Purandara Dasa

Purandara Dasa | Composer | Singer | Musician

Purandara Dasa was well-known among Karnataka’s Haridasas; he was the most gifted Karnatic composer.  

He made a lot of money and lived just to make more, but after a bizarre encounter, he gave away all his fortune and became a Hari follower.  

Purandara dasa was born and raised in Purandaragadha. Srinivasa Nayaka was his given name. He had been a pearl merchant for centuries, which was his family’s industry.  

He grew extremely wealthy. He was a miser by nature, and he saved every pie. His obsession with money had caused him to lose sight of everything else.  

God is claimed to have appeared in the shape of a poor Brahmin to awaken him. He begged Srinivasa Nayaka for money in order to celebrate his son’s thread ceremony.  

Nayaka did not give anything for days. However, the Brahmin did not give up.  

Life Of Purandara Dasa 

There are different stories of where Purandaradasa was born, but most agree that he was born in 1494 in the Shimoga District of Karnataka. 

He was Varadappa Nayaka’s and Leelavathi’s son. Varadappa Nayaka was a wealthy trader, and their son was named Srinivasa Nayaka.  

The boy grew up with a solid education and became fluent in Kannada, Sanskrit, and music. 

At first, Srinivasa Nayaka had little interest in following a religious or spiritual lifestyle.  

He stayed with the family business and expanded it significantly.  

Purandara Dasa Influence Carnatic Music  

Purandara Dasa systematized the approach of teaching Carnatic music that is still used today.  

In his songs, he included observations about everyday life as well as aspects of colloquial language.  

He popularized folk ragas by matching his lyrics to ragas of the time so that even the common man could learn and sing them.  

He also wrote many lakshya and lakshana geetas, many of which are still sung today. His sooladis are considered musical marvels and the benchmark for raga lakshana. 

Purandara Dasa is totally credited with standardizing varna mettus, according to scholars. 

Traveling Haridasa descendants are reported to have followed the procedures he developed, verbally transmitting his compositions.  

According to conventional accounts, his compositions amount up to 475,000 in total. Purandaropanishat, as supplied by Vyasatirtha, is his original collection of songs, of which only 1000 are currently available. 

Musicologists refer to him as the Carnatic music’s Sangeeta Pitamaha (literally, “grandfather”). 

The Story 

Purandara Dasa

A poor Brahmin routinely visits Srinivasa Nayaka’s business and requests assistance.  

To discourage him, Srinivasa Nayaka gives him a few useless coins and instructs him not to return.  

The Brahmin meets Srinivasa Nayaka’s wife, a lovely lady. She gives him her nose stud, a gift from her mother, after being moved by the Brahmin’s narrative. 

The Brahmin approaches Srinivasa Nayaka and tries to sell him the diamond.  

Srinivasa Nayaka hurries back to his residence after identifying his wife’s treasure. He confronts his wife, explains how he obtained the jewel and angrily demands that she show him her nose stud if she has one.  

Unable to respond, she prays to Lord Krishna, and the jewel miraculously emerges in her palm. 

This encounter alters Srinivasa Nayaka’s life, and he recognizes that the Lord Himself has come to reprimand him.  

He then gives up all of his possessions and begins a new life with his family. 

Srinivasa Nayaka became a student of the renowned saint Vyasaraja following his renunciation and was given the title Purandara Vittala, after the Lord of Pandarpur.  

Purandara Dasa Devotee 

Purandara Dasa led the life of a mendicant, begging for bread. He would walk around the streets singing wonderful songs he had written in honor of Lord Hari. 

The songs, written in basic, understandable Kannada and put to wonderful melody, captivated everyone who heard them.  

He would take whatever he received at the end of the day home to his family. This was his life after he had given away all of his fortunes and dedicated himself to Bhakti. 

Purandara Dasa Writing 

Purandara Dasa is reported to have written over 475,000 Kannada and Sanskrit songs. Only roughly 1000 are now accessible. 

Purandara Dasa’s songs reflect his devotion to Lord Narayana, particularly Sri Krishna. He sings on many facets of Sri Krishna’s life.  

In many of these songs, he also satirizes all of society’s different pretensions and vices. 

He mocks counterfeit Bhakthas who display all outward indications of Bhakthi but lack a loving thought or sincere devotion in their souls.  

His compositions are enchantingly lovely, and they have inspired numerous Karnataka musician-poets.

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