Guru Basava Vachanas

On looking here and there,
if my mind chases desires
I swear, I swear on you,
I swear on your pramathas,
I will consider another’s bride
as Mahaadevi, Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/106/[1]

Like the bullock that walked round the press that had no oilseeds, such was my devotion.
Like chewing salt dipped in water
such was my devotion.
Koodalasangamadeva this ember that ‘it is I who accomplish’,
is that not enough? -Guru Basava/107/[1]

What if a water pull-up bows its head,
would it turn a devotee of the guru?
What if the pincers that fold their hands,
would they turn servants of god?
What if a parrot prattles,
would it be a knower of the linga?
Those who dwell with Kaama ever know?
How could they ever know
the coming of the sharanas of Koodalasanga
or their status? -Guru Basava/108/[1]

Anything can be attained,
a lot more can be attained,
but one cannot attain the Self
unless one has the grace of Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/109/[1]

What you read,
what you listen to,
what ever you do,
how does it matter until
your people are pleased?
Shiva Shiva,
I was like a gadabout wearing earrings
to suggest she is with her husband and chaste,
Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/110/[1]

Ayya, what is this?
The Brahmins do not act as they speak.
What conduct is this?
One path for themselves
another for the scriptures.
That the Brahmins are born in the wombs of untouchables and eat cow’s meat,
this itself is proof. -Guru Basava/111/[1]

What brings you here? Are you well?
If you speak such things, does your wealth fly off? If you say, ‘do sit down, please’ does the ground cave in? Would a quick word of welcome blow your head off? If you have nothing to offer, and yet no virtue too, would Koodalasangamadevayya shun
chopping your nose off? -Guru Basava/112/[1]

Those that utter umpteen abuses
for one pleasant word
and turn their eyes in to fiery red
shout in rage smacking their arms
ready for a fight-
when I see them
I fear them, I dodge them.
If my flight is humiliating
let that be.
Of those that lack
the spiritual experience of Koodalasanga’s sharanas let me flee from the boundaries of their land. -Guru Basava/113/[1]

Like setting to one rabbit dogs nine
‘let me, let me’ says perversity of body,
‘let me, let me’ says perversity of mind.
Before the hound called the five senses touches let my mind be gathered to you, Koodalasangamadeva. -Guru Basava/114/[1]

A broken pot, could it be whole again?
A spoilt and ruined ascetic, could he be a bhakta again?
Does the plantain tree give fruits twice?
Does the scorpion issue twice?
Food and clothes could be sold,
but can devotion be sold, Koodalasangamadeva? -Guru Basava/115/[1]

see to it that there is not even a broken pan at my home.
Give me lord a blade of grass in my hand.
When I go begging for alms
and utter ‘lord Shiva you are my refuge’
let me hear ‘move on, lord’. -Guru Basava/116/[1]

Like the stray dog
that enters the home which has no master,
the homes of those where you are not
I shall not enter Sangayya.
Even if he is an eaters of dog’s meat
the one who has you is well born, Koodalasangayya. -Guru Basava/117/[1]

If the masters take you along to their homes
do not cast stealthy looks at others’ woman in playfulness.
Look, brothers,
don’t attempt to sport with the master’s wife
Let not gluttony’s rut rise up to your head
and make you frolic with mistress of the house.
Koodalasangamadeva is too severe a master. -Guru Basava/118/[1]

When the masters turn up rejoice and fasten festoons.
When kinsfolk turn up, say you have no time.
Why didn’t they turn up then
when you turned an outsider to sacred threads
and turned an insider to the practices of the jangama?
The touch of the touchstone turns iron into gold.
Then, are there any kinsfolk Koodalasangamadeva? -Guru Basava/119/[1]

Look, the servant who has a master faces no disaster.
Are there masters who come searching for their servants?
What if I am servant to Bijjala for the sake of food?
I am bound to Koodalasangamadeva for my life. -Guru Basava/120/[1]

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

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