Thursday, November 3, 2016

Purandhara Dasa the Grand father of Carnatic music – some krithis and their meaning

Purandhara Dasa the Grand father  of Carnatic  music – some  krithis and their meaning


Purandara Dasa(1484-1564) is possibly one of the greatest names associated with Carnatic music and considered as the Father of Carnatic music. People some how prefer to call  him , the grandfather  of carnatic  music,  He belonged to Karnataka and wrote his songs mostly in Kannada, Since he was one of those minstrel poets of that era , trying to popularise devotion to God, he mostly wrote in colloquial Kannada of those days. He is credited to have written more that 40000 songs. Only few of these are available now. His name was Srinivasa Nayaka and he belonged to the rich merchant community. Some incidents in life made him give away all his property and become a minstrel mendicant.
He was the one who systematized the teaching of Carnatic music. His greatness is indicated by the fact that even today his method is followed and the first Carnatic song which is taught to the student is his composition-Lambodhara  Lahumikara  . Apart from songs on devotion, he has also sung about the different aspects of day to day life.
I am   having a very good working knowledge of Kannada but I am mostly confined myself to  translate  songs which are simple and easy to understand. One DR.Chakravarthy Madhusudana a   native of Karnataka   and who has settled in Australia   helped me by translating   large number of songs.
       About 20 years back, some one requested   my daughter to purchase   a book  of Purandara   dasa krithis   with notation  , printed either in Tamil or Hindi or  English.  In spite   of very hard search she could not get it. Ofcourse there  is a Kannada   compilation of his songs   by Kavyapremi published in 1996.My heart  pained a lot. Here is one of the greatest son of Karnataka  and no  one  is  interested   in making  a collection of his songs   and print it  either in Tamil or  English. There is a trust to preserve his name in Bangalore , who have not been able to this job. To my knowledge no locality in Bangalore   has been named  after him. I am not even sure   whether there is a music award  in Karnataka  in his name .Ofcourse there  is a purandara  Mantapa   in Kalyan nagar  , where   there is also a statue of him. The Government of India has also brought a stamp in his memory.
    AS a very small man who    knew how to speak Kannada   I started  typing the  lyrics of some songs in English   and translating them. Dr. Chakravarthy Madhusudan  a Kannadiga   helped n me to trabnslate a few   and himself did a few translations ,Inspite of our great interest we have been able to translate   only 64 songs of  the great Purandhara. The songs translated   and where   they are   available is given  in  :-

19.   Gaja Vadana beduve

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