Kalabeda Kollabeda...… (ಕಳಬೇಡ, ಕೊಲಬೇಡ.....)

Understanding the inner meaning of the vachana “Kalabeda Kollabeda…”

-Thrineshwara M.R.

Guru Basava vachana

ಕಳಬೇಡ, ಕೊಲಬೇಡ, ಹುಸಿಯ ನುಡಿಯಲು ಬೇಡ,
ಮುನಿಯಬೇಡ, ಅನ್ಯರಿಗೆ ಅಸಹ್ಯಬಡಬೇಡ,
ತನ್ನ ಬಣ್ಣಿಸಬೇಡ, ಇದಿರ ಹಳಿಯಲು ಬೇಡ.
ಇದೇ ಅಂತರಂಗಶುದ್ಧಿ, ಇದೇ ಬಹಿರಂಗಶುದ್ಧಿ
ಇದೇ ನಮ್ಮ ಕೂಡಲಸಂಗಮದೇವರನೊಲಿಸುವ ಪರಿ.

Kalabeda Kollabeda, Husiya nudiyalubeda,
Muniyabeda, Anyarige asahya padabeda,
Thanna bunnisabeda, Idira haliyalubeda,
Ide antharanga shuddhi, Ide bahiranga shuddhi,
Ide namma Kudalasangamana olisuva pari.

Do not steal, do not kill,
do not lie, do not rage,
do not loathe the other,
do not brag of yourself,
do not revile the opponent.
This itself is inner purity,
this itself is outer purity.
This alone is the way to win
our Koodalasangamadeva. 150 [1]

Brief Explanation

Kalabeda Do not steal: Do not bring misery to others by stealing their belongings.
Kollabeda (Do not kill): Do not cause physical violence by killing any living creature.
Husiyanudiyalubeda (Do not lie): Do not cause trouble in others’ life by telling lies.
Muniyabeda (Do not become angry): Do not become angry on others, which may result in any unwanted actions from us.
Anyarige asahyapadabeda (Do not feel bad about others): Do not cause injury to the feelings of others by expressing a sense of rejection of others.
Thanna bannisabeda (Do not praise yourself): Do not indulge in self-praising which may strengthen your ego.
Idira haliyalubeda (Do not condemn others): Do not cause psychological violence by condemning others.
Ide antharangashuddhi (This is the purity of the ‘Inner’): This is what is called the purity of the ‘Inner’.
Ide bahirangashuddhi (This is the purity of the ‘Outer’): This is what is also called the purity of the ‘Outer’.
Ide namma kudalasangamana oliyuvapari (This alone is the way to win our Koodalasangamadeva.): This is the manner in which we can actually please our God.

Inner Meaning

In this song (Vachana) Lord Basavanna has emphasized that the purity in Thought, Word and Deed, which constitute the purity of both the ‘Inner’ and the ‘Outer’ is essential in order to please the GOD. Without this purity, all other steps we may take in the form of “Acquiring knowledge” or “Indulging in social services” or “Performing religious rituals, worships and sacrifices” or “Performing all kinds of Yoga, Meditations, etc.” may not help at all. If at all we do any of these then the outcome of it must be to achieve the purity ultimately.

Pleasing God means not trying to make the God pleased in the way we normally get pleased personally. How can the God who is “Niraakara”, Nirguna”, “Causeless” and “Timeless” can expect us to do something to please him? If at all we do so it might be a form of our Devotional Love only. So, we need not do all this thinking that we are finally trying to please the God.

When we achieve the purity of the Inner and the Outer, we become free from our self-centred thoughts, which means that the “Self” or the “Ego” will not come in the way of the Right Action from us. Right Action is always the result of Love and Compassion, which is nothing but the highest form of Intelligence. When our mind is liberated from the self-centred thoughts then we will be able to exhibit this level of Intelligence from which only the Right Action can happen always. When we are able to exhibit such an Intelligence it means that "our Individual Consciousness is functioning in synchronization with the Universal Consciousness”.

But how can we get ourselves free from all these self-centred thoughts that are essentially our enemies? In order to attain a state of freedom any amount of steps we may take such as Knowledge, Devotion, Service and Yoga that are outwardly in nature may not help. Because, all such actions involve a kind of repetitive steps that we may perform for a specific amount of time. Also, when the self-centred thought is still operating all such steps that we might take may lead to ‘Self-gratification’, which is nothing but strengthening the ‘Self’ further and further. But how can we set any specific time to achieve the goal? First of all can we consider it as a goal? Our entire life is full of new experiences and new learnings, which is an endless movement starting from our birth and reaching a kind of end (or an intermediate end) when we die physically. So are the thought process, which has occupied our entire life. Such being the case how can we say that by performing some known action we can reach the goal within a definite time frame? So, it cannot be a goal to achieve and it is not even an achievement first of all. This means that the sense of inner freedom has to be felt every moment in life and hence it cannot stop at some point.

When we talk about the freedom in every moment it basically means that we need to keep watching the movement of our Thought, Word and Deed always, not Actively but Passively. This action of Watching or Observing will result in the Awareness about the root of all self-centred thoughts, their outcomes and the possible consequences of the outcomes. As we might be knowing, the self-centred thoughts are responsible for our anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, fear and so on, which may get manifested in self-praising, stealing, killing, humiliating and condemning others, which in turn is a form of violence. Unless we understand the root cause of all these how can we be free from them? So, the Total Understanding that may happen due to the Passive Awareness moment to moment will actually eliminate all kinds of self-centred thoughts.

As long as the self-centred thought is in operation there cannot be an Order in the mind. The Order is necessary for taking the Right Action that could be the result of the Higher Intelligence. So, the Total Understanding will eventually bring Order in the mind.

Active Awareness is full of responses to the thoughts such as justifying or condemning or identifying. If we are angry we need not condemn it or do any other thing. If at all we do so then it may result in the creation of secondary thoughts of similar nature. So, we may not get the Total Understanding finally. By Passive Awareness we are only observing closely without any gap being created between the Observer and the Observed. Because, the gap in between is nothing but the process of Interpretation or Analysis of the Observed, which may not produce the complete reality of the Observed.

So, the Passive Awareness moment to moment is a life-long action one must experience and learn from it. This is how one can be in a constant state of purity of both Inner and the Outer. This is the True Meditation, which results in the understanding of our life and hence it helps us to learn about ‘Living’. The Purpose of Life is ‘Living’.

[1] Number indicates at the end of each Vachana is from the book "Vachana", pub: Basava Samiti Bangalore 2012.

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[1] From the book "Vachana", pub: Basava Samiti Bangalore 2012.