A glimpse of how the yearning for the encounter with the Divine and delight in Its manifestations moved spiritual seekers to song, poetry, dance and sculpture in traditions across South Asia.
Bonding with the Divine through Bhakti or Sufi practice was often a process where caste hierarchies lost meaning, poets transcended constraints of gender, and people came together across religious divisions, as we see in literature from Karnataka to Kashmir, and in living traditions today.
Kannada poet, scholar and theatre exponent K. Marulasiddappa speaks about the origins of Kannada literature in Jaina literature and philosophy, as opposed to Vedic origins. The shift to Shaivite traditions, the development of a parallel Vaishnavite tradition and the evolution of musical systems…
L. Hanumanthaiah, Kannada poet and scholar, speaks of the social origins and preoccupations of the Vachana movement, and the advent of Veerashaivism as a social solvent of the caste system. He notes the present reification of Veerashaivism as being contrary to its original impetus, and stresses on…
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…
H.S. Shivaprakash is a well-known poet, playwright and translator from Karnataka. He is currently Professor, Theatre and Performance Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Varsha: How do we define or understand the vachanas, especially in relation to the wider canon of Kannada…
Akkamahadevi’s vachanas (Compilations in Kannada):
Basavaraju, L. 1972. ed. Akkana Vachanagalu (2nd ed.). Mysore: Geetha Book House.
Hiremath, R.C. 1973. ed. Mahadeviyakkana Vachanagalu. Dharwar: Karnatak University.
Halakatti, Pha. Gu. 1926. ed. Shree Mahadeviyakkana Vachanagalu. Vijapura:…
Akkamahadevi, the 12th century saint poet, was part of the Shaiva bhakti sharana movement that marked a significant shift both in terms of the literary transformations it unfolded as well as the socio-political upheavals it caused within the Kannada region. Vachanas, a genre of free verse poems or…