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RE: Digest bhakti.v003.n356

From: Shobha Srinivasan (
Date: Tue May 04 1999 - 19:14:40 PDT

>The Dvaita school of Ananda Tirtha (Madhvacharya) has its own 
>vernacular songs.  The songs, mostly in Kannada, were propagated 
>by saints known as the Haridasas, who communicated and preached
>bhakti by composing simple songs and singing them in the streets
>to the common people.  (This tradition is somewhat loosely associated
>with the smArta bhAgavata tradition).  It is important to note
>two things: first, the Haridasas composed the songs much after
>Ananda Tirtha had set down the tenets of the school in Sanskrit,
>unlike the Alvars, who preceded Yamuna and Ramanuja.  Second,
>the songs of the Haridasas contain much more popular bhakti 
>than philosophy. 

>The songs of Purandara Dasa, for example, 
>contain a great deal of wisdom and sentiment; but they simply
>do not constitute a basis for a system of philosophy, unlike the

No doubt, the Haridasa songs are sung more towards bhakthi, but those
bhakthi songs are indeed associated directly to the Dvaitha philosophy. One
learn Dvaitha philosophy through DAsara padas.  The philosophical song such
as "Sathyam jagathithu pancha bedhavu nithya sri govindana" sung by
Purandara DAsa conveys dvaita doctrines including tAratamya (the status of
jivas), that is gradation of jivas right from us ordinary devotees to
Brahma.  Sriman Narayana who is the Supreme.  There are many songs like
this composed by other DAsas also.  For example, Jagannatha DAsa, who
composed 1034 verses in his magnum opus Hari KathAmrutha SAra, quotes
heavily from upanishats and purAnas. This work is filled with philosophical
notes throughout.  I can elaborate more from this work if anybody is
interested thru private mail.

>Recall that Ramanuja gained many insights into the meaning of
>the Upanishads by studying the Tiruvaymoli (see Acharya Hrdayam).  
>Nothing even close is claimed by anyone of the songs of the Haridasas.

Noted madhwa saints such as Sri Sripadaraya, Sri Vyasa Thirtha, Sri
Vadiraja tirtha and Sri Raghavendra Swami have also composed many songs in
kannada.  These saints were also noted for their scholarly contributions in
the arena of vedanta and have compressed the essence in their compositions.
 So it is not true that haridasa's compositions lack philosophical or
upanishatic views.  Infact, Sri Purandara Dasa's compositions are also
popularly called as Purandaro upanishads.
>Furthermore, it is not true that the Haridasa songs strictly
>espouse Dvaita philosophy.

Can you please give us an example?

>popular bhakti that is acceptable to any sect.  Some of them
>may have had association with other Vaishnava traditions.
>Kanaka Dasa in one of his songs, says that Ramanuja is his

Does this song has the angitha "Adi Keseva"?  Can you please let me know
thru private email the name of the song so that I can refer into my Kanaka
DAsara song book which I possess.  Infact, Sri Aralumalige Parthasarathy,
who has written number books on Haridasas & their works is currently
touring USA.  I can even contact him if I do not have that particular song
in my book to ask him whether it is true.  

>I request others who are knowledgable in these other traditions
>to add to what I have written.

I am not trying to defend Dvaita in Bhakthi list, but truth should not be
>rAmAnuja dAsan

Hare SrinivAsa

Shobha Srinivasan