In the footsteps of the teacher – Sripadaraya & Vyasaraya

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. Henry Adams

Sripadaraya (1422-1480) is believed to have laid the foundation of the Haridasa movement in Karnataka. He was a teacher of the Madhavacharya school of philosophy. He was the advisor to one of the kings of the Vijayayanagara empire, Saluva Narasimha. Sripadaraya expressed his lofty thoughts through his songs and poems using colloquial Kannada which resonated with the common man. In a harikatha performance of Haridasa compositions today, the invocation usually begins with a tribute to this saint. He used rangavittala as his nom de plume in his devarnamas. Here is a beautiful ugabhoga of Sripadaraya presented by M.S.Sheela: Smarisi Bhajisiro Sripadaraya

Sripadaraya was the guru of Vyasaraya who spear-headed the Haridasa movement. While Sripadaraya is believed to be an incarnation of Dhruva, his disciple Vyasaraja is believed to be an incarnation of Prahlada. Vyasaraya was the advisor to the royal king Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara. There are many stories that describe how this saint helped the king in times of distress. One of Vyasaraya’s most famous composition is Krishna Nee Begane in raga Yamun Kalyani where the saint entreats the Lord to come to him soon. Here is a rendition of the song by Bombay Jayashri.

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