The Dasa who was an amsha of Pandu

Pranesha or Pranesa Dasa (1736-1822) is one of the leading lights of the Dasa Sahitya movement. A renowned Haridasa, he hailed from Lingasugur in Raichur district of Karnataka. His Guru was Jagannatha Dasa and Rotti Varadacharya.

He was born as Yogeendra and his ankita was given by Jagannatha Dasa.

Pranesa Dasa was the reincarnation of Pandu Maharaja. Pranesa Dasa’s parents did seva to Rayaru in Mantralaya, requesting him to ensure that the leucoderma mark disappear from Yogeendra’s body.

Rayaru answered their prayers but for a small patch on his right foot. When Yogeendra’s parents did another seve, Rayaru appeared in their dreams and informed them that the patch was left behind as a memory of his great parentage. It is then that Rayaru tells Yogeendra’s parents that their son was Emperor Pandu in his previous birth. He said the patch could not go as it had come in his moola swaroopa.  

Pranessha Dasa has written Devaranamas on the Guruparampare of  Uttaradi Matha  upto Satyadharma Theertha (1727-1809) and the Raghavendra Swamy Matha  parampare upto Subodendra Theertha (1799-1835).

His father, Tirakappa Kulkarani, was an accountant by profession. He had three sons- Raghappa, Yogeendra and Subbanna

Yogeendra learnt Parsi language as it was the official language of Hyderabad state of which Raichur district was a part. One day, Jagannatha Dasa came to Lingasugur. He visited the house of Tirakappa and came across Yogeendra.  

Jagannatha Dasa was struck by the radiance in the face of Yogeendra and his piercing eyes. “ You are a precious jewel”, he said and placed his hand on Yogeendra’s head in blessing. He then gave the Ankita “Sri Pranesha Vittala” to Yogeendra and asked him to join his Dasa Koota.
Yogeendra then left Lingasugur and went to Harapanahalli to learn Sanskrit under Rotti Varadacharya. After some time he came back home and began composing songs. His brother Raghappa was his scribe.

Yogeendra took care of the cattle by driving them to the forest and bringing them back in the evening. This gave him time to meditate on Hari and also compose songs and devaranamas.

Varadendra Theertha of  Manatrala Matha visited Lingasugur and  stayed with Pranesha Dasa (now known as Pranesh Vittala). Pranesh Dasa received the seer with due respect and said “ Hindina SukarmavEnu bandodaidavO Varadendra raaya banda namma mandirakkindu”. He then offered Bhiksha.

The Seer gave him a bunch of hay and said he would collect them  whenever required.  He asked the hay to be kept till he came to collect it.
The seer, however, entered Brindavana at Pune in 1785. Even as Pranesha Dasa was wondering what to do with the hay, Varadendra Theertha came in his dream an said that he would come to Ligsuguru in the form of a Tulsi plant and that the plant would be below the haystack. He wanted his Brindavana to be installed at that place.
The next day, when Pranesha Dasaru went to the place where he had kept the haystack, he saw a Tulsi plant. He then constructed a Brindavana for Varadendra Theertha which exists even today.

Pranesha Dasa has composed scores of Keertanas and devara namas in Kannada and Sanskrit.  
Some of his works in Sanskrit are: Tatwa Sankhyaana Tippani, Bramha Sutra Tippani, Tatwa Prakasha Tippani, Bruhatisahatra (1000 Veda Chukkugalu) and Vyakhyana for Bhagwata from 6th to 10th Skandas.

His works in Kannada include: Galava Charitre, Bheemasena Vilasa, Kalinga Mardana, Buddhi Bramhana Kathe, Gopika Vilasa,
Bramara Geete, Sita swayamvara, Kali swayamvara, Hanumad ViLasa, Partha Vilasa, Aniruddha vilasa, Veerabhadra Vilasa,
Vasishta Vishwamitrakhyaana, Vayu stuti, Muyyada pada and
Prahlaada charitre.
His son, Guru Pranesha Vittala (Venkanna) has sung the Charama Geete as follows:

“PraNa matavanu sarisi AcharaNeyannu MADi
PraaNigaLige TiLisade KsshONiyoLaginnu
Irasaakendu I Chitra Bhaanu Ashweeja Shuddha Sapatamiyali
Jnaana poorava kAladi Layachintaneya MADi guru
PranEsha Vittala niddha purakke javadinda
TeraLidaru parama SamtOShadali Haripadakke”

 

One of  Pranesha Dasa’s most popular songs goes as under:

 

“Beduvaro Sukhava rangayya  nenna beduvaro sukhava

Beduvaro sukha bedaru kastava madalareyaru edara upayava

Kitta tule omme hetta besuvaro,kuttaro rangavalleya

Salu salemmeya solade tolevaro saligramake neere revaro ranga||1||

Beegaruta ke aneka bhogau,jolagu ogada brahamana redeyolu|

Ghammane tuppavu tammaneyavarege kammatu deva

brahmanare ge||2||

Edda padarthavannu sudha bhakthi enda madwesha arpese bhuangesero

Kettadu tauv made bettemannu Pranesha vithala nedu

medukuvaro |3||

 

He has composed song in typical Raichur Kannada style. The words and phrases here are typical of the spoken language of Lingsugur, Raichur, where he lived and preached.   

 

“Kitta tule omme hetta besuvaro,kuttaro rangavalleya..

Salu salemmeya solade tolevaro saligramake neere revaro ranga||1||

Beegaruta ke aneka bhogau,jolagu ogada brahamana redeyolu|

Ghammane tuppavu tammaneyavarege kammatu deva

brahmanare ge

Edda padarthavannu sudha bhakthi enda madwesha arpese bhuangesero..

Kettadu tauv made bettemannu Pranesha vithala nedu medukuvaro”

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