[Vinaya Chaitanya shows] an acute awareness of textual issues that never bothered earlier translators. From the foreword by H.S. Shivaprakash
Hailed as an early feminist literary voice, Akka Mahadevi was born in twelfth-century Karnataka. As a child she was initiated into the worship of Channamallikarjuna, her village s version of Siva. She was forced to marry her region s ruler, but, because she had become so ardently devoted to the god, Akka abandoned her husband and all her possessions and wandered alone a naked poet-saint covered only by her long hair. Her vacanas, a new populist literary form meaning literally to give one s word demonstrate both her radical devotion to Siva and the radical commitment to equality her Virasaiva poetry embodied.