Akka Mahadevi (ಅಕ್ಕ ಮಹಾದೇವಿ) or Mahadevi or Mahadeviyakkha, a brilliant medieval Kannada poet, rebel and mystic, was a prominent figure of the Veerashaiva Bhakti movement of the 12th century Karnataka. Her Vachanas in Kannada, a form of didactic poetry are considered her greatest contribution to Kannada Bhakti literature. It is said that she was the first woman to write Vachanas in Kannada literature. In all she wrote about 430 Vachanas which is relatively fewer than that compared to some other saints of her time. Yet the term 'Akka' (elder Sister) which is an honorific given to her by great Veerashaiva saints like Basavanna, Chenna Basavanna, Kinnari Bommayya, Siddharama, Allamaprabhu and ... more »
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Akka Mahadevi Poems
Sunlight Made Visible
Sunlight made visible the whole length of a sky, movement of wind
Show Me Your Way Out
Like a silkworm weaving her house with love from her marrow, and dying
Don't despise me
Don't despise me as She who has no one I'm not one to be afraid, Whatever you do.
How can you be modest
People, male and female, blush when a cloth covering their shame comes loose
Love's Marvellous ways
Look at love's marvellous ways:
Would a circling surface vulture
Would a circling surface vulture know such depths of sky as the moon would know?
O Lord, White As Jasmine
You're like milk In water: I cannot tell What comes before, What after;
Lord your Maya
Oh! Lord your Maya does not give me up even When I have given it up. In spite of my resistance it clings to me and follows me.
I have fallen in love
I have fallen in love, O mother with the Beautiful One, who knows no death, knows no decay and has no form
Him Who Illumines
I have seen Him in His divine form, Him with the matted locks, Him with the jewelled crown, Him with the gleaming teeth
I do not Say
I do not say it is the Linga, I do not say it is oneness with the Linga, I do not say it is union, I do not say it is harmony
O Lord, Listen to me
O Lord, listen to me if you will, listen not if you will not: I cannot rest contented unless I sing of you.
I have maya for mother in law
I have Maya for mother-in-law, the world for father-in-law; three brothers-in-law, like tigers; and the husband’s thoughts
Comments about Akka Mahadevi
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Sunlight Made Visible
Sunlight made visible
the whole length of a sky,
movement of wind,
leaf, flower, all six colours
on tree, bush and creeper:
is the day's worship.
Night and day
in your worship
I forget myself
O lord white as jasmine.