Speaking of Siva
Penguin UK, Feb 1, 2014 - Poetry - 208 pages
Speaking of Siva is a selection of vacanas or free-verse sayings from the Virasaiva religious movement, dedicated to Siva as the supreme god. Written by four major saints, the greatest exponents of this poetic form, between the tenth and twelfth centuries, they are passionate lyrical expressions of the search for an unpredictable and spontaneous spiritual vision of 'now'. Here, yogic and tantric symbols, riddles and enigmas subvert the language of ordinary experience, as references to night and day, sex and family relationships take on new mystical meanings. These intense poems of personal devotion to a single deity also question traditional belief systems, customs, superstitions, image worship and even moral strictures, in verse that speaks to all men and women regardless of class and caste.
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A. K. Ramanujan Akka ALLAMA PRABHU aṅga Appendix ascetic Basavaṇṇa bhakti Bijjaḷa body body’s born Brahman breath burned caste chariot conventional Dāsimayya devotee English esoteric experience eyes feet fire folksong gods Gōrakṣa Guhēśvara guru hand heart Hindu Hinduism holy human husband Illusion Indian jaina jaṅgama Kalyāṇa Kannada king language legend liṅga Lingayat living look Lord of Caves lord white Lord’s Mahādēvi Mahādēviyakka marriage master Māyā meeting rivers metaphor moon mother moving Mysore mystical one’s pan-Indian Parvati phases poem poetry poets priests purana Rāmanātha regional rejection religion religious ritual sacred Śaiva Śakti Sanskrit senses serpent sing Śiva Śiva’s six-phase social speak śruti stages sthāvara symbol Tamil temple texts there’s things traditions translation tree Upaniṣads vacanakāras vacanas Vedic village virakta Vīraśaiva saints Viṣṇu wandered What’s white as jasmine William McCormack wind winnow woman women word worship yoga yogic