Kannada vacanas

S Krishna mahadevasiva at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun May 10 21:15:47 UTC 1998

Robert Zydenobos writes:
<<I can look up the original for you in about a month from now, when I
am back in India. (It would be helpful if you could give the opening
words in Kannada.)>>

Thank you very much for your kind offer, I however regret that I cannot
give you the first words since only the translation is available to
me...can I request you to give me books where the
vacanas of people like dAsimaiya or couDaiya are available in kannaDa?
I have seen books brought out by the Institute of Kannada Studies,
Dharwar which give the vacanas in kannaDa of mahAdEviyakka and basa
vEzvara but none of the other vIrazaiva saints...

A special thanks for the explanation of the vacana, it does make more
sense to me after your explanation.

> mC> At a subsequent stage, we find that many of the signatures of
> mC> poets belonging to the "dAsakUTa" school are largely their
> mC> own names i.e. purandAra dAsa uses "purandara viTThala",
> mC> viTThala dAsa uses "vijaya viTThala dasa" etc( though
> mC> kanakadAsa uses "kAginEle kEzava" which is closer to the
> mC> style of the vIrazaiva school than the dAsakUTa)..What is the
> mC> reason for the stylistic change?

<<Though I am not sure, I suspect that this difference is a subtle one,
rooted in a metaphysical difference: the haridaasas are Dvaitins, the
;siva;sara.nas are ;Saktivi;si.s.taadvaitins, and these doctrines have
different notions about the ontological status of the individual. (Here
it is worth mentioning that Kanakadaasa apparently was from a
;Sriivai.s.nava, i.e. a Vi;si.s.taadvaitin background.)>>

This is a very interesting explanation and I'm surprised to know that
kanakadAsa came from a zrIvaiSNava background.. From what I know, he
came from a wealthy buNT i.e. (shepherd?) family near mangaLUru and was
orphaned early in life. HE then wandered around and finally settled down
in uDupi and most of his songs were composed in uDupi. I was also under
the impression that since his ideas are accepted as part of the dvaitic
corpus, he was more a dvaitin.  Were his parents zrIvaiSNava?  Was there
a lot of zrIvaiSNava activity at any point of time in the uDupi area?
Can you please elaborate on this....

Vidyansankar Sundaresan says that there was no stylistic change from the
"ankita" of the saraNa and the dAsakUTa schools ..Firstly, kanakadAsa's
kAginEle kEzava , AFAIK has nothing to do with uDupi
whose krSNa temple he was associated with( viz the kanakanda khiDkI
episode) but with the village of kAginEle where he was born and left
at a fairly young age; I therefore believe that this ankita has nothing
do with the temple i.e. uDupi with which he was associated. Out of the
many dAsas who named themselves after viTThala, I am not sure of how
many actually visited/became sannyAsins/had their iStadEvata as viTThala
of pandharpUr( Their region  of activity was more in the vicinity of
north-eastern/central karnATaka i.e. rAyichUr
and in Southern/Western karnATaka) where even today there is a strong
dvaitic presence in the temples. I therefore believe that there was a
big stylistic change in that the poets were refering to themsleves in
the first person and included their signature even when writing about
MULTIPLE dieties which is certainly not the case with the zaraNas.

  S.Palaniappan wants to know the origin of the name "kUDala sangama".
> From what I know, there is a ziva temple here in this town which stands
at the confluence of the kr*SNa and mAlAprabhA rivers. The confluence
(kannaDa kUDala, samskrt saGgama) coupled with Izvara seems to have
become kUdala saGgamEzvara. As regards etymology, since kUdala= saGgama,
why wasn't this place simply called "sangamEzvara"
or "kUDAlEzvara"...why the doubling of the "kUDala" in samskrt and
kannaDa? Or is that there were so many sangamas in that area that they
came up with this thumb-of-rule to distinguish between the various
dieties and places?

All answers to questions raised here are welcome.


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