SANCHIYA HONNAMMA, 1680 A.D.

(Hadibadeya Dharma)

 

  1. Sanchiya Honnamma (ಸಂಚಿಯ ಹೊನ್ನಮ್ಮ)
  2. sanciya honnamma
  3. 17th Century (Approximately 1680 A.D.)
  4. Yalanduru (yaLandUru) in Chamarajanagara district, the royal court of Chikkadevaraya.
  5. Not Known (Vokkaliga?) (Belonged to the profession of providing betel nuts and other condiments to the king. She was a disciple of Singararya and Tirumalarya
  6. Chikkadevaraya (1673-1704)
  7. Sarasasahityada Varadevate (sarasa sAhityada varadEvate)
  8. Sanchiya Honnamma is one among just a handful of women poets mentioned in the traditional histories of Kannada literature. However, unlike Kanti and Muktayakka, Honnamma has at least written a complete work. Helavanakatte Giriyamma also has composed a work in Sangatya. This does not really mean that there was a total absence of women’s writings during this period. This situation has arisen because of a marginalization of women and their achievements in a patriarchal society. One has to take note of the fact that even ‘Hadibadeya Dharma’ by Honnamma is more of a guide book meant for aspiring wives and the duties prescribed are none other than those imposed by the male controlled patriarchal system. ‘Hadibadeya Dharma’ was first published in the Karnataka Kavya       Kalanidhi series edited by the celebrated team of M.A.Ramanuja Iyyengar and S.G.Narasimhchar. A thoroughly revised edition was published in 1940, edited by D.Champabai. This was published by the University of Mysore. Two editions with prose translations have appeared in recent decades. One of them is renders the text in modern prose and this task is done by N.Ranganathasharma a renowned scholar in Sanskrit. ‘Hadibadeya Dharma’ contains nine chapters and constitutes 479 poems. The fact that they are in sangatya meter which can be rendered in to music with utmost ease is note worthy. The author is caught in a dilemma between her inner feelings and the value system imposed from above. She does speak about gender bias and makes bold to say that it is not a loss if one begets a daughter. To say that the birth of a son is nothing special, needed some courage during those days. She has culled out her material from religious texts such as the ‘Manusmriti’ and literary epics like the ’Ramayana’ and the ‘Mahabharatha’. She sets out to create a simple code of conduct for a newly married woman in a transparent style. The mode of narration is persuasive and the advice sounds very appropriate within that frame work. In a way this shows the hollow nature of a humanistic approach in a demanding society. Of course there is an under current of sorrow and    disappointment. One finds thinly veiled instances of feminine angst. She    has not hesitated to give advice to men also regarding the treatment of women folk.                                  

This is essentially an ethical code with out any literary pretensions.   However a simile here and a turn of words there do succeed in charming the reader. She has shown lyrical capabilities in situations that are suffused with human emotions. The portrayal of a woman waiting for her  husband is very poetic.

‘Hadibadeya Dharma’ should be studied as an extremely rare instance   where in a woman gains an entry in to the portals of  literature.

  1. Hadibadeya Dharma (hadibadeya dharma) (The duties of a faithful wife)
  2. References: 1. ‘Honnammana Hadibadeya Dharma- vivechanatmaka prabandha’ by Sadananda N. Naik, 1968, Usha Sahityamale, Mysore. 2. ‘Hadibadeya dharma-ondu adhyayana’ by Madhu Venka Reddy, 1995, Kannada Sahitya Parishattu, Bangalore 3. ‘Sanchiya Honnamma’ by H.M.Shankaranarayana Rao, 1959, Prasaranga, Mysore University 4. Hadibadeya Dharma-ondu Parichaya by N.Kumuda, 1999, Chetana Bookhouse (Akhila Agencies), Mysore.

 

 

Home / Literature