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Mrs Jyotsna Kamat Last updated on: The revolutionary spirit and social awareness ushered in by Basavanna gave strong impetus to the composition of Vachanas attracting large numbers of devotees who belonged to different strata of society.

They gave expression to their own milieu, depicting imagery and symbolism revealing different professions to which he or she belonged. Kannafa contain the thought and experience of Vachanakaras who strived for God realization through their own vocations. Vachanas are aphoristic in form and rhythmic in style and words.

History of the Kannada Literature IV — The Vachanas

The language was the spoken word of the commoners. Vachana normally means spoken word or phrase. But now it came to indicate a special type of composition which was neither prose nor verse but pithy expression.


The Vachanas do have rhythm, though non-metrical.

Its style became immensely popular and has its own following till today. King- sage Basavanna a.

Guru Basava Selected Vachanas

Basaveshwara stood for equality for all and dreamt of a casteless society. He criticized all forms of social injustice, condemned vehemently several superstitions and animal sacrifice, and taught that the path of devotion was the best way for self-realization.

He advocated equal opportunity for women with men in all fields: All of them turned great devotees and Vachanakaras. Kayakave Kailasa –work is worship — became the mantra.


Their Vachanas born out of their respective vocations are full of imagery and liveliness. Cripple me, father, that I may not go here and there, Blind me, father, that I aknnada not look at this and that, Kxnnada me, father, that I may not hear anything else.

Keep me at your men’s feet looking for nothing else, O lord of the meeting rivers. Akkamahadevi’s Vachanas has a lyrical quality and direct personal appeal with rare poetic elements.


Vachana sahitya

The similes she chose have great mass appeal because they are true to life. I love the Handsome One: He has no death decay nor form no place or side no end nor birthmarks.

I love Him O mother. I love the Beautiful One with no bond nor fear no clan no land no landmarks. Do not reproduce without prior permission. I love the Beautiful One with no bond nor fear no clan no land no landmarks So my lord, white as jasmine, is my husband.

History of the Kannada Literature -IV.