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Lingayat follows Monotheism


There is only one God

There is only one God, and the various Sharans addressed this God according to their own favored titles.

God was referred to as "Kudalasangama Deva" and "Lingaddeva" by Basava, "Chenna Mallikarjuna" by Akkamahadevi, "Guheshwara" by Allamaprgahu, "Kapil Siddha Mallikarjuna" and "Yoginaath" by Siddharameshwar. Madivala Machideva referred to him as "Kalidevaradeva," Chenna Basavanna as "Kudala Chenna Sangamadeva," and Ambigar Chowdayya as "Ambigar Chowdayya." He was referred to as "Nihkalanka Mallikaarjundeva" by Moligeya Marayya. In this way, different titles are given to the same God.

When the linga becomes a property on your body
it is impossible to bow
to an installed god.
Would intercourse with another
abandoning one's own man
be propriety?
Even as the god is your on palm
if you bow to one installed on the earth
Koodalasangamadeva will dump you in hell. -Guru Basava/4 [1]

The deity made of wax that melts
how could I approve of it?
The deity that shrinks on sighting fire
how could I approve of it?
The deity that is sold on necessity
how could I approve of it?
The deity that is buried out of fear
how could I approve of it?
Natural and truly united
Koodalasangamadeva alone is god. -Guru Basava/17 [1]

At the doors of ordinary folk always
certain deities keep watch.
Order them to go, they won’t go.
Far more tiresome than dogs are certain deities.
The deities that beg of ordinary folk for food
what could they themselves offer Koodalasangamadeva? -33 [1]

Don’t gloat and speak
that gods are two or three.
Look, he is one.
To say he is two is false
None but Koodalasangamadeva is says the Veda. -61 [1]

God is one, names are many.
A chaste wife has just one husband.
Should she desire another,
he will chop her ears and nose off.
What would you say then of those
who relish leftovers of many gods, Koodalasangamadeva? 230 [1]

Only one husband for a wife with faith, and
only one god for a devotee with faith.
No, never.
The company of other gods is not done.
No, never.
The desire for alien gods is not done.
If Koodalasangamadeva comes to know,
he will sever your nose. -241 [1]

Daily utility items are not GOD

The pot is god
the winnowing fan is god
the stone on the street is god
the comb is god
the bowstring is god
the measuring vessel is god
the small cup is god
there are gods and gods
no place to set foot in.
There is just one god, Koodalasangamadeva. -309 [1]

Why go to holy places
when you have the linga on your body?
If the linga on your body touches installed linga,
I cannot say which is great, which small!
People perished not knowing
the absolute that is beyond the reach of speech.
Your head becomes pure
by bowing to the jangama;
your hand becomes pure
by worshipping the linga.
Do not show me a breaker of vows,
who, ignoring the linga on the body,
bows to a distant linga,
Koodala Chennasangayya. -653 [1]

Having borne the linga on his body,
if a person joins a bhavi again,
claiming kinship with him,
he cannot escape becoming
a victim of Man on the hills.
Does a pot made of mud
become mud again after being burnt in fire?
agnidagdhaghatah prahur na bhooyo mrttikayate
tacchivacharasangena na punarmanusho bhavet
Therefore, rare is the devotee
who is purged of his past,
Koodala Chennasangamadeva -654 [1]

When they see a stone snake
'feed it with milk', they say.
When they see a live snake
'kill it', they say.
To the jangama who eats
'get lost', they say.
To the linga that does not eat
'make offerings of food', they say.
Those that show indifference
to the sharanas of Koodalasanga
would be like lumps of earth that hit the stone. - Guru Basava/148[1]

In my waking, dreaming or deep sleep states
If I think anything else,
then let my head, my head be the penalty.
If I turn false
then let my head, my head be the penalty.
if I think anything other than you
then let my head, my head be the penalty. - Guru Basava/204[1]

Only one husband for a wife with faith, and
only one god for a devotee with faith.
No, never.
The company of other gods is not done.
No, never.
The desire for alien gods is not done.
If Koodalasangamadeva comes to know,
he will sever your nose. - Guru Basava/241[1]

Wherever they see water, they take a dip.
Wherever they see a tree, they go round it.
Those who appreciate water that dries up,
and trees that wither away
what do they know of you Koodalasangamadeva? - Guru Basava/257[1]

When you see devotees
you shave your heads.
When you see monks
you strip and go naked.
When you see the Brahmins
you chant the name of Han
and have the mark of Han.
You follow the ways of whoever you see.
Do not show me these whore-sons.
What can I say of these ignorant men,
who, after worshipping Koodalasangamadeva
prostrate before other gods
and call themselves devotees? - Guru Basava/296[1]

I saw some worshiping Vishnu and burning their shoulders,
I saw some worshiping Jina and becoming naked,
I saw some worshiping Mylara and barking like dogs,
I saw those worshiping Koodalasangama are called as
devotees. - Guru Basava/357[1]

Shall I say scriptures are great?
They praise karma.
Shall I say the Vedas are great?
They tell of animal sacrifice.
Shall I say shruti is great?
It searches what is before one's eyes.
As you are not in any of those, Koodalasangama,
You can be seen in nothing but three kinds of daasoha. - Guru Basava/364[1]

Having born a Shiva devotee,
being one with linga,
having linga on the body,
and if you praise others,
appreciate words of others,
celebrate others,
you will fall into karma,
you cannot escape the chains of worldliness,
you cannot escape taking birth as a dog.
That's why Koodalasangamadeva
the life of the faithless deceivers
is like building a wall in sand and washing it in water. - Guru Basava/366[1]

Being inside the ocean of nectar
why worry about the cow?
Being inside the mountain of gold
why worry about sifting gold ash?
Being within the guru
why worry about the art of philosophy?
Being within the prasaada
why worry about liberation?
Having linga in the palm of one's hand
why worry about anything else, Guheshwara? -Allama Prabhu/451[1]

The sharana came down to mortal world
to seek the essential Thing.
He made his twenty-five senses bhaktas
purging them of their former impurities,
and he offered them without any taint of unreality.
But those senses not being able to grasp
the essential Thing in their individual capacity,
saying Koodala Chennasanga wants them, are holding him fast. -Chennabasavanna/924[1]

See how they belittle the linga tied upon the body
and attribute greatness to the linga on the hill.
If you find such empty headed fools
beat them with your hard footwear
said our Ambigar Chowdayya.
-Ambigara Chowadayya/1393 [1]

Worshipping the stone gods
they were born as asses in this kaliyuga;
worshipping the mud gods
they were disgraced;
worshipping tree gods
they become one with the earth;
worshipping gods
they could not attain heaven.
One who is servant of Shiva,
the god who fills the whole world,
is the greatest-
said our Ambiga Chowdayya.
-Ambigara Chowadayya/1395 [1]

O you fools who wander thinking the mountain linga is great
give up your istalinga.
If you do not give to me
I will take you to the middle of the river,
tie you up and drown said
Ambiga Chowdayya. -1408 [1]

Cube of sugar has a shape.
But what shape for its sweetness?
There is worship for the sign.
But what worship for knowing?
If knowledge is crystallized
the sign in the hand is no more-
said Chowdayya.
-Ambigara Chowadayya/1407 [1]

What can I call them
who touch the ground with their linga
before a stone born on earth
or a linga installed, Kalidevaradeva?
- Madivala Machideva/1899 [1]
What can I call those people of hell
who give up the linga on their palms
and bow to the idols on the earth
Paramapanchakshramurthy Shaantamallikaarjuna?
- Samayacharadada Mallikarjuna/1901 [1]

O brothers
who in your anxiety think
god resides in rocks and stones and trees
the signs are mere tokens
placed here and there by the mere intelligent ones.
He is beyond words.
Where the heart is
there he is, Nihkalanka Mallikaarjundeva
-Moligeya Marayya/1981 [1]

Wide as the world, vast as the sky
feet beyond the bottom of the world
crown beyond the sky
the god who hides the universe
in his belly is my lord.
I am within that god, that god is within me.
Believing such a god, I lost and merged in the nothingness.
Unaware of this god
all those from heaven, earth and the netherworids
worship the stone as god, clay as god and tree as god.
But not knowing my god, they do not worship him
pray to him, contemplate on him.
Men to whatever world they belong
if they know my god
they lose worldliness, limitation.
If they trust then they become
our Basavapriya Koodala Chennabasavanna.
-Hadapada Appanna/2147 [1]

Like the monkey leaping over a bridge today
because Hanuma leapt across to Lanka in those days;
like the maid climbing to the top of a rubbish heap
because the princess ascended to the palace balcony;
like the monkey riding a dog
because the prince rode a horse;
like the goat in rut rampaging the hunter's street
and getting his neck broken
because the elephant in rut rampaged the main street;
like the adulteress
ignoring the husband lying by her
and praising the paramour from another town;
shameless whores with chopped noses
who worship anything in sight
are not worth looking at
Akhanda Paripoorna Ghanalingaguru Chennabasaveshwara Shiva as witness.
-Kushtagi Karibasaweshwara/2257 [1]

Ignoring the linga in their lap
standing before the linga in a temple
offering heaps of words
such thievish-cow-like holeyas
are not worth looking at
Akhanda Paripoorna Ghanalingaguru Chennabasaveshwara
Shiva be my witness.
-Kushtagi Karibasaweshwara/2258 [1]

Wearing linga on the body
they call themselves devotees of Shiva
but stray from the path to Shiva
and prostrate in submission
with linga on the ground
before Shaiva gods immersed in worldly life.
These are mean who
when death ends their life as devotees
suffer twenty eight million types of hell
till the end of the sun and the moon.
Once through that hell
are sure to be reborn as dogs and swine.
Once out of these births
shall not escape terrible world-ending floods,
Said, Sanganabasaveshwara. -GuruSiddhadeva/2271[1]

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

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