The State government should establish a university of Dasa Sahitya, Tatva Pada and Eesha Sahitya, said Vasanth Kushtagi, president of the first Dasa Sahitya Sammelan here on Wednesday.This university should be involved in research, translation and publication of literature by ‘dasas’, ‘tatvapadakaras’ and ‘sharanas’, Prof. Kushtagi said.

He said the cultural heritage of India was being lost as it was confined to only a few linguistic groups. So, Dasa literature should be translated into Indian and international languages. He also sought translation and publication of all works of Madhwacharya and Jagannath Das, among others, and compilation of a dictionary of spiritual terms used in Dasa literature.

‘Publish writings’

Researcher Krishna Kolhar Kulkarni, who inaugurated the sammelan, said around 300 dasas had produced over 40,000 songs and short poems. However, the government had published only 16,500 of them till now. He called for all the writings to be published.

Dr. Kulkarni recited Kanaka Dasa’s songs that spoke of an equal, casteless society. He expressed regret that works of great writers and visionaries were limited to their caste groups. It was unfortunate that Dasa literature was limited to Brahmins or Vachana literature to Lingayats; this was contrary to what the leaders behind these works preached.

Tracing the history of Dasa literature, he said several Dasas had combined the beliefs of several faiths and written multilingual poetry. While they preached unity of mankind and equality of faiths, people were trying to claim that their faith was superior to others. This would only reduce their influence and lead to them disappearing, he said.

Siddheshwar Swami of Jnana Yogashrama, Bijapur, expressed concern about the dying reading habit among the youth and rise in alcoholism. He called for a tolerant society.

Basavalinga Pattaddevaru of Bhalki Hiremath, Dasa Sahitya Parishat president B.M. Amarwadi, Rahim Khan, MLA, and zilla panchayat president Deepika Rathod were present.

Earlier, the sammelan president was brought to the venue in a procession featuring folk artistes.