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Aydakki Lakkamma (ಆಯ್ದಕ್ಕಿ ಲಕ್ಕಮ್ಮ)

Full Name: Aydakki Lakkamma
Pen Name (Vachana Signature): Maarayyapriya Amareshwarlinga
Kayaka (Occupation): Pick grains that were scattered on the streets of Kalyaana


the king has desire;
would the devotees of Shiva have it?
The messengers of Yama have anger;
would the unborn ones have it?
Why do you crave for so much rice?
Shiva will not accept it.
you will be far from
Maarayyapriya Amareshwaralinga.
[Vachana No.1293] [1]

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
[Vachana No.1296] [1]

Aydakki Lakkamma was wife of Aaydakki Marayya. They basically belonged to Amareshwara of Lingasuru taluk in Raichur district. Their main occupation was to pick grains on the streets of Kalyaana.

25 vachanas have been found which have the signature Mareshwarapriya Amareshwarlinga. They all underline the significaance of kaayaka and daasoha. In Shoonya Sampadane tells how this couple attached great importance to the twin concepts of kaayaka and daasoha.

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
[Vachana No.1297] [1]

Lakkamma nicknamed Åydakki because of her Kāyaka of picking up rice and other grains dropped in the courtyards of the Šaraņas houses in Kalyāna. She was not well-read, but sufficiently enlightened. She was a simple Sharane but firm in her beliefs, she assisted her husband in offering worship to Guru, Linga and Jangama. She counseled her husband whenever he neglected his daily duty of gleaning grains from the heap of the waste corns dropped in the courtyards. She always held that duty first and discourses afterwards. The couple was poor materially, and lived in a small cottage; but spiritually they were very rich. Both shared their mystic experience and enlightenment got through Kāyaka and Dāsoha followed by discourses at the Anubhava Mantapa, which they attended regularly. They understood each other well and illumined each other through work and discourse. Lakkamma proved herself a worthy wife of Mārayya who had earned a good reputation as a Kāyaka-bound devotee by participating in all his activities. Though she did not claim herself an intellectual companion, yet she was by all means an enlightened companion who would at times act as her husband's conscience-keeper and an eye opener. Lakkamma's Kāyaka concept and the social philosophy associated with it were unique. According to her, Kāyaka should be done with clean hands and pure heart and should be free from taint of greed, for greedy accumulation of anything by a single individual would defeat the very purpose of Dāsoha. Lakkamma attaches paramount importance to punctuality in one's daily duty towards Guru, Linga and Jangama, which brooks no delay.

One day, when Mārayya sat discussing the importance of Kayaka with Prabhudeva and other enlightened Sharanas at the Anubhava Mantapa, Mărayya was so much absorbed in the discussion that he forgot that day's Kāyaka itself. His Kāyaka was to pickup grains in the Sharanas' courtyards. Lakkamma felt annoyed other husband's neglect of his daily work of picking up grains. So she went to the Anubhava Mantapa where all the eminent Sharanas had gathered and a prolonged discussion of Kayaka was going on, and surprised the assembly by calling the attention of her husband in loud tone:

Go, my lord your work is held up, please go.
We must offer with a firm resolution
To Mārayya priya Amalēšvaralinga
The rice gathered with pure mind
From the dung hill of great devotees
Go, my lord, please go quickly [svs, Vol. V, V. 631]

At this call, Mărayya was taken aback. He hurriedly went to attend to his duty. To his great convenience, he found a heap of rice in Basavanna's courtyard and collected very happily more than the usual quantity of rice, and rushed back. But at home instead of appreciation, derision waited for him. Lakkamma did not like Mārayya's bringing so much rice, that too more than the required quantity of it for that day's Dāsoha, within a very short time so easily and so quickly. It was to Lakkamma a violation of the principle of Kayaka which should be done with greedless hands:

Greed befits a king.
Does it befit a devotee?
Anger befits the messengers of death.
Does it befit unborn ones?
Why the greed of so much rice for you?
God does not approve it.
Mārayyapriya Amalēšvaralinga does not like it. [SVS, Vol. V, V. 628]

She told him to go back and drop it where he had picked it from. She also convinced her husband that they were not poor, though there was not much in stock at home. According to her, their wealth was nothing but Kāyaka and Dasoha, and they did not lack in it:

A person with an impure mind
Suffers from want of wealth
To a devotee who works with pure mind
The Goddess of wealth appears everywhere,
As long as he serves Mārayapriya Amaresvaraliga [SVS, Vol. V, V, 643]

When they had with them their Kāyaka to do, she told her husband not to aspire for any other higher state like Kailāsa (Heaven):

Why do you seek another state?
As long as you have your work to do?
Do not aspire for heaven,
Giving up the thought of rendering lowly service
Where Mārayyapriya Amarēšvaraliiga is
There is heaven. [svs, vol. V, V. 645]

Lakkamma told her husband to go and invite one lakh ninety six thousand Jangamas for Prasāda at their home, which he did instantly. Lakkamma fed all of them with the food prepared out of just one measure of rice in order to show to others that a devotee who does his Kāyaka with purity of hand and heart lacks nothing.

In reminding Mārayya of his duty saying – “Go my lord, your work is held up, please go', Lakkamma displays her time consciousness. In asking Mārayya to go and throw back the excess rice, Lakkamma shows her preference for just return for their work and also her dislike of avarice. She shows her superiority in telling her husband to pursue his duty in utter humility, saying:

Devotion done with pride leads
To the destruction of wealth
Preaching without practice causes loss of consciousness. [svs, vol. V, V. 634]

In advising Mārayyato pursue his Kāyaka without expecting any reward as also in showing him the right path of realization which lies in pursuit of single minded Kayaka, Lakkamma exhibits the height of her spiritual attainment. If Mārayya is considered the most reputed of duty-bound Sharanas, it is because of Lakkamma’s constant guidance and vigilance. She is one of a few female devotees who stood head and shoulders above their husbands, and kept them illuminating company throughout.


[1] "VACHANA" English Version Translation by: O.L. Nagabhushana Swamy, ISBN: 978-93-81457-12-2, 2012, Pub: Basava Samithi, Basava Bhavana Benguluru 560001.
[2] Shivasharaneyaru, by: Shri Somashekhar Munavalli and Shri Siddhayya Puranik, 1994, Pub: Shree Basaveshwara Peetha, Karnataka University Dharwad-580003.
[3] Heaven of Equality, Transalted by: Dr. C. R.Yaravintelimath and Dr. M. M. Kalburgi, 2003, Pub: Shree Basaveshwara Peetha, Karnataka University Dharwad-580003.

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