kanaka dAsa

Carnatic composers

#1  Postby Sreeni Rajarao » 19 Oct 2009 21:07

kanaka dAsa

I have been thinking about initiating a thread on kanaka dAsa as a vAggEyakAra for about two years and finally attempted to initiate one on the Forum yesterday. It vanished into a blackhole before I could upload it. I am writing this again (this time on MS Word!) with a hope that this will trigger a good discussion on kanaka dAsa kRtis.

There are many semiclassical version cassettes and CDs of kanaka dAsa songs that are popular in karnAtaka households. I would like to see more classical renditions of kanaka dAsa kRtis in live concerts!

kanaka dAsa was a contemporary of purandara dAsa and was under vyAsarAya swamy’s tutelage during the same time as purandara dAsa. He is believed to have lived a long life of 98 years and lived a few years beyond purandara dAsa’s life span. He was born in a small place called byADa, near present day DhAravAra in karnAtaka.

There are many legends about kanaka dAsa such as the story behind his name being changed to kanaka, the story about kanaka leading an army in a battle, the episode with the young kanaka not eating his banana fruit and the famous episode about the uDupi kRSHNa temple (kanakana kinDi episode)

I would like to focus on kanaka dAsa, the poet and composer of many songs that are rich in lyrical values and poetic beauty. kanaka dAsa’s kRtis are deep in philosophical aspects also. One such song is nI mAyeyoLagO ninnoLu mAyeyO.

Much like purandara dAsa, kanaka dAsa mingled with the common man in the society and provided commentary on the prevailing social issues and human values. In doing so, he urged that one should lead life practising higher values.

kanaka dAsa’s songs can also be called padas or dEvara nAmas and can be grouped under the general umbrella of haridAsa sAhitya. His anikta was kAgineleyAdi kESava.

It is believed kanaka dAsa has also penned the poetic volumes hariBhakti sAra, mOhana tarangiNi and rAmadhyAna carite.

It is believed kanaka dAsa preferred the Eka nAda instrument while purandara dAsa’s choice was the tambUri.

purandara dAsa held kanaka dAsa in high esteem and has shown his appreciation for kanaka dAsa in the song kanaka dAsana mEle dayamADu.

In 1960 a kannaDa movie Bhakta kanakadAsa was made with an excellent background music scored by M Venkataraju and songs by P B Srinivas. Video clips are available on YouTube for such all time favourite songs as kula kula kulavendu hoDedADadiri, bAgilanu teredu sEveyanu koDo hariye, badukidenu badukidenu and ItanIga vAsudEvanu. VCD of this movie is available commercially.

I have read that Ankita book house in Gandhi Bazar, Bangalore has published a collection of 263 songs with the title kanaka dAsara janapriya kIrtanegaLu, edited by
H R Satya Narayan. I was pleasantly surprised to read that so many songs were available.

Ankita book house has also published Vidwan C K Shankara Narayana Rao’s book
sRi kanakadAsara kRtigaLu (with swara and sAhitya), which includes 54 songs.

Some of my favourite kanaka dAsa songs are:
1a nAnu nInu ennadIru hIna mAnava (I have great memories of my Father
Veena Raja Rao singing this song in sAma rAga. Sri. Shankara Narayana Rao has included this song in his book mentioned above)

1b. salladO kRSHNa salladO srI vallabha nInida nODi pAlipudO. Again very good memories of my Father singing this in dhanyAsi.

2. nammamma Sarade umA mahEshwari in mOhana rAga, popularized by VidyaBhuSHana.

3. ELu nArAyaNa Elu lakSHmI ramaNa in BhouLi. Nagamni Srinath’s version is excellent.

4. bArO kriSHNayya

5. tallaNisadiru kaMDya tALu manave in kEdAra gowLa

6. ISa ninna caraNa Bhjane ASe inda mADuvenu "¦"¦"¦.

I hope this thread will grow rich with some uploads of good audio files!

Sreeni Rajarao
Last edited by Sreeni Rajarao on 05 Nov 2009 22:41, edited 1 time in total.
Sreeni Rajarao
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#2  Postby vs_manjunath » 19 Oct 2009 21:40

Sreeni- Nice to read this thread created by you.

One of my favourites , in addition to the above songs is " Kashtapattaru Illa; kalavalisidarilla " sung excellently by Dr Balamurali in kharaharapriya. These type of songs were broadcasted by AIR, Bangalore in the morning " Geetharadhana" between 6:10 to 6:30 AM. The mentioned song I don't have the AUDIO clip, if some one has it, they are most welcome to U/L.

There is also an Exclusive Kanaka Dasa Sahithya Manjari( ?) published by Dept of Kannada & Culture. I'll locate this book in my home and provide more details.
Last edited by vs_manjunath on 19 Oct 2009 21:43, edited 1 time in total.
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#3  Postby kmrasika » 20 Oct 2009 05:19

Some titles on this composer:

1. Svara samÌ£yoÌ„jane sahita SÃŒÂÂ
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#4  Postby braindrain » 20 Oct 2009 09:33

I've heard Sankaran Namboodiri singing "dAsa dAsara maneya" in hindOLam.
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#5  Postby keerthi » 20 Oct 2009 11:53

The song bhajisi badukelo manava, describes the greatness of Hari's feet, and is similar in content to the annamayya song 'brahma-kadigina pAdamu'.

My teacher jokingly refers to him as K.D (for kanaka dAsa)! and to purandara dasa as P.D..

she has always remarked about the high philsophical content of many of his songs..Ones which i have been impressed by include IshTu dina I vaikunTha yeshTu dUravu.. and the sublime nI mAyeyoLagO ninnolu mayeyO.
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#6  Postby vs_manjunath » 20 Oct 2009 15:55

KD has a different meaning in Kannada & PD is Project Director for DRDO guys!
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#7  Postby gravikiran » 21 Oct 2009 16:26

may i please request any links to online recordings?
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#8  Postby kmrasika » 21 Oct 2009 19:46

One must listen to the AthANA version of "bAgilanu teredu." MLV's evergreen rendition of the "yAdava rAya" also never fails to strike a cord with listerners.

There is a commercial album entitled "kanaka tarangiNI" containing some songs of this composer rendered by vidvAn kurudi veNkaNNAcAr. kanaka signs his works with " kAgineleyAdi kESava" (guessing this is the presiding deity of the village where he lived).
Last edited by kmrasika on 21 Oct 2009 19:51, edited 1 time in total.
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#9  Postby rshankar » 21 Oct 2009 20:49

kmrasika wrote: MLV's evergreen rendition of the "yAdava rAya" also never fails to strike a cord with listerners.

I agree - that is an evocative rendition; but I have to say that Smt. Alarmel Valli's interprettation of this devarnAma is actually sublime....
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#10  Postby svkashyap » 05 Nov 2009 13:48

Dear rasikas,

On the occasion of Kanakadasa Jayanthi on November 5th, Sunaada presents "Kanaka namana" - a special program featuring life and compositions of Sri Kanakadasa on 5th and 6th of November.

Hope you will enjoy the programme . Please give your valuable feedback and suggestions to mail@sunaada.in.

Keep Listening
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#11  Postby Sreeni Rajarao » 05 Nov 2009 22:38

Satvik Kashyap and team:
Congratulations! I enjoyed the special broadcast of kanaka namana! The commentary in English and song selection were excellent.

I hope others who are not much familiar with kanakadAsa and his works had a chance to listen to this program.
Sreeni Rajarao
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#12  Postby svkashyap » 06 Nov 2009 13:34

Thank you Sreeni Sir.
For those who missed, Kanaka Namana can be listened to again today.
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Re: kanaka dAsa

#13  Postby Ramprasad » 16 Mar 2011 18:26

Kanaka dasa a saint who composed the truth of life and rendered with the same straight forwardness mercilessly. It is just as merciless as Yama Dharmaraja's justice. All his compositions are stomach stirrers. Unlike Sri Purandaradasa who was very kind as interesting as Narada Muni and his boss Lord Narayana himself. Sri Purandaradasa tried to imbibe the truth with some soft and sweet mixture to attract people towards good virtues. Both had the same objective though.
Kanakadaasa's 'thoredu jeevisa bahudey hari ninna charaNagaLa', Yaaroo sangaDa baahorillaa, NaaraayaNana naama nere baahodalladey...' Amazing. At times I have got scared to sing that song and some times I have cried thinking about Lords kindness. These composers.......no words to describe....they are beyond descriptions.......Great Souls.We Indians are blessed to be born in the same Karma bhoomi where these greats were born and lived.
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Re: kanaka dAsa

#14  Postby Ramprasad » 16 Mar 2011 18:34

Can someone quickly provide me the lyrics of the song...KashTapaTTaru illa...KaLavaLIsidarilla.....I will be very grateful. Thanks in Advance. You can also mail me on prasad.vasan@gmail.com. May Lord bless you.
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Re: kanaka dAsa

#15  Postby ganeshkant » 09 Apr 2011 13:34

Watch kannada film kanakadAsa today @ 9 p.m or tomorrow (10/04/11) @ 2p.m @ LOksabha channel.
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Re: kanaka dAsa

#16  Postby Somashekar » 03 May 2011 10:39

Very pleased to see this discussion thread on Kanakadasa.
Daasanagabeko "Sadaa"shivana Daasanagabeku set to Hamsanandi tuned by Chintalapalli Ramachandra Rao is also a very popular devaranama.
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Re: kanaka dAsa

#17  Postby Pratyaksham Bala » 03 May 2011 17:53

Sreeni Rajarao:
Thanks a lot for starting this interesting thread.
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Re: kanaka dAsa

#18  Postby vs_manjunath » 04 May 2011 08:54

One of the very famous song of KD which every kannada house holder recites as a poem is:

thirukanOrvanUra mundhe
muruku dharmashAleyalli
oragirutHalondu kanasu kandananthane
purada arasu satHanavage
vara kumArarilLadirulu
kariya kaili kusuma mAleitHu puradolu || 1 ||

It has 8 charanams.
The pallavi is:

Dhareya bHogavaNu nambi
hariya marethu kedalu bEda
Dhareya bHoga kanasinanthe kElu mAnava | P |
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Re: kanaka dAsa

#19  Postby Sreeni Rajarao » 05 May 2011 15:55

I am not sure the above mentioned song tirukanOrvanoora munde ............. is by Kanaka Dasa. I thought it was by Muppina Shadakshari. I will look into this further and get back.

Sreeni Rajarao
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Re: kanaka dAsa

#20  Postby vs_manjunath » 07 May 2011 04:23

This is Kanaka Dasa's composiotion only. (Ref. Kanaka Dasara Keerthanegalu maTHu mundigegalu,Publ Dept of Kannada & Culture, Govt Karnataka)

For the benefit of everyone, a free english translation is attempted. Corrections are most welcome.

KD conveys:
Don't get trapped in worldly pleasures and don't get spoiled by forgetting Hari.
Take the worldly pleasures as a dream.

An analogy is drawn of a beggar's dream

A beggar sleeping in an old unkept city's Dharmashala had a "Dream"
The State's King has died who had no children to take care of the state.
An elephant with a garland on it's tusk is locating for a fit person to rule the kingdom.
( the person who gets garlanded by the elephant would become the ruler and the elephant garlands this beggar and the beggar becomes the " King" )
( to be continued with other charanams)
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Re: kanaka dAsa

#21  Postby vs_manjunath » 14 May 2011 05:42

Charanam 2
bidaladAra koralinaLi
thodarisalke avara paTa
dhodeyaraNu mAlpevendhu biTaraLiye
odane thaNa koralinaLi
thodarisuvudha kandu thiruka
podaviyAnmanAdenendu hiGutHiDanu
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Re: kanaka dAsa

#22  Postby aaaaabbbbb » 16 May 2011 19:43

Some corrections::
Charana[2] biDaladAra koraLinalli
toDarisalke avara patta
doDeyarannu mALpevendu bittarallige
odane tanna koraLinalli
toDarisuvuda kandu tiruka
poDaviyANmanAdenendu higgutiddanu.

Srini Rajarao avarige,Shubhodaya.
This poem is credited to muppina Shadakshari.
Sri Kanaka dasaru is supposed to have written 'Nala charitre'.
This has been collected and edited by Sri H M Shankaranarayana Rao,
way back in 1972
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Re: kanaka dAsa

#23  Postby vs_manjunath » 17 May 2011 05:40

In the last charanam as given in the referred book publ by Dept of Kannada & Culture, Govt of Karnataka "Adi kEshava" appears :

mereyuthidda Bhagyavella
haridhu hOyithendhu thiruka
thiruvudakke nAchuthidda maruLanandadi
siriyu kanasinanthe kElu
arithu Adhi kEshavanna
harashudinda bhajisi nithya sukhavaneevanu

This book is exclusively on Kanaka Daasa's compositions only !!!

Leaving apart all, aaaabbbb- Pl do translate for the benefit of all. I am sure ur referrd book also has all the charanams ! My post was just to revive this thread and let us discuss one by one all his compositions and make it more popular for the benefit of rasikas. My book has 316 songs by Kanaka Daasa. Will keep us busy easily for an year and also will learn so many facts in this process.
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Re: kanaka dAsa

#24  Postby aaaaabbbbb » 18 May 2011 06:46

I am not having any printed script of ‘tirukana kanasu’.
I quoted from memory.I had this song and another
‘Sakalakellake nIne akalanka guruvendu’ by Muppina Shadakshari
in my kannada text book during my middle school days, way back in 1951.
If you can provide the text [because I feel many changes have taken place]
I will do the needful.
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Re: kanaka dAsa

#25  Postby aaaaabbbbb » 18 May 2011 06:57

One more correction::
Srini Rajarao avarige,It is not'rAmadhyana charite'
It is 'rAma dhAnya charite' where an interesting
conversation takes place between 'rice' and 'rAgi'!
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