Did you know? 11th July 2008

Sri Purandaradasa, one of the foremost exponents of the Haridasa tradition, is said to have composed over 4,00,000 Padas (songs), almost all of them in praise of Lord Vishnu!

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One thought on “Did you know? 11th July 2008

  1. SreeHaraye NamaH

    Sri Purandaradasa’s compositions have always been a source of inspiration – for vichara and bhakti. Here is a small offering to that exalted soul:

    The Kannada song ‘Hari Chitta Satya’, a beautiful composition of Sri PurandaradAsaru, is quite familiar to many of us. Taking a close look at the composition, some thoughts flowed and these are presented in the sequel.

    You can hear the song (rendered by Bombay Sisters) in this link:

    http://player.pz10.com/api/?song=251068

    In our religion there are four purushARtha-s specified: dharma, artha, kAma and Moksha. These are called purushArtha-s because they are sought after by humans. Scriptures allow the seeking and experiencing of all these purusharthas. When they are within the framework of dharma, the artha and kAma purusharthas will not lead a person to pApa. Dharma is a unique purushartha that when sought after and practiced will lead to a lot of punya to be experienced in this as well as other worlds. But it has the limitation of being finite. Once the stock of dharma (punya) is over, the enjoyment ends and one will have to take another birth. It is to be noted that it is dharma alone that enables one to have the other three purusharthas of kAma (sense pleasures), artha (wealth to enjoy sense pleasures and engage in noble activities of dAna and donating for good causes in the society). Needless to say that dharma is essential to take a person to the path of Moksha too.

    The uniqueness of this song of Sri Purandara dasaru is that all the purusharthas are covered in the various stanzas and the inviolable law that ‘whatever may be our efforts, the giver of the fruit of our efforts is the Lord alone’ is graphically portrayed.

    The First stanza depicts the kAma purushartha. A person desires to have a happy family life. This is human desire. But he might end up without getting married. This is Divine Will.

    The Second stanza depicts the artha purushaartha (horse, elephants OR possessions like vehicles, house, etc that give happiness) A man desires to have all comforts in life. This is human wish. But he might end up without any vehicles, etc. and become a pedestrian. This is Divine Will.

    The Third stanza portrays kAma again, of tasty food. This is human longing. But he might have to starve. This is Divine dispensation.

    All these three desires revolve around artha, kAma and dharma. Dharma is essential in order to get the other two.

    The Fourth talks about the Moksha purushartha. Having no craving for the other three but desiring the Lord alone is called Moksha icchA. This Supreme PurushArtha (Highest Goal) demands not wealth, not learning or physical features but a pure mind. A pure mind is the one that is freed of all sinful tendencies. These are collectively called ‘durita’.

    Only a rare person seeks this Purushartha. However much an aspirant might try, it is only when the Lord’s Grace descends that the mind is cleansed of durita. It is only this qualification that takes one to the Lord, never to return to samsara. Sri Dasaru concludes the song saying: ‘Purandara Vitthalana bayasOdu narachitta, duritava kaLevudu Hari chittavu..’

    We, as humans, can put forth the best efforts to attain our goals. But the success of our endeavours depends on the Lord’s Will. It is He who knows whether we deserve what we long for and whether we are destined to get it.

    SreeHaraye NamaH
    V.Subrahmanian

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