Showing posts from June 25, 2006

Kanaka Dasa, Jayamala and the cool dude with a long beard…

My home town Udupi, is one of the prominent pilgrim centers in Coastal Karnataka. Everyday thousands of tourists from all over India flock here to visit the Krishna Temple, whose idol – that of a standing Krishna holding a churning stick - was installed seven hundred years ago by the Brahmin saint and philosopher, Madvacharya – the doyen of Dwaitha or the Dualistic Philosophy. There are eight mutts or religious institutions here that manage this temple, taking turn once every two years. Needless to say, the atmosphere around these eight mutts fluctuates between the rigidly religious and the extreme orthodox. Over the years, many saint poets belonging to the Bakthi tradition have taken their faith, through their simple poems, to the masses. Such activities wee centered aound the Krishna Temple and its asthetic idol. Purandara Dasa and Kanaka Dasa were exemplary among such poets. Kanaka Dasa belonged to the lower caste. He is revered today, his songs officially sung inside t