24 September 2011

Natya Shastra with Commentary of Abhinava Gupta by M Ramakrishna Kavi

About the Author Sri Manavalli Ramakrishna Kavi gaaru: 
Sri Manavalli Ramakrishna Kavi  (1866-1957)

Ramakrishna Kavi Manavalli, popularly known as kavigaaru, was a manuscriptolologist at prachyalikhita pustaka bhandagaram (library of ancient scripts) in Chennapuri (Chennai or Madras) and a doyen of indological research.

Manavalli family is a Brahmin pundit (scholar) family and
kavi's ancestors were writers and poets. His ancestors like Thyagayya, Gangadharasastri and Narasimhasastri were all reputed litterateurs. Thyagayya wrote kaasiyaatracharitra.  Gangadharasastri and Narasimhasastri were Sanskrit pundits.  Gangadharasastri received several awards and titles from the British government during Queen Victoria's regime.

  was a polyglot.  The title Kavigaaru was given to him not because he was poet, but because he was a great scholar in six languages: Samskritamu (Sanskrit), Andhramu (Telugu), Aravamu (Tamil), Kannadamu, Malayalamu and English. He was known to be one of the top six Sanskrit pundits during his time. For the government of Baroda, he prepared Bharatakosa and brought out a critical edition of Bharata`s Natya Sastra with Abhivanana Gupta`s commentary “abhinava bhaarati” for the first time.

used to collect palm-leaf texts from villages and towns for the library.  He used to review them and analyze them for publication. He introduced to Telugu people several ancient texts, in association with Prabhakarasastri Veturi. Kavigaaru published ancient texts in a book series under the title "vismrita kavulu."   One of his original works is vatsaraja charitamu.

In 1926, he was transferred to Rajamahendravaramu as an assistant teacher at Government Higher Grade Elementary Training School.  Later, in 1938, joined
tirupati praachya parisoadhana samstha and worked there until 1955.  Later, tirumala tirupati devasthaanam provided him support until 1957.

Click here to read more about Sri Ramakrishna Kavi

23 September 2011


Sri Kanakadasa
Kanaka Dasa  (1509–1609)  was a great poet, philosopher, musician and composer from Karnataka. He is knownfor his Kirtanas and Ugabhoga compositions in the Kannada language for Carnatic music. Like some other dasas, he often used colloquial language for his compositions.

Life of Sri Kanakadasa:

Thimmappa Nayaka was Kanakadasa’s original name and he belonged to chieftain (Kuruba Gowda ) / (Dhangar ) family of Kaginele in Haveri district. He was born to the Kuruba Gowda couple Biregowda and Beechamma at Bada village. Kanaka Nayaka being of the warrior community (Kuruba Gowda) his defeat in the field of battle, directed him to the path of devotion. He came to be called Kanaka Nayaka as he found a treasure-trove of gold (kanaka means gold in Kannada). Kanaka Dasa was well educated and capable of analyzing the society microscopically. Based on one of his compositions it is interpreted that after he severely got injured in a war and was miraculously saved, he gave up his profession as a warrior and devoted his life to composing music and literature with philosophy explained in common man's language. It appears that he started traveling to places a lot to gain more knowledge. However he had maintained a balanced view about all faiths. At a young age he authored poetries Narasimha stotra, Ramadhyana Mantra, and Mohanatarangini.


His writing started showing his innovativeness in using day to day activities of common man. For example,   Ramadhyana Mantra is a poetic expression of conflicts between rich and poor classes where he uses ragi (staple food of poor and high in nutrients) and rice (main food of rich but not as rich in nutrients) to synonymously to represent poor and rich. He joined Haridasa movement and became a follower of Vyasaraja who named him as Kanakadasa. His poems and krithi deal with many aspects of life and expose the futility of external rituals. They stress the need for cultivation of moral values in life. Similar to Purandara Daasa, Kanaka Daasaru’s compositions addressed social issues in addition to devotional aspect. Kanaka Daasa was very aggressive and straight forward in criticizing evils of society such as superiority claims using caste system. His poem "Kula Kula Kula vendu hodedhada dhiri" asks humans not to segregate themselves from one another, because every human is born the same way, everyone eats the same food and drinks the same water, hence none is superior or inferior to one another.

The deity he worshiped was Adhikeshava of Kaginele, presently in Haveri district of Karnataka. Kaginele, now a village, was a prosperous place and trading center in the Middle Ages. Out of the many of his compositions, about 251 are fully accountable today. All his Karnataka Music compositions end with mudra (signature) Kaginele Adhikeshava. In addition to being a poet , he worked as a social reformer by down playing dogmatic communities that were suppressing the disadvantaged communities. Kanakadasa made extreme effort in reforming the disadvantaged communities by convincing them to give-up their age old obsolete social practices and adapt to the changing world. He effectively used music to convey his philosophy. He lived at Tirupathi in his last days. He is one of the greatest musician, composer, poet, social reformer, philosopher and saints that India has ever seen.'

 Major works of Sri Kanakadasa

    Ramadhanyacharitre, a rare work on class struggle

Kanakadasa wrote about two hundred forty Karnataka Music compositions (Kirtane, Ugabhogas, padas and mundiges or philosophical songs)  besides five major works. His compositions are published in many languages. For example about 100 songs in Kannada and 60 songs in English are published in popular books.

His writings were unique in style. In Ramadhanyacharitre, an allegory on the conflict between the socially strong and weak castes and classes, presented as an argument between two foodgrains, rice and ragi, is a most creative literary piece with a powerful social message,In the work, rice represents the socially powerful and ragi (millet) represents the working people. The two grains come before Rama to argue their case and establish their superiority. In the end Rama sends both of them to prison for six months. At the end of the period, rice has turned rotten while the hardy ragi survives, earning Rama's blessings. This shows the intelligence of Kanaka Daasa in trying to reform the society. He was blunt in criticizing those who opposed the good practices. In one his compositions he says,"Eternal hell is for those who criticize noble men, for those who condemn teachings of Jagadguru Madhvacharya...".

Nalacharitre (Story of Nala)

Haribhaktisara (crux of Krishna devotion)

Nrisimhastava (compositions in praise of Lord Narasimha)

Ramadhanyacharite (story of ragi millet) and an epic

Mohanatarangini (Krishna-river).

Kanakadasa rationalized bhakti (devotion) by giving worldly similes. His writing has intimate touch that identifies the reader with the poet himself. His two famous compositions in translation are given below. One condemns caste system in a refined poetic way and the other wonders, at the colorful and baffling creation of God Almighty in child-like wonder.

His Nalacharite is based on the famous love-story of Nala and Damayanti, which appears in Mahabarata. Though a great devotee of Lord Krishna, Kanakadasa gives his own interpretation. Nala who is in love with Damayanti, exercises restraint svayamvara (choosing bride/bridegroom) ceremony to win over Damayanti by allowing Indra and other gods a chance to win over her. When he loses everything in a dice-game and gets exiled to the forest, stubbornly followed by Damayanti, he deserts her in sleep, hoping that she may go back to her parents and have a better life. He later drives king Rituparna to the second svayamvara of Damayanti, to see his wife married to a suitable person and be happy! Lord Krishna appears only once casually to rescue the caravan in which the hapless Damayanti was traveling and was attacked by wild elephants.

Nrisimhastava is a work dealing with glory of god Narasimha (half human and half lion).

Kanakadasa's Ramadhanyacharite has quite an unconventional theme. It is about a battle of words between ragi (millet) and rice, each claiming superiority. They go to lord Rama for justice. With the help of the sages, Rama proves the superiority of ragi over rice. Ragi becomes blessed by absorbing the qualities of Raghava, another epithet of Rama. It is interpreted as poverty and humility being upheld by the poet above material wealth. Even today ragi is food of the poor which has high nutrition value compared to rice. Ragi is a good source of nutrition for people with diabetes for its low sugar content and nutrition value.

Mohanatarangini, although a kavya (poem in classical style) written with all conventional eighteen descriptions, deals with eroticism. Pleasure-based eroticism of Shri Krishna with the consorts. The eroticism between Aniruddha and Usha form the main theme.

It excels in depicting contemporary life. The description of Shri Krishna's Dwaravati (Dwaraka) is very similar to that of Vijayanagara, under Krishnadevaraya as noticed by foreign travelers. The market place with colorful stalls with various commodities, well demarketed lanes brimming with craftsmen, clients and merchants, royal garden parties and glory of the palace find their place in Mohanatarangini. It echoes the contemporary Portuguese travelers' accounts. A drinking bout of men and women of working class is very picturesque. The reader feels as if Kanakadasa is providing a commentary of a live event. It is for such unconventional and down-to-earth descriptions as also for social awareness that the great poet-saint has become immortal.

Nee Mayeyolago

The following is the translation of Nee Mayeyolago:

    Are you a creature of illusion? or illusion your creation?

    Are you a part of the body? Or is the body a part of you?

    Is space within the house? Or the house within space? Or are both space and the house within the seeing eye? Is the eye within the mind? Or the mind within the eye? Or are both the eye and the mind within you?

    Does sweetness lie in sugar, or sugar in sweetness? Or do both sweetness and sugar lie in the tongue?

    Is the tongue within the mind? Or the mind within the tongue? Or are both the tongue and the mind within you?

    Does fragrance lie in the flower? Or the flower in fragrance? Or do both the flower and fragrance lie in the nostrils? I cannot say, O Lord Adikeshava of Kaginele, O! peerless one, are all things within you alone?

Kanakadasa's famous phrase

 “ ನಾನು ಹೋದರೆ ಹೋದೇನು " which means " I shall go (to heaven) if my-self (my selfishness) goes (away) “

This was a famous phrase Kanakadaasa is quoted to have said in front of all vedantis, when asked who will attain Moksha . This question was asked by Vyasatirtha in a sabha, to actually bring light into Kanakadasara bhakti. Kanakadasa humbly but assertively tells that no one here will attain moksha. Only he can attain Moksha, on hearing this the pandits present there were taken aback and were very angry. Then Vyasatirtha asks Kanaka to explain what it means , then he goes ahead and explains the meaning , which actually meant who has lost the Naanu ( ‘Self ’) i.e.; ego will attain Moksha .

 Kanakadasa in Udupi

Kanakadasa has special association with Udupi and as he was the follower of Sri Vyasaraja Swamiji. On the advice of Vyasaraja Swamiji he had come to Udupi. He stood outside the matha and was lost in his prayers to Lord Krishna by singing songs in praise of the Lord and had darshan of the lord through a small window. All devotees who visit Udupi Krishna Matha take a peek at Lord Krishna through the small window, wishing to relive the ecstasy of Kanakadasa. It is also a memorial to Kanakadasa and a testimony to the eclectic Hindu belief that devotion, poetry and sainthood are above caste and creed and certainty above orthodoxy. Kanakadasa once wanted to have a darshan (encounter) of the Lord Krishna in Udupi. He was not allowed into the shrine by castist priests as he was not a higher-caste by birth. Kanakadasa then started singing the praises of Shri Krishna and was lost to outside world in a corner outside the temple. Legend has it that the western wall collapsed so that Kanakadasa could have darshan of Lord Krishna's icon. A small window was constructed at the breach later. The idol of Lord Krishna is still today worshiped through the window. This window came to be known as Kanakana kindi (Kanaka’s window). Historical evidence shows that there was indeed a small earthquake on that day which led to the collapse of the wall. (Note that the statue of Lord Krishna was facing to east before this incident later turned to west to give darshan for kanaka dasa). The memory of Kanakadasa was permanently etched in the temple of his beloved Lord Krishna. Today that window stands as a tribute to the unique saint of Karnataka.

From that time onward, Kanakadasa could have the darshan of Sri Krishna with his physical eyes as well as his inner eye. To perpetuate this sacred memory, the tradition of looking at the icon of Sri Krishna through this window before entering the shrine started.

Kanakadasa offers rice gruel to Lord Krishna
There is another incident connected with him which is not known to many people. But for Sri Vadiraja Teertha, it would have been forgotten a long time ago. That interesting episode can be stated thus: It was noon and Kanakadasa had baked rice cake for his lunch. Suddenly, his attention was drawn towards a small hole on the Northern side of the discourse hall. From the kitchen inside, some rice gruel (teLi) was flowing out through the hole. Kanakadasa took the shell of a coconut and filled it with some gruel. He then took the cake and the gruel to the front of the temple and prayed for Krishna to accept the offerings, and then ate it.

Sri Vadiraja teertha came to know of this due to his divine vision, summoned his attendants and said, " Kanaka is a great devotee. Krishna is more pleased with his gruel water than with our costly dishes. He may be a shepherd by caste, but he does not lag behind in his devotion and enlightenment. He is like pure gold (`kanaka' means 'gold '). From this day onwards we will also offer rice gruel and cake to Sri Krishna to perpetuate the memory of Kanaka's great devotion.'"

This tradition continues even today. Rice gruel and cake are offered, along with other dishes, except that the coconut shell has been replaced by a silver goblet. Sri Vadiraja teertha has thus immortalized this episode in the history of Udupi.

Source wikipedia

Interesting Weblink :
Kaginele and Kanakadasa's Picture Gallery

E-Book : Lyrics of Kanakadasa compositions in kannada

Click here to download Kanaka dasa Sahitya sudha part 1

  Kanakadasa Samagra Keertana sahitya part 1 and part 2
Haribhaktha saara 

Nala Charitre

Rama dhanya Charitre

                                        Uga Bhogas of Sri Kanakadasa 

                                      Sri Kanakadasa Sahitya Samikshe in Kannada by Appanacharya

Selected Kirtanas of Sri Kanakadasa with sanskrit , tamil and telugu transliteration 

20 September 2011


Goswami Tulasidas

Tulsidas was born in Rajpur, in the district of Banda in Uttar Pradesh, in Samvat 1589 or 1532 A.D. He was a Sarayuparina Brahmin by birth and is regarded as an incarnation of Valmiki, the author of Ramayana written in Sanskrit. His father’s name was Atmaram Shukla Dube and his mother’s name Hulsi. Tulsidas did not cry at the time of his birth. He was born with all the thirty-two teeth intact. In childhood his name was Tulsiram or Ram Bola.
Tulsidas’s wife’s name was Buddhimati (Ratnavali). Tulsidas’s son’s name was Tarak. Tulsidas was passionately attached to his wife. He could not bear even a day’s separation from her. One day his wife went to her father’s house without informing her husband. Tulsidas stealthily went to see her at night at his father-in-law’s house. This produced a sense of shame in Buddhimati. She said to Tulsidas, "My body is but a network of flesh and bones. If you would develop for Lord Rama even half the love that you have for my filthy body, you would certainly cross the ocean of Samsara and attain immortality and eternal bliss". These words pierced the heart of Tulsidas like an arrow. He did not stay there even for a moment. He abandoned home and became an ascetic. He spent fourteen years in visiting the various sacred places of pilgrimage.
While returning from answering the calls of nature, Tulsidas used to throw the water that was left in his water-pot at the roots of a tree which a spirit was occupying. The spirit was very much pleased with Tulsidas. The spirit said, "O man! Get a boon from me". Tulsidas replied, "Let me have Darshan of Lord Rama". The spirit said, "Go to the Hanuman temple. There Hanuman comes in the guise of a leper to hear the Ramayan as the first hearer and leaves the place last of all. Get hold of him. He will help you". Accordingly, Tulsidas met Hanuman, and through His grace, had Darshan or vision of Lord Rama.
Tulsidas wrote twelve books. The most famous book is his Ramayan—Ram-charit-manas—in Hindi. He wrote this book under the directions of Hanuman. This Ramayan is read and worshipped with great reverence in every Hindu home in Northern India. It is an inspiring book. It contains sweet couplets in beautiful rhyme. Vinaya Patrika is another important book written by Tulsidas.
Some thieves came to Tulsidas’s Ashram to take away his goods. They saw a blue-complexioned guard, with bow and arrow in his hands, keeping watch at the gate. Wherever they moved, the guard followed them. They were frightened. In the morning they asked Tulsidas, "O venerable saint! We saw a young guard with bow and arrow in his hands at the gate of your residence. Who is this man?" Tulsidas remained silent and wept. He came to know that Lord Rama Himself had been taking the trouble to protect his goods. He at once distributed all his wealth among the poor.
Tulsidas lived in Ayodhya for some time. Then he shifted to Varanasi. One day a murderer came and cried, "For the love of Rama give me alms. I am a murderer". Tulsi called him to his house, gave him sacred food which had been offered to the Lord and declared that the murderer was purified. The Brahmins of Varanasi reproached Tulsidas and said, "How can the sin of a murderer be absolved? How could you eat with him? If the sacred bull of Siva—Nandi—would eat from the hands of the murderer, then only we would accept that he had been purified". Then the murderer was taken to the temple and the bull ate from his hands. The Brahmins were put to shame.
Tulsidas once went to Brindavan. He visited a temple. He saw the image of Lord Krishna. He said, "How shall I describe Thy beauty, O Lord! But Tulsi will bow his head only when You take up bow and arrow in Your hands". The Lord revealed Himself before Tulsidas in the form of Lord Rama with bow and arrows.
Tulsidas’s blessings brought the dead husband of a poor woman back to life. The Moghul emperor at Delhi came to know of the great miracle done by Tulsidas. He sent for Tulsidas. Tulsidas came to the emperor’s court. The emperor asked the saint to perform some miracle. Tulsidas replied, "I have no superhuman power. I know only the name of Rama". The emperor put Tulsi in prison and said, "I will release you only if you show me a miracle". Tulsi then prayed to Hanuman. Countless bands of powerful monkeys entered the royal court. The emperor got frightened and said, "O saint, forgive me. I know your greatness now". He at once released Tulsi from prison.
Tulsi left his mortal coil and entered the Abode of Immortality and Eternal Bliss in 1623 A.D. at the age of ninety-one at Asighat in Varanasi.

-Article by Swami Sivananda Saraswati.


19 September 2011

Sri Padaraya Compositions

Brindavanam of Sri Padarayaru , Mulbagilu , Karnataka
Birth of Sri Padaraya:

Abbur, a remote village of Chennapatna taluk of Bangalore District, is a place of abundance in Nature's gift and a sacred place too. A hermitage in the midst of a dense forest close to Kanva river where devotees throng to bathe in the river and get the blessings of the saint Sri Brahmanyateertha. The brindavan stands gloriously. He was a great ascetic and a brahmarishi, who had siddhi in tapas and chastity in speech. He is a depository of manthras and had control over senses, pure in practices and earned the love of lord Krishna.
Five centuries ago Abbur a village with a picturesque surrounding was a part of a natural forest, very rich in greens, full of colours and fragrance. Pious brahmins who led a simple life lived in those small villages dotting the forest place. The river Kanva, the crown of Vanadevi, with all serenity has made this place great !
In the midst of a natural beauty there runs white waters of kanva river appearing as a bisecting mark in the lush green forest.

18 September 2011

Kumara Vyasa

Sri Veera Narayana Swamy , Gadag

The period of Kumara Vyasa's life had been a subject of scholarly dispute. Scholarly opinion placed his time in varying periods starting from the 12th Century to 16th Century. However, opinion has now agreed that Kumara Vyasa lived during the late 14th and early 15th Centuries.
His magnum opus, Karnata Bharata Kathamanjari was completed in 1430 when Deva Raya II was ruling the Vijayanagara empire. Kumara Vyasa earned high esteem as a poet in his court. Kumara Vyasa's historicity is also based on the fact that other prominent poets of the 15th century, such as Kanaka Dasa and Timmanna Kavi, have mentioned his works.
Kumara Vyasa lived in Koliwad a village 20 km from Gadag in North Karnataka. He is also called Narayanappa. A pillar in the Veera Narayana temple of Gadag exists till date. According to popular legend, Kumara Vyasa is said to have composed his work at the temple. This pillar is also known as Kumara Vyasa's pillar (Kannada: ವೀರನಾರಾಯಣ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನ, ಗದಗ).


Kumara Vyasa's most famous work, the Karnata Bharata Kathamanjari (The Mahabharata of Karnataka)is popularly known as Gadugina Bharata and Kumaravyasa Bharata. It is a sublime adaptation of the first ten Parvas (chapters) of the Mahabharata. A devotee of Krishna, Kumara Vyasa ends his epic with the coronation of Yudhishtira, the eldest of the Pandavas. The work is easily the most celebrated in Kannada literature. Its fame arises due to its universal appeal.
Gadugina Bharata is composed in the Bhamini Shatpadi meter, a form of six lined stanza. Kumara Vyasa explores a wide range of human emotions, examines values, and displays extensive mastery over vocabulary. The work is particularly known for its use of sophisticated metaphors. It has earned him the honor of Rupaka Samrajya Chakravarti (Emperor of the World of Metaphors). 

  Kumara Vyasa is also renowned for his characterization. Karnata Bharata Kathamanjari is also known as Dasha Parva Bharata because it originally had only 10 parvas as opposed to the 18 in the original Mahabharata.
Kathamanjari was not complete. Reliable sources of information goes like this - The lord Narayana would narrate the story of Mahabharata that took place several years ago from behind the temple's statue. Kumaravyasa would listen to the story and translate it into poetry. Lord had laid down a condition that Kumara was to only listen to this voice without attempting to see the source or the spirit narrating the story. This was a daily routine and went on for years. One day, at the stage when the 10th parva of his work was complete, Kumara developed deep curiosity with impatience and wanted to desperately see the narrator.

Much to his surprise, it is said he saw the lord himself narrating the story. He also saw a scene of kurukhsetra battle and it seemed it was happening in front of him again. However, Kumara had violated the condition of not exploring the source of the voice. At that point, the lord disappeared and the narration of mahabharata story stopped forever.
Kumara's Kathamanjari covers only till the Gadayuddha, the battle between Duryodhana and Bheema, killing Duryodhana. The subsequent parts of the original Mahabharata like the Yudhisthira Pattabhishekha, Ashwa Medha yaaga and the Swargaarohana parva are not included.
It may be noted that Lakshmeesha, another great poet who was born a few decades after Kumara's death, took up and completed AshwaMedha yaaga parva alone in his work "Jaimini Bharata" in kannada. This spiritual work was considered equal to Kathamanjari for its literatural ecstasy and the fragrance of narration it emits.

There is a strong belief among locals that Kumaravyasa was a blessed poet of Sri Veera Narayana i.e Lord Vishnu. The poet used to sit in front of sanctum sanctorum in the temple and the Lord himself narrated the story of the ancient Mahabharatha from behind the statue. The poet transformed the story into an excellent poetry.

Kumaravyasa has shown an exemplary style of writing in the introduction. He proudly claims that his poetry is matchless and that it caters to the taste of all kinds of readers. He writes "A king enjoys the valor in the poetry, A brahmin the essence of all vedas, Philosopher, the ultimate philosophy, ministers and state administrators the tact of rule, Lovers, the inspiration. Besides this he proudly acclaims that this work of his is the "GURU" of the works of all other great scholars." However, his self-lessness may be noted when he says he merely noted all that was narrated by his lord, his actual poet".
The other, lesser-known work of Kumara Vyasa's is Airavata.

Influence on Kannada Literature

Kumara Vyasa's works belong to the Kannada language Phases of evolutionNadugannada (Middle-age Kannada)period of Kannada literature. His influence on later Kannada literature is significant.
Gadugina Bharata is still widely read. It is popularly sung in a unique style known as Gamaka.

Source: Wikipedia

Kumara Vyasa Bharata Complete Books Collection:

  Kumara Vyasa Bharata Complete Books collection in Kannada


Kumara Vyasa Bharata - Gamaka Vaachana Links

 Gaduginabharata blog

Gamaka Vaachana Resource site

Gamaka vaachana videos rendered   by Nagavalli Nagaraj on youtube

Kumara Vyasa Darshana  and Jaimini Bharata  Nagavalli Nagaraj , Dr Shatavadhani Ganesh and Prof.A. R Mitra



































Jnanadeva Samadhi , Alandi , Maharashtra

 One of my favourite books is Jnaneshwari.  I dedicate this post to Sri Jnanadeva.

Dnyāneshwar (or Jñāneshwar) (Marathi: ज्ञानेश्वर) (1275–1296), also known as Jñanadeva (Marathi: ज्ञानदेव), was born into a Deshastha Brahmin Kulkarni family.He was a 13th century Maharashtrian Hindu saint (Sant - a title by which he is often referred), poet, philosopher and yogi of the Nath tradition whose works Bhavartha deepika teeka (a commentary on Bhagavad Gita, popularly known as "Dnyaneshwari"), and Amrutanubhav are considered to be milestones in Marathi literature.


  • Traditional history
    •  Writings 
    •  Siblings
  • Varkari Movement
  • Entering into a state of Samadhi
  • Miracles
  •  Pasayadan
  •  Download Jnanadeva works
  • Audio and Videos

Traditional history

According to Nath tradition Sant Dnyaneshwar  was the second of the four children of Vitthal Govind Kulkarni and Rukmini, a pious couple from Apegaon near Paithan on the banks of the river Godavari. Vitthal had studied Vedas and set out on pilgrimages at a young age. In Alandi, about 30 km from Pune, Sidhopant, a local Yajurveda brahmin, was very much impressed with him and Vitthal married his daughter Rukmini.
After some time, getting permission from Rukmini, Vitthal went to Kashi(Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India), where he met Ramananda Swami and requested to be initiated into sannyas, lying about his marriage. But Ramananda Swami later went to Alandi and, convinced that his student Vitthal was the husband of Rukmini, he returned to Kashi and ordered Vitthal to return home to his family. The couple was excommunicated from the brahmin caste as Vitthal had broken with sannyas, the last of the four ashrams. Four children were born to them; Nivrutti in 1273, Dnyandev (Dnyaneshwar) in 1275, Sopan in 1277 and daughter Mukta in 1279. According to some scholars their birth years are 1268, 1271, 1274, 1277 respectively. It is believed that later Vitthal and Rukmini ended their lives by jumping into the waters at Prayag where the river Ganges meets Yamuna hoping that their children would be accepted into the society after their death.
The couple set out on a pilgrimage with their children to Tryambakeshwar, near Nashik, where their elder son Nivrutti (at the age of 10) was initiated in to the Nath tradition by Gahininath. The paternal great grandfather of Dnyaneshwar had been initiated into the Nath cult by Goraksha Nath (Gorakh Nath). The orphaned children grew up on alms. They approached the brahmin community of Paithan to accept them but the brahmins refused. According to the disputed "Shuddhi Patra" the children were purified by the brahmins on condition of observing celibacy. Their argument with the brahmins earned the children fame and respect due to their righteousness, virtue, intelligence, knowledge and politeness. Dnyaneshwar became the student of Nivruttinath along with his younger siblings Sopan and Mukta at the age of 8. He learnt and mastered the philosophy and various techniques of kundalini yoga.


Jnanadeva moved to Nevasa, a village in Ahmednagar district, where Dnyaneshwar began his literary work when Nivruttinath instructed him to write a commentary on Bhagavad Gita. The Dnyaneshwari or Bhavartha Deepika Teeka was written down by Sacchidananandbaba from discourses by Dnyaneshwar. By the time the commentary was complete Dnyaneshwar was only 15 years old.
Considered a masterpieces of Marathi literature, the Dnyaneshwari's 18 chapters are composed in a metre called "ovi". Dnyaneshwar liberated the "divine knowledge" locked in the Sanskrit language to bring that knowledge into Prakrit (Marathi) and made it available to the common man. He was confident that he would write in marathi in as good or better manner than Sanskrit.
Amrutanubhav, written some time after, is difficult and finds fewer readers[citation needed]. Containing 10 chapters and 806 ovi, the basis of this book is non dualism (advaita siddhanta). The seventh and biggest chapter (295 ovi) is the most important. Apart from Dnyaneshwari and Amrutanubhav works like Changdev Paasashti (a collection of 65 ovi addressed to an allegedly 1400 years old yogi named Changdev Maharaj), Haripath and around 1000 "abhanga" (authorship of many is disputed due to differences in writing style) are attributed to Dnyaneshwar.


Nivruttinath was the elder brother of Dnyaneshwar. Nivrutti was an authority on philosophy of the Nath sect. Gahininath, one of the nine Nath gurus, accepted Nivrutti as his disciple and initiated him into the Nath sect, instructing him to propagate devotion to Krishna. Dnyaneshwar accepted his elder brother as his own guru. After the early Samadhi of Dnyaneshwar, Nivrutti travelled with his sister Mukta on a pilgrimage along the Tapi river where they were caught in a thunderstorm and Mukta was swept away. Nivrutti took to salvation (Samadhi) at Tryambakeshwar. Around 375 abhangas are attributed to him but, the authorship of many of them is disputed due to difference in writing style and philosophy.
Sopandev was a younger brother Sopandev attained ‘samadhi' at Saswad near Pune. He wrote a book "Sopandevi" based on the Bhagvadgita's Marathi interpretation along with 50 or so abhangas. Muktabai was the youngest of the siblings, Muktai or Muktabai was known for her simple and straightforward expression of thoughts. She could be considered as one of the first poetesses in Marathi along with Mahadamba. There are around 40 abhangas attributed to her. She accepted Yogi Changdev as her disciple.

Varkari Movement

Dnyaneshwar was probably introduced into the Vaishnava Sampradaya (or Vitthala Sampradaya) of Pandharpur (founder of the Varkari movement), influenced by the piety of contemporary members of the movement such as Namdev, Gora Kumbhar, Savta Mali, Janabai, Narhari Sonar, Chokha Mahar and Sena Nhavi, after his writing of Dnyaneshwari since there is no mention of it in that work. The Varkaris soon considered him their teacher and spiritual leader, who initiated his contemporaries associated with the Dvaita (dualism) school of the bhakti movement into Advaita (non-dualism). He strongly advocated jnana yukta bhakti (devotion guided by knowledge) and believed that one can not be liberated unless one attains the true and divine knowledge of Brahman.

Entering into a state of Samadhi

After having composed Amritanubhava, Dnyaneshwar made a pilgrimage to northern India with Namdev and other saints. After completing this pilgrimage he expressed his intention to enter into a state of Samadhi because he felt that the mission of his life was complete. At the age of 21 on 13th day of the second half of Kartik in Shaka 1218, Dnyaneshwar entered into a permanent state of Sanjeevan Samadhi  at Alandi in Maharashtra, India.
An account of this incident is described by the contemporary Saint Namdev in a set of Abhangas named as Samadheeche Abhanga (translation: The Abhangas of Samadhi) .


Stories recounted in many holy books of the Bhagawata Sampradaya sect about Dnyaneshwar’s life are full of miracles, such as the baking of bread (mānde, or roti in Hindi) on his heated back, and his making a wall move.


Dnyaneshwar wrote the Pasayadan which is a prayer for the general well being of the people. Pasaydan is included at the end of the Dynaneshwari.
Source: Wiki pedia

Download Works of Jnanadeva:

1. Jnaneshwari 

 Original Marathi Jnaneshwari

Jnaneshwari Original Marati Pdf (1244 pages)

Jnaneshwari English translation    (Mirror link )

English translation by M.R.Yardi (1995)

Yardi's translation in chapter pdf

English translation by Manu Subedar (1932) (pdf)

Deutsch Übersetzung

Other works by Jnaneshwara:

Amritanubhava (Marathi)

Amritanubhava (English extracts)

Changadeva Pasashti (Marathi)

Haripath (Marathi)

Haripath (English)

Web links:


Jnaneshwara Maavuli Album by Lata Mangeshkar

Complete Jnaneshwari with Geeta Shlokas

Jnaneshwara abhangs


1. Jnanadeva Maha Samadhi

2. Roopa Pahata Lochani by Bhim Sen Joshi

3. Sant Dyaneshwar movie 1940

17 September 2011

Sadashiva Brahmendra Krutis

Sada Shiva Brahmendra Samadhi and Bilva Tree , Nerur    

Sadasiva was born to Mokshasomasundara Avadhaani and Parvati. His initial name was Sivaramakrishna. He was married at the age of 17. Sadasiva lived in Kumbakonam, near Tamil Nadu in the 17th to 18th century. He is said to have wandered around, naked or semi-naked, and often in a trance-like state. He was reclusive and often meditated, and was described as being in a "supremely intoxicated state".He is said to have performed many miracles whilst alive, some of the most prominent are provided below.
On the river banks of Cauvery in Mahadhanapuram, he was asked by some children to be taken to Madurai, more than 100 miles away, for an annual festival. The saint asked them to close their eyes, and a few seconds later they were reopened their eyes and found they were in Madurai. He also wrote the Atma Vidya Vilasa,an advaitic work.
There is an epilogue to this story. The next day, another youth, incredulous at hearing this story, asked Sadasiva to take him also to this festival. It is said that the youth immediately found himself in the distant city. When it was time to return, Sadasiva was nowhere to be found. The youth had to make his way back on foot.
Whilst relaxing near a heap of grains, he began meditating. The farmer who owned the land mistook Sadasiva for a thief, and confronted him. The farmer raised his stick to hit the saint, but became a statue. He remained in this state until the morning, when Sadasiva finished meditating and smiled at the farmer. The farmer was restored to his normal state, and asked the saint for forgiveness.
At another time, while meditating on the banks of the Cauvery river, he was carried away by a sudden flood. Weeks later, when some villagers were digging near a mound of earth, their shovels struck his body. He woke up and walked away.
He attained Samadhi at Nerur, about 100 km West of Thiruchirapalli.


He is the author of several Sanskrit works including Advaita rasa manjari, Brahma tattva prakaashikaa and Yoga sudhaakara. He also wrote several Carnatic compositions to spread the advaita philosophy among common people. His compositions are quite popular and can be heard frequently in Carnatic concerts. Some of these are Bhaja Raghuviram (raga Mohanam), Bhajare Gopalam (Hindolam), Manasa Sancharare (Sama), Sarvam Brahmamayam(Madhuvanti), and Pibare Ramarasam (Ahir bhairav).

Image: Arulananda site  

Lyrics of sadashiva Brahmendra Krutis:

Lyrics Book in     Sanskrit     English      ( Source: carnatica.net)
                             Telugu                       ( Source : Andhra Bharati)



Manasa Sancharare Album by Sudha Raghunathan

1. Sarvam Brahma mayam by Prince Rama verma
2.Smara varam varam by Prince Rama Verma

16 September 2011

Compositions of Violin Maestro T. Chowdaih

T. Chowdiah

Tirumakudalu Chowdiah (Kannada: ಸಂಗೀತ ರತ್ನ ತಿರುಮಕೂಡಲು ಚೌಡಯ್ಯ) (1895 - 19 January 1967) was a violin maestro from India in the Carnatic classical tradition.


  • Early Years
  •  Career
  •  Achievements
  • Legacy
  • Lyrics of Chowdiah compositions

Early Years

Chowdiah, was born in Tirumakudalu village on the banks of the river Kaveri near Mysore. He became a disciple of Mysore Royal Court musician, Ganavisharadha Shri. Bidaram Krishnappa in 1910 and underwent a very rigorous and disciplined training until 1918 in the gurukula system.
In his early years, he played the four stringed violin, and by 1927 he became an extremely well known violin accompanist.Those were the days when there was no sound amplification equipment and it was rather difficult for listeners who sat in the back rows of music halls to hear him playing the violin.
Chowdiah realized this shortcoming and launched upon increasing the sound of the violin. He improvised the violin by adding three more strings such as Tara Shadja - Mandra Shadja, Madhya Panchama - Mandra Panchama and Madhya Shadja Mandra Shadja. After practicing incessantly, he began to use this new seven stringed violin in all his concerts. He experimented, innovated and practiced to achieve perfection, all without the knowledge of his Guru (teacher).
In one of the vocal concerts of his Guru Shri. Bidaram Krishnappa in Mysore, Chowdiah accompanied him using his new seven stringed violin. Krishnappa perceived the sound emanating from the violin was louder than usual. He stared at his disciple and his violin and noted that there were three additional strings. He angrily asked him ‘‘what is this contraption?’’ and had an outburst. Chowdiah, in all humility said that he added three more strings and evolved this seven stringed violin so that the sound of the violin could be heard even in the back rows of the concert hall. He was afraid of the Guru’s outburst. Veena Seshanna who was also present in the audience, was aware of the seven stringed violin. He was pleased with Shri Chowdiah’s accomplishment at innovating the violin, and told Shri Bidaram Krishnappa that Chowdiah must be allowed to play that violin. Sometime later, Chowdiah accompanied his master again in another concert using this new violin and his master was pleased with it. Chowdiah brought about a revolution, in the field of music


With his devoted practice, Shri. Chowdiah became a very great violinist. The name Chowdiah and the violin were synonymous with each other. With Bidaram Krishnappa’s encouragement, courage and mastery, Shri Chowdiah, earned fame, affection and respect from all his great contemporaries. All musicians desired to have him as their violin accompanist. It is said that the brilliant vocalist Shri G.N. Balasubramanyam would request sabha secretaries, who wanted to arrange his concert, that they should talk to Chowdiah’s first to make sure he is available to accompany on violin. By devoted practice, application, grit and learning, Shri Chowdiah rose to Himalayan heights in the world of Carnatic music.
As a guru Shri. Chowdiah would not sit with his disciples during fixed hours a standard practice in those days. As a guru he taught many of his disciples for about 8–10 years. He would enforce a sense of discipline that required the shishyas wake up early in the morning everyday and practice akara sadhana. His disciples were expected to practice Sarale in six tempos. Only one raga had to be practiced in any given month, for up to 4 hours a day. This kind of practice was the means of developing voice culture and the deep knowledge of swaras (i.e. notes), essential to gain vast vidwath. Disciples had to practice varnams in three tempos and sing them to his satisfaction. This was the discipline that Shri Chowdiah inherited from his guru, Shri Bidaram Krishnappa, and he diligently passed on the same to his disciples.
Chowdiah, had many disciples. The list included the likes of Shri R. K. Venkatarama Sastry (violin), Prof. Mysore V. Ramarathnam (vocal), Shri. Kandevieri Alagiri Swamy (violin), Shri. Palghat C. R. Mani (violin), Shri Chennai V. Sethuramaiah (violin) and others. Later, Ramanujam, Madurai Venugopal, Chinnappa, H. R. Seetharama Shastri and others became disciples of Chowdiah. As a guru Shri Chowdiah was very affectionate towards his disciples. Chowdiah was known for his hospitality and he always hosted many musicians when they visited Mysore.He would house them in a house that was located next to his residence in Mysore. He had cooks and servants dedicated to meeting the needs of his guests. He always took care of his personal chores himself and would get really upset if he found any of his students folding his clothes, etc.
He also introduced his disciples to almost all famous musicians of his times and he insisted that, they learn the many nuances of the art of music from them. On his concert tours, he would always take select disciples and gave them additional opportunities to meet the giants of music, and interact with them. He was in great demand and used to be on concert engagements most of the time. After each concert where he accompanied the great masters, he would sit with his disciples, review the concerts and demonstrate the salient points by singing. Whenever his disciples accompanied him on his concert tours, he would make sure that his students were well taken care of, and would work with sabhas to arrange the concerts of his disciples ahead of main concerts and accompany his disciples on violin. The respect and support he received in Tamilnadu was amazing. The hotel proprietor’s in many cities and states would invite him and his disciples and host them free of cost. The top officials and leaders of the town would compete with each other to extend him a warm welcome and request him to stay at their homes.
Crowds would swell on the news of Chowdiah arriving in town. Such was Chowdiah’s reputation; he had captured the hearts and minds of both ordinary listeners and knowledgeable artists and connoisseurs of carnatic music.


Chowdiah designed the seven-stringed violin to ensure that the accompanist could match the vocalist (the need for this was felt especially in the early and mid-20th century when no amplification devices were available). He was known as Pitilu Chowdiah - Pitilu (fiddle) being the word for violin in South Indian languages such as Kannada and Telugu. As he hailed from Tirumakudalu Narasipura near Mysore, so he is also known as Mysore T. Chowdiah.
Shri Chowdiah founded the Ayyanar College of music, in Mysore to fulfill his guru Shri Bidaram Krishnappa’s dream of opening an institution of learning and advanced studies in music at “Shri Prasanna Seetha Rama Mandira”. Mr. K. Puttu Rao, a senior advocate of the city, was the secretary of Bidaram Krishnappa’s Prasanna Seetha Rama Mandiram at that time, and he offered all the necessary support to set up the institution. Shri Chowdiah started the institution with his disciple Shri Ramarathnam as the vice-principal of Ayyanar College of Music, Mysore.
Hundreds of students have been trained in vocal, violin, veena and flute at the Ayyanar College of Music. The college also trained many blind students who were provided the Government of India scholarships. Well known students of Shri Mysore Ramarathnam from this school include late N.Nanjunda Swamy (vocal music), late Dr B.R. Shyamachar (flute), Late C.M. Madhuranath (flute), Late T. R. Srinivasan (vocal music), Late B. Srinivasa Iyengar (veena and vocal), Late Rangaswamy Iyengar (violin), K. J. Venkatachar (vocal and violin), G. R.Jaya, Indira, Lalita, Padma and others. The students of this college were trained to appear for junior, senior, and proficiency examinations in flute, violin, veena and vocal music. Shri. Chowdiah, the Principal often visited the college of music and would listen, observe, supervise and give suggestions to students and the administrators. Chowdiah composed many varnas, kirthana’s and thillanas. In the early days every one had seen vidwans like Musuri Subramanya Iyer, GNB, Maharajapura Vishwanatha Iyer participate in films. Motivated by this, Chowdiah garu produced a movie called “Vani”, for which he was also the music director. Those days there was a well known dramatist Hiranniah who, acted in the film and also helped Chowdiah with lyrics and scripts for songs in the movie “Vani”. The lyrics for these songs consisted of dramatic tunes and, were not of the standard for compositions in carnatic music. So, this motivated Shri Chowdiah to start composing. He has composed nearly 50 compositions in Sanskrit, Telugu and Kannada including varna’s, kirthana’s and thillanas. All of these have been edited and brought out in the form of a book “Chowdiah’s Compositions” by Prof. Mysore V. Ramarathnam, which were published by University of Mysore.
He was awarded the Sangeetha Kalanidhi title by Madras Music Academy in 1957.
To honour the memory of his Guru, he completed the Bidaram Krishnappa Rama Mandira in Mysore as Bidram Krishnappa died before realising his dream on which he had spent all his fortune.


After a stellar career as a performing artist, innovator, guru and composer, Shri T. Chowdiah left his mortal remain in 1967 at the age of 72. While he remains as a shining star in the hearts and minds of true connoisseurs’ of carnatic music, his life and career and his contribution to carnatic music is alive and well throughout the world of carnatic music. The violin shaped unique architecture of Chowdiah Memorial Hall in Bangalore, India built in memory of Shri Chowdiah stands to represent the gigantic musical personality that personified Shri Chowdiah.


  • Chowdiah Memorial Hall at Bangalore, constructed with the support of the Karnataka state government in his memory in 1980, resembles a violin in shape and structure.
  • Sangeetha Rathna Mysore T. Chowdiah Memorial Award instituted to honour notable musicians.
  • A road in Bangalore is named after him as T. Chowdiah Road.
  • Noted Kannada film actor, former Member of Parliament and former Minister of State in the central government, Ambareesh (originally Amaranath Gowda) is Chowdiah's grandson.
  • Sangeetha Kalarathna Prof. Mysore Sri V. Ramarathnam, Retd. Principal and Professor of Vocal Music, University of Mysore, India, author and composer is one of Chowdiah's principal disciples.
Souce: wikipedia

Lyrics of compositions of T. Chowdiah

Click here to download lyrics book of Chowdiah Krutis in


Click here and  listen to Violin recital by Maestro T.Chowdiah
                        Download Violin recital audio  by Chowdiah