Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Period :||1494 to 1564|
|Place of Birth :||Pandarapur , Maharashtra|
|Preceptor :||Sri Vyasaraja|
|Avatar (believed) :|
Sri Purandara Dasa (1494-1564) ("the follower (dasa) of Lord Purandara Vittala [Lord Vishnu in one of his many avatars.]") is known as the father (Pitamaha) of Carnatic music. The dasas, among them Sripadaraya , Sri Kanaka Dasa, Sri Jagannatha Dasa , Sri Vijaya Dasa , and Sri Kamalesha Vittala , propounded bhakti to the Lord through music over several years. Purandara Dasa is believed to be an avatar of Sage Narada. Sri Purandara Dasa always concluded his songs with a salute to Lord Purandara Vittala. He is believed to have composed around 475,000 songs, although only a thousand or so of them are known today. All his musical compositions are in Kannada, the state language of Karnataka. He was part of the Bakthi Movement in India and most of his compositions are designed to reach the common man allowing him to comprehend the glory of God. Today in Carnatic music, no artist’s concert is complete without the rendering of a few of his compositions.
Life and work
Sri Purandara Dasa was born to a pawnbroker named Varadappa Nayaka. Varadappa Nayaka and his wife Lakshmi Saraswati Bai had been childless for several years, and finally, after praying to Lord Srinivasa of Tirupati, they became proud parents of a child whom they called Srinivasa.
Srinivasa Nayaka grew up and entered his father's business. However, unlike his father, he was a miser, so musch so that he even balked at spending money on treatment for his father's illness. His wife Lakshmi was the opposite: always wishing to contribute to charity much to the displeasure of her husband.
Transformation from Nayaka to Dasa
It is believed that Lord Vittala visited Srinivasa Nayaka's shop in the guise of a poor Brahmin who wanted some alms to perform the thread ceremony for his son. Srinivasa Nayaka, being a miser, asked him to return the following day, and kept the Brahmin coming for another six months. Finally, fed up with the Brahmin's persistence, he gave him one fake coin that he played with as a child. The Lord then went to his house and told Lakshmi the pitiful story of how a miserly pawnbroker made him come to his shop every day for six months only to give him a fake coin in the end. Laxmi's heart melted and she gave the Brahmin her nose ring as alms (a gift from her parents and thus not something that she got from her husband). The Brahmin promptly took the nose ring back to Srinivasa Nayaka's shop, where he wanted to pawn it for money. The pawnbroker recognized it, however, so he locked it up in his safe and hurried home. He demanded that Lakshmi produce her nose ring immediately. Struck with fear, Lakshmi locked herself in the kitchen and tried to swallow poison. Miraculously, the nose ring dropped from the heavens into her cup of poison and she was able to produce it for her husband. Upon returning to his shop, he opened the safe, only to find that the nose ring in the safe had vanished. Wonderstruck and ashamed of himself, Srinivasa Nayaka decided to renounce all material belongings and become a dasa (servant). Thus, Srinivasa Nayaka came to be Purandara Dasa. In gratitude for this event, he would later compose one song dedicated to his wife, for having shown him the path to God.
The poet and the composer
Purandara Dasa's songs are filled with rhyme and meaning. One song talks about how it is human nature to have desire for material objects, only for God to dispose of them, that the human has to suffer without them (kudure andhana aane bayasodhu nara chiththa paadhachaari aagodhu hari chiththavayya - to ride on a horse chariot or elephant is human desire, but to be a pedestrian is what God wills).
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details