He is one of the little known Haridasas of Karnataka. An ardent devotee of Raghavendra Swamy, he has composed some of the most memorable songs on Rayaru. Yet, his name does not ring a bell in the minds of people as he is not as well known as other Dasas.
He was a person who could perform miracles and he attributed the miracles to Vittala and Raghavendra Swamy. He once managed to transform the waters of Tungabhadra to ghee so that a religious event that was being held would ensure that naivedya and pooje went off smoothly.
He lived for more than a hundred years. He was born in 1740 in Kanakagiri and he died in 1846. He is none other than Guru Shreesha Vittala Dasa and he was also called as Kuntogi Narasimha Dasa. He wrote under the ankita Guru Sheersha Vittala.
His preceptor was Srisha Vittala Dasa who was also called as Hundekara Dasa.
He was called Kuntoji Narasimha as he was born due to the grace of Lord Narasimha of Kanakachala. Kuntoji was a small village on the Tungabhadra where his father, Tamanna, spent several years.
Tamanna worked as a clerk and he later entrusted the job to Narasimha. One day, when Narasimha was asleep, Sri Hari appeared in his dreams and asked hi to stop working as a clerk.
Sri Hari then asked Narasimha to approach Jagannatha Dasa of Manvi and become his disciple.
Narasimha left for Manvi where Jagannatha Dasa resided. He met Jagannatha Dasa and served him for 12 years. After that, he came to Kuntoji village and then came to Kampli where the house where he lived still exists.
One day, there was a religious function in Kampli and the family conducting he event had organised for supply of ghee from a neighbouring village. Unfortunately, the ghee did not arrive on time. When the priests conducting the ritual said the ghee was needed for pooje and naivedya, Narasimha Dasa went to the Tungabhadra and filled up a pot containing ragi with the water.
When the Dasa handed over the pot to the organisers of the event, it had turned into ghee. When the ghee from the neighbouring village came, he took a pot and of ghee and poured it back into the Tungabhadra.
He then left for Kasi with other disciples. The boat they were travelling sank and all except Narasimha Dasa survived. He then saw a sanyasi sitting on the banks of the river. He gave a letter to the Sanyasi and requested him to deliver it to his village. The letter said all the people who had travelled in the boat had drowned.
Narasimha Dasa completed the Kashi Yatre but he never returned to Kampli.
He composed the famous Stutiratnamala and his Guru Madhwa Rayarige Namo Namo is sung at the beginning of all bhajans and religious functions.
He was an ardent devotee of Raghavendra Swamy and he visited Mantralaya several times.
His famous composition is where he invites Raghavendra Swamy to come to every house and bless the people is highly popular and it is sung in every house today. This composition is in Madyamavathi Raaga and it goes as “Baro Guru Raghavendra, Baraiah baa Baa Narahari Priyane Baa, Guru Shreesha Vitalanakaruna Patrane Bega Baa Guruvarane ParishoshisennanuMareyadhale tava CharaNa KoteyalirisiCharambujavva ThoruthaTwarithadhali Ododi Baa Baa.
Another famous composition on Raghavendra Swamy is
“ Nodale Manave Kondadu GurugaLa PaadavaEdu illavo PuNyake
NadOge Guru Raghavendra rayara SeveMadidhava Parama Dhanya-Maanya”.
The Guru Madhwa composition goes as follows:
Guru Madhwa Rayarige Namo Namo
Guru Madhwa Saantatige Namo Namo
Sripadarajarige Guru Vyasarajarige
Guru Vadirajarige Namo Namo
Raghavendra Rayarige Vaikunta Dasarige
Purandara Dasarige Namo Namo
Guru Vijaya Dasarige Bhaganna Dasarige
Shri Ranga Valida Dasarige Namo Namo
Parama Vairagyashali Timmanna Dasarige
Hundeekara Dasarige Namo Namo
Guru Shrisha Vithalanna Parama Bhaktara Charana
Sarasija Yugagalige Namo Namo