Monday, August 14, 2006



Born in the year 1484 at tiny village in Hampi near Bellary. Mother’s name was Rathna Bai and father’s name was Varadappa Naik. He was borne in a rich Madhwa Brahmin family- doing jewellery business due to the blessings of their family deity Lord Venkateswara. The original name of Sri. Purandaradasar was Srinivasan and affectionately called as Senappa Nayakkar.Sri. Purandara Dasar popularly known in Carnatic music's circle as Sangeetha Pithamahar.His wife’s name was Saraswathi Bai. He was known as “Navakoti Narayana” for his prosperity. For each crore of rupees- in those days -the family used to put a sthalikuta-Kalasam at the top of the house to exhibit their wealth.Sri. Srinivasan’s house was having such nine such Kalasasams at the top of his house.

He was a very miserly person and not doing any dhana- dharmas as ordained in the scriptures. For him four sons and one daughter were born. His Eldest son's name was Sri. Madhavapathi and his daughter's name was Rukminibai.

As ordained by the Lord- Sri. Srinivasan was borne in the earth as an avathara of Sri.Narada, to propagate Lord’s glory. All through his younger days no divinity was visible in him.

In his 30th age an old Brahmin came to him seeking alms to perform his son’s upanayanam, as Seenappa Naik was the richest person at that place. As he was a miser he did not give anything to him inspite of repeated visit to him for about 6 months. That Brahmin then came to his house and sought Alms from his wife Smt. Saraswathi Bai. After hearing his reasonings, she felt something should be given to the Brahmin to celebrate his son’s Upanayanam. As all finances were handled by the Karatha of the house, Sri. Naik, she reported that she was not having any wealth to give. Then the Old Brahmin sought Saraswathi Bai’s diamond nostril, as that was her wealth. Accordingly she gave her nostril to the Brahmin to get some funds after selling the same. That old Brahmin in the form a diamond businessman visited Mr. Seenappa Naik ‘ shop to sell the nostril.

Sri. Naik could easily recognise that the same belong to his wife. After asking the old man to wait in his shop Sri Naik rushed to his house and asked his wife to produce her nostril. Understanding the gravity of the situation she prayed to Thulasi Devi to save her from her husband’s wrath. While she was praying she heard a sound in the Jalapathra .To her astonishment she could see her identical diamond nostril in the vessel. She thanked God for the happenings and saving her thus.

Saraswathi Bai there after explained every thing to her husband.. Mr. Naik realized that the person who came to his house as old man seeking alms was Lord Vittala /Narayana himself and went in search of the old man at the shop. But none was there.

After the visit of the Divya Purusha in the old form an old Brahmin - self realization came to him from this point .He is reported to have toured India - as thirthayathra thrice in search of God and Truth. He is reported to have sung over 4 lacs songs praising Lord Vittala.. - Of which only few are available now.

In 1525 at his 40th year he came to Udupi and took Upadesam from Sri Vysaraya then Udupi Madathipathi. He thus became a Haridasar. Later Sathya Dharma thirtha Swamigal gave him the name as “ Purandara Dasar”

It is reported that once Bagawan Panduranga came in the form of Purandaradasar to the house of Ramadevi, a dasi, and asked her to sing songs in praise of Lord. After that he presented her with a Gold Kanganam. The next day the temple authorities reported that one of the Kanganam of the Lord is missing. When they found the same with the dasi they enquired about the same. She told that Sri.Purandaradasar who came to her house, gave the same to her. Believing that Dasar has stolen the same, he was tied to a pillar in the temple of Lord Vittala and started beating him. Soon a divine voice was heard that it was He who in the form of Dasar went to the house of the Dasi and gave the Kangan. Bagawan Panduranga thus showed to the world the greatness of the Dasar .He also ordered that henceforth - every day the first pooja/Arathi should be done to the pillar in which Purandara Dasar was tied. Even to day that practice is followed in the Pandaripuram Temple. Devi Saraswathi and Lord Venkateswara also reported to have given Darshan to Dasar at Tirupathi Temple. It is reported that the Unchavruthi Sampradaaya Marga ( making a living by singing the Glory of the Lord and seeking Alms ) was introduced to this world by Sri Purandara Dasa.

Dasar’s devoted wife Saraswathi Bai is said to have attained lord’s feet in the year 1549, when Dasar’s age was around 65. Dasar is reported to have attained Vaikunta Prapthi in the year 1564 on Pushya Bagula Ammavasai day (Saturday)- at Hampi. Even to-day at his samadhi place the death anniversary of this great saint poet is remembered, and celeberated as a Music Festival.It is reported that after his period two of his sons propagated the Dasar's songs.

Simple Language, Simple expressions, Full of Bakthi rasa etc are the specialties in the Dasar’s composition. As per the dictum that in Kali -Yuga Bhagawan’s singing of glory is the only easy way that would take us to mukthi –Saint Purandara Dasar in his composition have sung only about Glory of the Lord nothing else. More over as all his compositions were with special stress to Bhakthi , and can be equated to pure gold. It is reported that at that time No Varna/Raga/Mettu were prescribed for his krithees. Each one was singing his compositions in any raga/mettu/varna according to one’s interest and mano dharma. The present day Raga/Swara/Varnam etc came into existence only at the end of 18th Century. Even to-day his compositions are sung according to manodharma of the each indiviaual musicians.

Purandara Vittala is his mudra for all compositions. His compositions are popularly known as Dasara Padagalu or Dasara Devara Nama. Saint Thyagarajar also has praised Purandara Dasar in his Prahlada Bhakthi Vijayam. Some of the primary-basic lessons in carnatic music in the raga Maya malava Gowla/ Malahari etc with its Swaravali/Jantavarisai-Alankarams etc are the gift of the Saint Sri.Purandara Dasar to this world..

Such a great scholar of divine vision with music knowledge of par excellence lived among us just about 400 years ago! His Contribution to carnatic Music lovers is enviable. Let God’s vision be on us to know more and more about this Music Saint.

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