Rarnadasu, the seventeenth century Telugu poet, is acclaimed as a 'Parama Bhagavata' and his kirtanas have inspired composers like Tyagaraja, Thumu Narasimha Dasu, Varadasu etc.
Ramadasu sang the glory of Sri Rama. His kirtanas of solicitation of the Lord have a direct appeal for their lyrical content and simple patterns of traditional musical modes. Dealing with the miseries of mundane life, Ramadasu's lyrics are addressed to the Lord, praising him, his names, attributes and achievements in various incarnations. Most of them are regular dialogues of a destitute devotee with the absolute God, in whom the devotee's faith is boundless and unshaken.
B. Rajanikanta Rao (b. 1920), poet, playwright, musician, has received the Sahitya Akademi Award (1961) for his research work in Telugu, Andhra Vaggeyakara Charitramu.
At the very outset I express my sincere gratitude to the Sahitya Akademi for having invited me to write a monograph in English on Ramadasu. I accepted the offer with great relish since Ramadasu's verses and Kirtanas have been ringing in my ears ever since I was a tiny-tot. His `Dasarathi Satakam' and a century of Kirtanas were popularised in Andhra in every township through `Harikatha' presentation of `Ramadasu Charitra'. The authors of different versions of `Ramadasu Charitra' were Yadavadasu, of Bhadrachalam, Thirukkadaiyur Krishna Dasu and the joint authors Narasimhadasu and Vara Ramadasu. That one of these Ramadasu Charitras, published by R. Venkateswara & Co., Madras early in this century was prefaced by quite a long introductory essay in Telugu signed by Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan-means what an amount of admiration the scholar had for the saint. Besides these, the theme of Ramadasu was being presented on the stage by well-known troupes of actors through a stage drama written by the Late D.V. Gopalachary, with experienced actors like Ballari Raghava, Chittoor V. Nagaiah, Parvatareddy Rama Chandra Reddy, Rentachintala Satyanarayana, C.S.R. Anjaneyulu and Chandur Madhusudan Rao in the title role. By the stage I reached the higher classes, even our school theatricals used to stage this drama. I remember my role as Kabir rendered on the school stage with pleasant memories of singing Hindi bhajans of Sant Kabir. The story of Ramadasu, propagated through Harikatha and stage drama was authenticated by adding some historical names and fixing chronological dates in Ramadasu's life through an article by well-known historian late Bhavaraju Venkata Krishna Rao pub-lished in Bharati in 1925. It was Bhavaraju who told us that there were two kings in Ramadasu's life ruling at Golconda one after another, Sultan Abdulla the sixth king at the time of induction of Ramadasu as Tehsildar, temple renovation and the arrest of Ramadasu in 1665, and Sultan Abul Hasan Tanasha, the 7th and the last king in 1677 at the time of Ramadasu's release from the jail.
My deep gratitude goes to Dr. S. Radhakrishnan for my drinking very deep from his Indian Philosophy for my first chapter of Path of Bhakti and the evolution of Rama worship. Learned articles and books of scholars like Prof. Nelaturi Venkata Ramaniah, Prof. E. Vasumathi, and K.V. Bhupala Rao, and Vedam Venkataraya Sastry helped me in my information on the Qutub Shahi history and references to Akkanna and Madanna, uncles of Gopanna. I offer my sincere thanks to these authors. I am also grateful to the heads of department of Telugu in Osmania University and Central University of Hyderabad, Prof. N. Krishna Kumari and Prof. G,V. Subrahmanyam for having allowed me access into the dissertation papers on Ramadasu kept with them.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Your email address will not be published *
Send as free online greeting card
for saving your wish list, viewing past orders, receiving discounts, and lots more...
Email a Friend