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Hadapada Lingamma (ಹಡಪದ ಲಿಂಗಮ್ಮ)

Full Name: Hadapada Appannagala Punyastree Lingamma
Pen Name (Vachana Signature): Appannapriya Chennabasvanna
Kayaka (Occupation): Barber


Ayya, when there is precious stone right in front the eyes
Why don’t they learn to see it?
When there is an ocean of milk right in front of the door
Why desire spring waters?
When there is the great sharana right in front of the eyes
Why say at there is darkness,
Why look for another god
When that great sharana is our Appannapriya Chennabasvanna?

They speak of Kailasa and the mortal world.
What is Kailasa, what is mortal world?
They say
the word is the same here and there
the deed is the same here and there
those from Kailasa are all gods
those from the mortal world are all mahaganas.
They say
there is no death for a thousand years in the world of gods
there is the endless cycle of birth and death in mortal world.
Seeing this
our sharanas
giving least value to either of the worlds
rising above the matters of this world
realizing their origin,
uniting with the Great Light
attained nothingness in that Light
O Appannapriya Chennabasavanna.
[Vachana No.1361] [1]

Lingamma was wife of Hadapada Appanna. Chennamallesha was her guru. 114 vachanas, one swaravachana, one Mantragopya Appannapriya Chennabasavanna are available. As moral preaching's are her vachanas are also called Bodheya Vahanagalu. Lingamma considered herself to be liberated by Basava’s blessings, considered and respected Chennabasavanna as her spiritual teacher.

I shall not beg mere mortals
I shall not sing the praise of gods.
I shall not let my senses wander.
I shall not be caught in the snare of Kama,
I shall not allow myself to forget
As I recite pranava Panchakshari
Forgetting my body
I become truly liberated
O Appannapriya Chennabasavanna.

As long as there is desire
there is no respite from anger;
as long as there is lust
there is no respite from anxiety;
as long as there is worldly body
there is no respite from the pulls of this life;
as long as there is emotion
there is no respite from desire;
as long as there is action
there is no respite from words.
All these hold sway,
you claim to know the past,
listen you skeptics,
this is how our sharanas came to know in the past;
they destroyed desire
they controlled anger
they burnt lust
they controlled worry
they annihilated all interest in the body
they controlled the pulls of this earth
they revealed their minds
they renounced their longings
how can these skeptics know
the sharanas
who have known the past
residing in the linga
O Appannapriya Chennabasavanna.
[Vachana No.1357] [1]

Her vachanas stand out for their simplicity, conciseness and clarity of thought. One sees in her vachana sincere spiritual quest, sublime philosophical inquiry and yogic posture and expertise. Lingamma’s vachanas are simple in style and language, concise in content and replete with spiritual meaning. Her life was enriched and enlightened by personal experience. Like most of the Sharaneyaru of the Anubhava Mantapa she hailed from an ordinary stratum of society.

A Tambula (pan and areca-nut)-giver by Kāyaka and a trusted follower of Basavanna. Born in a low caste, Lingamma, being wedded to a Sharana, grew up among Sharanas and sharaņeyas. Like Nīlāmbike, Gangambike, Aydakki Lakkamma, Molige Mahadevi and several others, Lingamma too was an enlightened wife of an equally enlightened husband. The enlightened couple helped each other in carrying out their chosen tasks as well as in worshipping and serving Guru, Linga and Jangama. In their spiritual quest each stood by the other.

Ligamma's Vachanas, didactic and satirical, are an eloquent evidence of her spiritual attainment. No woman Vachana writer has preached the doctrine of Lingayathism so lucidly and pleasantly as Liñgamma has done. She is staunch in her preaching and trenchant in her satire. Likewise, she is bold in her attack on the ignorant worldlings. All her Vachanas are an expression of a mature mind which is firm and clear. She has no patience with doubting persons:

You mortals, who say
You have purified your mind
But, melting your body, and torturing your mind,
Not seeing your way like the blind ones
Are drowned in doubt, listen!
To see the Great one,
Having purified the mind,
I'll tell you how the mind should be
“Unless the mind is purified
Like the water undisturbed by wind;
Like the sun uncovered by cloud;
Like the mirror rubbed clean;
The Supreme Thing cannot be seen,
Said our Appannaapriya Chennabasavanna" [SVS, Vol. V, V. 997]

She takes the unrighteous worldlings to task and flays them mercilessly. She exhorts those who are drowned in ignorance and trapped by snares of sensual desires as in:

Ye, uncouth ones, who are born in the mortal world
Who are bewildered, drowned in darkness
And caught in the trap of Cupid, listen.
This is how you are:
Your body became a prey to distress;
Soul stayed in the half-conscious and half oblivious state,
Mind was engaged in setting all the animate
And the inanimate things in motion;
Breath was engaged in directing all those
And controlling their motion
Ye witless ones, who having fallen among them
Cannot get out; Listen to what I tell you. [SVS, Vol. V, V. 1013]

Lingamma’s Vachanas are characterized by simplicity, consciousness and clarity of thought. We see in her Vachanas sincere spiritual quest, sublime philosophical inquiry and Yogic posture and expertise. Both husband and wife were accomplished Shivayogis. Their lives were enriched and illumined by mutual counseling. Lingamma did not have any formal education. Still she could equal and at times even surpass Nīlāmbike and Gangāmbike who were born and brought in a high caste. It was due to her upbringing among highly enlightened Sharanas and Sharameys as also due to her husband's full support that Lingamma could achieve so much. Indeed, Hadapada Appanna was fortunate in having such an enlightened person as Lingamma as his wife. So also was Lingamma in having such a husband as Appanna who made both their souls worth saving.


[1] Vachana No.1358 & 1365 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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