Akka Mahadevi     14 posts


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“Oh Shiva, make me hungry but make sure that I do not get any food. And in case I get it, before I put it in my mouth, make sure it falls off my hands. Before I pick it up from the ground, make sure a hungry dog eats it. Make me go through everything, so that I will learn to conduct myself gracefully irrespective of what the outside situation is.”

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Show Me Your Way Out

Like a silkworm weaving
her house with love
from her marrow,
and dying
in her body's threads
winding tight, round
and round,
I burn
desiring what the heart desires.

Cut through, O Lord,
my heart's greed,
and show me
your way out,

O Lord white as jasmine

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Would a circling surface vulture

Would a circling surface vulture
know such depths of sky
as the moon would know?

would a weed on the riverbank
know such depths of water
as the lotus would know?

would a fly darting nearby
know the smell of flowers
as the bee would know?

O Lord white as jasmine
only you would know
the way of your devotees:
how would these
these
mosquitos
on the buffalo’s hides?

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O Lord, White As Jasmine

You're like milk
In water: I cannot tell
What comes before,
What after;
Which is the master,
Which is the slave;
What's big.
What's small.

O lord white as jasmine
If an ant should love you
And praise you.
Will he not grow
To demon powers?

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O,LORD LISTEN TO ME

O Lord, listen to me if you will, listen not
if you will not: I cannot rest contented
unless I sing of you.

O Lord, accept me if you will, accept not
if you will not: I cannot rest contented unless
I worship you.

O Lord, love me if you will, love not
if you will not: I cannot rest contented unless I hold
you in my arms

O Lord, look at me if you will, look not
if you will not: I cannot rest contented unless
I gaze at you in overpowering longing.

O Lord Chenna Mallikarjuna (Shiva), I worship you and revel in a thrill of pleasure.

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LOVE'S MARVELLOUS WAYS

Look at
love's marvellous
ways:

if you shoot an arrow
plant it
till no feather shows;
if you hug
a body, bones
must crunch and crumble;
weld,
the welding must vanish.

Love is then
our lord's love

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I have fallen in love

I have fallen in love, O mother with the
Beautiful One, who knows no death,
knows no decay and has no form;

I have fallen in love, O mother with the
Beautiful One, who has no middle, has
no end, has no parts and has no features;

I have fallen in love, O mother with the
Beautiful One, who knows no birth and
knows no fear.

I have fallen in love, O mother with the
Beautiful One, who is without any family,
without any country and without any peer;
Chenna Mallikarjuna (Shiva), the Beautiful, is my husband.
Fling into the fire the husbands who are subject
to death and decay.

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HOW CAN YOU BE MODEST

People,
male and female,
blush when a cloth covering their shame
comes loose
When the lord of lives
lives drowned without a face
in the world, how can you be modest?

When all the world is the eye of the lord,
onlooking everywhere, what can you
cover and conceal?

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DON'T DESPISE ME

Don't despise me as
She who has no one
I'm not one to be afraid,
Whatever you do.
I exist chewing dry leaves.
My life resting on a knife edge
If you must torment me,
Chennamallikarjuna (Shiva),
My life, my body
I'll offer you and be cleansed.

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HIM WHO ILLUMINES

I have seen Him in His divine form,
Him with the matted locks,
Him with the jewelled crown,
Him with the gleaming teeth,
Him with the smiling face,
Him who illumines the fourteen worlds with
the light of His eyes.
I have Him and the thirst of my eyes is
quenched.
I have seen the great Lord whom the men
among men serve but as wives.
I have seen the Supreme Guru Chenna Mallikarjuna(Shiva)
sporting with the Primeval Sakti,
And saved am I.

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LORD, YOUR MAYA

Oh! Lord your Maya does not give me up even
When I have given it up. In spite of my
resistance it clings to me and follows me.

Your Maya becomes Yogini to the Yogin. It
becomes a nun to the monk, it becomes a
herald to the saint. It adapts itself to
each according to his nature.

When I climbed up the hill, your Maya too
came up; when I entered the forest, your
Maya too entered behind me.
So the world does not take its hand off
my back even now!

O, Lord of infinite mercy, your Maya frightens
me. O Lord Mallikarjuna(Shiva), bestow your grace on me.

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I DO NOT SAY

I do not say it is the Linga,
I do not say it is oneness with the Linga,
I do not say it is union,
I do not say it is harmony,
I do not say it has occurred,
I do not say it has not occurred,
I do not say it is You,
I do not say it is I
After becoming one with the Linga
in Chenna Mallikarjuna,( Shiva )
I say nothing whatever.

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Sunlight made visible
the whole length of a sky,
movement of wind,
leaf, flower, all six colors
on tree, bush and creeper:
all this
is the day's worship.

Night and day
in your worship
I forget myself
O lord white as jasmine

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Akka Mahadevi

'Akka' who is popularly known as Akka Mahadevi of twelfth century, stands to this day not only as a sublime personality, a soul force conjoining devotion, knowledge, and non-attachment, a pioneer of the
movement of woman's emancipation, the pinnacle of the glory of Vachana literature, she is also an ever-shining example of transcendental world-view, a supreme mystical vision.

In the history of mankind we have more than one empress, thinker, warrior and freedom fighter, more than one anchorite, artist and scholar; but it has given only one elderly sister, that is Akka Mahadevi.

Akka Mahadevi or Mahadevi or Mahadeviyakkha, a brilliant medieval Kannada poet, rebel and mystic, was a prominent figure of the Veerashaiva Bhakti movement of the 12th century Karnataka. Her Vachanas in Kannada, a form of didactic poetry are considered her greatest contribution to Kannada Bhakti literature. It is said that she was the first woman to write Vachanas in Kannada literature. In all she wrote about 430 Vachanas which is relatively fewer than that compared to some other saints of her time. Yet the term 'Akka' (elder Sister) which is an honorific given to her by great Veerashaiva saints like Basavanna, Chenna Basavanna, Kinnari Bommayya, Siddharama, Allamaprabhu and Dasimayya speaks volumes of her contribution to the movement that was underway. She is in hindsight seen as a great and inspirational woman for Kannada literature and the history of Karnataka. She is said to have accepted the god Shiva ('Chenna Mallikarjuna') as her husband, traditionally understood as the 'madhura bhava' or 'madhurya' form of devotion (similar to how centuries later Meera, a 16th century saint, considered herself married to Krishna).

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