Breath for fragrance by Akka Mahadevi English version by A. K. Ramanujan Original Language Kannada Breath for fragrance, who needs flowers? With peace, patience, forgiving and self-command, who needs the Ultimate Posture? The whole world become oneself who needs solitude, O lord white as jasmine.
Akka Mahadevi (c.1130-1160), one of the early female poets in the Kannada language was a prominent figure of the Veerashaiva Bhakti movement of the 12th century Karnataka. She is a prominent figure in the field of female emancipation and a person of mystical vision. Mahadevi is said to have refused to wear any clothing—a common practice among male ascetics, but shocking for a woman. Legend has it that due to her true love and devotion with God her whole body was protected by hair.