Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Starting from Sri Narahari Thirtharu the Dasa Sahithya originated and continued through Sri SriPadarajaru, Sri Vysarajaru , Sri Vadirajaru, Sri Purandaradasaru, Sri Kanakadasaru, Sri Vijayadasaru, Sri Gopaladasaru, Sri Jagannathadasaru besides others.


Modalakallu Sri Shesha Dasaru is regarded as the Amsha of Arjuna.

Sri Sheshadasaru was born in Dharur-a small village now near Gadwal of Andra Pradesh.
He was doing “Kulkarni” or “patwari” job that come to him through parampara.

One day for a silly reason the Gadwall King insults Sheshappa (Sri Sheshadasaru) in his “Raja sabha”. Disgusted Sri Sheshappa decides to end his life and intentionally puts his hand into an anthill. However, to his dismay he finds a beautiful idol of our Pranadevaru in the “Snake Bila”. It is found that the Pranadevaru idol was consecrated by Sri Vysarajaru many years back.

He decide to conducts “Ugra Tapasya” for 41 days. Finally Sri Pranadevaru appears in his dreams and instructs him to go to Chippagiri-the palce of Vijayadasaru.

He observes difficult Tapasya at Chippagiri and pleased over this Sri Sheshappa is blessed with Ankitha Nama of “Guru Vijaya Vittala” by Sri Vijayadasaru in his dreams.

"Nambidhe ninna paadha, Shree Mukha PraaNa" was the first kirthana composed by him.

After he returns to Modala Kallu. It is the place of first Shrusti of stone or shila hence the name of Adishila or Modala(first) Kallu(stone).

There he runs a choultry to serve poor and needy pilgrims. He has composed many Suladigalu, Ughabhogagalu,and Devaranama.

He cleared the ill effects of his Sishya-Kallur Krishnappa through 3 Ughabhogagalu. Those Ughabhogagalu are known as Apattu Parihara Ughabhogagalu and are famous even today.

On the Ugadi day of “Parthiva Nama Samvatsara” (1885 AD) he consecrates “Partha Sarathy idol at his home. And same year On Vaishakha Suddha Ashtami he attains the lotus feet of Sri Hari.

Now his aradhana is held every year. Sri Sri Raghudantha Theertha Swamiji of Arya Akshobhya Theertha Mutt, Koodli has composed an Ashtaka on Sri Sheshadasaru.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sri.Achalananda Dasaru (9th Century)

The period of Sri.Achalananda Dasaru is said to be the 9th century. However his compositions resemble those of the 16th century literatures. His place of domicile was Haiganpura in Bangalore District. He was an ardent devotee of "Lord Narasimha".

He toured whole of the country and propagated the Bhakti cult/Bhagavata Dharma. He toured barefoot while the idol of his Lord was carried in a nicely decorated palanquin. (Palaki). He used to sing the glory and virtues of the Lord by tuning Tamburi(also called as Tambruhi the meaning speak/sing of Him). The palanquin of the Lord was carried by the invisible Rudra Ganas and witnessing this miracle people became the ardent devotees/followers of Dasaru. While he was at Pandharapura he was blessed by the Lord Panduranga Vithala. Lord gave him the Darshana (the divine appearance) on one afternoon when Sri.Achalanand Dasaru was offering an Arghya(the religious and customary way of worship)to sun in the Chandrabhaga river. From that day all his compositions were dedicated to Achalananda Vithala.


While he was touring Nepal the prince of Nepal died of snake bite. The king of Nepal humbly prayed to Sri.Achalananda Dasaru to save his son. Dasaru by chanting Garuda mantra summoned the serpent and made to suck back the poison from the body of the prince and he was saved.

In his family the Mudduvithala, Gopinatha, Haridasa, Timmannadasa, and Panduranga were the famous Haridasas who propagated the Bhakti cult. After Sri.Achalananada Dasaru we are unable to trace the names of any famous Haridasas till 13th Century. Sri.Vijayadasaru(18th Century) in one of his compositions has stated that many Haridasas earlier to the era of Sri.Purandardasa(16th Century) have praised the Lord and has made a special reference of Shri. Achalananda Dasa and some names of Adya family. However we are unable to name any Haridasas of that period.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sri Gopala Dasaru 1722---1762 AD

anyarindali sukhavaayitembudakinta

ninnindaayitemba klesha melayya

ninnariyade anyara ballenembudakinta

kannilladiruva kuruda melayya

punyapaapavariyade badukuva

manujaniginta naayi kunni lesayya

kulahinanaadaru sukha duhkhagalu

ninnindaayitemba mati cennaagi tilisayya Gopaalavithala ||

Murariraya and Venkamma were a poor Brahmin couple living in village Mosarakallu in Raichur district of Karnataka. They were blessed with four sons - Bhaganna, Dasappa, Seenappa and Rangappa. When Rangappa was an infant, Murariraya died, leaving his family helpless and destitute. They were driven out of the village by their relatives. Venkamma moved with her children to Sankapura, another village. There also they could not find any shelter as the villagers offered them no help.

In the outskirts of Sankapura there was a dilapidated temple of Anjaneya Swamy. As the saying goes - Sri Hari is the refuge of the helpless - Anjaneya Swamy gave them shelter! The mother and sons started to live there.

Venkamma used to go to the village for alms. During the harvesting season, she was able to collect food-grains. One compassionate farmer donated them a piece of land and another farmer helped them cultivate it, yielding a bumper crop. But the village Head, accused Venkamma of illegally utilisizing water from the Government Tank, confiscated the food grains. Actually, he was taking revenge against her for not working as a servant in his house. Venkamma begged him to show mercy but he drove her away mercilessly. Seeing his mother shedding tears, Bhaganna became angry and cursed the Karnam to remain childless and his tank to remain dry forever.

Miraculously, Bhaganna's curses came true. The village Head dies childless and the tank remains dry even today!

Venkanna approached the village teacher and requested him to accept her sons as his students. The compassionate teacher agreed and started teaching them with affection. The three boys began learning enthusiastically.

After sometime, one householder in the village performed Bhaganna'a thread- ceremony along with that of his son. Bhaganna was initiated into the Gayathri-Mantra and decided to meditate on it, with his mother's encouragement. One day, when Bhaganna was meditating, a huge serpent entwined his body and put its hood above his head! Seeing this, people ran to Venkamma and brought her there. However, knowing the power of the Gayathri Mantra, Venkamma did not panic. Before their very eyes, the serpent uncoiled itself from Bhaganna's body and disappeared!

One day Bhaganna felt as if some unknown hand was writing the 'Bhijakshras' on his tongue. From that moment, he developed extraordinary powers like spontaneously composing songs, predicting the future, peering into the past of a person (going back to upto three births) etc. From then, a new chapter began in his life.

Bhaganna once visited Advani (Adoni), a town in Andhra Pradesh where the Sri Vijaya Dasaru lived. Bhaganna who had heard many legends about him decided become his disciple. He wanted to be initiated into the Dasa order and enlightened by the famous saint. Sri Vijaya Dasa was happy to initiate him and give him the Ankitha nama of 'Gopala Vitthala'. From that day onwards Bhaganna became 'Gopala Dasaru'. He travelled all over the country from Rameshwaram to Badari. He used to visit Tirumala every year for the 'Brahmostvam' of Lord Sri Venkateshwara.

There was a renowned scholar named Srinivasacharya in Manvi, in Raichur district. He did not like Haridasas and thought very poorly of Kannada Devaranamas. He resented the popularity of Sri Vijaya Dasaru and Sri Gopala Dasaru.

Once when Sri Vijaya Dasaru and Sri Gopala Dasaru visited Manvi, a great feast was organized in their honor. Even though Srinivasa was absent at the feast, Sri Vijaya Dasaru sent him a personal invitation to attend the feast. In order to avoid the feast Srinivasa sent a message saying that because of stomach problems he had already taken lunch. Sri Vijaya Dasaru said "So be it!". From that day, Srinivasa developed intense stomach problems which grew worse by the day, finally reaching unbearable proportions.

Srinivasa went to Tirupathi, Ghatikaachala and Mantralaya, performing intense Seva towards the Lord, Vaayu Devaru and Sri Raghavendra Swamigalu. None of this proved to be of any avail. Finally, at the end of his stay in Mantralaya he decided to commit suicide. That night, the epitome of mercy, Sri Raghavendra Swamigalu, appeared in his dream and told him that the cure for his problems lay in surrendering to Sri Vijaya Dasaru and seeking his blessings. Srinivasa felt intense disgust at his own arrogance and rushed to Sri Vijaya Dasaru, deeply regretting his behavior. Sri Vijaya Dasaru welcomed him without rancor, gave him a cure right away, and directed him to Sri Gopala Dasaru who would be his Swaroopa Guru. Srinivasa went to Sri Gopala Dasaru and spent some time with him. He realized the greatness of both Dasaru and the fallacy of his own thinking.

Later, Sri Gopala Dasaru and Srinivasa visited Tirupathi, where another miracle happened. Due to a combination of his previous ill-health and the strain of travelling to Tirupathi, Srinivasa expired on Bhadrapada Shukla Navami. Then, Vijaya Dasaru appeared in an astral form before Sri Gopala Dasaru and directed him to donate 40 years of his life-span to Srinivasa and revive him. Sri Gopala Dasaru immediately complied, and by the grace of the Lord, Srinivasa came back to life again.

Later, Sri Gopala Dasaru gave Haridaasa Deekshe to Srinivasa and directed him to Pandarapura for Ankitha. Later Srinivasa became renowned as Sri Jagannatha Dasaru.

This is the evidence of the sacrifice of Sri Gopala Dasaru. After warding off the stomach ache of Srinivasacharya, Sri Gopala Dasaru himself got that ailment and suffered the rest of his life from it.

It is said that even though Sri Gopala Dasaru had travelled all over India, and composed songs in Vittala's name, he had not visited Pandharapura. Once while he was in the forest looking for Tulasi, a horse-rider started chasing him. Finally, when he was unable to run any further, Sri Gopala Dasaru gave up and surrendered to the rider, expecting the worst. The rider came near him and said 'Ale Nahi' and vanished (in Marati this means 'you did not come!"). After recovering his poise, Sri Gopala Dasaru realized that the rider was none other than Panduranga Himself, complaining about Sri Gopala Dasaru's failure to visit Pandharapura. He promptly visited Pandharapura and Udupi. How great must he have been, who was personally invited by the Lord! And what do you say about the compassion of the Lord who complains about His devotee's failure to visit Him!!

On the eighth day of the dark half of the lunar month of Pushya of the year Chitrabhanu, Sri Gopala Dasaru performed Panchamritabhsheka and Sahasaranamarchana to Lord Srinivasa in the temple and at his house. After that he sat in meditation and laid down his mortal body. His famous disciples were Vyasa Tatvagnya, Ajit Swami.
Dasappa, Sri Gopala Dasaru's brother was called Guru Gopala Dasaru. He was a great seer. Seenappa Dasa too, was a seer and his fame spread far and wide.

Gopa prakara sankasham Gopalarchana tatparam
Godeva vandya padarjam Gopalakhya Gurum Bhaje

Sri Mohana Dasaru 1730---1815 AD

Mohana Dasaru was a famous devotee of Sri Hari and was blessed even when he was young. Mohana Dasaru's father Bhimappa Nayaka was in Anegondi and was a jeweller. He had earned a good deal of money. But he died without distributing his property to hs wife and children.

Bhimappa Nayaka's wife with her son, young Mohana, became almost destitute. Both found it hard to lead even a simple life of sufficient food and clothing. The wife was ill-treated and she suffered the pain of social and financial insults. Not able to undergo deprivation the wife decided to commit suicide along with her son. The place chosen was the present Nava Vrindavan off Hampi. It is an island in the river Tungabhandra.

It so happened that Sri Vijaya Dasaru was at Anegundi to conduct the Sri Purandara Dasaru’s Aradhana he saved the woman who was in the act of committing suicide along with her child. He looked after them as part of his family. Later that boy became his disciple and a very famous Haridasa called Mohana Dasaru.

Mohana Dasaru was destined to write a number of songs in praise of Sri Hari. But, unfortunately he met with prematue death. When he suddenly died Vijaya Dasaru it is said went personally to the God of death and got back Mohana Dasaru. Later Mohan Dasaru became a seer, philosopher and a great devotee of Sri Hari. Vijaya Dasaru used to say " In devotion none to beat Bhaganna (Sri Gopala Dasaru), In Noble saying Mohana Dasaru and in strength of writing Timmanna Dasaru".

Mohana Dasa wrote his songs to preach to the common people. With his sayings and teaching methods he won the heart of the people. His Ankita nama was "Mohana Vittala".

Helavanakatte Giriyamma Around 1750 A.D

Helavanakatte Giriyamma was one of the Haridasa women the other being Harapanhally Bhimava who had Ankitha nama as "Bhimesha Krishna" , basically from Ranebennur of Dharwar district. She lived around early 18th Century and was having poorna anugraha of Sri Sumateendra Theertharu, Sri Gopala Dasaru and Sri Satyabodha Theertharu.

Once Sri Sumateendra Theertharu (Sri Raghavendra swamy mutt, Third Theertharu after Rayaru) had come to Malebennur and stayed at Ranganatha Temple. Helavanakatte Giriyamma was a strong devotee of Ranganatha Swamy, she used to compose keerthanaas on him. As she was a lady and further she had no children, people were against her composing keerthanaas.

It was the Bhiksha day of Giriyamma. After the Mahapooja and Mangalarathi were over, the Sri Sumateendra Theertharu asked Giriyamma to come and take the Thirtha. Mataadhikari replied as she has no issues, she is not eligible to take Thirtha from the Sri Sumateendra Theertharu. But Sri Sumateendra Theertharu insisted that she must take the Thirtha. She came and stood stretching her right hand. The Sri Sumateendra Theertharu observing her hand said that Chakrapaaani, the Lord was her son, and her hand had the characteristic of Devaki, Her palms were that of Kausalya’s character, and requested her to show him Lord Balakrishna calling her Yashodhamma.

Giriyamma never used to take food without completing her daily routine of singing, performing pooja etc. She started putting rangoli reciting keerthanas on the Lord worshipping with turmeric-kumkum keeping the idol of Venugopala at the centre gifted by Sri Gopala Dasaru. Sri Sumateendra Theertharu who was sitting nearby happened to see the idol. He heard Giriyamma singing Keerthanaas in a melodious style. Venugopala was dancing making sounds from the tiny bells tied to his legs according to the tune from the flute. He was amazed. Giriyamma took that child in her waist and kept before the Sri Sumateendra Theertharu requesting him to give Mantrakshate to the child. Sri Sumateendra Theertharu was overwhelmed with “ Ananada Bhashpa” He said, “Kanaka Dasaru showed to Sri Vyaasarayaru the Paramaathma, Vaikunta Dasaru showed Paramaathma to Sri Vadhirajaru, Because of you, I also got the chance of looking at the heavenly manifestation of Venugopaala. Oh ! Mother, just like them I have had the Darshana of Baalakrishna because of you.

Sri Sumateendra Theertharu said “You are Yashodha, You are Kausalya, You are Anasuya”,

Giriyamma said, that it was His Moola Raama and sang
Raama Shree Raghunandana|
madanakoti mohanaanga maadhava puNcharitha karuNaapaanga||
HeLavanakatte nilaya venkata shree ranga|
sumatheendhra hRudhaya pankaja Bhrunga|
sadhaanandha kadhana vikrama bhaahu
Kothanda Dhuritha seetaaraama shree raghnandhana.||

Next day it was a day for Tapthamudra DhaaraNa. “Sudharshana Homa” was conducted and all had Mudradhaarane. When it was the turn of Giriyamma, the Sri Sumateendra Theertharu observing her stretched hands, said that Sri Hari had himself had done “Chakraankana” and he had no powers to do “Chakraankana” to her. He said not only those Bhakthas who had darshan of these hands had become pure , he was also fortunate to have been blessed” and thus praised Giriyamma.

Helavanakatte Giriyamma has her Ankitha nama as "Helavanakatte Ranga"

Sri Kalloor Subbanna Dasaru 1720--1815 AD

There was a great scholar Subbannachar in a village called Kalloor, who was an authority of “Nyayasudha”. This was a kriti written as a commentary on Srimad Madhwacharyaru’s Brahmasuthra Bhashya, by Sri Jaya Theertharu (also known as Tikacharyaru). But Subbannachar was subject to intellectual arrogance. He had heard about Sri Vijaya Dasaru but looked down upon him as a mere kannada song composer. There was a religious event “Sudha Mangala” in his place where Sri Vijaya Dasaru came disguised as a cook and prepared the special sweet dish “Mandige” since the original cook was had not turn up.

Sri Vijaya Dasaru requested him for a few teachings from Sudha. But Subbannachar in his arrogance insulted him saying Sudha is far above intellect. Sri Vijaya Dasaru, without getting disturbed, requested for at least a line from Sudha and he was again turned down. Sri Vijaya Dasaru pulled an odd job person from the kitchen in front of Subbanachar and holding his hand on his head commanded him to give pravachana on Sudha. The odd job person confounded the entire audience and Subbanachar with a non-stop recital of Nyaya Sudha, as long as Sri Vijaya Dasaru held his hand. The moment Sri Vijaya Dasaru dropped his hand his intellect dropped back to its original level. Subbannachar was stunned. He realized he is standing before a Mahatma blessed by God. He fell at his feet and requested to be accepted as his disciple.

Further Sri Vijaya Dasaru fulfilled his wish to be made a Haridasa and gave him the Ankita nama of “Vyasa Vittala”. This disciple of Sri Vijaya Dasaru later on composed a stothra in praise of his Guru Sri Vijaya Dasaru which is famously called as “Vijaya Kavacha” which is recited even today regularly and has been a tradition with the Kannada women folk for the past 250 years.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sri Vijaya Dasaru 1682--1755 A.D

Jala Kashta Shaila Gagana Nela Pavaka Vayutaru

Phala Pushpa Balligalavalage Hari Vyaptanenaritavage!

Ananada Ananda mate Paramananda ----- Vijayadasaru

Sri Vijaya Dasaru is one of the most renowned scholars and philosophers in Dvaita philosophy as well Dasaru Sahitya. He is revered as the spiritual heir of Sri Purandara Dasaru. He is regarded as the reincarnation of Brigu Muni.

He was born in a very poor Brahmin family in Chekalaparvi of Manwi Taluk in Raichur District. His parents were Sri Srinivasappa and Kusamma. He went to Kashi (Varanasi) for four years for studies and later returned to his native land.

He married Aralamma at the age of 16 and had a troubled domestic life because of poverty. He went back to Kashi (Varanasi) after his parents' death. He became a renowned sanskrit scholar

One day he had a dream in which Sri Purandara Dasaru appeared, initiated him into the Dasa Deeksha and gave him the Ankitha Nama of 'Vijay Vittala'. From then on, he was known as Vijaya Dasa. He woke up from his profound dream in ecstasy and started praying Lord Hari. From that moment life turned upside down for him. No more Dasappa, he became Sri Vijaya Dasa. Whatever he spoke became a sahitya. All his devarunamas and other compositions carried the ankita of “Vijaya Vittala”. People started thronging where he was and fell at his feet. The King of Benares sent his palanquin and many rich gifts. Sri Vijaya Dasaru understood what was happening. It was all Lord Hari’s grace. It was at this time that he sang, his most famous song,

A tradition of rendering philosophical verses and singing them all along to the tune of a Thamburi. These verses are known as Keeerthans.

He spent the rest of his life popularizing Dwaita concepts, the works of Srimadacharya and Hari dasa's. He has written about 25,000 Padya Sulyadi In Kannada sahitya his literary works are regarded as second only to those of Sri Purandara Dasa. He is affectionately called Dasa Shreshta, for his personality, knowledge and the brilliant disciples he left behind

Sri Vijaya Dasa composed many songs and Suladis. His style is very scholarly and full of words from Sanskrit. His thorough grasp of the Sastras is very evident in his works. His compositions are simple and lucid, replete with telling phrases and similies, like those of his master Sri Purandara Dasaru. He was an ardent Vaisnava, true Madhva as the Saviour of mankind.

Vijaya Rayara pada nijavagi nambalu,

Ajana pitha thane oliva,

"Vi" yendu nudiyalu, Vishnu Dasanaguvanu,

"Ja" yenalu Janana hani

"Ya"yendu kondade Yama Bhataru Oduvaru

"Raya" nendenalu hari kava, vara veeva