Kannada vacanas

Dr Shivamurthy Swamiji swamiji at GIASBG01.VSNL.NET.IN
Thu Jun 4 09:25:53 UTC 1998

The original Kannada text has been already posted by Prof Pierre Filliozat.  However, I am posting it again with minor corrections.

"HaRida gooNiyalobba kaLaveya tumbida
IruLella naDedanaa sunkakkanji
kaLaveyellaa hoogi baRi gooNi uLiyittu
aLimanadavana bhakti intaayittu Raamanaatha"

<<As for an explanation, I suggest this: many vacanas of that period deal with relationships between the (at that time) new Virasaiva community and the orthodox around them. It appears that many new followers hesitated to openly admit their beliefs for fear of public opinion. Daasimayya's imagery may mean this: the grain is the man's faith, the sack is his conduct (not firm and in agreement with the faith he would like to profess), the toll gate represents orthodox society, which he fears to face, and when finally he is confronted by the orthodox (which may be relatives, friends, or just anybody) his faith has weakened so much (because he is too faint-hearted to live in agreement with it) that it is practically no longer existant.
Robert Zydenbos>>

The explanation given by Robert Zydenbos is, no doubt, interesting.  But the meaning of this Vacana is quite different as I understand it from my traditional background.  If you refer to the previous Vacana of Daasimayya, it becomes clear.  

"God makes his devotees beg and suffer
(For testing the purity of their heart)
Rubs them like gold
Grinds them like a sandal-wood
Crushes them like a sugar-cane
If they remain unperturbed and unalarmed
(And continue to have unflinching faith)
Our Ramanatha
Would lift them up by hand."

It is a common belief in the Hindu society that a true devotee is put to all hardships by God and is made to suffer in order to test the purity of his/her heart .  From the life stories of many realized souls, we understand that the path of devotion (bhakti-maarga) which they followed, was not an easy task.  They had to face a lot difficulties and were even encoutered with dangerous situations in life.  But they made no compromise and strictly adhered to the principles they believed in, at the risk of their life.  Lord Shiva, pleased by their unflinching faith, finally took them to the abode of Kailasa (Eternity).  

Coming to the Vacana, "haRida gooNiyalobba...".   The peasant was afraid of the tax-collector.  He wanted to somehow evade the payment of tax.  He thought that he would escape the eyes of the tax-collector if he drove his cart at night when the latter will be sleeping.  In a hurry, he put the grains in a gunny bag which was torn.  He, no doubt, managed to sneak through the toll-gate as he had calculated, without paying any tax.  But after reaching the market, he noticed that he had only empty gunny bags on the back of his cart, as the grains had all fallen out from the holes of the torn gunny bag all along the way.  

The analogy is like this: Peasant here represents a devotee, grain (the taxable goods) is Bhakti,  cart is the body, the torn gunny bag represents the mind with no firm faith, fear of the tax-collector means fear of the difficulties in life, paying tax means undergoing difficulties in life. If the peasant wants to carry his agricultural produce to the market, he has to pay the tax while crossing the toll gate. It is painful to part with money.  Everybody wants to save as much as one can. In the case of Bhakti (devotion), God wants to test his devotee whether he loves him more than the material comforts in the world.  It is only after ascertaining his true devotion, God grants him the state of Eternity.  He who cares more for material comforts than for true love of God and makes compromises with principles, will not be successful in attaining the Eternity.  For entering the toll-gate of the market, one should not be afraid of paying the tax.  Similarly, for entering the gate of Divinity, one should not be afraid of undergoing difficulties in life and lose faith in God.

Dr Shivamurthy Swamiji
Sri Taralabalu Jagadguru Brihanmath   * Taralabalu Kendra
Sirigere - 577 541, Karnataka, India     * 3rd Main Road, 2nd Block
Email: swamiji at giasbg01.vsnl.net.in     * RT Nagar, Bangalore - 560 032

From:   S Krishna[SMTP:mahadevasiva at HOTMAIL.COM]
Sent:   Sunday, May 10, 1998 2:10 AM
Subject:        Kannada vacanas

I read the translation of a Kannada vacana by dEvara dasimaiya that goes
as:(paraphrase mine)

A man with a gunny sack
which was tattered
walked all night long
fearing the toll gate

By the time he reached the gate,
all the grain had fallen thru the holes
and all that he had was a torn gunny bag

It is thus with the devotion of the
  faint-hearted, O Ramanatha!

My questions are:
1. Can anybody please post the original in Kannada and provide a
translation/explanation for  the connection between being faint hearted
and the analogy given in the first part of the vacana

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