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Akkamahadevi

Akkamahadevi

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Akka Mahadevi (ಅಕ್ಕ ಮಹಾದೇವಿ) (c.1130-1160) was one of the early female poets of the Kannada language [1] and a prominent personality in the Veerashaiva Bhakti movement of the 12th century.[2] Her 430 extant Vachana poems (a form of spontaneous mystical poems), and the two short writings called Mantrogopya and the Yogangatrividhi are considered her most notable contribution to Kannada literature.[3] She composed relatively fewer poems than other saints of the movement. Yet the term Akka (“elder Sister”), which is an honorific given to her by great Veerashaiva saints such as Basavanna, Siddharama and Allamaprabhu is an indication of her contribution to the spiritual discussions held at the “Anubhava Mantapa”. She is in hindsight seen as an inspirational woman for Kannada literature and the history of Karnataka. She is known to have considered the god Shiva (‘Chenna Mallikarjuna’) as her husband, (traditionally understood as the ‘madhura bhava’ or ‘madhurya’ form of devotion).

Akka Mahadevi was born in 1130 in Udutadi (or Udugani) near the ancient city of Banavasi in the modern Shimoga district of Karnataka state, India.[4]