Thursday 26 December 2013

The Kulkarni who became a Dasa

He was always a well dressed man and he was a official of the erstwhile Gadwal Kingdom or the Gadhwal Samasthana.
The Samshtahan was once part of  Raichur district and is now part of  Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh. It was once ruled by Somashekar Ananda Reddy, who was also known as Somanadri.
Gadwal had developed around a fort built by him.
He was born at Darur near Gadwal and he soon entered the service of the royal court as a Kulkarni or official of the accounts department who collected taxes. His father too has served as Kulkarni.
The ruler of Gadwal, Soma Bhupala, was unable to accept the well-dressed youth as a courtier. The Kulkarni was always dressed with a beautiful white dhoti and a shawl  with a peta or head gear on his head. His shining black hair was combed back and around his neck was a necklace made of Pearls and Gold.
The ruler was also jealous of the popularity of  the youth and, hence, he insulted him.
Disgusted with the act of the ruler,  the Kulkarni decided to  end his life. He put his hand in a snake bill or Huttha so that he would be bitten by a snake. However, his hand encountered something solid and when he dug up the mound, he found a beautiful “Anjaneya” which he later realized had been consecrated by Vyasa Raya several centuries ago.
Amazed at the finding, the Kulkarni performed “ugra tapasya” and he was blessed by Vijaya Dasa who gave him the ankita  “Sri Guruvijaya Vithala” in his dream. Since then, the Kulkarni is better  known as Shesha Dasaru or Modakallu Sesha Dasa (1810-1865).
His first composition was on Anjaneya and it goes as follows:

 “ನಂಬಿದೆ ನಿನ್ನ ಪಾದ ಮುಖ್ಯ್ಯ ಪ್ರಾಣ ... ಡಿಂಭದೊಳಗೆ ಹರಿಯ ಬಿಂಬ ಪೊಳ್ಯುವಂತೆ ಮಾಡು..... ಶ್ರೀ ಗುರು ವಿಜಯ ವಿಟ್ಠಲನ ಪಾದಕೆ ಬಾಗಿದ ಭವದೂರ ಜಾಗರ ಮೂರುತಿ  |
During earlier days, he was running a chatra or guest house for pilgrims visiting Modalakallu. This is the very place where Lord  Srinivasa descended on earth and accepted the “Ugra tapasya” observed by Rudra Devaru.
Shesha Dasaru stayed at Modalakallu for several years and he has composed innumerable songs and devaranamas. He is believed to be an amsha of Arjuna and in many of his compositions, he has narrated his experiences as Arjuna with Lord Krishna.
He says after Arjuna, he took rebirth as Teekacharya or Jayatheerta.

He also wrote a commentary on Sri Harikathamritasara of   Jagannatha Dasa of Manvi. The Srinivasa Temple in Modalakallu is where Srinivasa himself came. Hence, it is called Swyambhu Srinivasa. Sesha Dasaru stayed at the temple and performed pooje regularly.

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