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Basavanna Quotes - A Collection Of Basavanna Teachings

Basavanna is the founder of Lingayatism or Lingayat Sect or Veerashaivism. Here is a collection of quotes and teachings of Basavanna.

Soft words are as good as chanting, soft words are as good as doing penance. A sure way of pleasing Sadashiva is to speak softly and to speak truth.

Sitting at the door of my nose, it is you
Who enjoy the pleasure of good smell;
Sitting at the door of my tongue, it is you
Who enjoy the pleasure of good taste;
Sitting at the door of my eyes, it is you
Who enjoy the pleasure of good sights; …
Because I know I am only a machine
Handled by you.

Vyasa is a fisherman’s son,
Markandeya of an outcaste born
Mandodari, the daughter of a frog! ...
Indeed, Agastya was a fowler; Durvasa,
a maker of shoes; Kashyapa a blacksmith. ...
Mark ye all the words of our Kudala Sangama
What matters if one is lowly born?
Only a Shiva Bhakta is well born.

Your body is in my body and my body is in yours;
Your life is in mine and mine in yours;
Your senses are in mine and mine in yours …
I am camphor and you are flame,
I merged in you.

Of what avail is religion without compassion
One should have love and compassion for all beings
Mercy is the very basis of religion
Lord Koodala Sangama won’t approve otherwise

None are smaller than me
None are greater than devotees of Shiva

Action itself is knowledge, and
Knowledge is action; knowledge means
To understand; and action means
To act according as one understands

To think adultery to be wrong
Is knowledge; and action is
To act accordingly;
No to do so, is ignorance.

The human body is a basket
The mind is the snake
See how they live together
Anytime the snake may bit and kill you
But for the grace of Kudala Sangama (Shiva)

Do not rely on the perishable body,
It is like trying to fix an iron frame around a bubble of water,
Live and worship Kudala Sangama (Shiva).

What you call life,
Is a wind blown lamp,
What you call wealth,
Is a crowd in the market place which disperses,
And it is like the splendor of the moonlit night
which disappears with the dawn
The only thing that does not perish
Is Kudala Sangama’s grace.

The rich will make temples for Siva.
What shall I, a poor man, do?
My legs are pillars, the body the shrine,
the head a cupola of gold.
Listen, O lord of the meeting rivers,
things standing shall fall,
but the moving ever shall stay.
The power of knowledge destroys ignorance;
The power of light dissipates darkness;
The power of truth is foe of all untruth;
The sharana's experience of God is the sole cure of worldliness

Why should you try to mend
The failings of the world, sirs?
Correct your bodies first, each one of you!
Correct your minds first, each one!
Lord Shiva does not approve of
Those who shed crocodile tears
To their neighbor’s grief.
The rich will make temples for Siva.
What shall I, a poor man, do?
My legs are pillars, the body the shrine,
the head a cupola of gold.
Listen, O lord of the meeting rivers,
things standing shall fall,
but the moving ever shall stay

All should be pure hearted and have devotion to God Shiva.

The rich build temples
What can I, a poor man, do?
My legs are pillars, my body is the temple,
My head is the golden Cupola;
Listen to me, O’ Koodala Sangama deva
The material image is perishable
But the Jangama perishes not.

If one calls in faith does not Shiva respond?
But without faith or trust people of this world
Only call and complain that Shiva is not merciful.

Why do you correct the defects of the world?
You set right your mind. You set right your body…
Koodala Sangama Deva won’t approve
those who bother about neighbours.

Heaven and mortal world are not somewhere.
Speaking truth is heaven, uttering lies is mortal world;
Righteous behaviour is Heaven and unrighteous is Hell.
Those who are acceptable here are acceptable there also
Those who are not acceptable here are not acceptable there also.
Koodala Sangama Deva.

Do not steal, do not kill, and do not utter lies;
Do not be angry, do not detest others
Do not praise yourself; do not condemn the opposite view.
This is purity within and this is outer purity
This is the way to please our Lord Koodala Sangama.

If you speak, it should be like a garland of pearls,
If you speak, it should be like the brightness of a gem
If you speak, it should be like crystalline shaft
If you speak, Linga should assent in admiration
If what is contained in word is not in deed,
How can Koodala Sangama Deva be pleased?

Important Teachings Of Basavanna

Everyone, irrespective of gender, caste, creed, and profession is equal, and has the right to education and spiritual enlightenment.

When the liberated person thinks that he is the whole world and the whole world is he, he does not distinguish himself from God, and for him there cannot be anything else. (Chenna Basavannanavara Vachanagalu, verse 1344)

‘When self-realization has taken place, what is the meaning of “God’s world” or “mortal world”? There is no difference at all.’ (Samagra-vachana-samputa, vol. 1, verse 947)

Worship of Ishtalinga dispenses with priest or mediator between God and devotee; it also dispenses with temples, to which the untouchables are not allowed to enter.

It is not necessary to renounce the world to lead a spiritual life. True devotion and virtuous conduct should be given importance.

Purity of mind is more important than the knowledge of scriptures.

Any food or enjoyment should first be offered to God and then partaken as prasada.

Every able bodied person must earn his/her livelihood by honest means of livelihood. No profession is high or low. What matters is sincerity and honesty in work.

Wages should match the work done and rewards for work not done well should not be accepted.

Keeping aside some money for the maintenance of the family, the rest of the earning should be spent in the service of the Jangamas who go from place to place spreading
the message of devotion and teaching the worship of Ishtalinga.