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GOD is Formless


Transliteration :

Ayyâ neenu nirâkâravâgirdalli
Nanu jnânavemba vâhanavagirde kâna
Ayyâ neenu nâtyakke nindalli
Nânu chaitanyavemba vâhanavagirde kâna
Ayyâ neenu âkâravagirdalli
Nanu vrishabhanemba vâhanavagirde kâna
Ayyâ neenu enna bhavava kondahenendu
Jangama lanchananâgi bandalli
Nanu bhaktanemba vâhanavagirde kana Kudala Sangama Deva

Translation :

Lord, when you were formless, As Wisdom I carried You.
When you were about to reveal your cosmic dance, As Energy I carried you.
When you took a form, O Lord,
As the Bull I carried you.
O lord Kudala Sangama Deva,
when you came as Jangama To destroy my births, As Devotee I carried you.

Commentary :

In the metaphysics of Lingayat religion, the activity of creation is considered as a divine play. God participates in this divine play both as director and actor : He is inside creation and outside of it. As a divine paradox it is considered a play : leela. When God plays as the director, his inherent cosmic energy - Shakti - plays as the actor. This Shakti is termed as Chitshakti and has three aspects, namely 1) Jnâna - wisdom -, 2) Iccha - will power -, 3) Kriya - creative power.

In the beginning, God as Linga was swayambhu, self-born Transcendental Reality. At one time He got the intuitive knowledge that He could create the world. This first phase of evolution is explained by Basavanna in his first analogy. Before starting the activity of creation, God was formless, and Wisdom alone was His vehicle.

In the next phase, God willed to create the world. Thrilled by His desire, He started to dance; and his Energy - Chaitanya - acted as His vehicle. His dancing caused vibration and activated the process of cosmic creation. In the third phase, the world started taking a shape and Shakti assumed the form of a Bull - Vrishabha - the symbol of Dharma. As the world took a particular shape, Dharma became necessary to organise and maintain it. Cosmic laws also are part and parcel of Dharma.

In the fourth phase, God created individual souls. To save these souls from existential delusion, He took the form of Jangama , the representative of God. When the devotee surrenders to Jangama , the holy master, evolution stops and involution starts, until the soul merges with God, the fountain head of the entire creation. In this vacana, Basavanna refers to himself as carrying within these four aspects of creation. The “I” here has to be understood as the personification of Shakti – cosmic energy.

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