1. Allamana Vachanagalu (ಅಲ್ಲಮನ ವಚನಗಳು)
  2. allamana vacanagLu
  3. The poems of Allamaprabhu
  4. Allamaprabhu, Prabhudeva (allamaprabhu, praBudEva)
  5. 1150 A.D., 12th century
  6. Balligave, Banavasi, Kalyana, Srishaila. (baLLigAve, kalyANa, shrIshaila)
  7. Shaiva (rejected the concept of caste, even the religion propounded by Basavanna. Maddaliga (drummer) by profession during his early life.
  8. None
  9. Prabhudeva. Presided over anubhava mantapa.
  10. Poetry and philosophy
  11. Vachanas (free verse)
  12. Manuscripts: Paper and Palm leaf.
  13. 1931 (Prabhudevara Vachanagalu) (715 Vachanas)
  14. P.G.Halakatti
  15. Shivanubhava Granthamale, Bijapura.
  16. 1. Allamana Vachanachandrike edited by L.Basavaraju, 1960 (1321 Vachanas)

2. Allamana Vachanagalu edited by L.Basavaraju, 1969, Geetha Bookhouse, Mysore , 504 Vachanas

3. ‘Vyomamurthy Allama Prabhudevara Vachanagalu’, edited by R.C.Hiremath and M.S.Sunkapur, 1976, Karnataka University , Dharawada 1409 Vachanas.

4. Allamana Vachanasudhe’ edited by ‘Kavyapremi’ mattu Chidambara Inamdar, 1979, published by Samaja Pustakalaya, Dharawada.

5. ‘Allamaprabhuvina Teekina Vachanagalu’, edited by Immadi Shivabasavaswamy, 1986, Sri Shivaratreeshvara Granthamale, Mysore . The work contains 797 Vachanas, based on 3 Palm leaf manuscripts and two printed versions.

17. Allamaprabhu or Prabhudeva as he is referred to in a respectful manner is one of the most renowned mystics, philosophers and poets of Karnataka. He could make Kannada competent enough to communicate the most complex and ideas. He was literally a friend, philosopher and a guide to the Veerashaiva that came in to being during the twelfth century.

His poetic compositions numbering approximately 800-1400 cover a wide range of topics. He was an insider critic to the movement as well as the individual saints that were in the forefront of the movement. Consequently, his poems are often clarifications, rejoinders and queries. This specific nature of his vachanas is brought out in the later work called ‘Shunyasampadane’ which tries to contextualize the poems. Allama has used the ‘ankita’ (Signature, Name of his favorite deity) Guheshvara (Goggeshvara) for his vachanas. His vachanas constitute the philosophical core of Veerashaiva religion as against the theological details which were spurned by him. His language is at once a combination of abstractions and sensual imagery. They are not transparent in any sense of the word and many of them are deliberately created in the form a riddle. (Bedagina vachanagalu) His works are marked by a riddle like obscurity and obliqueness. But many of them are free from such abstractions and they are known for their imaginative faculty and social vision. These vachanas have achieved a rare combination of the time bound and timeless. It is possible to evaluate mystic literature on the basis of its literary merits only and Allama come through with flying colours in this kind of assessment also. Allama was aware of the fact that language is limited in its ability to communicate the inexpressible. He calls it ‘the bashfulness of words’ (shabdada lajje) As H.S. Shivaprakash an important Kannada poet puts it, “His poems are precariously balanced on the precipice of speech looking on the vast reaches of silence. One of his simpler vachanas is given here in its English translation:

If they get scared of thieves

And go in to the forests

Will not the tiger eat them up?

If they get scared of the tiger

And go into a snake house

Will not the Snake bite them?


If they get scared of death

And become devotees

Will not Karma eat them up?


What shall I call them?

These morsels in the mouth of death,

Such Charltons, O Guheashvara.

(Translated by H.S.Shivaprakash)

Vachanas of Allamaprabhu and his personality constitute one of the watersheds in the history of Kannada literature and culture.

18. References:

1. Śūnyasapādane. Edited, with Introduction, Text, Transliteration, Translation, Notes, and Comments, by …Allamaprabhu - 1968 - Karnatak University

2. Perspectives in Virasaivism from Tamil Sources, V Rathinasabapathi - 1983 - Institute of Kannada Studies, Karnatak University

3. ‘Allamaprabhu mattu Shaivaprathihe’ by D.R.Nagaraj, 1999, Akshara Prakashana, Heggodu.

19. Why an Allama Poem Is Not a Riddle: An Anthological Essay (by A.K.Ramanujan)

20. 1. ‘Speaking of Shiva’ by Anonymous, translated by A.K.Ramanujan, 1973, Penguin Classics, Harmondsworth , U.K.

2. Basavaraju's Possessed by Allama: A Poetic Rendition of Allama's Enigmatic Vacanas with …Ā Vijayarāghavan - 2005 - CVG Books, Bangalore


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