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Purandara Dasa and Thirupathi VenkataramaNan: Par t 3

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Sat Nov 09 1996 - 12:36:39 PST

Dear VenkataramaNa Bhakthaas :

One evening  Dasar was resting on a pial 
of a house in the Sannadhi street of Lower 
Thirupathi after his darsan of Sri Govindaraja 
of Keezha Thirupathi ( This is the Archa murthy 
consecrated by Sri Ramanuja few hundred years 
earlier ) . Next morning Dasar was going to climb the 
seven hills for the  darsanam of Lord Srinivasa of 
upper Thirupathi . He had finished his SandhyA 
anushtAnam and was engaged in Dhyanam of 
Sri Venkatesa. It was getting dark . He saw then a 
most beautiful lady rushing with a Veena in her hand. 
Dasar was awe struck at  this unusual sight and was emboldened
to ask the young woman as to where she was going in 
such haste at that hour.She answered : " Sir , I am rushing 
to play the Veena at the Sannidhi of ThiruvenkatamudayAn".
Dasar said : " Amma! You should not travel alone at night in the 
mountainous region. May I therefore accompany you for the 
sake of your  safety ". The lady replied : " Sir, Thank you . I will be
very happy if you could accompany me. My name is Ramaa Devi ."

Both Dasar and Ramaa Devi climbed the hills and arrived at 
the gates of the temple of Srinivasa after ardha Jaamam .The temple gates 
were closed for the day. There were no one near the temple  at that late 
hour. When Ramaa Devi put her foot  on the steps of the front gate
of the  temple , the doors automatically opened . Both of the visitors 
entered and the temple gates shut themselves behind them .. Dasar was wonder
and travelled to the Garbha Graham of Lord Srinivasa with Ramaa Devi .
At hat time , Ramaa Devi addressed Dasar and asked him to hide behind 
one of the pillars of the ardha Mandapam to have the darsanam of the Lord. 
She entered the sanctum sanctorium and began to play on her Veena songs  
in praise of the Lord of the seven hills. On hearing the divine music , 
Lord Srinivasa appeared  as Sanka -Chakra -Peethaambharadhaari
and danced before her to the accompaniment of the music. Dasar was 
thrilled to hear the divine music and to see the Lord's extraordinary dance .

Lord Srinivasa decided to test Dasar , who was known for his short 
temper. The Lord stopped His dance and took the Veena from the 
Lady's hand and began to play. He purposely introduced Apaswarams
in his playing , which fell like molten lead in Dasar's ears. Dasar was 
livid with rage and he came ourt of his hiding place behind the stone pillar
and castigated the Lord this way : " O Lord of the Universe who is the
of  Naadam  ! How  can I put up with you and your 
Apaswarams ? Is it fair ? " After being addresses this way , Lord Srinivasa 
and the Lady who played the Veena disappeared instantaneously. Dasar 
recognized his AparAdham and asked forgivenness of the Lord through 
the following four songs : 


WHEN Dasar completed singing of these four songs , the Lord and 
the Lady who climbed the hills with Dasar reappeared . The Lord revealed 
that the lady , who offered Veena worship was none other than Saraswathi Devi .
Both of them blessed Dasar . The grateful Dasar composed two songs right
there on the Goddess of Learning Saraswathi Devi for blssing him this way
with the apoorva , antharanga darsanam  of the Lord of Thirumalai . These 
two songs are : Kodubhega Divyamathi Saraswathi in Raga Saraswathi 
and Paalisamma Muddhu Saaradehyenna Naalikeyalli Nilla Bharathe  in
Raga Nagaswaaraali . Afte that he sang many songs in praise of the Lord
of Thirumalai until the Suprabhaatham time. He incorporated the visesha 
Naamaangitham "VenkataramaNaa" in these songs composed 
and sung in presence of the Lord. Lord Srinivasa was delighted with 
Dasar and blessed him and lifted him with His divine hands and placed
him  before sunrise at the front pial of the house , where Dasar  was resting 
prior to the trip up the hills with Saraswathi Devi. 

I will write about these songs in the next posting.

Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan