Basavanna was active during the rule of both dynasties but reached his peak of influence during the rule of King Bijjala II in Karnataka , India. Basavanna spread social awareness through his poetry, popularly known as Vachanaas. As the chief minister of his kingdom, he introduced new public institutions such as the Anubhava Mantapa or, the "hall of spiritual experience" ,  which welcomed men and women from all socio-economic backgrounds to discuss spiritual and mundane questions of life, in open. The traditional legends and hagiographic texts state Basava to be the founder of the Lingayats.
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Basava Vachanajali Where you bid I be born, There needs must I be born. Why did you give me birth, To travail on this earth, A stranger unto Heaven?
Why did you give me birth? Is not the shame enough Of being born Of blood and seed? Why, then, this folly, Sir Of breeding sin on sin? Why be a morsel for The maw of death? Whatever tomorrow hath in store For me, let come today; And let today's share come at once: Here is no coward heart! Except for Thee, Will not my heart be caught In the wheel of births- Yea, in this wheel of births?
Will not the wheel Of birth fill up And empty again? Where is the failure and success, O Lord? Where is the fault and sin? A rabbit that a huntsman brings, They pay for it the proper price; But none will give a betel-nut For a dead ruler of the land! A man's life is less worth Than a rabbit's see! Renunciation is to say 'I do not want'; to say 'I want' Is body's foible. What matters where a thing may be? The body is basket, mind the snake.
See, how they live together, The snake and basket! You have no notion when It may kill you, No notion when he bites! Basava Vachanajali 6.
Strong is the elephant: but could you say Less strong the goad? Nay, nay, not so! Strong is the mountain: but could you say The thunderbolt less strong?
Strong is the darkness: but could you say Less strong the light? Oblivion's strong: but could you say The heart that loves Thee less strong? Refusing to scan itself, this mind All else will scan! This mind believes in you If only you speak ccording titfancy; but dare you But cross it, it's your foe! O heart, you have forgot, my heart, The cycle of your births!
Like a lizard darting about A hedge, so is my mind, O Lord; Like a chameleon who appears One thing each several time, So is my mind! Like the condition of a flying-fox, So is my mind! My spirit leaps about- a monkey on a bough : Lets me not stand where I should stand ; Lets me not meet where I should meet. You put an iron ring about A pumpkin, it must rot : Would it grow fresh!
Same as ever was! You wash and wash of doll and clay, And day after day it turns to mud : Its nature remains! Why should you fear That you despised? Why should you blush That you denied? Because you nothing know! Look you, my heart Is like a country fig : Search it with care, There is no kernel there!
The body's passions plague me, Lord ; The passions of the mind are leagued: The sensual passions whirl about! I am eddying in an eddy - Lord, Let me not be engulfed therein!
Make me not mind aught else But thee, O Lord! My mind remembers Thee not With a pure love: What shall I do? What is to be my fate: ah, what?
What is to be my plight: ah, what? Shed peace upon my soul! Like nine hounds loosed upon a hare, My body's passion cry : Let me! My mind's passions cry : Let me! I am but one; but five That keep me in the fire! A mighty blaze besides, So that I hardly stand! Greed, lust, sloth, lies, Infirmity of sense, Roguery and fraud, Anger and meanness and untruth- Tear these away fr Why?
For they bar my way to thee. Hos understand its discipline? Lust, anger, greed, Infatuation led me astray ; Hunger and thirst and vices keep Me simmering I'm plagued, I'm broken into shards By the five senses, seven elements!
Lord, hearken to my cry! Bridling your senses, all you do Is starting maladies: For the five senses come and stand And laugh into your face! My actions go one way, Another way my speech! Look, Lord, there is no trace Of purity in me! With fraud within and modesty without.
For he can understand They do not reach at all The path of righteousness. If like a jujube leaf You are one thing within, Another thing without, Does He approve?
He'll make you come to births That never should have been : Does He approve? He'll make you taste the horrors of hell : Does He approve? What principle unites The servant and his lord? To speak the truth, and act According to your word. I do not act with faith You see: My speech is all pretence; A slander what crosses mine Must make me cross The ready cake, I'm ready to eat: Beating, I run! What doesn't the Master give If but his servant ask?
You cannot talk or act But God is your ordeal, good Sir! What if you read a hundred books Or hear a hundred homilies? Unless your greed is plucked, your anger cease. What fruit in pouring water for the bath? Listen, good Sirs: You boast to be Heroes, ascetics, devotees If you should speak, your words should be Pearls that are strung upon a thread.
If you should speak, your words should be Like lustre by the ruby shed. If you should speak, your words should be A crystal's flash that cleaves the blue. If you should speak, great God must say Ay, ay, that's very true! In dread of death, of debt and penury, I sought refuge in Thee: I sought it for my belly's sake, As one who sells the Jambu fruit Besmeared with Purple dye How shall I say What part of me is false, What part is base?
Thou only know'st it, Lord! As a dog riding a palanquin, My mind, on seeing a thing, Reverts to its natural bent.
A plague on't! It does not let me, O my Lord, Remember Thee from day to day Oh, grant me grace! My life is like a dog Licking a sword's sharp edge For ghee! My mind will not forsake The bother of this world! Is it not enough If, being angry, you chide me once? But must you, alas! O Lord, it's you who spread this green Sense-pasture before my eyes!
What does a beast know? It is drawn To all that's green and grass. Rid me of sense, and feed me, Lord, With holiness till I have my fill! Serve me true wisdom for my drink! Is the master of the house gone out, Or is he in? Upon the threshold grasses sprout ; The house is just A bowl of dust : Is the master of the house gone out, Or is he in? My piety, wrapped up in sloth, Hath blindfolded my eyes; Hath broken me like a faggot-stick And cast me in the fire of lust; Boiling and boiling for my belly's sake Hath bloked my onward way; My piety hath gone To another for a sheltering roof!
I am as senceless as a corpse! O heart, remember not the sweet Like the monkey who has fed On jaggery! O heart, do not withdraw and fly Like to the jackal who has fed On sugarcane! O heart, roam not about, adrift, Like to the raven who has soared Up to the sky!
Guru Basava Selected Vachanas
Account Options Sign in. Top charts. New releases. Add to Wishlist. Basavanna was a 12th-century Hindu philosopher, statesman, Kannada poet in the Niraakaara Shiva-focussed Bhakti movement and a social reformer during the reign of the Kalachuri-dynasty king Bijjala I in Karnataka, India. Basavanna spread social awareness through his poetry, popularly known as Vachanaas. As the chief minister of his kingdom, he introduced new public institutions such as the Anubhava Mantapa or, the "hall of spiritual experience" ,which welcomed men and women from all socio-economic backgrounds to discuss spiritual and mundane questions of life, in open.
Account Options Sign in. Top charts. New releases. Basavanna Vachanagalu Delizent Solutions Lifestyle. Add to Wishlist.