Vachanas of Jedara Dasimayya ,a Kannada saint poet.

Posted on ಜನವರಿ 7, 2012. Filed under: Jedara Dasimayya, Kannada Literature, Vachana Literature | ಟ್ಯಾಗ್ ಗಳು:, , , , , , , , |

Jedara Dasimayya is considered as the senior among the ‘vachanakaras ‘(saint poets ) of 12the century A.D.He was elder to popular and prominent vachanakaras like Basavanna ,Allama Prabhu and Akkamahadevi.He belonged to weavers community ( Jeda) and believed to be  lived in a village Mudanur ,which is at present in the district of Gulbarga in Karnataka. His signature-word (ankita) attributed to his deity was ‘Ramanatha’.  Vachanas of Jedara Dasimayya focus more on the concept of sincere work and critical response to superfluous devotion ,deception,discrimination based on gender,the shallowness of religious institutions.

Some of the ‘vachanas’ of Jedara Dasimayya are quoted here in translation from Kannada to English.

Source book : THE SIGN , Vachanas of 12th Century.

Editor: O.L.Nagabhushana Swamy

Translators : O.L.Nagabhushana Swamy, Laxmi Chandrashekhar , Vijaya Guttal.

Centre for Translations – Classical Kannada Texts in Translation Series, Kannada University,Hampi.

Series Coordinator :Tharakeshwar  V.B.

Publisher : Prasaranga,Kannada University,Hampi,Vidyaranya -583 276  ,Hospet,Karnataka, India.2007.

The following vachanas of Jedara Dasimayya are translated by Prof.Vijaya Guttal.


He who has a body

feels hungry.

He who has a body

tells a  lie.

Do not slight me

as one with a body.

Have a body like me once

and then see



If  it  is my body,

will it not follow my will?

If it is your body,

will it not follow your will?


it is neither

my body nor yours

it is the body of  the enchanting world

you have created



Fire can only burn

cannot blow.

Wind can only blow

cannot burn.

That fire cannot venture out

unless it joins with wind.

Can mortals know a like pattern

exists of action-knowledge-difference



You have kept fire in tree

in such a way that it does not burn.

You have kept melted butter in  foamy milk

in  such a way that its fragrance is hidden.

You have kept soul in  body

in such a way that it is not seen by any .


I am amazed at the

way you fuse the differences



I care not for the offer of an elephant

I care not for the offer of wealth

If I am offered wise words of your ‘sharanas ‘

even for a moment

I will offer you in return



Do not trust that

the devotion of a fraud is true.


it is like the cat in a ‘math’ ( monastery )

diving after a rat



Does  a  wife’s life-breath

have breasts and braid ?

Does master’s life-breath

wear the sacred thread ?

Does the low-born at the last

come holding a caste-staff?

The knots you have entangled

how do the people of the world know

Ramanatha ?


If  breasts and braids grow

they call it female.

If  beard and moustache  grow

they call it male.


the soul moving in between

is neither  male nor female


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