By Swami Harshananda
Rāmadāsa of Bhadrācala lived in A.D. 1630-1687. It is in the Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh, situated on the bank of the sacred river Godāvarī. It is a famous place of pilgrimage. The town is blessed by a beautiful temple dedicated to Śrī Rāma. Gopanna, an educated and cultured man from a good family, was the collector of the district at that time. The king or the chieftain was a Muslim named Tānīṣā.
When Pokala Dammakka, a poor lady, requested him to build a nice temple for the images of Rāma, Sītā and Lakṣmaṇa which she had recovered from an anthill, Gopanna built it with the State funds in his charge. Enraged by this, Tānīṣa is said to have imprisoned him. However, Śri Rāma saved him miraculously. This brought about a total conversion in him. He dedicated the rest of his life to spiritual pursuits. Since then, he came to be known as Bhadrācala Rāmadāsa. According to some versions Kabīrdas gave him this name.
He was well-versed in several languages. He composed a number of devotional songs in praise of Rāma in the Telugu language, his mother-tongue. Even Tyāgarāja the great musician saint was fond of his songs.
- He lived in A.D. 1440-1518.
- He lived in A. D. 1767-1848.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore