Vidhvan Sri A.Haridhasa
Smt Malathi Madhvachar
Smt Ramya Srinivas
Sri Purandara Dasa
(A brief Sketch by
Sri Hunsur Sriprasad,USA)
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.
santati saaviravaagali ....."
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
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.
becomes Purandara daasaru:
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"..
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
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.
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:
Krishna's childhood. No other daasa has captured this as beautifully as
mahime. He traveled throughout the length and breadth of the country and
we see their reflection in his compositions.
of other gods like Lakshmi, Vayu devaru, Rudra etc
comment. He has commented on many prevailing social practices and their
of advice and wisdom
issues. He has explained many difficult concepts of shaastra in simple
from Bhagavata, Ramayana, Mahabhaarata etc.
glory of Hari naama, Raama naama etc.
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
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.
worthy of a true bhAgavata:
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.
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.
his wife died he composed a simple, yet moving song �giNuyu
it any wonder that his own preceptor, Sri Vyasarayaru, has song his
praises and said �Haridaasa means Purandara daasa� ?
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.
to read about life and works of Sri Purandara Dasaru in Kannada
here to Listen/Download