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Vachana sahitya

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Vachana sahitya

Vachana sahitya is a form of rhythmic writing in Kannada (see also Kannada poetry) that evolved in the 11th century C.E. and flourished in the 12th century, as a part of the Sharna movement. The word vachanas literally means "(that which is) said". These are readily intelligible prose texts.

Madara Chennaiah, an 11th-century cobbler-saint who lived in the reign of Western Chalukyas, is the first attested poet of this tradition. Later poets, such as Basava (1160), prime minister of southern Kalachuri King Bijjala II, considered Chennaiah to be his literary father.

Vachanas and Sharana movement

Palm leaf with Vachanas (11th - 12th century).

Basavaadi Sharana's Vachanas are their experiences in the process of God realization through oneness with the pure consciousness in the prana. About 800 sharanas practiced the technique and wrote their experiences in terms of Guru (Unmanifest Chaitanya), Linga (Manifest Chaitanya), Jangama (Pure consciousness of Lingatattva in one's prana), Padodaka (intimacy with the knower/source of Lingatattva), and Prasada (becoming lingatattva).

As per record, this form exchange of experience of the realization of the God in group discussion has happened only in Karnataka by the sharanas mainly under the guidance of Basava, Akka Mahadevi, Allama Prabhu and Siddheshwar. This fact has been attributed to the popularity of the movement. More than 200 Vachana writers (Vachanakaras) have been recorded, more than thirty of whom were women.[1][2]

Vachanas

Vachanas are brief paragraphs, and they end with one or the other local names under which Shiva is invoked or offered Pooja. In style, they are epigrammatical, parallelistic and allusive. They dwell on the vanity of riches, the valuelessness of mere rites or book learning, the uncertainty of life and the spiritual privileges of Shiva Bhakta (worshiper of lord Shiva).[4] The Vachanas call men to give up the desire for worldly wealth and ease, to live lives of sobriety and detachment from the world and to turn to Siva for refuge.[4]

Authors of a particular Vachana can be identified by the style of invocation of God (Basveshvara invokes "Kudala Sangama Deva", while Allama Prabhu invokes "Guheshwara", Akkamadevi invokes "Channa Mallikarjuna", Siddhrama (Siddheshwar) of Solapur invokes "Kapilasidda Mallikarjuna") in the vachana. The existing readings of the vachanas are mostly set by the European understanding of the Indian traditions.

About 20,000 vachanas have been published. The government of Karnataka has published Samagra Vachana Samputa in 15 volumes. Karnataka University Dharwad has published collections of individual vachana poets.

Devara (Jedara) Dasimaiah is called the 'Adya Vachanakara' (The First Vachanakara).

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Sastri (1955), p361
  2. ^ Other well known Vachana writers were Chennabasava, Prabhudeva, Siddharama, Kondaguli Kesiraja etc. (Narasimhacharya 1988, p20)
  3. ^ Speaking of Siva, by A. K. Ramanujan. Penguin. 1973. ISBN 9780140442700. p. 1.
  4. ^ a b Edward Rice, A History of Kannada Literature, 1921, Asian Educational Services, (Reprinted 1982), pp 56

References

Further reading

  • Lingayata Dharmada Modalaneya Pustaka Kannada, 1982, PM Giriraju.
  • Jatigala Huttu Kannada, 1982, PM Giriraju.
  • Speaking of Siva, by A. K. Ramanujan. Penguin. 1973. ISBN 9780140442700.
  • Sadbhakta Charitra Kannada. PM Giriraju. https://openlibrary.org/works/OL11062327W/Girirājanu_sērisida_sadbhakta_cāritrya

External links

  • Vachana Sahityha
  • Vachanas by Basava, Dasimayya, Akka and Allama (trans. AK Ramanujan)
  • Vachana Sahitya Web Site Published by Government of Karnataka
  • Vachana Sanchaya, Vachana Sahitya Digitization & Research Project
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