- Vijayanagara Empire Literature
The rule of
Vijayanagara Empirewas a golden age of literature in South India, in general. The rulers patronised Kannada, Telugu and Sanskrit and Tamil scholars who wrote in the Jain, Virashaivaand Vaishnavatraditions. The period produced hundreds of works on all aspects of Indian culture, religion, biographies, Prabhandas(stories), music, grammar, poetics and medicine. An attempt is made in this section to list the various poets and saints and their most famous works.
Kannadaliterature took a strong Hindu bend with the orthodox Vijayanagara kings.Kamath (2001), pp 157-189] Sastri (1955),pp 239-280, pp 355-366] Narasimhacharya (1988), pp-21-23] cite web|author=Arthikaje|title=Literary Activity, Art and Architecture|url=http://www.ourkarnataka.com/states/history/historyofkarnataka47.htm |publisher=OurKarnataka.Com|work=History of karnataka|accessdate=2006-12-31] Some eminent names were Kumara Vyasa, Narahari, BhimaKavi, Padmanaka, Mallanarya, Singiraja and Chamarasa.
Jainapoets, Madhura patronised by Harihara IIand Deva Raya Iwrote "Dharmanathapurana", Vritta Vilasa wrote "Dharmaparikshe" and "Sastrsara", Bhaskara of Penugonda who wrote "Jinadharacharite" (1424), Bommarasa of Terkanambi wrote "Santakumaracharite" and Kotesvara of Tuluvadesa wrote on the life of "Jivandharaja" in Shatpadi metre (seven line metre). Bahubali Pandita (1351) of Sringeri wrote the "Dharmanathapurana". Jainism flourished in Tuluvacountry and there Abhinava Vadi Vidyananda wrote "Kavyasara", Salva wrote Jaina version of "Bharata" in Shatpadi metre and "Rasaratnakara", Nemanna wrote "Jnanabhaskaracharite", Ratnakaravarni wrote "Bharatesha Vaibhava", "Triloka Sataka", "Aparajitasataka" and "Someswara Sataka", Ayatavarma wrote "Ratnakarandaka" in Champu style (mixed prose-verse form), Vrittivilasa wrote "Dharmaparikshe" and "Sastrasara", Kalyanakirti wrote the "Jnanachandrabhyudaya" (1439) and Vijayanna wrote the "Dvadasanuprekshe" (1448), Mangarasa III wrote "Jayanripa-Kavya" and other writings, Santarasa wrote "Yogaratnakara".
Veerashaivaliterature saw a renaissance during this period. Singiraja wrote "Singirajapurana" and "Malabasavaraja Charitra", Mallanarya of Gubbi who was patronised by Krishnadevarayawrote "Veerasaivamrita Purana" (1530), "Bhavachintaratna" (1513) and "Satyendra Cholakathe". Deva Raya IIpatronised several Virashaivas like Lakkana Dandesa who wrote "Shivatatwa Chintamani", Chamarasa who wrote"Prabhulinga Leele", Jakkanarya wrote "Nurondushthala". Guru Basava wrote seven works, six in Shatpadi metre called "Saptakavya" including the "Shivayoganga Bhushana" and the "Avadhutagite". Shivagna Prasadi Mahadevayya and Halageyadeva were famous for their "Shunya Sampadane". Kallumathada Prabhuva, Jakkanna, Maggeya Mayideva, Tontada Siddalingayatiwere other noted Vachanakaras (writers of Vachana poetry). Bhimakaviwrote "Basavapurana" (1369) and Padmanakaauthored "Padmarajapurana". Tontada Siddesvara, guru of Virupaksha Raya IIauthored 700 Vachanascalled "Shatsthalajnanamrita". Virakta Tontadarya wrote "Siddhesvarapurana", Nijaguna Shivayogiwrote "Anubhavasara", "Sivayogapradipika" and "Vivekacintamani". Viruparaja wrote a "Sangatya" (literary composition to be sung with a musical instrument) on life of King Cheramanka, Virabhadraraja wrote five "Satakas", a Virashaiva doctrine and morals and "Virabhadra-Vijaya". Sarvajnamurti wrote "Sarvajnapadagalu", Chandra Kavi wrote "Virupakshasthana", Bommarasa wrote "Saundara purana", Kallarasa wrote "Janavasya" (also called "Madanakatilaka"), Nilakhantacharya wrote "Aradhyacharitra", Chaturmukha Bommarasa wrote "Revanasiddhesvara Purana", Suranga Kavi wrote the "Trisashti-Puratanara-Charitre" giving an account og the 63 devotees of Lord Shiva, Cheramanka wrote the "Cheramankavya", Chennabasavanka wrote the "Mahadeviyakkana-Purana", Nanjunda of Kikkeri wrote the "Bhairavesvara Kavya", Sadasiva Yogi wrote the "Ramanatha vilasa" and Viarkta Tontadarya wrote the "Siddesvara-Purana" and other works, Virupaksha Pandita wrote "Chennabasava-Prurana" (1584).
Vaishnavascholars, Kumara Vyasapatronised by Deva Raya IIwrote "Gadugina Bharata". This was later completed by Timmanna Kavi as "KrishnaRaya Bharata" (patronised by king Krishnadevaraya), Narahari wrote "Torave Ramayana". Other important works were "Bhagavatha" by Chatu Vittalanatha who was patronised by Krishnadevaraya and Achyuta Raya, "Nala Charite", "Haribhakthisara", "Mohana Tarangini" and "Ramadhanya Charitre" by the great saint Kanakadasa, "Dasa Sahithya" and "Keerthanas" and thousands of "Devaranama" by PurandaradasaKanakadasa, Sripadaraya, Vyasatirthaand Vadirajatirtha. Nanjunda wrote "Kumara Rama Charita", Kereya Padmarasa wrote "Padmaraja Purana". Kanakadasa's "Ramadhanya Charitre" is considered a unique work on class struggle. Linganna wrote "Keladinripavijayam" and Kavi Malla wrote "Manmathavijaya", Madhava wrote "Madahaalankara" (a translation of Dandi's Sanskrit "Kayvadarsha"), Isvara Kavi also known as Bana Kavi wrote "Kavijihva-Bandhana" (a work on prosody), Sadananda Yogi wrote portions of "Bhagavata" and "Bharata", Tirumala Bhatta wrote the "Sivagite" and Thimma wrote "Navarasalankara", Ramendra wrote the "Saundarya-Katharatna" (a metrical version in tripadi metre of Battisaputtalikathe). "Krishnadevarayana Dinachari" is a recent discovery. The Vijayanagar period continued the ancient tradition of Kannada literature.
Deva Raya IIwas a poet and authored, in Kannada, the "Sobagina Sone", a collection of romantic stories in the form of a narration by the author to his wife.Sinopoli (2003) p 131] Manjaraja I a Jain authored a book on toxicology called "Khagendramanidarpana", Abhinava Chandra wrote on veterinary sciences in "Asva-vaidya", Sridharadeva wrote a medical work called "Vaidyamrita", Deparaja a Virashiava wrote a collection of romances called "Sobagina-sone", Brahmin poet Manjaraja II wrote "Manjaraja-Nighantu" (1398) was a metrical lexicon giving Kannada meanings of Sanskrit words, Lingamantri authored the lexicon "Kabbigarakaipidi", Viarkta Tontadarya wrote the lexicon "Karnatakasabdamanjari", Devottama a Jain wrote a lexicon "Nanartharatnakara".
The Vijayanagar period was the golden age of Telugu literature.Kamath (2001), pp 157-189] Sastri (1955), pp 239-280, pp 366-376] cite web|author=Arthikaje|title=Literary Activity, Art and Architecture|url=http://www.ourkarnataka.com/states/history/historyofkarnataka47.htm |publisher=OurKarnataka.Com|work=History of karnataka|accessdate=2006-12-31]
Srinatha, who was respected as "Kavi Sarvabhouma"(king of poets) in telugu, and patronised by many kings including the Kondavidu Reddy Kings, Velamas of Rachakonda and Deva Raya IIof Vijayanagara wrote "Marutratcharitra", "Salivahana Saptasati", "Panditaaradhyacharita", "Sivaratri Mahatmya", "Harivilasa", "Bhimakanda", "Kashikhandam", "Shringara Naishadham", "Palanati Veeracharitra", "Sringaradipika" and "Kridabhiramam" over the subjects of history and mythology.
Bammera Potana translated "
Bhagavata purana" into telugu and wrote "Bhogini Dhandaka" and "VirabhadraVijaya". Vemanawrote "Satakas", moral and social poems, that became colloquial telugu phrases. Annamacharya, who was also patroned by Saluva Narasingaraya wrote hundreds of "kritanas" in praise of Lord Venkateswara of Tirupati., [ [http://www.karnatik.com/co1010.shtml Annamayya, a popular Carnatic music composer] ] that became popular telugu prayer songs. His wife and the first known telugu poet, Tallapalka Timmakka wrote "Subhadra Parinaya".
Mallayya and Singayya together wrote "Varahapuranamu" and "Prabodhacandrodaya" while Vishvanatha Nayani wrote "Rayavachakamu". Nachanna Soma was patronised by
Bukka Raya I. Virabhadra Kavi translated the "Jaimini Bharata" and "Sringara Shakuntala". Prema Raju Jakkana wrote "Vikramarkacharita", a eulogy of the great king of Ujjain, Duggapalli Duggaya wrote "Naciketapakhyana", Durgagupta wrote "Vishnupurana" and Gaurana wrote "Harishchandrapakhyana".
During the reign of
KrishnadevarayaTelugu culture and literature flourished and reached their heyday. The great emperor was himself a celebrated poet having composed "Amuktamalyada". In his court, eight Telugu poets were regarded as the eight pillars of the literary assembly. In the olden days, it was believed that eight elephants were holding the earth in eight different directions. The title Ashtadiggajascelebrates this belief and hence the court was also called Bhuvana Vijayam (Conquest of the World). The period of the Empire is known as “Prabandha Period,” because of the quality of the prabandha literature produced during this time.
Among these eight poets,
Allasani Peddanais considered to be the greatest and is given the title of "Andhra Kavita Pitamaha" (the father of Telugu poetry). "Svarocisha Sambhava" or "Manucharita" is his popular prabandha work and was dedicated to Krishnadevaraya. Nandi Thimmanawrote Parijathapaharanam. Madayyagari Mallanawrote "Rajasekhara Charitramu." Dhurjatiwrote "Kalahasti Mahatyamu" and Ayyalaraju Ramabhadruduwrote "Sakalakatha Sangraha" and "Ramaabhyudayamu." Pingali Suranawrote "Raghava Pandaviyamu", "Kalapurnodayam", "Prabhavate Pradyamana'."Raghavapandaveeyamu" is a dual work with double meaning built into the text, describing both the Ramayanaand the Mahabharata. Kalapurnodayam(means full bloom of art) has been treated as the first original poetic novel in Telugu literature. Battumurthy alias Ramarajabhushanuduwrote "Kavyalankarasangrahamu," "Vasucharitra", "Narasabhupaliyam" and "Harischandranalopakhyanamu." Among these works the last one is a dual work which tells simultaneously the story of King Harishchandraand Nalaand Damayanti. Tenali Ramakrishnafirst wrote "Udbhataradhya Charitramu," a Shaivitework. However, he converted to Vaishnavismlater and wrote Vaishnava devotional texts "Panduranga Mahatmyamu," and "Ghatikachala Mahatmyamu." Tenali Rama remains one of the most popular folk figures in India today, a quick-witted courtier ready even to outwit the all-powerful emperor.
Other well known poets were Sankusala Nrisimha Kavi who wrote "KavikarnaRasayana", Chintalapudi Ellaya who wrote "Radhamadhavavilasa" and "Vishnumayavilasa", Molla, a poetess wrote a version of "Ramayana", Kamsali Rudraya wrote "Nirankusopakhyana", and Addanki Gangadhara wrote "Basavapurana". Manumanchi Bhatta wrote a scientific work called "Hayalakshana Sastra".
Sanskrit literature was given patronage by the Vijayanagar kings.Kamath (2001), pp 157-189] Sastri (1955), pp 239-280, pp 309-330] cite web|author=Arthikaje|title=Literary Activity, Art and Architecture|url=http://www.ourkarnataka.com/states/history/historyofkarnataka47.htm |publisher=OurKarnataka.Com|work=History of karnataka|accessdate=2006-12-31] The early kings of the Sangama dynasty patronised the
Sringerisaints while the Saluva and Tuluvakings patronised the Madhvasaints of Udupi.
The Sangama dynasty patronised the
Advaitasaints of the Sringeriorder. Some important works from this period were Sayana's "Vedartha Prakasha", "Yajnatantra Sudhanidhi", "Prayaschitra Sudhanidhi", "Alankara Sudhanidhi", "Yajnatantra Sudhanidhi", "Sarvadarshanasangraha", "Purushartha Sudhanidhi", many lesser manuals called "Sudhanidhis" treating expiation ("Prayaschitta"), "Yagnatantra" (vedic ritual) and "Purushartha" (aims of human endeavour). Madhva Vidyaranya, the spiritual force behind the founding empire wrote "Parasara – Madhaviya", "Rajakatenirnaya", "Vivaranapremayasangarha" and "Jivanmuktiviveka", Bharathitirtha wrote "Pancadasi", "Sangitasara". Anandapurna wrote commentaries on "KhandanaKhandakhadya", "Brahmasiddhi", "Vivarana" and "Nyayachandrika". Vedanta Desika wrote "Shankara Vijayam". Isavara Dikshita patronised by Krisnhadevaraya wrote two commentaries on the "Ramayana", a "Laghu" and a "Brihad Vivarana" in Hemakuta.
Appaya Dikshita(1554-1626), a devotional poet wrote commentaries on various schools of philosophies including Srikantha's Saivite Advaita. He was patroned by king Chinna Bomman of Vellore, a subject of emperor Aliya Rama Raya. http://www.hinduismtoday.com/archives/1994/3/1994-3-12.shtml Siva Advaita] Some of his works are Siva Karnamitra and Sivarka Manideepiaka.
Vallabhacharya(1479-1531), a great poet-philosopher and the fame of the
Madhurastakamwas patroned by Krishnadevarya and had written many other works like "Vyasa Sutra Bhashya", "Jaimini Sutra Bhasya", "Bhagavata Tika Subodhini", "Pushti Pravala Maryada" and "Siddhanta Rahasya" in Sanskrit. [ [http://www.karnatik.com/co1116.shtml Vallabhacharya] ] He also stayed at Kashi and other places in India, and so it is not known whether all of his works were done during his stay at Vijayanagara.
Many of the
Madhwaharidasas of the Udupiorder not only held positions of "rajguru" to Vijayanagar kings, they also wrote several famous works of dvaita vedanta. Famous among them were Jayatirtha, Sripadaraya, Vyasatirtha. Vyasatirtha(1460-1539), singer saint, esteemed master of religious discourse, follower of Tattvavada, philosophical school of thought (desciple of Srimad Ananda Tîrtha) wrote several works including "Nyayamrita", "Tarkatandava", and "Chandrika", collectively known as "Vyasa-Traya". Some other notable works from him are "Bhedojjivana", "Tatparyachandrika" and "Tarkatandava". He was patroned by Saluva Narasimha at Chandragiri and later became a "rajguru" to Krishnadevaraya. He was also the Guru of Purandaradasaand Kanakadasa, two outstanding luminaries of the Haridasatradition, the former also the founder of modern Carnatic music. http://www.dvaita.org/scholars/vyasaraja/ Sri Vyaasa Tîrtha ] Vadirajatirthawho was "rajguru" to Saluva Narasimha Deva Rayawrote "Yuktimallika" (a doctrine meant to critique the works of Sankaracahrya). Other prominent "haridasas" were Akshobhyatirtha who earned the title "Tikacharya" (wrote two polemics namely "Nyayasudha", "Vadavali"), Raghottamatirtha and Vijayindratirtha.
Vidyaranyaof Sringeri wrote Sangitasara, a treatise on music. Kallinatha patronised by Mallikarjuna Rayawrote on music and his grandson Rama Amatya who was patronised by Aliya Rama Rayaalso wrote "Svaramelakalanidhi" on music.
Praudha Devaraya wrote "Ratiratna Pradipika", a book on erotics.
Sayanawrote "Daturvrthi", a book of Sanskrit grammar. Sayana also wrote "Ayurveda Sudhanidhi", on traditional Indian medicine. Lakshmana Panditawrote another medicine book "Vaidyaraja Vallabham".
Anandapurana Vidyasagara of Gokarna wrote "Vyakhyaratnavali" during the rule of
Harihara II. Peda komati of Kondavidu wrote two works on poetics and music called "Sahityachintamani" and "Sangitachintamani". Komati's predecessor Kumaragiri of Kondavidu, whose wife Lakumadevi is a dancer, wrote "Vasantarajeeyam", a work on dance. Simhabhupala of Rachakonda wrote "Rasarnavasudhakara" a treatise on "rasa" and rules of dramaturgy. His court poet Visvesvara wrote "Chamatkarachandrika" a work on rhetoric. Vamana Bhatta wrote "Sabhda Ratnakara", a dictionary with phonetics. Vallabhacharya wrote "Lilavati Ganita", a treatise on mathematics.
Biographies and history
A family of poets called Dindimas from north Arcot flourished from Harihara I to Achuta Devaraya. Rajanatha Dindima II wrote "Saluvabhyudayam" (poems on the wars of Saluva Narasimha), Rajanatha Dindima III wrote "Achyutabhyudaya" (also called as "Achyutarayabhyudaya") on king Achyuta Raya. Gowda Dindima was a well known poet during this time and was defeated by
Srinatha, scholar in Telugu as well as Sanskrit.
Devanna Bhatta wrote "Smriti Chandrika". Gangamba Devi, a poetess and queen wrote "Madhura Vijayam", on her husband Kamparayalu's victory over
MadhuraiSultanate. Tirumalamba Devi, also a poetess wrote "Varadambika Parinayam" on Achyutadevaraya's marriage.
Other famous works from South India
Some of the kings themselvers are scholars.
Krishnadevarayawho patronised many poets, himself an accomplished scholar wrote "Madalasa Charita", "Satyavadu Parinaya" and "Rasamanjari" and "Jambavati Kalyana". King Devaraya I wrote "Mahanataka Sudhanidhi". king Saluva Narasimha wrote "Ramabhyudayam".
Vamana Bhatta Bana patronised by Reddy king Pedda Komati Vema of Kondavidu wrote "Vemabhupalacharita", "Nalabhyudaya", "Raghunathacharitakavya", "Parvathiparaniya" and "Kanakalekha Kalyana". Pedda Komati himself authored "Amarusataka" and "Saptasati sara" (a selection of 100 verses from king Hala's Prakrit anthology). Katayavema wrote commentaries on plays by Kalidasa.
Krishnadevaraya also patronised Tamil poet Harihara who wrote "Irusamaya vilakkam" (an exposition on saivism and Vaishnavism).Kamath (2001), pp 157-189] Sastri (1955), pp 331-354] Other Tamil poets of the Vijayanagar era were
Arunagirinatharwho wrote " Tiruppugazh" containing more than 1360 songs in various meters and several songs in praise of Lord Muruga, Svarupananda Deshika who wrote an anthology on the philosophy of " Advaita" in his "Sivaprakasap Perundirattu" and many poems like "Paduturai", "Nanavinoda Kalambakam", "Mohavadaipparani" and "Annavadaipparani". His pupil Tattuvaraya who wrote a short anthology called "Kurundirattu", Pugalendi, Jnanprakashar, Andari, Kacchiyappa Shivacharya wrote "Kandapuranam" and Ilanjuriyar were also patronised.
*Dr. Suryanath U. Kamath, "A Concise history of Karnataka from pre-historic times to the present", Jupiter books, MCC, Bangalore, 2001 (Reprinted 2002) OCLC: 7796041
* Prof K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, "History of South India, From Prehistoric times to fall of Vijayanagar", 1955, OUP, New Delhi (Reprinted 2002) ISBN 0-19-560686-8
* Hampi, "A Travel Guide", Department of Tourism, India, Good Earth publication, New Delhi 2003 ISBN 81-877801-7-7
* R. Narasimhacharya, "History of Kannada Literature", 1988, Asian Educational Services, New Delhi, Madras,1988, ISBN 81-206-0303-6
*Carla M. Sinopoli, The Political Economy of Craft Production: Crafting Empire in South India c.1350-1650, 2003, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521826136
*cite web|author=Arthikaje|title=Literary Activity, Art and Architecture|url=http://www.ourkarnataka.com/states/history/historyofkarnataka47.htm |publisher=OurKarnataka.Com|work=History of karnataka|accessdate=2006-12-31
* [http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext02/fevch10.txt Research on Vijayanagar empire by Robert Sewell]
* [http://www.dvaita.org/haridasa/ Haridasas of Karnataka, C.R. Madhusudan Rao]
* [http://www.engr.mun.ca/~adluri/telugu/classical/prabandha/ashtadiggajalu.html Ashtadiggajalu and other telugu poets during Prabandha Period]
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