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Kanaka Dasa - - Song for many generations:

Taking birth in Kuruba family, Kanakadasa became a Haridasa. His Hari keertanas are of a superior class even from sahithya angle too. They reflect his ripe experience in life, rich wisdom, equanimity, love for freedom. It can be said that his period was around 1508 to 1606. He was first known as Beerappa dananayaka. He struck a gold treasure and became Kanakanyaka. He installed Lord Keshava at Kaginele, it was an ancient and famous city when Kanaka came there. Kanakadasa removed already installed Lakshmi Idol and installed it near Keshava with the co-operation of local people and it is an evidence to show Kanakadasa's friendly behaviour.

Bankapura was Kanaka's place of activities. Here too a Keshava temple is found. Saint Vadiraja in his Theertaprabanda has Saluted Keshava of Bankapura. An hundred years old tala leaf found in Udupi's pejawar mutt mentions about Lord Krishna gaving his own ornaments to Kanaka one by one (180 ornaments) in all for maintenance. "Narayana Chinna Bhandari's son' has taken those jewels and paid him the money. Sri Vadiraja knowing the fact by jnana dristi cleared the name of Kanaka. Another stone inscription of 1615 hint about "dasa" word. The above said TALA leaf says that Sri Vadiraja gave him the name Kanakadasa in Udupi.

In the begining of his spiritual life he had taken deeksha from Thathacharya. But after seeing Vyasaraja and due to the company of Purandaradasaru he must have liked dwaitha deeksha. When Vyasaraya blessed Kanaka, mutt disciples did not like it. This is evident from Purandara Dasa's Krithi "Kanaka dasana mele dayamaadalu" Kanaka did take refuge in "Mukhyaprana", he accepted the sidhantha of Sri Acharya. The same has been expressed in his krithi Ninnaya padha daasaradasa nendenisabekayya and "Daasadaasara maneya daasanudaasa naanu' during Kanaka Dasa's time only the tradition of Haridasas roaming in the steets, tying bells or gejje to their anklets, singing Harinama and doing "unchavruthi" began powerfully. The pious will cherish the memory of this great bhaktha and jnani hidden behind a simple frame for a generations to come.

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Kanaka Dasaru
Jagannathadasa Dasaru
Vijaya Dasaru
Purandara Dasaru
Prasanna Venkata Dasaru
© Sri Sripadaraja Mutt