Previous Goggavve Kinnari Brahmayya (ಕಿನ್ನರಿ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಯ್ಯ) Next

Maadara Chennayya

Full Name: Maadara Chennayya
Pen Name (Vachana Signature): Nijaatmaraama
Kāyaka (Occupation): first job was:Hay cutter later a cobbler


If words and actions are firm
there is no pollution of race or birth.
If words are good and action words
that is pollution without liberation.
Can any one be said to be highborn
If one is thieving and engaged with other’s wives?
Righteousness is caste, unrighteousness is pollution.
This duality should be understood and known.
Don’t be a mere servant to awl, scissors, and lower millstone,
Know Nijaatma Raama.
[Vachana No.1930] [1]

Maadara Chennayya

Maadara Chennayya belonged to the untouchable community. He was basically from Chola kingdom. He lived in Kanchi which was the capital of Karikalachola. Chennayya’s occupation was to tend the royal horse (hay cutter). He was a secret devotee of Shiva. The manner in which he fed shiva with gruel is made famous by many narratives. This legend story makes it obvious that devotion is important and not the caste, status or occupation. Chennayya was highly respected by the sharanas.

In Kalyana he undertakes the job of making footwear to the sharanas (cobbler). 10 of his vachanas have been found with the signature Kaiyulikatti Adigoontakkadiyaagabeda an Nij aatmaraamana. (Know Nij aathmaraama without becoming a servant of awl). In his vachanas, just as the signature phrase indicates, he talks about the issue of caste.


[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.

Back to Index
Previous Goggavve Kinnari Brahmayya (ಕಿನ್ನರಿ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಯ್ಯ) Next