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Full Name: Sule (Prostitute) Sankavva
Pen Name (Vachana Signature): Nirlaijesvara

Once bespoken to a customer,
I will not be bespoken again.
If I did
they will strip me naked
and slaughter me.
It being thus,
knowing well
that he is a violator of vows
if I unite with him
they will sever my hands, ears and nose
with a searing sword.
Knowing this well
I will not, I will not,
I swear on you
O Nirlajjeshwara! / 1351
[Vachana No.1374] [1]

Self-respecting Sankavve must have been a prostitute before she became a Sharane. She must have led a life of austerity with self-respect and self-pride. She must have been a brave woman to defy social restrictions and to opt for the Sharana way of life amidst derision and opposition, since once a prostitute, the society would ever look down upon her as a prostitute. She sublimates her experience as a prostitute, and tries to explain transcendental mystic experience in terms of her worldly experience as a prostitute. Loyalty to one's Kāyaka and vow is as important as observance of any other rule [Nema]. According to her, honesty is equally important. One should pursue one's Kāyaka how so low it may look in the eyes of the common men, without fear and doubt but with purity of heart and mind. Embracing a vow-breaker unwittingly is bad, but embracing a vow-breaker wittingly is worse. Her Vachana signature is ‘Nirlaijesvara' which means ‘Lord of the shameless’.


[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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