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ನೆನ್ನೆ ಬಸವ ಜಯಂತಿ ಅನ್ನುವುದರ ಮೇಲೆ ಇವತ್ತು ಧ್ಯಾನ ಬಂದಿತು. ಕೆಲವು ತಿಂಗಳ ಹಿಂದೆ ಬಸವಣ್ಣನ ವಚನವೊಂದರ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯವನ್ನು ಬಳಸಿ ನಾನು ರಚಿಸಿದ ವರ್ಣವೊಂದನ್ನು ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಕೊಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದೇನೆ.
If you do not read Kannada, here is the notation for the Varna in English:
As I was reading a subhAshita toady, I was stuck by the resemblance between that verse and a vacana of Akka Mahadevi, a Kannada poet-saint from 12th century.
Here is the subhAshita I am referring to:
छिन्नोपि चंदनतरुः न जहाति गंधं
वृद्धोपि वापणपतिः न जहाति लाभं ।
यंत्रार्पितो मधुरतां न जहाति चेक्षुः
क्षीणोपि न त्यजति शीलगुणान् कुलीनः ॥
ಛಿನ್ನೋಪಿ ಚಂದನತರುಃ ನ ಜಹಾತಿ ಗಂಧಂ
ವೃದ್ಧೋಪಿ ವಾಪಣಪತಿಃ ನ ಜಹಾತಿ ಲಾಭಂ |
ಯಂತ್ರಾರ್ಪಿತೋ ಮಧುರತಾಂ ನ ಜಹಾತಿ ಚೇಕ್ಷುಃ
ಕ್ಷೀಣೋಪಿ ನ ತ್ಯಜತಿ ಶೀಲಗುಣಾನ್ ಕುಲೀನಃ ||
The Subhashita tells that how noble men (or women) do not drift away from their good nature even when they are facing bad times. I just could not stop using two lines from AkkamahAdEvi’s vachana “chandanava kaDidu koredu tEdoDe” (ಚಂದನವ ಕಡಿದು ಕೊರೆದು ತೇದೊಡೆ) to bring this subhAshita into KannaDa, for they make such a perfect match!
ಚಂದನವ ಕಡಿದು ಕೊರೆದು ತೇದೊಡೆ
ನೊಂದೆನೆಂದು ಕಂಪ ಬಿಟ್ಟಿತ್ತೇ?
ಕುಂದಿದಾ ದೇಹದ ಮುದಿವ್ಯಾಪಾರಿಯೂ
ಸಂದು ಸಂದು ಕಡಿದ ಕಬ್ಬನು
ತಂದು ಗಾಣದಲಿಕ್ಕಿ ಅರೆದೊಡೆ
ನೊಂದೆನೆಂದದು ತಾ ಸವಿಯ ಬಿಟ್ಟೀತೇ?
ನೊಂದರೂ ಕುಂದಿದರೂ ಶೀಲಗುಣಗಳನು
ಒಂದೇ ಮನದಿ ಕಾಯುವರು ಅಗ್ಗಳರು!
(ಮಹಾದೇವಿಯಕ್ಕನ ಎರಡು ಸಾಲುಗಳನ್ನು ಸಾಲ ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಂಡಿರುವೆ – ಅಂತ ಸೊಗಸಾದ ಸಾಲುಗಳನ್ನು ಬಿಡಲು ಮನಸಾಗಲಿಲ್ಲ – ಆ ವಚನ ಚಂದನವ ಕಡಿದು ಕೊರೆದು ತೇದೊಡೆ ಎಂದೇ ಆರಂಭವಾಗುತ್ತೆ )
Today is Basava Jayanti – The birthday of Bhakti Bhandari Basavanna.
Basavanna is one of Karnataka’s earliest social reformers – and his writings are known as vachanas (sayings). There is a very strong likelyhood that the later day haridAsas of Karnataka were influenced by the vachanas of Basavanna and others of the 12th century.
Here are some of my favorite vachanas written by Basavanna, with some of my own very rudimentary translation
The first one tells about the desperation and longing Basavanna had for Shiva, the lord of kUDala sangama ( A place in Karnataka, where river malaprabha joins river krishna).
ಚಕೋರಂಗೆ ಚಂದ್ರಮನ ಬೆಳಕಿನ ಚಿಂತೆ
ಅಂಬುಜಕೆ ಭಾನುವಿನ ಉದಯದ ಚಿಂತೆ
ಭ್ರಮರಂಗೆ ಪರಿಮಳದ ಬಂಡುಂಬ ಚಿಂತೆ
ಎನಗೆ ಎನ್ನ ಕೂಡಲಸಂಗಮದೇವನ ನೆನೆವುದೆ ಚಿಂತೆ!
The partridge bird
worries about moonlight
The lotus flower
worries about the sunrise
The bee only worries
about drinking fragrant nector
My only worry is to be
reminiscing about you
Oh my lord of kUDala sangama!
Watch Dr Vasundhara Doreswamy dance to this vachana (Pandanallur stlyle of Bharatanatya). The haunting chakravAka / Ahir Bhairav raaga greatly accents the mood of this vachana.
The second vachana talks about the likes and dislikes of his lord Shiva:
ನಾದಪ್ರಿಯ ಶಿವನೆಂಬರು ನಾದಪ್ರಿಯ ಶಿವನಲ್ಲ
ವೇದಪ್ರಿಯ ಶಿವನೆಂಬರು ವೇದಪ್ರಿಯ ಶಿವನಲ್ಲ
ನಾದವ ಮಾಡಿದ ರಾವಣಂಗೆ ಅರೆಯಾಯುಷವಾಯ್ತು
ವೇದವನೋದಿದ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮನ ಶಿರಹೋಯ್ತು
ನಾದಪ್ರಿಯನೂ ಅಲ್ಲ ವೇದಪ್ರಿಯನೂ ಅಲ್ಲ
ಭಕ್ತಿಪ್ರಿಯ ನಮ್ಮ ಕೂಡಲಸಂಗಮದೇವ!
They say Shiva loves music;
No, he doesn’t.
They say Shiva loves the learned;
No, He doesn’t.
Ravana, who made wonderful music
did not lead a full life.
Brahma, who learnt all the Vedas,
had to lose his head.
Neither is he fond of music
Nor is he fond of the Vedas
Our good lord of kUDala sangama,
is fond of devotion!
Those who know the composition of Purandara dAsa : kELanO hari tALano, can’t but fail to notice the similarity between the two.
Listen to this vachana here: nAdapriya SivaneMbaru
The third one goes even further. Basavanna calls his body as the temple where Shiva dwells.
ಉಳ್ಳವರು ಶಿವಾಲಯವ ಮಾಡುವರು
ನಾನೇನು ಮಾಡಲಿ ಬಡವನಯ್ಯ?
ಎನ್ನ ಕಾಲೇ ಕಂಬ ದೇಹವೆ ದೇಗುಲ
ಶಿರವೇ ಹೊನ್ನ ಕಳಸವಯ್ಯ!
ಕೂಡಲಸಂಗಮ ದೇವ ಕೇಳಯ್ಯ
Rich build temples for Shiva
What can I, a poor man, do?
My legs are pillars
My body is the temple
My head makes the golden cupola
Oh, Lord of kUDala sangama
The standing will perish
The moving will stay on.
Watch Nachiketa Sharma sing uLLavaru shivAlayava mADuvaru, in rAga madhuvanti:
I will end with another of Basavanna’s vachana that deals with music.
ಎನ್ನ ಕಾಯವ ದಂಡಿಗೆಯ ಮಾಡಯ್ಯ
ಎನ್ನ ಶಿರವ ಸೋರೆಯ ಮಾಡಯ್ಯ
ಎನ್ನ ನರಗಳ ತಂತಿಯ ಮಾಡಯ್ಯ
ಬತ್ತೀಸ ರಾಗವ ಹಾಡಯ್ಯ
ಉರದಲೊತ್ತಿ ಬಾರಿಸು ಕೂಡಲಸಂಗಮದೇವ!
And here is the tranlation:
Make my body the fretboard,
Make my head resonator
Make my nerves into the strings
Sing those thirtytwo rAgas
Oh the lord of kUDala sangama!
I could not find a link for the audio or video. If you happen to know a link, please pass it on!
And, if you are keen on reading more vachanas, but do not know kannaDa, here is your best bet – A collection of vachanas tranlated in English by Prof A K Ramanujam: Speaking of Siva
You forget what you are supposed to do. No matter what the earthquake safety drill taught you. Basic instincts come first. Look for the kids, and make sure they are safe and run outside.
Yes, it was a big one. At least for me. 5.6 on the Ritcher scale is considered moderately large even in the earthquake prone bay area. In the last 10 years I have lived here, the earth has shaken several times. But never this big.
Last night it was our dinner time. Around 8 pm. My son was as usual, dodging to finish his food, when the rattling sound started. I was about to tell him to stop rattling his chair and go on with his mosaranna. The hardwood floors are new, and I don’t want them to be spoiled so early on :) It was a few seconds before I realised the sound was not his making, and it coincided with my wife shouting “Earthquake, earthquake!!”. I looked up at the walls, and the whole house was violently shaking. The chandelier was swinging like a pendulam.
My wife ran to the garage, to see what my daughter who was playing there was safe. I headed to the front door, calling every one to come outside. It was almost a minute of shaking before everything was back to normal. The lights kept swinging for a while though.
We did not have any broken frames or window shutters. We turned on the TV. No breaking news on any news channels yet. My wife ran to the car to turn on 1590 KLIV. They had already started a call-in program. The earthquake was centered about 5 miles north- north-east of Alum Rock. That puts it about 5-6 miles east of my house. No wonder it felt so strong.
Luckily no harm reported anywhere. Except may be some broken bottles and spilled liquids in supermarket isles. Life is back to normal.
I am reminded of a similar quake I experienced when I lived in Pune. It was the night of Ananta chaturdashi. The last day of Ganeshotsava in Maharashtra. A large quake hit central Maharashtra. The epicenter lay at least 250 miles away near Latur, near Karnataka border. It was so strong to wake us all from our deep sleep, and send us running out of our homes. When I went out that night, I saw almost the every one had stepped out of their homes. Some one had a window glass broken.
Next morning, we found out how deadly it was. Thousands lost their lives, and several thousands lost their homes.
I am so glad the last night’s quake was not damaging. And, it is good to have quakes of this size near a fault line, it seems. It releases the tension building under the earth, the geologists say. So, the fear of a big one striking soon is reduced by some extent.
What can I do now, except reciting this vacana of akkamahAdEvi (11th century AD)?
ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಮೇಲೊಂದು ಮನೆಯ ಮಾಡಿ ಮೃಗಗಳಿಗಂಜಿದೊಡೆಂತಯ್ಯ?
ಸಮುದ್ರದ ತಡಿಯೊಳು ಮನೆಯ ಮಾಡಿ ನೊರೆತೆರೆಗಳಿಗಂಜಿದೊಡೆಂತಯ್ಯ?
ಸಂತೆಯೊಳಗೊಂದು ಮನೆಯ ಮಾಡಿ ಶಬ್ದಕೆ ನಾಚಿದೊಡೆಂತಯ್ಯ?
ಲೋಕದೊಳಗೆ ಹುಟ್ಟಿದ ಬಳಿಕ ಸ್ತುತಿನಿಂದೆಗಳು ಬಂದೊಡೆ
ಮನದಲಿ ಕೋಪವ ತಾಳದೆ ಸಮಾಧಾನಿಯಾಗಿರಬೇಕು
Here is my attempt at translating this vacana.
Can you be scared of wild beasts, when you live on a hill top?
How can you panic by the surf and the wind,
When your home is on a beach?
Having built your house at the market square,
Can you shy away from the noise?
You are born in this world; so give up your anxiety!
Take adulations and abuses
Wth a stable mind !!
Oh, listen to me, chennamallikArjuna!*
*Chennamallikarjuna : is the signature of akka mahAdEvi
I think I should add a line to her vachana:
How could you be afraid of earthquakes, when you live in the bay area?