Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The advocate who became a Haridasa

He was born and brought up in an orthodox Madhwa family. He became an advocate and a very popular one at that. He had a good practice and he gave it up after he became a Haridasa.
Today, he is more known as one of the persons who played a leading part in compiling, protecting and bringing to light many compositions of he Haridasas of Karnataka along with the scripts.
This man was from Raichur district and he was born in devout Madhwa family where discourses on Shastras and Puranas were held every day.
He was also a freedom fighter and he was put behind the bars for reading about the freedom movement and defying the censorship laws. 
This man is none other than Gorebala  Hanumantha Rao who was born in Lingasur of Raichur district in 1893. Hanumantha Rao was born in Gorebala village to Venkata Rao and Balamma.
Venkata Rao was working as a clerk and he gave good education to his son who then went on to graduate in law. He took up law as his good friend Swami Rao who later became Varadesha Vittala Dasa and was the son of  Rama Dasa ( Sri Pranesha Vittala), was a advocate.
Soon, Gorebala  Hanumantha Rao became a famous advocate. He practised law for some time before he became a disciple of Guru Jagannatha Vittala Dasa of Kosigi.
Guru Jagannatha Dasa initiated Hanumantha Rao into the Haridasa fold and gave him the ankita Sundara Vittala. Once Hanumantha Rao received the ankita, he stopped practicing law. He then turned his attention to Haridasa Sahitya.
He also earnestly translated Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Pancharatna, Puranas and Brahmasutra Bashyas from Sanskrit to Kannada. He then started Sri Varadendra Haridasara Sahitya Mandali. 
The Mandali collected many manuscripts of Haridasa Krithis belonging to Sripadaraja, Purandara Dasa, Raghavendra swamy, Vijaya Dasa, Jagannatha Dasa and his disciples, Vasudeva Vittala Dasa, Guru Vijaya Vittala Dasa and many others.
In 1957, he started Karnataka Haridasa Sahithya, a magazine, that was published for two years before being discontinued. He was felicitated in 1964 for his role in popularizing Kannada by the Raichur Kannada Sangha.
Even today, old timers of  Lingasugur recall how Mr. Rao used to travel from one house to another selling books on Madhwa philosophy and Haridasa Sahitya. His only aim was to popularise these books among the people and ensure that the teachings and compositions were not forgotten.
He passed away in 1969.  

No comments:

Post a comment