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`Purandaradasa indigenised Bhakti movement'

By Our Special Correspondent

SHIMOGA, JAN. 23. The Jnanpith award winner, U.R. Ananthmurthy, has described Purandaradasa as a poet par excellence as he indigenised the Bhakti marg by rendering the essence of the priceless treasure of the Vedic knowledge available in Sanskrit into Kannada.

Inaugurating a three-day "Purandarotsava'' organised under the auspices of the Bhakti Bharati Pratishtan of Bangalore and Sri Gandha of Shimoga here, he said there was no subject on earth which Purandaradasa did not refer to in his kritis touching upon the trivial and mundane matters to highly philosophical issues.

Mr. Ananthmurthy said Purandaradasa was, perhaps, among those rare men who pleaded for a centralised system to foster unity and integrity, which was akin to the multi-faceted Indian cultural milieu if one observed the inner meaning of his kritis. If this was possible for Purandaradasa it was mainly because of his comprehensive social and religious perspective, he added.

He said if the kritis of Purandaradasa did not any reflect any hatred against Muslims, though they were written by him during a period dominated by Muslim rulers, it only showed that he was not influenced by any prejudices.

Referring to the reported attack on the President of the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Harikrishna Punarur, in Bangalore by a group of Kannada activists for his alleged remarks against Kuvempu, he said those who did not believe in the process of friction of thoughts resorted to such mean acts.

Mr. Ananthmurthy said the friction of thoughts was inevitable for the emergence of any new literature while making reference to the "unsavoury'' controversy over the exclusion of the name of Madhwacharya, the exponent of Dwaita philosophy, from the Naadageete penned by Kuvempu.

He criticised Brahmins for committing a "mistake'' by claiming that they alone were of high stature and that the other communities were of inferior qualities. He said the caste system was "our own creation and not that of God." Describing the Dwaita philosophy as one of the greatest philosophies as it advocated that good and bad qualities existed with divinity, he said that such a thinking was analogous to the concept of "Satan'' of Islam and Christianity.

Sharing his views on Madhwa philosophy, Mr. Ananthmurthy said he was attracted to Madhwa philosophy since his younger days.

"But there is a friction of thoughts about Dwaita philosophy as at times its exponent, Madhwacharya, seems to me to be correct and at others incorrect," he added.

Paying rich tributes to the yeoman contribution of Purandaradasa to the Bhakti philosophy, he said, "perhaps Purandaradasa is the only saint poet who saw the birth, the triumph and collapse of the Vijayanagar Empire.''

Observing that though the cult of Bhakti enjoyed supremacy, he said there was an inherent danger by following it blindly. Mr. Ananthmurthy said there was a need to evaluate its significance, which Purandaradasa did in his kritis as he was aware of the dangerous consequences of blindly following Bhakti without subjecting it to an analysis.

He commended the efforts made by the Bhakti Bharati Pratishthan and Sri Gandha to arrange the programme on the life and teachings of Purandaradasa.

Sri Raghubhushan Teertha Swamiji of Balagaru Math said the message of Haridasa Panth was simple and meaningful and added that the role of the exponents of Dasa Sahitya was commendable.

H.K. Narayana, musician, and Mysore V. Subramanya, music critic, were felicitated by the swamiji. The President of the Karnataka Ganakala Parishat, A.H. Ramrao, was the chief guest.

Vidyabhushan, a musician, made the introductory speech. The President of Sri Gandha and Chairman of the Central Silk Board, K.S. Eshwarappa, presided over the function. Mr. Narayana recited the kritis of Purandaradasa.

Artistes of Samuha Kalavidaru of Udupi staged "Haridasa Vijaya'', a Yaksha Nritya Roopaka (ballet), under the direction of Udyavara Madhavacharya.

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