Author Topic: The Vachanas of Siva Saranas - Mountain Path - Apr. - June 2013:  (Read 3529 times)

Subramanian.R

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The Vachanas of Siva Saranas - Mountain Path - Apr. - June 2013:
« on: December 09, 2013, 11:54:45 AM »
(This article is by one Savithri Krishnan, a devotee of Sri Bhagavan:)

Saivism, which believes in the supremacy of Lord Siva, is one of the cults of Hinduism from days of ore and continues to be
practiced in modern Hinduism.  It is one of the Shanmathas (the six schools of worship). 

The Svetasvaara Upanishad considers Siva mas the paramount deity.  Over a period of time, different schools of Saivism took
form such as the Pasupathas, Dasnamisanyasins, Kapalikas, Veera Saivas, Nath and a host of other variants.  Though each
school glorifies Siva in its own inimitable style, all these schools believe in the same ultimate aim of attaining 'Sivahood' or oneness
with Siva, by severing the bond confining the individual soul with the material world.  In the Southern Indian States of Tamizh
Nadu and Karnataka, Saivism was at its peak, so to say, between the 6th century and 12th century A.D. If the sixty three Tamizh
saints, the Nayanmars, instituted a highly philosophical Saiva-Siddhantam sect in Tamizh Nadu, the Lingayats or Siva Saranas
established the socially distinctive sect Veera Saivism in Karnataka. 

While the profound devotion filled expressions of Nayanmars are available in Tirumurais, comprising the Tevaram, Tiruvachakam,
Tiru Kovaiyar, Tirumandiram, several other poems of other Nayanmars, and the Periya Puranam, in Tamizh, that of the Siva Saranas
are found in the vachanas. Vachanas literally mean 'sayings' or the sacred hymns in Kannada which are the outpourings, mostly
in simple words of mystical experiences.  Brevity may be said to the soul of vachanas!  Metaphysical experiences of the highest order
are described lucidly in a style that appeals to the ordinary mortals in as much as it does to the pedants.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.
             
 

   

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Vachanas of Siva Saranas - Mountain Path - Apr. - June 2013:
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2013, 12:20:27 PM »

continues....

Veerasaivism or Lingayatism is said to have been founded by Sri Basavnna or Sri Basavesvara in the 12th century in Karnataka,
though some believe that it already existed and that Basvanna only formalized it.  Lingayats worship Siva in the form of Siva
Lingam as their only deity.  Basavanna widely regarded as the incarnation of Nandi, the Bull of Lord Siva, was a brahmin by
birth and a great saint, philosopher, social reformer and an astute minister.  He strongly revolted against the then prevalent
caste system.  Legend has it that Lord Siva appeared in his dream and initiated him to create a casteless society of Siva
followers.

The credit of shaping the Lingayat sect and enriching it with their rich vachanas also goes to the other visionaries like Allamma
Prabhu, Akka Mahadevi, Channabasavanna (nephew of Basavanna and a stalwart Veera Saiva and a host of Siva Saranas.
However,  Allamma, Basavanna and Akka Mahadevi are normally referred to as the 'Trinity of Veera Saivism.'

Allamma Prabhu is one of the greatest mystics of all times, a spiritual giant, a great yogi and a vachana-poet extraordinary.
In Veerasaiva literary works, he is described as "maya kolaha" meaning the conqueror of illusion and an incarnation of Lord
Siva.  He is the void or Parabrahman incarnate.  He being a skillful speaker could effectively convey his subtle mystic experiences
and show people the path of eternal peace.  While some of his vachanas are straight forward and easy to understand, others
are esoteric with paradoxes and inversions (called the Badagina Vachanagalu).  Critics hail his poems as those of a perfect Jnani.
That Sri Bhagavan Ramana hail his poems in high esteem and considers him a Jnani can be judged when he quotes the incident
from the Prabhu Linga Leela (See Day by Day, 6.10.1945), where MaruLa Sankara (living near a mutt where he used plaintain
leaves thrown away) taken to be a mad man by locals, prostrates with great reverence to Allamma when he happens to pass
by, and Allamma in turn wholeheartedly embraces MaruLa.  Referring to this incident Sri Bhagavan remarked that each knew
other's worth as only a Jnani can recognize another Jnani!

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Vachanas of Siva Saranas - Mountain Path - Apr. - June 2013:
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2013, 12:22:28 PM »
continues....

Akka Mahadevi was a prominent woman Veerasaiva mystic and was married to a king.  (Some say that she was not at all married,
but was a spinster).  She rejected her life of opulence and lived a life of wandering poet saint, staying in dilapidated buildings,
singing praises on Lord Siva as Channamallikarjuna of Sri Sailam (Kurnool district - Andhra Pradesh).  Hers is a madhura bhakti
as she is said to have accepted Channamallikarjuna as her husband akin to Andal and Meera who considered themselves married
to Lord Narayana and Lord Krishna respectively.  Allamma, awestruck at her achievement in metaphysical experience and spiritual
knowledge directs her to seek communion with the Lord at Kadali in Sri Sailam. Though she wrote relatively fewer and simpler vachanas (about 400 as compared to Basavanna and Allamma Prabhu who wrote more than 1000 each), they are of the highest order marked by originality in expression and speak about the path of enlightenment, annihilation of 'I', conquering desires and senses.

As a minister, Basavanna established a spiritual parliament known as 'Anubhava Mantapa' at Kalyan (now known as Basava Kalyan
a city in Northern Karnataka), which was the cradle of Lingayatism, and perhaps the first of its kind, presided over by Allamma
Prabhu.  This was a place of discussion for various aspects of Lingayatism among others, and also the source of Veerasaiva
Vachana literature.  The core texts which form the scripture of Veera Saivism are Basavanna's vachanas, Allamma Prabhu's Mantra
Gopya, Channa Basvanna's Karana Hasuge, and the collected work called Shunya Sampadane.   The vachanas are timeless as
they deal with the various issues of society such as social, economical, philosophical, religious etc., all with a subtle message.  The
principles enshrined in the vachanas reach out to all owing to the simplicity of language and the similes that ordinary people can
effortlessly relate to.

Some of the well known Lingayats of Karnataka who settled down in Tiruvannamalai are Guhai Namasivaya, Guru Namah Sivaya
and Virupaksha Deva (after whom is the Virupaksha Cave named where Bhagavan stayed from 1899 to 1916).  A temple on the
south east slopes of Arunachala is dedicated to Guhai Namasivaya.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Vachanas of Siva Saranas - Mountain Path - Apr. - June 2013:
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2013, 12:20:09 PM »
continues....


Presented below is a selection of vachanas.  The sobriquets or mudras of Allamma, Basavanna and Akkamahadevi are
Guheswara, Kudalasangama, and Channamallikarjuna respectively, all referring to Lord Siva.

Vachana One: 

Arithevu arithevu yembiri Aridha pariyenthu helire?  /
Aridthatavaru aridhevembre? / Ariyabaardha ghanavanu /
Aridhavaru Ariyadhanthipparu noda / Guheswara !

Literal Translation:

Look at those claiming 'we know', 'we know'
Will the ones who 'know' ever claim so?
On 'knowing' the unknowable Great
The 'knowers' remain as if they do not 'know', O Guheswara!

Comment:

This vachana of Allamma Prabhu is similar to Verses 21 and 33 of Ulladu Narpadu of Bhagavan Ramana which say that scriptures
speak of 'seeing' the Self or 'seeing' God.  As the Self or God is one without a second, it is impossible to 'see' or 'know' it.
To 'see' or 'know' the Self is to abide as the Self.  Likewise, to say, 'I know myself' or 'I do not know myself' is a cause for laughter
since there are no two selves so that one can be known by the other.  There is but one Self, the Truth.

Vachana Two:

Nimmalli neevu thilidhu nodire, anyavilla kaaniranna. /
Arivu nimmalliye thadhgathavaagiyadhe. / Anyabhaaavava neneyadhethannolage thaanechchara ballade, /
Thannileye thanmayavu Guheswaralingavu.

Literal Translation:

You seek within yourself; it is not elsewhere O brother,
Consciousness is within yourself
Without meditating on something else,
if one could be aware within oneself,
The Awareness within yourself is Guheswra Linga.

Comment:

The message in this Allamma's vachana is comparable to the 44th verse of Sri Bhagavan's Aksharamanamalai the meaning
of which runs thus: " 'Look within, ever seeking the Self with the inner eye.  Only then will It be found.'  Thus did thou direct
me O beloved Arunachala!'                           

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Vachanas of Siva Saranas - Mountain Path - Apr. - June 2013:
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2013, 01:19:13 PM »
continues....

Vachana Three:

Ella ellavanaridhu phalavenayya? / Thanna thannariya bekalladhe? Thannalli arivu swayavaagiralu anyara kelalunte? /
Channamallikarjuna, nee arivaagi mundhoridha kaarana / Nimmindha nimmanaridhenaya prabhuve /

Literal Translation:

What is the use of knowing everything?
Unless one knows oneself !
When knowledge is within oneself, why ask others?
Channamallikarjuna, since you shone as Knowledge,
I had the knowledge of You through You, O Lord !

Comment:

Reflecting on this vachana of Akkamahadevi, one is reminded of Bhagavan Ramana's untiring instructions to the devotees
on the importance of Self Realization.  In His reply to Paul Brunton's question, Bhagavan says, 'What is the use of knowing
about everything else when you do not yet know who you are?  Men avoid this inquiry into the true Self, but what else is there
so worthy to be undertaken?  (Osborne, Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self Knowledge).

Vachana Four:

Thanna vicharisalolladhu idhira vichaarisallhudhee manavu / Enu maaduvenee manavanu enthu maaduvenee manavanu /
Kudalasangana sharanara / Nechchadhaa, mechchadha manavanu kichchinolagikku /

Literal Translation:

The mind does not bother to inquire about itself, but is in pursuit of knowing about others!
What shall I do with this fickle mind?  How do I handle it?
The mind which does not love and like Kudalasangamma's saranas
Control it !

Comment:

This is a vachana of Basvanna.  Bhagavan Ramana would often admonish His devotees 'Vandhavelayaipaar' (i.e attend to the
work for which you have come).  The purpose of human birth is to attain salvation.  One should constantly strive towards the
goal rather than unnecessarily wasting time over being critical or judgmental of others.

There is a humorous incident when a devotee would promptly come to the the Old Hall every day at eight a.m. and start dozing
off irrespective of any conversation taking place.  An attendant annoyed at this would wake him up only find him doze off again a
few minutes later.  The attendant would again wake him up.  Observing this, Bhagavan tells the attendant, 'Oye, he has been
attending to the work for which he has come. You attend to the work for which you have come.  Why are you troubling him?'

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Vachanas of Siva Saranas - Mountain Path - Apr. - June 2013:
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2013, 12:41:01 PM »

continues....

Below is another beautiful vachana echoing similar message.

Vachana Five:

Lokadha donka neeveke thiddhuviri? / Nimma nimma thanuva santhaisi kolli / Nimma nimma manava santhaisi kolli /
Neramaneya dhukkakke aluvavara meccha, / Namme Kudalsangama Deva.

Literal Translation:

Why do you correct the wrongs of the world?
Control and correct your body and mind
Our Lord Kudalasangama
Does not like those wailing for their neighbor's ills.

Vachana Six:

Andhu indhu maththodndhenabeda / dhinavindhe siva saranaembvange / dhinavindhe hara sharanembavange /
dhinavindhe namma kudalasangana / maanadhe nenevange.

Literal Translation:

Don't say today, tomorrow or some other day (don't defer)
Today is the day for the worshipper of Siva
Today is the day for the worshipper of Hara
Today is the day for those who think of Kudalasangama without fail.

Comment:

Basavanna in this vachana asks one not to dilly dally worshipping Siva and commands that it should be done right away.
It is the tendency of the people to keep citing various excuses to defer their pursuit of spiritual sadhana.

Bhagavan Ramana gives the example of a man who has never seen an ocean before wishing to take a bath in it, patiently
waiting for the waves to subside so that he could bathe when it becomes as calm as the pond back home.  Either he should
realize on his own or someone should educate him that the nature of ocean is restlessness, and has been  so ever since its
creation and wold continue to be so till pralaya (dissolution).  He will then learn to duck under the waves and take bath.
Likewise, in his spiritual journey, one should in parallel handle the worldly commitments and continue with sadhana without
postponing it.  Bhagavan assures T.K. Sundaresa Iyer that Divinity within oneself can be realized 'here and now' the moment
one surrenders or when 'I' dies.  He gives the example of a thirsty man wanting to drink water while all the time standing
neck deep in Ganga!

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.           

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Vachanas of Siva Saranas - Mountain Path - Apr. - June 2013:
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2013, 12:36:05 PM »

continues.....

The next vachana of Akkamahadevi too echoes similar sentiment in that it talks about the nature of the ways of world,
and that says there is no use complaining about the same.  One should just go on with one's sadhana without expecting
the circumstances to change to one's liking.

Vachana Seven:

Bettada melondhu maneya maadi / mrugagalige anjidhode enthayya? / samudhra dhathatdiyalondhu maneya maadi /
noretheregalige anjidhode enthayya? / sabtgetikagondhu maneya maadi / shabdhakke naachidhode enthayya? /
Chennamallikarjunadheva kelaya / lokadholage huttidha balika / sthuthi-nindhegalu bandhare/ manadhalli kopava
thaaladhe samaadhaaniyaagirabeku.

Literal Translation:

Having built a house atop a mountain
How can one say that one is scared of wild animals?
Having built a house on the seashore
How can one say that one dreads the waves and froth?
Having built a house in a market place
How can one shy away from noise?
Listen O Lord Chennamallikarjuna!
Having been born on earth,
When praise and criticism come by, without resentment
in the mind, one must be calm and composed.

Vachana Eight.

chala beku saranange paradhhanavanu ollenu emba / chala beku saranange parasthayanu ollenu emba / chala beku saranange
paradhaivavanu ollenu emba/ chala beku saranange linga jangama one emba / chala beku saranange prasaadha dhitavemba /
chalavillladhavara mechcha kudalasangama deva.

Literal Translation:

A sarana (staunch follower of Siva) must have the resolve not to eye other's wealth
A sarana must have the resolve not to covet another's wife
A sarana must have the resolve not to worship other's God,
A sarana must have the resolve to see the LingaJangama (Saiva wandering mendicant) as One and the Only
A sarana must have the resolve to seek the Lord's blessings only (should have unflinching and challenging mind)
Lord Kudalasangama does not like those without resolve.

Comment:

It must be noted that Basavanna uses the medium of vachanas not only for spiritual instructions but also to bring about
social awareness among the masses by inculcating ethical values as may be observed in this vachana.

The strong emphasis that Basavanna lays on 'chala' or 'determination' is akin to verse 28 of Ulladu Narpadu where Sri
Bhagavan say that one should with keen intellect and 'determination' look for the source of the Self as a pearl diver would
dive into water with an one pointed mind.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.
               
   

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Vachanas of Siva Saranas - Mountain Path - Apr. - June 2013:
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2013, 01:19:11 PM »
continues....

Vachana Eight:

Hasivaadhare oorolage bhikshaannagaluntu / thrusheyaadhare kere-bhavi hallangaluntu / shayanakke haalu degulavuntu /
Chennamallikarjunaiah atma sanghaathakke nee enaguntu.

Literal Translation:

If hungry, begged rice is available
If thirsty, tanks and wells are available
For sleep, dilapidated temples are available
For the company of the soul, I have You,
Lord Chennamallikarajuna.

Comment:

This is the vachana of Akkamahadevi.  Sri Bhagavan Ramana literally lived this vachana!  During the initial days of His stay
at Tiruvannamalai, He spent most of His time in the dilapidated Patala Lingam, Vahanamantapam, Gurumurtham, Pachaiamman
Koil, always absorbed in Samadhi, with hardly any concern for food or His physical well being.  He later used to beg food in the
town.  In the later years, He recounts to His devotees that sometimes, He has received stale gruel without any salt or flavoring
and after consuming it -- he would wipe His hands on His head and pass on supremely happy!

Vachana Ten:

Vaaravendhariye, dhinavendhariye, yenedhariyenaiyya / irulu yendhariyenaiyya, hagalu yendhariyenaiyya / nimmuva poojisi
ellava maredhe / Kudalasanghama deva.

Literal Translation:

I do not know which day or week it is
I do not know if it is day or night
Worshipping You, I have forgotten everything else
Lord Kudalasanghama deva.

Comment:

This vachana of Basavanna aptly applies to Sri Bhagavan.  He would recount to His devotees in the later years about His
condition when He arrived at Tiiruvannamalai in 1896.  He had spent His earlier days in different locations, such at Patala
Lingam, Subrahmanya temple inside the Big Temple,  the adjoining flower garden, and the Vahanamantapam totally in
oblivion to the surroundings, that He hardly knew whether it was day or night.  To quote Him:  'When I closed my eyes, deeply
absorbed in meditation I hardly knew whether it was day or night.  If anytime I opened my eyes, I used to wonder it was
day or night'. At times He would sit down under one tree only to find Himself, when He later opened His eyes, sitting under another
tree.  Likewise, while in Vahanamantapam sometimes He found Himself under a different Vahana from the one He had sat down
under, having no clue how He got there.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Vachanas of Siva Saranas - Mountain Path - Apr. - June 2013:
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2013, 12:22:44 PM »
continues......

Vachana Eleven:

Aridhenambudhu thaa bayalu, / ariyenembudhu thaa bayalu, / arunhina kuruhina marahinologe / Guheswaranembudhu thaa
bayalu.

Literal Translation:

The thought of knowing is void
The thought of not knowing is void
When consciousness is forgottten
Guheswara himself is void.

Vachana Twelve:

Bayalu bayalene bhiththi, bayalu bayalane beledhu / bayalu bayalaagi bayalaayiththayya / bayalu jeevana, bayalu bhavane,/
bayalu bayalaadharu / naa nimma nambi bayalaadhe Guheswara.

Literal Translation:

The void sowing the void,
Becomes a crop of void,
The void crop becomes void again,
Life is void, feelings are void,
Void becomes void again
Those who worshipped You became void in the past,
And believing in you, I attained the state of void, O Guheswara !

Comment: 

Devikalottaram, he chanting of which Sri Bhagavan very strongly recommended and rendered the Sanskrit verses into exquisite
Tamizh, speaks at length about the great Void.  The unparalleled  void is said to be the seed of liberation and that only the valorous
with arrow of Sunyabhava (thought free state) are considered knowers of the Void.  It avers that if one controls the monkey         
like restless mind, and establishes it in Sarvasunya (the state devoid of all sense objects), one will attain liberation directly.

On the contrary, one who fails to meditate on the great all pervading void gets entangled in samsara like the silkworm caught
in its own cocoon.  Thus in order to avoid suffering and sorrow, one should meditate on the great Void !

(In Devikalottaram, comments on the Void are based on verses 14.23.24.26 and 27 of Sri Bhagavan's Tamizh translation.)

contd.,

Arunachala Siva   

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Vachanas of Siva Saranas - Mountain Path - Apr. - June 2013:
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2013, 12:32:12 PM »
continues....

Vachana Thirteen:

Dhayavilladha dhharmavu adhaavudhiyya?  / dhayave beku sakala paraanigalellararillo / dhayave dhharmadha moolvaiyya /
Kudalasangaiyyannanthalladhollaniayya.

Literal Translation:

What is a religion without Compassion?
Kindness should be shown to all the living creatures.
Compassion is the foundation of all Faiths.
Our Lord Kudalasangama won't accept anything without Compassion.

Comment:

This Vachana is similar to Bhagavan's proclamation in the Ramana Gita (Chapter Ten, Verses ten and eleven) that brotherhood
based on a sense of equality is the supreme goal to be attained by human society and that through brotherhood, supreme
Peace will prevail among the mankind and the entire planet would flourish like a single household.

Vachana Fourteen:

Naanembadhu Pramaana, Neenembudhu Pramaana. / Swayavembadhu Pramaana, Paravembudhu Pramaana. /
Pramaanavembudhu Pramaana. / Guheswaranembudhu Apramaana.

Literal Translation:

'I' is a limitation; 'You' is a limitation.
'Oneself' is a limitation;  'The other' limits.
Limitation is a limitation.
Guheswara is limitless.

Comment:

This vachana of Allama is akin to Sri Bhagavan vouching a devotee who questions if Guru's grace is limitless like an ocean.
Sri bhagavan says, 'Ocean? Ocean (sagara) has a limit, a boundary (or coast line) but the krupa of Sri Bhagavan has no such limit.
It is a limitless.  It knows no bounds.'

The message of all great seers since time immemorial has been the same.  To strive relentlessly to achieve the supreme purpose
of human birth.  There may be a multitude of paths but the goal is always the same. In this section, parallels have been drawn
between Vachanas and Sri Bhagavan's teachings.  These are but a few vachanas from the rich and vast repertoire of Vachana
Sahithya.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.