SAINT SRI PURANDARADASA

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Purandaradasa (1484 – 1564) is a prominent composer of Dasa sahithya. Purandaradasa was born as Srinivsa Nayak in Kshemapura, Karnataka state. He was the only son of Varadappa Nayaka, a wealthy merchant, and Leelavati. At the age of 16 he married Saraswatibai. He prospered in business of gemstones and pawning inherited from him father and became known as “Navakoti Narayana”, owner of 9 crores.

Srinivasa Nayaka became the saint-singer Purandaradasa or Purandara Vittala celebrating Sri Hari at the age of 30 when he renounced all his wealth to charity and together with his family left his house to lead the life of a wandering minstrel spreading Hari nama. He was bestowed this name by his guru Vyasaraja. Purandaradasa was a vaggeyakara (performer), a lakshanakara (musicologist), and the founder of musical pedagogy. For all these reasons and the enormous influence that he had on Carnatic music, musicologists call him the “Sangeeta Pitamaha” of Carnatic music. His works have earned the name ‘Purandaropanishat’. According to traditional sources his compositions number as many as four lakh and seventy five thousand. But not more than 700 compositions are accessible now.

Purandaradasa has expressed his devotion to Lord Krishna, his personal deity, imagining him in so many ways. His pure bhakti comes out very clearly in all his verses. He admits that he has erred in hundred ways which ties his tongue making it different for him to ask for forgiveness. His love and devotion and the stages traveled by him before coming to the summit can be understood by us according to each one’s ability to understand such spiritual development.

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