Selected Basavanna Vachanas, 12th Century Basava Vachanas. Vachanas are not written in Sanskrit, the liturgical language, or not even in the high-brow Kannada of the court, but in local ‘sub-standard’.

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This new revolution was as much kanbada as it was spiritual, and along with Brahminical rituals that dominated the Hindu ways of devotion then, also sought to do away with the prevailing attitudes of social discrimination on gender and caste lines.

Vachanas literally, that which is said form the backbone of the Veershaiva religious canon. Though this genre of poetry predates the inception of Veershaivism itself, it does owe most of its flourish to the works of Lingayat saints such as Allama Prabhu, Akka Mahadevi, Basavanna and Dasimayya. The revolutionary streak of Veershaivism permeates through its poetry too.

This makes them seem refreshingly modernist in nature. Both of these innovations together allow for a high degree of originality and spontaneity that is not very easy to miss. This is not unique to Lingayats alone though.

Basava Vachana Galary

All bhakti poems are characterized by that unique undercurrent of raw emotion, a helpless soul in despair, alone in the world, feeling the searing pain of separation from the lord, its cry now embellished, now withdrawn, but always present. But I do believe that Vachanas, even as a sub-genre of devotional poetry, have a unique flavour not found manywhere else, because in their zeal to reject established authority or purely out of basavesshwara inspiration perhapsthey go out into the world, to places where the other traditions seldom tread.


This might be a limitation of my own experience though. I am not really translating the Vachanas from Kannada to Hindi. I am translating the Kaannada version of the Vachacnas, translated from Kannada by A. Ramanujan, a distinguished poet himself and a translator par excellence, whose work I repose full faith in. Even so, anybody who has attempted translations before would believe me when I say that every translation is a tragedy.

I am hoping that that is not the case here since the original and final languages are both Kannxda and share linguistic and cultural space. I am even confident that while translating these Vachanas from English to Hindi insomuch as a change of meaning is concerned, it can only be a change for the better and the meaning will only be knnada upon.

Both Hindi and Kannada have great ecosystems which are vachznas different from each other, but still have much more in common than what they have with the English ecosystem. This is mostly a problem of cultural spheres and I am sure that similarly, a translation from Spanish to Portugese would look more natural than basaveshwarz the same text is translated to Hindi. Still thankful to Ramanujan though: Of the verses that I had at my disposal, I have only translated a select few.

Some were too radical.

I bassveshwara from the rest those that I found most poetic and moving, a very subjective decision indeed. In the spirit of the verses, with only my aesthetic sense as a guide, I have also tried my best to find a balance between chaste Hindi and the folk Hindi while translating them. Constructive criticism and comments are always welcome. Like Liked by 1 person. I am expecting some errors to be there since it is not a direct translation.

If possible, please point out exactly which verses are incorrect.

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Thank you for this, these are beautiful by themselves. Half the joy of translation is to have touched something so beautiful, even if only superficially. Priyank post me reference copy from which you translated, i will explain You in better way. Priyank for exciting the interest. The Lord as Love: You are commenting using your WordPress.


You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Menu Skip to content Home Translations My poems. The poetry Vachanas literally, that vachannas is said form the backbone of the Veershaiva religious canon.

This might be a limitation of my own experience though The translation I am not really translating the Vachanas from Kannada to Hindi. The original poems do not have any punctuation. Most of my pre-translation commentary that does not come straight from Wikipedia comes from this book.

Twitter Facebook Email Reddit. I think, therefore I am confused: By the way good one. Give me reference copy of kannada and english. I will notify you some errors. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email required Address never made public. Post was not sent – check your email addresses! kannadda

Guru Basava Selected Vachanas

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