Who Was Purandaradas?

Purandaradas (1480–1564) was the founder of the Haridasas, a sect of saint-composers in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, was a devotee (bhakta) of the deity Vishnu.

Aside from the intellectual virtues of Purandaradas' poetry, it is said that the melodic structure of his songs provided the basis for the Karnatic school of Indian music, which is the most popular musical genre in southern India.

Many facets of Purandara Dasa, who is renowned as one of the pioneers of Carnatic music, have captured the public's attention, yet the location of his birth is still a mystery. 

The saint-poet, who is believed to have been born in 1484, is said to have written more than five lakh kritis, keertanas, and ugabhogas in Kannada and Sanskrit. 

Sri Purandara Dasa was a poet, musician, and ardent follower of Lord Krishna. 

He is regarded as the founding figure of Carnatic music. 

At 1494, Purandaradasa was born in Kshemapura in the Shimoga District of Karnataka (there are varying accounts of his birthplace). 

Many people held the opinion that the mystic saint was born in the fortified town of Purandhargad in Pune, Maharashtra. 

However, Malnad cultural aficionados said he was born at Araga, close to Thirthahalli. 

The state government instructed Kannada University to form a five-person committee to investigate the veracity of the birthplace claims made for Purandara Dasa. 

The committee's report was kept a secret. The Purandar fort, which is approximately 50 kilometers from Pune, has proof of several conflicts involving the Marathas, the Mughals, and even the British, but it does not include proof of Purandara Dasa's birth. 

Similar to Araga, there isn't much conclusive inscriptional or archaeological evidence. 

However, there is evidence that the area was a significant province during Vijayanagara authority. 

The majority of the Vijayanagara inscriptions at Shivamogga, according to B L Rice's Epigraphia Carnatica, are connected with the Araga kingdom, or as it is often known, the Male Rajya or hill kingdom, of which Araga, was the capital. In 1975, the Vijayanagara kingdom's Harihara and his four brothers acquired complete authority over the whole old Hoysala empire, according to the Karnataka State Gazetteer of Shimoga District. 

The fourth brother, Marappa, was appointed as the Araga rajya's governor. 

During the reign of the Keladi Nayakas, a dynasty that gained notoriety in the 15th century, Araga also receives a noteworthy mention. 

These facts unequivocally demonstrate Araga's status as a historical center of power and culture. 

There is no more information on the saint poet's birthplace outside these poems. 

The birthplace of Purandara Dasa is now officially recognized as Keshavapura or Kshemapura. 

Three kilometers separate the quiet hamlet from the city of Araga. 

The assertion is supported by sporadic evidence discovered near Dasanagadde, Vartekeri, and Vittalanagundi (located close to Keshavapura). 

A resident of Keshavapura claims to have discovered several artifacts on his property that are even vaguely connected to the mystical poet. 

The property, which is bordered by thickets, has a dried-up brook and hills to the east of it. 

A community may have been there decades or perhaps centuries ago, according to foundation ruins discovered inside the area. 

While a local was cultivating a field, a saint's idol was discovered. 

There have also been several engraved stones, shattered clay pots, and grinding stones discovered here. 

Locals think that before giving up the world and adopting Haridasa philosophy, Purandara Dasa spent his formative years at Araga. 

They contend that the poet engaged in diamond trafficking at Vartekeri, a site with market ruins. 

Additionally, literary evidence points to Purandara Dasa's familiarity with the Malnad tongue. 

During the Keladi Nayaka's reign, honorific titles like Nayaka were popular in Male Rajya. 

Nayaka is a surname that is still often used in and around Araga. 

Although definitive archaeological evidence that unequivocally supports Purandara Dasa's identity or his ancestry has yet to be discovered in Araga, the area was unquestionably a cultural hub in Shivamogga throughout the middle centuries. 

He was the child of Leelavathi and Varadappa Nayaka. 

Wealthy trader Varadappa Nayaka and his wife gave their kid the name Srinivasa Nayaka. 

The young man had a solid education as he grew up and was an expert musician as well as in Kannada and Sanskrit. 

Srinivasa Nayaka was first not inclined to the spiritual path. 

He kept up the family company and expanded it greatly. 

He was a miser who would not give a cent to anybody. 

He was known as Navakoti Narayana, a man of great fortune. 

Tradition holds that a lovely tale explains how Srinivasa Nayaka, the Navaloti Narayana, evolved into Purandara Dasa. 

Poor Brahmins routinely come into Srinivasa Nayaka's store to seek for assistance. 

One day, Srinivasa Nayaka gives him a few useless coins as a deterrent and instructs him not to return. The Brahmin then meets the kind wife of Srinivasa Nayaka. 

She offers the Brahmin her nose stud, a gift from her mother, after being moved by his tale. The Brahmin visits Srinivasa Nayaka and makes an attempt to sell him this diamond. 

Srinivasa Nayaka recognizes his wife's jewelry and locks it up before rushing home. He approaches his wife, explains how he obtained the gem, and strongly insists that she reveal the existence of her nose stud. 

She cannot respond to him, so she prays to Lord Krishna, and amazingly, the gem materializes in her hand. 

Srinivasa Nayaka's life is forever altered by this event, and he comes to understand that the Lord Himself was the one who had come to chastise him. 

Then, he renounces all he has and embarks on a new life with his family. 

Following his renunciation, Srinivasa Nayaka joined the renowned saint Vyasaraja's order and was given the name Purandara Vittala in honor of the Lord of Pandarpur. 

Srinivasa Nayaka acquired the name Purandara Dasa as of that moment. Purandara Dasa had a meager existence and had to beg for food. 

He would begin each morning with a Tamboora in his palms, a Tulasi Mala around his neck, and tinkling anklets on each foot. 

He would perform wonderful melodies he had written himself in honour of Lord Hari as he walked through the streets. 

Everyone who heard the songs was spellbound by their captivating melody and simple, easy-to-understand Kannada lyrics. 

At the end of the day, he would take home whatever he had earned. This was how he lived after he had donated all of his possessions and turned his focus to Bhakthi. 

According to legend, Purandara Dasa wrote over 475,000 Kannada and Sanskrit songs. There are currently only 1000 available. 

The songs of Purandara Dasa reveal his devotion to Lord Narayana, particularly Sri Krishna. 

He sings about a range of experiences in Sri Krishna's life. He also satirizes all the numerous pretensions and vices that are prevalent in society in several of these songs. 

He mocks the fake Bhakthas who display all the outer characteristics of Bhakthi but lack genuine kindness or dedication. Many musicians and poets in Karnataka have been influenced by his entrancingly gorgeous tunes. 

Since Purandara Dasa codified the music system, which was a synthesis of diverse South Indian traditions and the musical science outlined in the Vedas, he is regarded as the founder of Carnatic music. 

He came up with a method for grading classes on how to learn Carnatic music. 84 ragas were recognized by Purandara Dasa. 

Each of his lyrics is an exquisite musical piece. His compositions influenced a wide range of musical genres, including Kritis, Keertans, Padams, and even other obscure styles. 

He had a significant impact on Carnatic music. He had a big impact on Sri Thyagaraja, who paid him respect in his Prahalada Bhakthi Vijayam. 

According to legend, Purandara Dasa lived to be 80 years old. 

He influenced people's hearts with devotion by using the all-pervasive enchantment of music and the medium of colloquial language.

~ Kiran Atma