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Guru Basava Vachanas


Guru Basava selected vachanas

What if you dance,
what if you sing,
what if you read,
if there is no trividha daasoha?
Would not
the peacock dance,
the string sing and the parrot read?
Those without devotion
Koodalasangamadeva rejects. 35[1]

What does night matter to the blind?
What does day matter to the blind?
What does it matter to the deaf
if the cymbals are clapped
or five great sounds rung?
What does it matter to one
who does not know the path of Koodalasangamadeva? 63[1]

Who is this
who is this-
do not let them feel like this.
He is ours,
he is ours
let them feel like this,
Koodalasangamadeva let me be known
as the vassal of your house. 64[1]

The eating plate is no other bronze
nor the looking glass another bronze,
the vessel is the same,
the metal is the same,
if made to shine
it is known as the mirror.
If aware you are a sharana,
if unaware you are mere mortal.
Without oblivion
worship Koodalasanga. 65[1]

The haves make temples for Shiva.
Ayya, what can I do?
I am poor.
my legs are pillars, my body the temple,
and my head the golden pinnacle.
the sthavara comes to an end
but the jangama does not. 75 [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. 85 [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. 89[1]

Hey you, the human being,
do not run after mean desires.
Darkness, moonlight,
nor even wealth, last.
For unblemished status
worship Koodalasangamadeva
without forgetting. 104[1]

If the hearth catches fire one might withstand,
but if the earth catches fire, no place to stand.
If the tank drinks up water
if the fences feed off the field
if the wife cheats in her own home
if the mothers breast milk turns poison
whom would I complain to, Koodalasangamadeva? 124 [1]

the elephant fears the mahout’s hook,
the mountain fears the thunderbolt,
the jungle fears forest fire,
the five deadly sins fear Koodalasanga’s name. 145 [1]

Do not steal, do not kill,
do not lie, do not rage,
do not loathe the other,
do not brag of yourself,
do not revile the opponent.
This itself is inner purity,
this itself is outer purity.
This alone is the way to win
our Koodalasangamadeva. 150[1]

If a red fellow thinks of a black fellow, can he turn black?
If a black fellow thinks of a red fellow, can he become red?
If a poor man thinks of a rich person, can he become rich?
If a rich man thinks of a poor man, can he become poor?
what can I say of those
boastful entertainers who think
they have become blessed
by thinking of the ancients? 169[1]

is there any religion
without compassion?
There must be
compassion for all creatures.
Compassion itself is the root
of religion.
Anything otherwise
is unacceptable to Koodalasangamadeva. 223[1]

If you grace,
a log will sprout,
if you grace,
barren cattle will give milk,
if you grace,
all poison will be nectar,
if you grace,
all kinds of things appear before the eyes,
Koodalasangamadeva. 256[1]

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

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