By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Vijayadasa, VijayadAsa, Vijayadaasa
Great saints have often shown that they have extraordinary powers of intuition and prediction. Purandaradāsa, one of the great vaiṣṇava saints of Karnataka, had foretold that his last son Madhvapati would have to be reborn to complete his own mission of composing many more devotional songs which he could not do. The Haridāsa tradition of Karnataka believes that Vijayadāsa was the reincarnation of Madhvapati. Vijayadāsa lived in A. D. 1682-1755.
Overview of Life of Vijayadāsa
Born as the eldest son of Sīnappa and Kusamma at Cīkalapari in the Raichur district of Karnataka, Vijayadāsa’s original name was Dāsappa. He grew in that village without much education, into a young man. Poverty and selfishness of the people around him as also the arrogance of his own rich uncle, forced him to abandon his house and walk all the way to Kāśī. There, on the bank of the river Gaṅgā, when he fell asleep, the saint Purandaradāsa is said to have appeared in his dream and initiated him, instantly converting him into the sage Vijayadāsa. He toured the country extensively, mostly in Southern India. Tirupati and Uḍupi were his favorite places of pilgrimage.
Disciples of Vijayadāsa
Among his disciples, the following became more well-known in course of time:
Literary Contribution by Vijayadāsa
Vijayadāsa has left a very large number of devotional songs, especially of a particular type called ‘sulādi’. The language is simple and generally deals with such topics as greatness of God’s divine name, need for the grace of the guru and God, importance of jñāna, bhakti and vairāgya in spiritual life and God as Śrihari or Hari, the greatest of all gods. He has given quite a bit of information in his compositions about Purandaradāsa and his contemporaries that help us to get historical details about them.
- Purandaradāsa lived in A. D. 1484-1564.
- Jñāna means knowledge.
- Bhakti means devotion.
- Vairāgya means renunciation.
- Hari is also called Viṣṇu/Nārāyaṇa.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore