does for others
I put it away. Looking at this behaviour food became stained. And if I, forgetful, take it,
O merciful Chennabasavanna,
Master Koodalasangamadeva will tumble me to hell. -Guru Basava/396/[1]

When Shiva blesses and offers
all the wealth follows you-
like a great stream flowing and filling a tank.
What you didn’t have becomes yours,
you will be served by the kings.
When you forget god
it is like a stone hitting water filled pot
Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/397/[1]

Too expansive a worship is nothing but extravagance.
Doing worship gathering a crowd around is deceptive devotion.
Do not be extravagant, do not gather,
And if you can worship with propriety
Our Koodalasangamadeva will always be united with you. -Guru Basava/398/[1]

I fear not the biting serpent
I fear not the tongues of flame
I fear not the sharp edge of the sword.
This I fear, this I shun-
The sacrificial post called another’s wife,
and other’s wealth.
What was the fate Ravana who had no such fear?
I fear, I shun, O lord, Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/399/[1]

Being hungry can one chew a thorny fruit?
Being thirsty can one sip poison?
Can one drink lime water as it is white like milk
taking them to be related?
How can Koodalasangamadeva
accept one who is not made good
by the greatness of linga? -Guru Basava/400/[1]

Bracelet for the hand is much more than that.
That one may give but may not take anything
that is a greater bracelet itself.
Shoulder ornament is much more than that.
That one may not embrace others’ wives
that is a greater ornament itself.
Ear ring is much more than that.
That one may not hear condemnation of Shiva
that is a greater ear ring itself.
Necklace is much more than that.
That one may not bow the head for other gods
that is a greater necklace itself.
One who worships and is united with you
is a jewel in the crown of Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/401/[1]

Devotion of a Brahmin is like planting a seed in a frying pan.
It never takes root below, or gives fruits above.
What shall I say of those karmis
Keeping the prasaada of praanalinga before them
say praanaaya svaaha, apaanaaya svaaha,
Vyaanaaya svaaha, udaanaaya svaaha, sarnaanaaya s.vaaha
Koodalasangamadeva? -Guru Basava/402/[1]

Do not say the pot of milk and
the bowl of ghee are disfigured and broken.
Milk is sweet, ghee is fragrant and are food for linga.
If some say sharanas of Koodalasangama are handicapped it is great hell for them. -Guru Basava/403/[1]

For the stream of milk slime ofjaggery
sand of sugar and waves of syrupVachanas
of ancients are like this.
My plight is that of one who
digs a separate well and drinks the salty water from it,
Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/404/[1]

Some have vow of milk, vow of cream,
If cream is not available vow of kichadi,
Others have vow of butter, and then vow of jaggery.
I have not seen any one with vow of rice-water.
Among the sharanas of Koodalasanga
Maadarachennayya has the vow of rice-water. -Guru Basava/405/[1]

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

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