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as described in the Shatsthala of Lingayat dharma. Her last destination was the forests of Kadali in Srishailam where her spiritual journey culminated in merging with her God.

Her devotional spirit can be gauged through her vachanas… “I am no helpless woman I utter no futile threats I am nothing daunted I shall dare hunger and pain I shall steal out of withered leaves A wholesome meal And on pointed sword Shall make my bed. I am ready for your sake To dare the worst To die this instant The readiness is all Oh! my Chennamallikarjuna”

“Listen Oh! mother, I love him He is the one, the only one He knows no birth and death He is uncabined by caste or clime He is boundless, changeless, formless He is beautiful beyond comparison All other fade away and die at last I will have none of them My Lord shall forever be The One Chennamallikarjuna.”

“Does the peacock leave the hills And play in the meadows? Does the swan shun the lake And seek shallow streams? Does the cuckoo sing Before the mango sprouts? Does the butterfly go To a flower bereft of fragrance? Tell me, my friends: can I Desire someone other than God Chennamallikarjuna?”

Akkamahadevi was one of a kind. It may not be realistic for most of us to adopt her ways but what Akkamahadevi has demonstrated through her life stands testimony to the power of faith and courage. Empowering the spirit also holds the key to women’s empowerment in today’s world and for that spiritual advancement, Shivayoga Sadhane and having the legacy of the legendary saints like Akkamahadevi is second to none. Vachanas’ References: http://www.virashaiva.com; http://www.ghadar.in; Pictures’ References: http://www.vsne.org;http://www.travel.ithappensinindia.com; http://www.solobackpacker.com

About the author: Smt. Supriya Antin Kaddargi is banking professional and an active VSNA member from Chicago chapter. She has authored the book 'Spiritual Transcendence', a biography of Sri. Jadeya Shantalingeshwara Swamiji.

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Baandhavya March 2014  

Baandhavya March 2014  

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