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Kanaka Dasaru

yamaaMshasya paraabhaktyaa suprasannO hari: svayaM|
yasyaachaaryO vyaasaraaya: taM vaMdE kanakaabhidhaM|

यमांशस्य पराभक्त्या सुप्रसन्नो हरि: स्वयं।
यस्याचार्यो व्यासराय: तं वंदे कनकाभिधं।
ಯಮಾಂಶಸ್ಯ ಪರಾಭಕ್ತ್ಯಾ ಸುಪ್ರಸನ್ನೋ ಹರಿ: ಸ್ವಯಂ|
ಯಸ್ಯಾಚಾರ್ಯೋ ವ್ಯಾಸರಾಯ: ತಂ ವಂದೇ ಕನಕಾಭಿಧಂ|

யமாம்ஶஸ்ய பராபக்த்யா ஸுப்ரஸந்நோ ஹரி: ஸ்வயம்|
யஸ்யாசார்யோ வ்யாஸராய: தம் வம்தே கநகாபிதம்|

యమాంశస్య పరాభక్త్యా సుప్రసన్నో హరి: స్వయం|
యస్యాచార్యో వ్యాసరాయ: తం వందే కనకాభిధం|

Part 1 – Devaranamagalu – click

Part 2 – Devaranamagalu – click

Part 3 – Mundigegalu – click

Kanakadasaru was a Harisarvottamatva pratipaadaka – 

Kanakadasa stampEven the stamp contains Vaishnava symbol on Kanakadasaru.

Part 4 – Kanakadasaru & Harisarvottamatva – Click

Part 5 – Harisarvottamatva stapane songs by Kanakadasaru – Click

(Drawing by Vaidya Srinivas)

Janma naama – Timmappa Nayaka –

popularly called as Kanakappa Nayaka

Ankitha – Baadadadi keshava / kaginele adikeshava

Birth Day – Kartheeka Krishna Triteeya

Period – 1508 – 1606

Ashraya Gurugalu – Sri Vyasarajaru

Sri Kanakadasaru has written more than 200 devaranamaas.

Birth Place      –  Baada

Niryana place – Kaginele in Haveri District

Birth Caste     –  Kuruba (shepherd)

Sri Kanakadasaru – even though was born as a Kuruba, has been considered not a “daasa” but as a “Haridaasaru”, and is one of the contemporaries of Sri Vyasarajaru, Sri Vadirajaru, Sri Vaikuntadasaru, Sri Purandaradasaru, Sri Krishnadevaraya.

During his period he had close association with Sri Vyasarajaru, Purandaradasaru, etc.  Vyasarajaru was fond of Kanakadasaru, even though he belonged to a lower caste.

Thimmappa Nayaka lost his father early and he was brought up by his mother Bachamma. He learnt wrestling, hunting, sword fighting, later he became paaLayagaara.  He was collecting tax fromthe people and was remitting to the Vijayanagar Kings.  During war, he used to fight for Vijayanagar kingdom.  Once when he was digging the land, he got huge wealth.  Out of this he constructed a beautiful temple at Kaginele and got installed Adikeshava murthy there.  He was doing the daana of all his wealth found amongst the poor and the people used to call him as “Kanakappa Nayaka”.

Kanaka got vairaagya –   Even though he got the temple built for Adi Keshava, he could not visit the temples frequently as he was busy with his employment with the King and family responsibility  Once in a way, he used to visit the Kaginelle temple.    He continued his daana dharma.Once Adikeshava came in his dream and told him to became his “daasa”, which he ignored.   He was worshipping his mother as god.    After some time, both his mother and wife were dead.    Even this didn’t made him as a daasa.   Srihari again came in his dream and told him to become a daasa, which he again refused.    But Srihari’s sankalpa is different.

Once when Vijayanagar Kingdom was fighting with the enemy team.  Kanaka Daasa also joined Vijayanagar fighters and was fighting fiercely.  During the course of the fight, the enemy troup attacked Kanaka and he was severely hit and blood was also coming out of his body, he lost his sword also.  Then he shouted “Aadi Keshava” and fell.  He lost his consciousness.   The enemy troup on seeing him thought that he is dead and they left.  Then Adikeshava came in the disguise of a man and treated him.  Kanaka Nayaka, gaining his consciousness, on seeing the man enquired about him and he told that he is Adikeshava, and he again advised him to become his daasa.   Now, Kanaka could not refuse Adikeshava’s word and he agreed to become daasa.  He gave all his wealth as daana to the deserving.  He reached Adikeshava temple.  Again Adikeshava came in his dream and advised him to go to Vyasarajaru for accepting Shishyatva. During that time Sri Vyasarajaru was constructing Vyasasamudra in Madanapalli.    Kanaka requested for mantropadesha, which Sri Vyasarajaru gave him after some time.  Thus he got vairagya and came to “daasatva” deekshe.

Some incidents – 

The other shishyas could not tolerate the same and they used to trouble Kanaka in one way or the other.    Sri Vyasarajaru wanted to make the other shishyas to understand about the shreshtatva of Kanakadasaru.    One day Vyasarajaru asked all his shishyas as to “Who amongst you will go to moksha”?   Every body were silent.  Vyasarajaru looked at Kanakadasaru for the answer, who said ” ನಾನು ಹೋದರೆ ಹೋದೇನು?”.  (naanu hOdare hOdEnu) – This made the other shishyas angry.   Then Vyasarajaru asked to explain as to what he said.  Kanaka said ” one who loses ahankaara may go go Moksha.  i.e., if the selfish words like I, myself, me words which are part of ahankara are not there, then one may go to Moksha.”  Vyasarajaru who was known of his intentions, made the other shishyas understand about Kanaka and his words.

Once when Sri Vyasarajaru asked all his shishyaas to what is there in his handful (mushti).  No one could say.  Then Kanakadasaru told “it is vaasudeva saligrama”.  When Vyasarajaru unfolded his hands, there was vasudeva saligrama.  This incident has been explained by Sri Purandaradasaru in his devaranama :kanakadaasana mEle dayamaaDalu vyaasa muni…..”


Udupi Krishna gave darshana to Kanakadasaru –   Once Kanakadasaru went to Udupi to have the darshana of Krishna paramathma.  But as he was from a lower caste, he was not allowed inside for the darshana.    Having denied the darshana, Kanakadasaru never repented,  he had the great respect for the sampradaya.   Even though he could not see the direct darshana, he had the darshana of Krishna paramathma through his inner eyes.  He was singing on the Western side of the temple.   Throughout the night also he was doing the bhajana.  At that time, an earthquake happened and a small crack appeared on the wall of the temple.   Through this crack, Kanakadasaru was able to have the darshana of Krishna paramathma.  Vadirajaru having noticed this,  having known of the yogyate of Kanakadasaru, and with due respect to the great daasa, he made that crack enlarged on the wall as a window instead of having it plastered.   Thus that window got the name “Kanakana kindi”.

However, some people have tried to say that the lord Krishna himself turned from East to west.  This is not acceptable.  Krishna never turned.    Acharya Madhwa had installed the icon of Krishna facing west only.  All the shrines of ashta mutts are also facing west at Udupi.  The architectural plan of the temple and all the temples at Udupi also say that the idol also facing West only.    Sri Surottama Tirtharu, the poorvashrama brother of Sri Vadirajaru also has written in his Teeka on Sanyasa paddati that Acharya Madhwa had installed the idol facing west.    In view of the above, the idol turning from east to west is an extra fitting.    Even Kanakadasaru himself would not agree to go against the wishes of Acharya Madhwa.  Sri Krishna paramathma, the sarvottama, knows the intentions of Vayudevaru, who had installed him.    This would be against Acharya Madhwa’s intentions, if one says to have Krishna idld turned.

Added to this – there is no reference from Haridasa saahitya or Vyasa saahitya that the idol of Krishna turned.    None of the daasa Chatustaya, have recorded the turning of the idol.  Even Kanakadasaru, has not  recorded it in any of his keerthanaas.

Literal works –

  1. Nala Charite – It is a love story of Nala Damayanti with 481 stanzaas.
  2. Hari Bhaki Saara – It is a bhamini Shadpadi poem with 110 stanzaas
  3. Nrusimhavatara – It is a grantha on Narasimhavatara
  4. Ramadhyana Charite
  5. Mohana Tarangini – It is a novel
  6. Mundigegalu
  7. Devaranamagalu
  8. Tatvapadagalu

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