An earlier post , “The story of a tamburi” had dealt with several aspects of the Tamburi and why it was the chief instrument of music for the Haridasas of Karnataka.
Some of the most outstanding users of this instrument have been Purandara Dasa, Kanaka Dasa, Vaikuntha Dasa, Vijaya Dasa, Jagannatha Dasa of Manvi, Gopala Dasa and Srida Vithala Dasa.
Purandara Dasa’s tamburi was reckoned to be divine and it was his travelling companion. The tamburi went with the Dasa wherever and whenever he went.
There is a story about how Purandara Das and Vaikunta Dasa were walking on the streets of Hampi discussing Hari when an enraged bull sprinted onto the road. Even as the people ran helter skelter and Purandara Dass too took cover, Vaikunta Das calmly walked on.
A little later, when the bull was tamed and taken away by the soldiers, Purandara Dasa came out from the place he had chosen to take shelter, tamburi in hand and he asked Vaikunta Dasa why he had not run away. Vaikunta Dasa said he had left everything to Sri Krishna and, therefore, there was no point in running away from such mundane things.
Do you know the response of Purandara Das to this answer. He began stringing the tamburi and burst into a song. Today, we can see the tamburi of Jagannatha Dasa in Manvi, Vijaya dasa in Chikalparvi or Chippegeri and Gopala Dasa in Uthnoor. All these tamburis are considered to be sacred and they are worshipped.
Very few get to see these tamburis and fewer to touch them. However, a rare Bhrungi tamburi (Surashruta Veena), dating back to 18th century and used by some of our legendary dasas can be touched and worshipped.
This is the tamburi used by Jagannatha Dasa and Srida Vittala Dasa. This tamburi is currently with a retired bureaucrat-turned-Haridasa scholar called B. Sathyanarayanachar.
Mr. Satyanarayanachar got this instrument in 1995 from Raghavendra Swamy Math in Dixit Galli in Davangere.
This tamburi was used by Jaganntha Dasa and he had gifted it to one of his shishyas-Srida Vittala Dasa (1741-1820). The tamburi is belived to have come to Srida Vittala Dasa sometime in 1780.
Sirda Vittala Dasa was earlier known as Dasappa and he was a resident of Karajigi village near Hospet. This village now is in Haveri district.
He was among the many disciples of Jagannatha Dasa. It is this Dasa who wrote the phala stuti of the Sri Harikathamrutsara wriiten by Jagannatha Dasa.
Srida Vittala Dasa gifted the tamburi to Karadagi Narayanachar, a few days before his death. Mr. Sathyanarayanachar, who heads Sri Poorjaprajna Tatvajnana Prachara Sabha, is still in possession of this tamburi. He can be contacted on telephone no 080-32712716.