12-century saint-poet Allama Prabhu, along with Basavanna and Akka Mahadevi, was a founder of the Virashaiva or Lingayat movement in Karnataka. During a period of intense religious ferment, these Sharanas-protégés of Shiva-aimed to dismantle religious hierarchy and bigotry. They rebelled against exploitation based on class, caste and gender through their vachanas, which were ahead of their times. Today, the Lingayats regard these vachanas as their sacred literature.
The vachanas of Allama Prabhu are rooted firmly in the idea of experiential reality. From gazing at Shiva from a distance, to uniting with Him, to declaring He doesn't exist and to finally realizing that He exists in a dynamic void-these poems represent Allama's quest for Shiva. They are passionate and filled with yearning; critical and brazen. Translated with great skill and fluidity by Manu Devadevan, God Is Dead, There Is No God is a treat for modern-day seekers as well as poetry lovers.