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Sunday, November 13, 2022

celebrating Bhakta Kanakadasa !! - baagilanu teredu sEveyanu koDu hariye

Think of  Lord Krishna, the supreme God of the Universe    - one is instantly reminded of Sri Parthasarathi, Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam,  great Krishna temples like Guruvayur, Dwaraka, divyadesams -  Kabisthalam, Thirukkannamangai, Thirukkannapuram,  His Mathura, the places He grew up – Gokulam, Govardhanagiri, Vrindavan .. .. and Udupi !  


Of His many temples, one at Udupi lying on Arabian sea  is unique. Udupi Sri Krishna Matha  is a famous one – the  matha area resembles a living ashram, a holy place for daily devotion and living. Surrounding the Sri Krishna Matha are several temples.  Udupi is one among the 7 Parashurama Kshetras i.e. the places created by Sage Parashurama. According to our religious history, Parasurama  created his land out of sea and that includes coastal areas including Udupi.  In Sanskrit,Udupa means moon.  

वसुदेव सुतं देवं कंसचाणूर मर्दनम् ।

देवकी परमानन्दं कृष्णं वंदे जगद्गुरुम् || १ ||

vasudeva suta deva kasacāūra mardanam .

devakī paramānanda kṛṣṇa vade jagadgurum .. 

Bhagwan Sree Krishna, son of Vasudeva, divine lord, the killer of Kamsa and Chaanura, the supreme happiness of Devaki, we bow to Krishna, the Guru (teacher) of the universe. 

Unlikely you heard this keerthana which was a hit in a very old Kannada movie too .. .. 

baagilanu teredu sEveyanu koDu hariye

koogidaru dhvani kElalillavE narahariyE 

Kanakadasa Jayanthi, the birth anniversary of philosopher Kanakadasa, is being celebrated   in Karnataka. It is usually celebrated on the 18th day of the Karthika masa of the Hindu calendar every year. This day is a public holiday in Karnataka, and usually falls in the month of November.


Kanakadasa was born as  Thimmappa Nayaka, on December 3, 1509. He is known for his compositions in the Carnatic style. He used the pen name - ‘Kaaginele Adikeshava’ - for all his songs. Nalacharithre, Haribhakthisara, Nrisimhastava, Ramadhanyacharithre and Mohanatarangini are some of his famous works.  He  was born in a Kuruba (shepherd) family. Before becoming a saint, he was a warrior at Bankapura fort; later became a Haridasa - servant of god - after he was gravely injured in a battle but survived miraculously.  

Kanaka Dasa (1509–1609), popularly called Daasashreshta Kanakadasa  was a renowned composer of Carnatic music, poet, reformer and musician.  He is known for his keertanas and ugabhoga, and his compositions in the Kannada language for Carnatic music. Like other Haridasas, he used simple Kannada and native metrical forms for his compositions.  Kanaka Dasa   was taught by Srinivasacharya. In his childhood itself, he became an expert in tarka, vyakaran, and mimamsa.  . His early work includes poems titled "Narasimha Stotra", "Ramadhyana Mantra", and "Mohanatarangini".  

Kanaka Dasa had a  renowned connection with Udupi as he was the disciple of Vyasatirtha Swamiji.   On a day when  Kanakadasa was outside the temple, waiting to be allowed to enter, Lord Krishna Himself turned to offer darshan to him.  Kanakadasa was a prominent member of the Dasakoota, a close-knit group of Haridasas. This loose congregation of like-minded people was formed by Vyasatheertha Swamiji, who was then leading the Vyasakoota, in Karnataka's Hampi.   

At the famous Udupi Temple, Sree Krishna faces the back of the temple, and devotees have darshan through  a window called ‘Kanakana kindi’, meaning Kanaka's window.  Kanakadasa wrote about 240 Carnatic music compositions (kirtane, ugabhogas, padas, and philosophical songs) besides five major works.  During an excavation at Baada, Shiggaon region of Karnataka, the archaeological department found ruins of a fort and a palace which was identified as the magnificent era of Kanaka dasa.  The State Government of Karnataka has built a new fort, palace and idols of Kanaka Dasa and his life scenarios commemorating him.  

Bhakta Kanakadasa  directed by Y. R. Swamy starring Rajkumar, Krishnakumari was released in 1960, depicting the spiritual journey of Kanakadasa. This film, officially marked the 100th production/release of Kannada cinema, since its inception in 1934. Boasting of lilting tunes including the works of Kanakadasa himself, the songs were held in high esteem. The music was composed by M. Venkataraju, - and this keerthana of Kanakadasa was featured on the movie too .. 

baagilanu teredu sEveyanu koDu hariye

koogidaru dhvani kElalillavE narahariyE   


paramapadadoLage viShadharana talpadali nee

sirisahita kSheeravaarudhiyoLiralu

kariraaja kaShTadali aadimoola endu

kareyalaakShaNa bandu odagideyO narahariyE


Open the door and let me serve you, O Hari!  Can’t you hear my shouts !! O Narahari! In Vaikuntha in the ocean of milk, relaxing on serpentine bed with Lakshmi on your side -  You rushed to help the king of elephants uponhis calling  ‘aadi moola!’ in distress, you came at once to his aid. O Narahari! When the villain (Hiranyakashipu) with sword in his hand and in great anger roared ‘Where is your Lord?’  -  the boy (Prahlaada) prayed for you in sincere devotion, you immediately appeared breaking down the pillar.


You may wish to watch the lyrical video  Baagilannu Theredu sung by: Dr. Vidyabhushana on  Anand Audio Devotional Channel..!!! : 

Recently our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji paid  floral tributes to the statues of saint poet Kanakadasa and Maharshi Valmiki at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru.  Our PM  later flagged off south India's first, state-of-the-art Vande Bharat express and  Bharat Gaurav Kashi Darshan service, operated by the Karnataka government's Muzrai Department, from the Krantiveera Sangolli Railway station here.  The Kashi service will fulfill the dream of numerous travellers intending to undertake Yatra to the holy city, according to the South Western Railway. It is an eight-day tour package at discounted rates for pilgrims.  This train covers holy places including Varanasi, Ayodhya and Prayagraj.  Modiji  also flagged off the inaugural special of Vande Bharat Express, connecting Mysuru and Chennai via this city. 

With regards – S.Sampathkumar