O Lord, White As Jasmine

written by Akka Mahadevi

O Lord, White As Jasmine

— Akka Mahadevi

You're like milk
In water: I cannot tell
What comes before,
What after;
Which is the master,
Which is the slave;
What's big.
What's small.

O lord white as jasmine
If an ant should love you
And praise you.
Will he not grow
To demon powers?

About the poet


Akka Mahadevi

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 Dasimayya speaks volumes of her contribution to the movement that was underway. She...

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