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Kayaka and Daasooha

Kayaka and Daasooha

Another very important feature of Basaveshwara philosophy is that he sought to bring about socio-economic equality in the society through his famous twin principles of Kayaka and Dashooha. Kayaka is regarded as an important means for the removal of all inequalities–economic, social, religious and spiritual. Basaveshvara gave a concrete meaning to the conception of work or occupation in the form of Kayaka .

He gave it a spiritual significance, high honor, great importance, dignity and divinity, whether it was a high or low work.

Kayaka is a spiritual view of labor and not merely a materialistic view. According to Kayaka man has to sublimate work into spiritual motive. Sharana says "work itself is heaven". "Kayakave Kailasha". Every labour is looked upon by Sharana with high honor, dignity and spiritual significance. Kayaka doesn't encourage amssing wealth or hoarding of money. It is motivated by profit.

ಕಾಯಕದಲ್ಲಿ ನಿರತನಾದಡೆ, ಗುರುದರ್ಶನವಾದಡೂ ಮರೆಯಬೇಕು,
ಲಿಂಗಪೂಜೆಯಾದಡೂ ಮರೆಯಬೇಕು,
ಜಂಗಮ ಮುಂದೆ ನಿಂದಿದ್ದಡೂ ಹಂಗ ಹರಿಯಬೇಕು.
ಕಾಯಕವೆ ಕೈಲಾಸವಾದ ಕಾರಣ.
ಅಮರೇಶ್ವರಲಿಂಗವಾಯಿತ್ತಾದಡೂ ಕಾಯಕದೊಳಗು

If engaged in kaayaka
one should forget visiting guru;
forget worshiping linga
and ned not bother even if jangama stands waiting.
As kaayaka is Kailaasa
even Amareeshwaralinga is included in kaayaka. /1520

Kayaka is to be done in the spirit of Dashooha. The earning from Kayaka is to be dedicated to the preacher or Jangama who in turn utilizes it for the good of the society. Kayaka is a duty by which each one has to maintain oneself, and render its proceeds to the welfare of all.

A person's position or status in society should be determined on the basis of his acts and character and not on the basis of his possession. A dustman has a different job from a schoolmaster and is likely to have a different circle of friends; but he ought not to be considered to be an inferior sort of man.

Basaveshwara's principle of Kayaka was quite opposed to the theory of Karma, which indicates that each man's vocation is pre-determined by birth. Kayaka concept opposes the kind of water-tight compartment of laborers which creates a system of hierarchy; it pleads for the free choice of occupation and thereby puts a death blow to the unequal division of laborers by the Karma theory.


As per the principle of Dashooha, since every one earns his minimum requirement through Kayaka he contributes the rest of his labour to the society rather than accumulating personal wealth. Therefore, Kayaka does not encourage the amassing of wealth; it is to be done in the spirit of Dashooha, which will bring to an end all kinds of exploitations and disparities of wealth. Thus, Basaveshvara enunciated not merely political equality; but also social, political, economic, religious and spiritual.

The inequality, which he lamented, was not the inequality of personal endowments, but of the social, economic, religious and spiritual practices which created inequality and came in the way of development of individual personality. He went to the very roots of the state of nature in attacking the inequality created by human beings. As human beings are equal by nature in their wisdom and virtues, that should be maintained accordingly.

ಮನ ಶುದ್ಧವಿಲ್ಲದವಂಗೆ ದ್ರವ್ಯದ ಬಡತನವಲ್ಲದೆ
ಚಿತ್ತಶುದ್ಧದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾಯಕವ ಮಾಡುವಲ್ಲಿ
ಸದ್ಭಕ್ತಂಗೆ ಎತ್ತ ನೋಡಿದಡತ್ತ ಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ ತಾನಾಗಿಪ್ಪಳು
ಮಾರಯ್ಯಪ್ರಿಯ ಅಮರೇಶ್ವರಲಿಂಗದ ಸೇವೆಯುಳ್ಳನ್ನಕ್ಕರ.

For those impure at heart
there is a lack of resources.
For those who do kayaka with a pure heart,
for those good devotees,
Lakshmi the goddess of wealth
is there everywhere,
so long as they serve
Maarayyapriya Amareshwaralinga. /1297

Kaayakave Kailaasa: Kaayaka means the exertion of the Kaaya (body) for the liberation of the soul imprisoned therein. Kailaasa means abode of GOD -heavenly.
Kaayakave Kailaasa literally means, Kaayaka or the body which exerts itself for nishkaama Karma-Karma without any expectation is nothing but Kailaasa-the abode of GOD - heavenly.
A Vachana complimentary to this which talks about keeping the Kaaya or body purely goes as yenna kaale kamba dehave degula shirave honna kaLashavayya sthaavakkaLivuntu jangamakkaLivilla
As one theory goes Indian subcontinent can be divided as North and South divided by the Vindhya mountain ranges. While the North is blessed with the Himalayan rivers flowing all through the year and boasts of Ganga -called as sacred river. The South has river Kaveri which originates at Talakaveri dries up in summer. Hence the North is referred as Punya Bhoomi residents of which believe in taking a dip in Ganga with Bhakthi will wash off all your sins. But South is referred as Karma Bhoomi who believe in their Karma which will decide the fate. The Kaayaka Tatva of Basavanna also bases itself into Karma Siddhantha -Philosophy of Karma.

ಭಕ್ತರು ಕಾಯಕವೆಂದು ದಾಯಗಾರಿಕೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ತಂದು
ದಾಸೋಹವ ಮಾಡಬಹುದೆ ?
ಒಮ್ಮನವ ತಂದು ಒಮ್ಮನದಲ್ಲಿಯೆ ಮಾಡಿ
ಇಮ್ಮನವಾಗದ ಮುನ್ನವೆ
ಮಾರಯ್ಯಪ್ರಿಯ ಅಮರೇಶ್ವರಲಿಂಗಕ್ಕೆ ಸಲಬೇಕು ಮಾರಯ್ಯಾ.

Can devotees perform daasoha with immoral earnings?
One should work with one heart,
one should do with one heart.
Before one heart becomes two,
Maarayya, offer yourself to Maarayyapriya Amareshwaralinga. /1296

Daasoha: Among the many injunctions prescribed for the devout Lingayat, Dasoha is a very important one. Basava created this as a protest against the feudalistic ideologies present at that time. He shunned the sharp hierarchial divisions that existed and sought to remove all distinctions between the hierarchially superior master class and the subordinate, servile class. Even though he himself served as a minister under the king, Bijjala, he pointed out that he worked only as a daasohi or one who serves. Dasoha to him meant working hard for one's livelihood and for the maintenance of society. In Basava's view, a dasohi should consider himself, but a servant of society. Therefore, Dasoha in principle assumed that what belongs to God must return to Him and what came from society should be given back by way of selfless service. Basava exhorted all wearers of Ishta Linga to practice dasoha without reservation.
A famous Vachana says
Soham yennade Daasoham yendenisayya - which means be selfless (Daasa Aham) rather than selfish (Naanu or Aham)

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