Dasarendare Purandaradasarayya

(says Sri Vyasarajaru)

 

Tributes to Sri Purandara Dasaru:

 manmanOBhIshta varadam sarvABhIshta phalapradam

  purandara gurum vande dAsa-sreshTam dayAnidhIm

  gnyana vairAgya sampannam Bhakti mArga pravarthakam

  purandara gurum vande dAsa-sreshTam dayAnidhIm

  (Means: "Salutations to you, Purandara guru, Granter of all desires,

    Greatest of the saints and the kindest" )

 

 

Poornaprajna Vidyapeetha ,Bangalore

Presents

PurandaraOpaniShat

Introduction

Vidhvan Sri A.Haridhasa Bhat

Presentation

Sri Kaghavaradwaja Dasaru

Melodious Singing

Smt Veda Vamanarao,
Smt   Malathi Madhvachar
Smt  Ramya Srinivas

 

Sri Purandara Dasa

(A brief Sketch by  Sri Hunsur Sriprasad,USA)

Introduction

Sri Purandara Dasa is regarded as the greatest and most popular Haridasa. He was also the father of Karnatic music. He is regarded as the incarnation of Narada maharishi. He was a very wealthy man who lived the life of a miser, but eventually gave it all away and became a staunch devotee of Sri Hari. His preceptor was the great Vyaasa teertha. He is said to have composed over 4,25,000 compositions. His works are called 'Purandaropanishat'. All the latter daasas like Vijayadasaru, Gopaladasaru, Jagannatha dasaru have acknowledged his contributions and paid homage to his greatness.

 "hendathi santati saaviravaagali ....."

Srinivasa Nayaka was engaged in the family business of dealing in precious stones. He was very rich and popularly known as navakOti nArAyaNA. He was a miser by nature.

Lord Vishnu, in the form of a poor brahmin, sought money from him in order to perform the thread ceremony of his son. Nayaka stalled him for six months but eventually gave him a worn out, worthless coin. The �brahmin� received an ornament from Nayaka�s wife as alms and brought it to Nayaka�s shop to sell, arousing his suspicions. When Nayaka went home and demanded the ornament from his wife she tried to take poison to avoid his anger. However, by God�s grace the ornament landed in the vessel, saving her life. When Nayaka went back to the shop he discovered that the ornament which he had placed under lock and key had vanished! Totally astounded by the turn of events he confronted his wife and extracted the truth out of her. Then realization dawned on him as to who the 'brahmin� really was. This incident brought about a sea-change in his outlook and he gave away his entire wealth, choosing to become a haridaasa.

Nayaka becomes Purandara daasaru:

Nayaka approached Sri Vyaasa teertha, the great mAdhva saint and guru of King Krishnadevaraya, for guidance. Sri Vyaasa teertha gladly accepted him as a disciple and granted him the ankitha of 'Purandara Vittala'.  Purandaradasa has expressed his gratitude to Sri Vyaasaraja in one of his verses thus: "My only refuge is the feet of Vyaasaraja. I was able to understand Purandara Vittala by his grace"..

Purandaradasa settled down in Hampi along with his family. Every morning he went into the town, wearing bells on his ankles and tulasi mala around his neck, singing the praises of the Lord, using the tamboori as an accompaniment. 

He led a life of renunciation. He, who had been called Navakoti Narayana, had willingly accepted the life of a saint and sought alms from the populace.

Variety of compositions:

His personality can be understood from his compositions. We do not come across such originality and variety in any other saint of  that creed.  His compositions span a wide variety of themes like:

    Pristine Devotion (bhakti)

    Spiritual wisdom (gyAna)

    Total detachment (vairAgya)

    Sri Krishna's childhood. No other daasa has captured this as beautifully as Purandaradasa

    Dashavatara related

     Kshetra mahime. He traveled throughout the length and breadth of the country and we see their reflection in his compositions.

     Praise of other gods like Lakshmi, Vayu devaru, Rudra etc

     Social comment. He has commented on many prevailing social practices and their relevance

     Words of advice and wisdom

      Philosophical issues. He has explained many difficult concepts of shaastra in simple words.

      Madhva shaastra

      Incidents from Bhagavata, Ramayana, Mahabhaarata etc.

     The glory of Hari naama, Raama naama etc.

We see a range of emotions � devotion, anger, humor etc. No other daasa has addressed God in ways like him. In one song he says �You are my father, mother, brother, sister etc�. In another we see �nInyAko ninna hangyako?� He uses a variety of techniques to create and sustain interest. For example, he announces that a letter has come from PadmanAbha! Or that he has kallu-sakkare to offer. These are the kind of things that attract ordinary people and hold their interest

He made music and song an integral part of the common man's life. A significant portion of his songs deals with his spiritual life and  its evolution. Some others reveal his abundant experience, devotion, wisdom, wit and detachment.

Conduct worthy of a true bhAgavata:

He showed how one should live.  He practiced what he preached. He preached renunciation after he had gifted away all his wealth. Although he took to the life of renunciation and asceticism, he lived with his wife and children and did not desert them.

He made it clear to others by his conduct how it was possible to achieve purity of thought, word and deed regardless of caste, religion or creed.  He did not believe that man could understand God by mere external purity unless it was accompanied by purity of mind.

When his wife died he composed a simple, yet moving song �giNuyu panjaradoLLilla ..�

Is it any wonder that his own preceptor, Sri Vyasarayaru, has song his praises and said �Haridaasa means Purandara daasa� ?

Key statistics:

Scholars think that Purandaradasa lived for about 84 years (from AD 1480 to 1564).  On the basis of a verse by Madvapathi, his son, it is surmised that Purandaradasa passed away a year before the fall of Vijaynagar.  On this basis, his death anniversary is celebrated on the New Moon Day, in the second fortnight of Pushya.

  

Please visit http://www.haridasa.org  to read about life and works of Sri Purandara Dasaru in Kannada

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