The revival of the Haridasa movement act as a spark of inspiration to many Madhwas of Lingasugur-Manvi-Raichur, all of whom go to Mantralaya and take their inspiration from the Brindavana of Rayaru.
Very soon, Raichur district becomes home to hundreds of Haridasas and they write a huge volume of work, which is mind boggling.
The Sri Harikathamrutasara of Jagannatha Dasa acts as a catalyst for further development of the Dasa Sahitya. Scores of commentaries, critical treatises and compositions have been written on this work and many Haridasas such as Pranesha Dasa have written about it. Indeed, Jagannatha Dasas himself has composed a poem on Sri Harikathamrutasara.
Hence, we start this serial with Jagannatah Dasa.
Jagannatha Dasa (1728-1809)
He was a devotee of Raghavendra Swamy and a friend of Dewan Purnaiah. Before his initiation into the Haridasa fold, he was known as Srinivasacharya and he had an excellent grasp of Kannada and Sanskrit.
He is the author of Sri Harikathamsrutasara, one of the most important works in Vaishnava literature. He was 90 years of age when he began writing it.
He is believed to be Sahlada, the brother of Prahlada. He is known as Jagannatha Dasa of Manvi and his ankita is Jagannatha Vittala.
Honnali Venkata Dasa
He was a close friend and associate of Jagannatha Dasa. He is today remembered for his composition, “Hadinalku lokha datha, ” where he has sung the glory of Hari as the bestower of every thing to the fourteen worlds.
He wrote under the Ankita Venkata Vittala. He obtained Dasa deeksha from Vijaya Dasa.
Pranesha Dasa (1736-1822)
He is among the many disciples of Jagannatha Dasa. He was earlier known as Yogendrappa and he was born in
Lingasugur in Raichur district.
He was a village accountant and he was initiated into the dasa fold as “Pranesa Vittala” by Jagannatha Dasa.
His songs include “Bandano Govindamukunda”, “Chandrikacharyaru”, Ba ba ba ba Enna Doreye and Madhwesharanamastu
Guru Shrisha Vittala Dasa (1740-1846)
He is famous for his song on Rayaru called “Baro Guru Raghavendra, Baraiah Baa Baa”. Another famous composition that is sung regularly is “Guru Madhwa Rayarige Namo..Namo”.
He was also called Kuntoji Narasimha Dasa.
Venugopala Vittalacharya (1728-1751)
He was a native of Adoni in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. He was Dewan of the Nawab of Adoni after Venkanna demitted office. He was initiated into the Haridasas fold by Vijaya Dasa as Venugopala Vitthala.
He was also called as Timmanna Dasa. It is believed that he was the reincarnation of Belur Vaikunta dasa. Hence, he was also called Pangama Dasa-a reference to his Srivaishnava bearings when he lived in Belur as Vaikunta Dasa.
Mohana Dasa (1728-1751)
He was the adopted son of Vijaya Dasa. His father was Bhimappa Nayak and mother Yagyamma. He wrote under the ankita Mohana Vittalaru.
“Yenu madairadenu gyaanavillade moksha illa in Bhairavi raga”, “Yeedu yaenu vesha vedavyaasaa in Darbaar” and “enkataadrinilayana ankajabhana thoravva alkumi in Madyamaavahati” are some of his popular compositions.
Some of his sulaadis are: “Haribhaktarige paapaphala baaradu” and “Indriyagala durvyaaparava bidisi haripadabhaktiyalli rathi kodu”.
His last song was Sri Madwva chitta mandirane ninnaye charana taamarasa nere nambhi de…. Naan madida apardagala yenisi bariyadeke yi bhoomandala saaladu. His other compositions include Jayagalu Aangali, Paramahasrushavayithu, Torrava Lakumio and Venkatadri Nilayana.
When Vijaya Dasa brought him back from Yama Loka or the land of the dead, he sang, “ Tande Vijayaraya Velage Barade…”
Kamalesha Vittala Dasa (1780)
He was known as Surapurada Ananda Dasa. He was born at Cheekalaparavi. His most famous composition is “Sharanara Surapooja”. He was born as Ananda Dasa. He has written several compisitions uiner the ankita Kamalesha Vittala.
His perceptor was Keshava Vittala Dasa. He is the author of the hugely popular “Karedare Barabarade” and “Yeeke brindavanadhi”.
Some of his famous disciples include Gundacharya, Guru Bheemesha Vittala, Madaka Shira Bheema Dasa, Kamalapathi Vittala Dasa.
Ibharampura Appa (1789-1869)
He was one of the three great devotees of Rayaru, the other two being Appanacharya and Krishna Avadootaru. He has composed several hymns and compositions on Rayaru. It is beleved that he was a dhoota of Prahalada along with Krishna Avadootaru.
Ibharampur is just a few kilometers from Mantralaya on the Adoni road.
Gururpranesha Vittala Dasa
He is the son of Pranesha Dasa. He was one of the many disciples of Jagannatha Dasa. He studied under Jagannatha Dasa and he wrote under the ankita Guru Pranesha Vittala.
Srida Vittala Dasa (1740-1821)
He was born as Dasappa and he earned fame as a scholar of Karjagi. He obtained the ankita “Shreeda Vittala” from Jagannatha Dasa. His kritis are simple and beautiful.
Srisha Pranesha Vittala Dasa
He was grandson of Pranesha Vittala Dasa. His earlier name was Ramadasa and he was born by the blessings of Jagannatha Dasa. He obtained dasa deeksha from his grand father and he has composed krithis bearing the ankitha Shrisha Pranesha Vittala.
Yeri Shesha Dasa
He is today well-known for his krithi on Srinivasa Kalyana and it nears the ankitha Yer Venkata. He is better known as Yeri Shesha Dasa. He composed this kruti at Tirupati just as he was about to enter the Sanctum sanatorium of the SrinivasaTemple. The compositions is unique as it has Sanskrit shlokas and Kannada padas.
Sesha Dasa was a native of Chintamani.
Harapanahalli Bheemavva (1822-1903)
Bheemavva, as a toddler, would go to sleep only when her grandfather sang Dasarapadagalu.Otherwise she would cry and refuse to sleep.
Narada, came to her in disguise of a Brahmin, and conferred the ankita Bhimesh Krishna on her. She was not only an eaxcellent composer, but she also qwrote devaranamas, vogatu and garathi hadagalu.
Her compositions on Hanuman are many and they are an outstanding piece of literature. She has also composed congs on Hari, Sri Mahalakshmi, Sri Krishna and Vishnu.
She was a devotee of Rayaru.
Muddu Mohana Dasa (1830-1898)
His original name was Raghavendra Dasa. His ankita is Muddu Mohana Vittala. His guru was Vara Vittala Dasa. He hailed from Doddaballapur. “Vittala Enniro” is his most famous composition.
Vara Vittala Dasa (1823-1873)
His original name was Ramachandra Rao. He wrote under the ankita Sri Vara Vittala. He was born in Dharwad. His preceptor was Nidhi Vittalaru (Annayacharya).
Modalakallu Shesha Dasa (1810-1865)
He had a special anugraha of Vijaya Dasa and his ankita Guru Vijaya Vittala was given to him in a dream by Vijaya Dasa. He is believed to be an amsha of Arjuna.
He was born as Seshappa in Darur now in Andhra Pradesh. He was working as a Kulkarni in the office of the Quen of Gadhwal, Andhra Pradesh. He has composed under the Ankita Sri Guru Vijaya Vittala.
His most famous song is “Nambide Ninna Pada”….on Pranadevaru.
She was a master of several languages and she was proficient in Telugu, Sanskrit, Tamil and Kannada.
She has wrotten kritis about Ranganatha of Srirangam, Srinivasa of Tirumala and Cheluva Narayana and Yoga Nasasimha of Melkote. She has beautifully described the various festivals of the Srirangam temple.
She has given the gist of the Ramayana in 100 stanzas of two lines each. This is the Ramayana mangala.