Guru Basava Vachanas

While the stream of milk is flowing
why follow the barren cow?
Why the shame? Why the disgrace?
As long as I have Koodalasangamadeva
why do I need the treasury of Bijjala? -Guru Basava/76/[1]

Like the washer-man
getting beaten for thinking clothes of the village as his own,
I turned mad thinking
that the gold is mine,
the woman is mine,
and the world is mine.
As I did not know you
I was thoroughly undone Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/77/[1]

When some one new enters the village
would not the dogs of the village bark at them?
When the sharanas who are not worldly
stay amidst the world wouldn’t hecklers insult them?
Your sharanas are the meteors for the hecklers,
Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/78/[1]

Chopper in the left hand and meat in the right,
toddy pitcher at the mouth, emblem of god in the neck,
I call them linga, I call them Sanga.
I call them linga with a countenance. -Guru Basava/79/[1]

Bowl of milk in the left hand
and teacher’s cane in the right
when will he come our lord
the father who makes us drink milk by caning?
it is said
dandaksheeradvayam haste jangamo bhakti mandiram
atibhaktyaa lingasamtushtirapahaasyaadyamadamdanam

is himself the father
who shows the path of devotion. -Guru Basava/80/[1]

If you kick with your left foot,
I embrace your right foot.
If you kick me with your right foot,
I embrace your left foot.
Save me, save me.
Misdemeanors are mine, forbearance is yours.
I am the child of your mercy. -Guru Basava/81/[1]

Very rare it is, very rare it is, this body.
Before the body you have is wasted away, cook and eat.
While there are cakes of cow-dung,
before it is time, cook and eat.
You may not come back to earthly life, never again.
Say that you surrender to the maker Koodalasanga. -Guru Basava/82/[1]

Wherever I look I see your splendor, and none other.
In my mind’s hurt, grief and recollection, you alone are.
When there is brightness, would there be darkness,
Koodalasangamadeva? -Guru Basava/83/[1]

When will I be
an ox, a maid, a servant,
in the houses of your people Koodalasangamadeva?
When will The a vassal of linga and jangama? -Guru Basava/84/[1]

whichever way I look,
you are there everywhere.
The form of the entire expanse, you are.
The eye of the universe, you are.
The face of the universe, you are.
The hands of the universe, you are.
The feet of the universe, you are.
You are, Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/85/[1]

Until my heart breaks,
the mind tires,
the tongue revels in dancing mirth,
bring and pour the nectar of your name
to me, my father.
Let my heart
like the bud about to blossom
fall on your blessed feet and bloom,
Koodalasangayya. -Guru Basava/86/[1]

I was born, they say.
Ayya, I have no birth.
I have death, they say.
Ayya, I have no death.
If born,
I would take the paadodaka and prasada from your feet.
If dead,
I would arrive at your holy feet.
What if the sandal tree is in the town or in the forest?
Fragrance is the same, Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/87/[1]

Ayya, look,
I am my own foe,
I am my own friend.
If I contradict your pious devotees I get killed,
if I utter in fearful respect of your ancestral peers I get saved.
Where then is any other enmity, or amity?
Keep my head bowed,
and my hands folded, Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/88/[1]

Whenever I think of you
that for me is the sun rise.
When ever I forget you
that for me is the sun set.
For me, your thought is life
for me, your thought is breath.
impress in my heart the stamp of your feet,
etch holy writ of shadakshari in my countenance,
Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/89/[1]

However long a rock is in water
would it soak and turn soft?
However long I worship you
what avail is it, if my mind lacks firmness?
A ghost that guards hidden treasure,
I obtained the like fate, Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/90/[1]

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

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