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Uduthadi, Birthplace of Akkamahadevi
Uduthadi is located at a distance of 7 km from Shikaripura. Uduthadi is the birth place and childhood place of well-known Kannada poetess, Akkamahadevi.
The Vachanas, a form of didactic poetry are considered her greatest contribution to Kannada Bhakti literature. She has written almost 430 Vachanas which is relatively fewer than that compared to other saints of her time.
Akkamahadevi or Mahadevi, occasionally called Akka, was born in Udutadi. When Mahadevi was 10 years old, she initiated as a devotee of Lord Shiva. She worshiped Lord Shiva in the form of Chennamallikarjuna. Akkamahadevi was in love with the invisible Lord Chennamallikarjuna.
One day, the ruler Kausika while going back to his kingdom passed before Akkamahadevi's residence. King Kausika saw the young Mahadevi and fell in love because of her beauty. After reaching his palace, Kausika sent his ministers to Mahadevi's house requesting her for wedding.
Parents of Mahadevi refused their daughter to get married a Jain king. In addition they understood the punishment if they don't agree to the desires of the ruler. Mahadevi, understanding the circumstances of her mother and father, decided to get married the king if ever the king agrees to her condition that "she will not consider herself like his spouse until the King accepts the Shiva faith". The Jain king eagerly agreed to her conditions and married Mahadevi. But the marriage was short lived. After getting married to the King, Mahadevi spent the majority of her time either in worshiping Chennamallikarjuna or hosting a stream of Jangamas. She was also used huge money from the treasury for hosting Jangamas. The king was not happy and prepared to use the money the way Mahadevi was spending for Jangamas. Finally, the king broke the agreement made before his wedding with Mahadevi. Mahadevi left the king's place. When she was about to leave the place, the king asked the clothes that she was wearing which belonged to him. On hearing this, Mahadevi took her clothes off and walked from the palace naked. To people who saw her with lust, she told:
The human body is created of muscles as well as bones. It springs pus. It collects urine. This human body needs to be burned after death. Most of the time is used to fill the stomach. Mahadevi recommended to learn the facts regarding God is the best way to beat your body's requirements.
Prior to her departure to Kalyana a number of her friends and her parents requested Mahadevi never to go. They enquired what she will do for her food as well as shelter. Mahadevi replied as following:
If I am hunger, I can beg for foodstuff in towns. To get rid of thirsty god has created wells, streams as well as water holes. There are many ruined temples for sleeping. I have Chennamallikarjuna with me for company.
Mahadevi's aim was to succeed in Kalyana to hunt the way of salvation from the sharanas. On the other hand, via her vachanas, she has shown knowledge that people are not able to get of their whole life.
Mahadevi arrived in Kalyana naked. She enters Anubhavamantapa covering herself with her long hair.
In Kalyana, she met the famous Shaivite saints Basava and Allama Prabhu. Allamaprabhu interrogates her with a lot of hard religious as well as social queries. With no hesitation Mahadevi replies all of the queries to the satisfaction of the saints. The saints agree and accept her as their sister and call her as Akka. As a result Mahadevi will become Akkamahadevi by gaining the respect of saints
Akkamahadevi stayed at Kalyana for just a little period. Akkamahadevi was eager to depart Kalyana looking for her lover Mallikarjuna. She said that Chenna Mallikarjuna is shapeless, however he is beautiful. Allamaprabhu recommended Akkamahadevi to visit the Kadalivana, the plantain grove in Srishaila. In that place she will get her salvation.
Akkamahadevi spent the last of her days in the Srisailam. It is believed that she left the world when she was 20 year old, entering mahasamadhi (final divine union) with a flash of light.
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