Thursday 22 November 2012

The Haridasa who could prolong the life span of his devotees

He was one of the great saint-composers of Haridasa Sahitha. A devotee of Hari, he had the power to prolong the life of people. He once went to Yama Loka to advice Lord Yama that he had mistakenly taken the life of a person who had a long life span.
He is also credited with the revival of the Haridasa movement which had waned after the death of Purandara Dasa in 1564. He is none other than Vijaya Dasaru (1682-1752) whose aradhana falls on Friday (November 23).
Born to a poor Brahmin couple of Srinivasappa and Kusuma in Chikalaparvi or Chippargi (near Guntakal), he left home for Varanasi at an young age where he studied Sanskrit. He was married to Aralamma and he had a son. He had two brothers- Hayavadana Vittala Dasa and  Ananda Dasa.
When his marriage failed to make any difference to his standing in society, he was disappointed and went back to Varanasi. It was during this time that he was initiated into Dasa parampare. Purandara Dasaru appeared in his dreams and gave him the Ankita nama Vijaya Vittala. He also gifted Vijaya Dasaru a tamboori. Vijaya Dasaru used the Tamboori all his life. This instrument can still be seen today at Chikapaparvi.
Vijaya Dasaru then came back to Chikalaparvi, which is now in Andhra Pradesh, and began his second innings as a Haridasa. A prolific poet, he has 25,000 compositions to his credit and ranks next to Purandara Dasaru in the Dasa hierarchy.
A master of Suladis, he has written scores of them. He was, therefore, called Suladi Dada. Some of  his best known Suladis are Stotra Suladi, Taratamya Suladi, Kapila Suladi, Narasimha Suladi, Naivaidya Suladi, Upasana Suladi, Durga Suladi, Vayudevara Suladi and Habba Suladi.
He was also a scholar in Dwaitha philosophy.
Believed to an incarnation of Brigu Muni, to him goes the credit of  singing devotional songs of Srinivasa while climbing Tirupathi. In his previous life he was believed to have been Madhwapathi, the son of  Purandara Dasaru.
Purandara Dasaru had set his sight on composing 5 lakhs compositions. Purandara’s youngest son, Madhwapati Dasa was reborn as Vijaya Dasaru to complete the rest-25,000 compositions so that the total count stood at 5 lakhs.
A tireless traveler, he went on Theertha Yatre (pilgrimage) 18 times and the total number of days he spent travelling all over India came to 20 years of his life.
As Brigu Muni, he reincarnated as a disciple of Narada in Krutha Yuga. He was born as a money by name Suraleela in Tretha Yuga and served Lord Rama and as a Yadava called Nikampana in the Dwapara Yuga, serving Lord Krishna. He was first born as a calf in the house of Purandara Dasaru and later as a Brahmin (Madhwapati Dasa, son of Purandara Dasaru) in Kali Yuga.
When Jagannatha Dasaru had a stomach ailment and was in the process of leaving the mortal body, Vijaya Dasaru ordered Gopala Dasaru to gift 40 years of his life to Jagannatha Dasaru. Subsequently, Jagannatha Dasaru wrote his magnum opus, Harikathamruthasara.
He gave two years of life to his son Sheshagiri when he realised that his son’s end was near.
Vijaya Dasaru once went on a Theertha yatre to Rameshwaram. Before leaving Chippargi, he gave some Mantrakshakte to Seetha, wife of  Mohana Dasaru.  
Mohana Dasaru died suddenly. Seeta was shocked and did not know what to do. People around her wanted the body to be cremated. Even as she sprinkled Mantrakshate on her husband’s body, Vijaya Dasaru went to Yama Loka and conversed with Yama, the God of Death. He convinced Yama that Mohana Dasa had a longer life and that he had taken away the life of the wrong Mohana Dasa. Yama was impressed and gave back life to Mohana Dasa.
In another incident, he found that Keshavaraya Desai, who had once helped him by giving him food during Dhanuramasa, was on the brink of death. Desai’s wife  came to the Anjeneya Temple in Chippargi where Vijaya Dasaru was staying with the news of the impending death of her husband.
Vijaya Dasaru heard the woman out patiently and then composed composed 15 ugabogaas, including “Rudrantargata Narasimha mrutyu nivari”, giving an additional three years life to Keshavaraya Desai. 
Keshavaraya Desai’s mother came to know about the incident. She wanted her son to live longer. She came to Vijaya Dasaru and offered ten years of her life to her son. Vijaya Dasaru agreed and organized Ayurdana. Thus, Desai’s life span was extended by 13 years.
Vijaya Dasaru had a large number of Shishyas and contemporaries, all of whom him, respected him. Some of his most famous disciples are  Mohana Dasaru-his adopted son, Gopala Dasaru (Bhagana Dasa), Venugopala Vittala Dasaru (Panganama Thimanna), Ramachandrappa (Ramachandra Vittala Dasaru), Kondali Madhwacharya (Madhwesha Vittala Dasaru), Sheshagiri Dasaru (Hayagreeva Vittala Dasaru), Modalakallu Sheshagiri Dasaru (Guru Vijaya Vittala Dasaru) and Kallur Subbannacharyaru.
Some of his contemporaries were Satyabhinava Theertha, Satyapoorna Theertha, Satyaboda Theertha, Satyavijaya Theertha,  Satyapriya Theertha, Sumateendra Theertha,i Upendra Theertha, Vadeendra Theertha (grandson of Raghavendra Swamy), and Vasudendra Theertha.
His contemporary Dasas were Jagannatha Dasaru, Prasanna Venkata Dasaru, Mahipati Dasaru and Helavanakatte Giriyamma.
As a scholar he easily overcame Adwaitha scholar Rama Shastry at Benaras.
A devotee of Srinivasa, he has composed several songs on his praise. Many of his Suladis like Venkateshana yatri entado varnisalu,  enkatachala parvata mahime suladi, Venkatesh Mantra Ondhe are still popular.
He visited Tirupathi several times. During one of his visit, he found that the Brahmotsava was in progress and that he was a little late in reaching the venue of  the chariot festival. The chariot carrying the idol of Srinivasa  was about to be pulled.
When Vijaya Dasaru found that he would not be on time for the chariot festival, he meditated on the Lord and sang his glory. The chariot stopped moving and even elephants could not move it. When the devotees prayed to Srinivasa, he appeared on the person of a pilgrim and told that he was being bound by a saint and, therefore, he could not move.
The people searched the place and zeroed in on Vijaya Dasaru. They urged him to help them move the chariot. Dasaru sang,     “Saage baraiah bhava rogada vaidyane” and the chariot started moving.
He once performed the Shradha of his father by going to Varanasi and coming back all by a dip in the Tungabhadra. When the Brahmins came to his house in Chippargi, Vijaya Dasaru told them he would perform the Pinda Pradhana at Varanasi and come back.
When the assembled gathering looked askance, Vijaya Dasaru jumped into the Tungabhadra and surfaced at Varanasi where he performed Pinda Pradhana. He then jumped into the Ganges and resurfaced in the Tungabhadra
He brought back from Varanasi a sane Kallu, Shiva Linga and Gange. The assembled gathering were left speechless.
All these articles can still be seen at Chippargi. There is a belief that if we eat rice ground by the sane Kallu, we will be rid of all diseases.
When Vijaya Dasaru was at Anegondi near Hampi for the Purandara Dasa aradhana,  he saved a woman who wanted to end her life by jumping into the Tungabhadra.
Vijaya Dasaru broght back the woman and her male child home and brought them up. The child grew up to be Mohana Dasa.
The Vijaya Dasara Katte is a place in Chippargi where this Haridasa spent much of his time. The aradhane of this saint, who could prolong life in people, is conducted with devotion by the descendents of  Mohana Dasaru.

No comments:

Post a Comment