Kannada poet, literary scholar and translator H.S. Shivaprakash delineates the trajectory of Bhakti traditions, and specifically, Vachana literature. He delves into the social impulses and religious needs that drove and sustained the Vachana movement and identifies its basic principles and the nature of its preferred deity, Shiva. Along the way, he also explains the parallel streams of devotion based upon Vaishnavite traditions, and its mode and idiom of expression, the keertana. The foremost figures of the Vachana movement and the literature that emerged thence, Basava and Akka Mahadevi, are spoken of in their social contexts, as are the attendant, cognate faiths—Veerashaivism and Lingayatism.
In conversation with H.S. Shivaprakash, poet, literary scholar and translator