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Shanmukhaswamy (ಷಣ್ಮುಖ ಸ್ವಾಮಿ)

Full Name: Shanmukhaswamy
Pen Name (Vachana Signature): Akhandeshwara

Basava’s name is the divine Kaamadhenu
Basava’s name is the wish-giving Kalpavriksha
Basava’s name is the magical chintaamani
Basava’s name is the mine of touchstone
Basava’s name is the life-restoring Sanjeevini herb
since such a nectar of Basava’s name
filled my tongue
flooded into my mind
after filling the mind
flooded out to fill all the senses
after filling the senses
overflowed to touch every hair on my body
I boarded the ship called Basava
and crossed the ocean of births
chanting basava basava basava, Akhandeshwara.
[Vachana No.2480] [1]

Shanmukhaswamy (1639-1711, Post Basava age) was a significant significant vachanakara belonging to the post-B asava period. Mallashettappa was his father and Doddamambe his mother. He was from Jevaragi of Gulbarga district. Akhandeshwara was his guru. Later in his life he became the head of Jevaragi Virakta Mutt. He moved from place to place preaching philosophy and died at Jevaragi. He has written 717 vachanas apart from Akhandeshwara Jogalapada, Pancha Sanjnegala Pada and Nirala Sadguru Stotra. His vachanas are compiled according to shatsthala concept in Toorya Niraalamba Sharamana Shatsthala Vachana.

a swan knows the taste of milk,
how can a water fowl know it?
An elephant in rut knows the taste of sugarcane
how can a leaf-eating sheep know it?
1k nee Knows tne tragrance ot flower
how can a wood boring beetle know it?
Only an immortal sharana knows the primordial energy.
How can hagglers of this world know it
[Vachana No.2472] [1]

He is also the author of Veda Sanjeevini. It contains 11 chapters his 125 vachanas. Mahaaghana Doddadeshikaya Guruprabhuve is his signature phrase. He has recorded that his guru appeared in his dream and asked to him to write the vachanas with philosophical content so that the living beings could overcome their sins.

every time I heard the jingling sound of anklets
imagining my lover had come
I would scan every road,
standing on my toe
I would listen for his voice.
Listen, avva,
the sight of my lover Akhandeshwara
gives me supreme happiness,
not seeing him is my greatest sorrow.
[Vachana No.2473] [1]


[1] "VACHANA" English Version Translation by: O.L. Nagabhushana Swamy, ISBN: 978-93-81457-12-2, 2012, Pub: Basava Samithi, Basava Bhavana Benguluru 560001.

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