Sri Sri Vijaya Dasaru (1682-1755)
Sri Vijaya Dasa is one of the most renowed scholars and philosophers in Dwaita philosophy as well Dasa Sahitya. He is revered as the spiritual heir of Sri Purandara Dasa. Vijaya means win and he is regarded as the one who knows how to win the heart of Hari and Hari Bhaktas, through his compositions.
Lineage : He is regarded as the reincarnation of Bruga Muni. It is believed that in KRutha Yuga he incarnated as a disciple of Naarada, in THretha YUga as a monkey called Suraleela, in DWapara YUga as a Yadava called Nikampana (Yadaava) and in Kali yuga as a calf and later as a brahmin. Bruga muni is also known as the tAratamya saint since he proclaimed that Hari was the highest and most powerful among all gods. etc.
He was born in a very poor Brahmin family in Chekalaparvi of Manwi Taluk in Raichur District. His parents were Sri Srinivasappa and Kusamma. He went to Kashi (Varanasi) for four years for studies and later returned to his native land.
He married Aralamma at the age of 16 and had a troubled domestic life because of poverty. He want back to Kashi (Varanasi) after his parents’ death. He became a renowned sanskrit scholar. One day he had a dream in which Sri Purandara Dasa appeared, initiated him into the order of Dasas and gave him the ankitha of ‘Vijay Vittala’. From then on, he was known as Vijaya Dasa. His compositions were revered as holy.
He spent the rest of his life popularizing Dwaita concepts, the works of Srimadacharya and Hari Bhakti mala’s. He has written about 25,000 Padya Sulyadi i.e *UGAHA BHOGHA* ‘s, his works are called kalasha’s creations, Urasu’s creations. In Kannada sahitya his literary works are regarded as second only to those of Sri Purandara Dasa. He is affectionately called Dasa Shresta, for his personality, knowledge and the brilliant disciples he left behind.
He prevented a woman from killing herself and her son. He looked after them as part of his family. Later that boy became his disciple and a very famous Haridasa called Mohana Dasa. It is said that Mohana Dasa had another close brush with death and it was again Sri VijayadAsa who saved him.
He gave rebirth to his own son from his life of 4 years and another 7 years from some body.
He went to Kashi thrice and during one of his visits, the Holy Ganges was in spate. He took a dip in the river and sat in padmasana over the flowing river, all without getting his clothes and body wet.
Sri Vijaydasaru demonstrated his amazing mystical powers by making a dimwit recite and explain JayatIrtha’s Sriman NyAya Sudha in simple words (something which even very learned scholars find impossible to do).
Seeing his brilliance and scholarly attitude he has enormous followers and disciples. His followers include Sri Jagannatha Dasaru who has given the world with ‘Harikathamrutha Sara’, Sri Gopala Dasaru, Kallur Subramanya Charya etc.
He lived till the age of 79, showing the world the path to the peace and Hari bhakti through Dasa Sahitya.
Every year, during Karthika Shudda Navami, Dashmi and UtwanDwadashi his ‘Aradhana’ is celebrated in Chippgiri, which is about 3 miles from Guntakal. The location where the aradhana is celebrated is called ‘Sri Vijaya Dasara Katte’ (Vrundavana). Thousands of Madhwas attend and get his blessings.
Sri Gopala Dasaru, his chief disciple, constructed a temple for Anjaneya (Sri Mukhya Prana Devaru) in front of the ‘Katte’. There is a pond close by called ‘Vijaya Thirtha’. It is believed that during his third visit to Kashi, Sri Vijaya Dasaru brought Ganges and installed it in that pond, for the benefit of his disciples.
The old house where Sri Vijay dasaru lived Chippgiri has been preserved by his devotees, as also the Mahadeva and Srinivasa Temples that he used to visit. There is cave close by where the Sun god is supposed to have conducted penance.
It is believed that even to-day Sri Vijay Dasaru visits the spot in an astral form, takes bath in the Vijay Thirtha and cleans the Mukya Prana temple. One of the temple servants is supposed to have witnessed this miracle.
Sri Purandara daasa had a son called Madhwapathi. Purandara Dasa would visit the Sri Yanthrodaara Praana Devaru temple (Hanumantha) in Hampi and offer naivedya (divine offering) to the deity. Once, due to paucity of time, Sri Purandara Daasa asked Madhwapathi to do the naivedya. Madhwa pathi, who was a small boy, honestly believed that Hanumantha would literally eat the food offered to him. When this did not happen, the little boy became very upset and started punishing himself. To prevent this, Hanumantha appeared before him and actually ate the food, leaving behind a small portion as prasad. When Madhwa pathi returned home and related this incident to his parents, nobody believed him. To test the veracity of his story, Purandara dasa accompanied him the next day, and saw the miracle with his own eyes. He became ecstatic and told Madhwa pathi that he was very lucky to have obtained the grace of Hanumantha.
Sri Purandara dasa composed a total of 4,75,000 literary pieces (devaranamas, suladis, ugabhogas) in his lifetime. When Madhwapathi pointed out to his father he was 25,000 short of 500,000, Sri Purandara daasa told him that by the grace of Vijaya Vittala, he (Madhwapathi) would be reborn as a hari daasa in his next birth and make up the balance 25,000. Accordingly, Madhwapathi, the son of Sri Purandara daasa was reborn as Sri Vijaya daasa in his next birth and composed 25000 songs with the ankita(signature) of Sri Vijaya Vittala.
Overview of his Literature
Sri Vijaya Dasa composed many songs and Suladis. His style is very scholarly and full of words from Sanskrit. His thorough grasp of the Sastras is very evident in his works. His compositions are simple and lucid, replete with telling phrases and similies, like those of his master Sri Purandara Dasa. He was an ardent Vaisnava, extolling Madhva as the Saviour of mankind.