“If they see breasts and long hair coming
they call it a woman,
If beard and whiskers,
they call it a man
but, look, the self that hovers
is neither man
-verse no. 133 by DASIMAYYA
from the book “Speaking Of Siva” by A. K. Ramanujan
This is the English translation of the vacana originally by a Virasaiva Saint Dasimayya as they speak to Shiva and Of Shiva.
This vacana (the saying) said in medieval language shows the rebellion of the speaker against the dichotomies, rejecting inequality on the basis of sex, prejudices and impacts deeply the feminist in me. I am proud that some of our ancestors in medieval times had the capacity and ability to think so radically.
Soul-13 is my way of expressing gratitude to Dasimayya.
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