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Full Name: Dhupada (Dhoopada) Goggavve
Pen Name (Vachana Signature): Naastinaatha
Kāyaka (Occupation): providing incense (Dhupa)


When a man goes after a woman
She will be considered his asset
When a woman goes after a man
What should one make of it?
If one can get over this duality and be contented
I shall say that Nasthinatha is perfect
[Vachana No.1311] [1]

ಗಂಡು ಮೋಹಿಸಿ ಹೆಣ್ಣ ಹಿಡಿದಡೆ
ಅದು ಒಬ್ಬರ ಒಡವೆ ಎಂದರಿಯಬೇಕು
ಹೆಣ್ಣು ಮೋಹಿಸಿ ಗಂಡ ಹಿಡಿದಡೆ
ಈ ಎರಡರ ಉಭಯವ ಕಳೆದು ಸುಖಿ ತಾನಾಗಬಲ್ಲದೆ
ನಾಸ್ತಿನಾಥನು ಪರಿಪೂರ್ಣನೆಂಬೆ.

Dhupada Goggavve hailed from a village called Avaluru in Kerala State India. she had the occupation (Kayaka) of offering incense. Her parents were ardent devotees of Shiva. Goggavve was from her very birth a devotee of GOD. As she had fallen in love with GOD, she rejected the worldly marriage and went to Kalyaana.

Goggavve pleads that there is no difference between man and woman and that in such matters as love and worship woman has as much liberty as man. Goggavve was a bold champion of woman’s rights of equality and liberty. She has written 6 vachanas under the signature Naastinaatha. She speaks of the equality of man and woman.

If breasts sprout they call it woman.
If moustache grows they call it man
The knowledge of this duality,
Is it man or woman, Nasthinatha?
[Vachana No.1312] [1]

Goggavve is also known as Dhupada Goggavve, Dhupada means one who offered incense. Her Kāyaka was offering incense to Sharanas; she comes from a tiny village called Avalur in Kerala state. Born of parents who were staunch Sivabhaktas, Goggawe had imbibed the spirit of devotion right from her childhood. Goggavve coming of age, when her parents thought of arranging her marriage, she ran away from home and hid herself in a Siva temple. Understanding the inner feeling of Goggavve, her parents did not press her for marriage. Then Goggavve remained absorbed in her Kayaka of offering incense to Śivabhaktas. Once it so happened that Lord Siva, in order to test her devotion and resolution, assumed the form of a handsome young man, and approaching her, he pressed her to marry him. But Goggavve would not yield to any kind of pressure from the youth. The Lord Siva manifested Himself in his true form and blessed her heartily. Also asked her to continue her Kayaka of offering incense. Nästinath is Goggavve's Vachana signature. Only six Vachanas of Goggavve are available. Goggavve talks of Linga Anga Samarasya, i.e., consubstantial union of Linga and Anga, which is like the perfume merged in the air, like the joy mingled in intercourse, like a gift given to the loved one:

Like the perfume merged in the air:
Like the joy mingled in intercourse,
Like the liberal gift given to the dear one.
I say this is the way of the devotees to mingle with Lińga,
O Nāstināth! [SVS, Vol. V, V. 695]

Her Vachanas dealing with the thought of equality are remarkable. They resemble in tone and content Dâsimayya's Vachanas on the subject of equality between man and woman:

If breasts and plaits of hair appear on a person,
People call her female.
If moustache and beard appear on a person
People call him male.
But is the knowledge in the two
Male or Female,
O Nāstinātha? [SVS, Vol. V, V. 696]

Act of loving is a natural instinct, common to both man and woman. There is no difference between a woman's love for man and a man’s love for a woman, infatuation in both man and woman functions the same way so she asks:

If a man is enamoured of a woman and loves her
She will be his property
If a woman is enamoured of a man and loves him,
You should know the answer [That is, man should be woman’s property]
If a person could be happy by eliminating the feeling of duality
I would call him Nästinath,
Who is a perfect being! [SVS, Vol. V, V. 693]

Goggavve slays the orthodox men who hold a woman for man's property, an object of his enjoyment, and asks why man should not be a woman's property, since both are equal in the matter of loving each other? She was one of the few bold women to blow the bugle of equality. She being a low caste woman, her attitude of this type must have shocked the orthodox men.


[1] Vachana in "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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