By: Manasaa Pragaspathy
Purandara dasa was born in 1484, his birth name was Srinivasa Nayaka. He died in 1565. He is respected as a great avatar of Sage Narada. Purandara dasa formulated the alankaras, svaravalis, and gitas. He also came up with the ragam Mayamalavagowla, therefore he is entitled the name Sangeetha Pitamaha. At the age of 30, Purandara dasa became a saint and was under the tutelage of Sri Vyaasaraja. Sri Vyaasaraja bestowed the name Purandara Vittala on Purandara dasa to serve as a signature for his compositions. Purandara dasa saw Govinda everywhere. In fact, his philosophy about Krishna was that Krishna was the smallest of the smallest, but at the same time the biggest of the biggest. In the song Govinda Govinda Atiaanada, Purandara dasa is saying that he sees Govinda in everything from the smallest atoms to the biggest mountains. This shows that Purandara dasa’s love for Krishna was immense… so immense that 95% of his kritis are on none other than Krishna himself. In the song Idu Bhagya Idu Bhagya Idu Bhagya Vaiya, Purandara dasa is saying “This is fortune, this is fortune, this is fortune,” singing about lord Krishna. In the same kriti, he is also so devoted to Krishna that he says, “One should contemplate on Krishna night and day and be very sweet to Him.” Purandara dasa shows his devotion to Krishna by singing his glory. This is only one of the ways Purandara dasa shows his devotion to Krishna. Purandara dasa composed over 475,000 kritis and he shows his devotion to Krishna a different way in every kriti! I look up to Purandara dasa because he was once greedy but he renounced everything to become a great devotee of Krishna.