PONNA

 

1.      Ponna (ಪೊನ್ನ)

2.      ponna

3.      950 A.D.(Approx.)

4.      Vengi Vishaya (Vengi County)

5.      Jaina

6.      Krishn-3 of Rashtrakuta dynasty

7.      kuruLgaLa savaNa, Kavi Chakravarthi, one among Ratna Traya

8.      Ponna ranks among the Kannada poets who received more than their share of adulation during their life time and subsequently faded in to relative oblivion. He was considered one among the great ‘Ratnatraya’. (Three great gems of Kannada literature) He was accorded the title ‘kavi Chakravarthi’ which was denied even to Pampa. Three works are attributed to Ponna and one of them ‘Bhuvanaika Ramabhuyudaya’ is now extant. ‘Jinakshara Male’ is a short work comprising of thirty nine poems (Kanda Padya) praising the lord Jina. ‘Bhuvanaika Ramabhyudaya’ was possibly the first work that established the tradition of Jaina Ramayanas in Kannada. Some poems selected from this work are quoted in later works here and there. Scholars have opined that this work could have been a combination of mythology and contemporary history. Ponna is supposed to have written another work ‘Gatapratyagatha’ in Sanskrit. Even this is not yet traced.

      Consequent of these facts, Ponna’s reputation stands solely on ‘Shantipurana’ which is a biographical account of Shantinatha the sixteenth teerthankara. This is a Champu work containing twelve chapters. Surprisingly, the first nine chapters are reserved for a description of the past eleven lives of the teerthankara and only the last three delineate the life of the protagonist. The story itself is very ordinary and it fails to interest the reader. Ponna was motivated by a desire to write an epic fulfilling all the stipulations laid down for a traditional epic as also the demands of Jaina puranas. Thus the eight necessary features of a Jaina purana are to be found here as also Jaina theology and a narration of the previous lives of the protagonist. (Bhavavali) The eighteen descriptions and nine rasas are given their due place. However the soul of poetry is absent. Ponna is deeply influenced by Kalidasa and makes a tall claim that he is far superior to the Sanskrit bard. Thus Ponna is a poet whose work is to be valued for the spate of information it provides on religion rather than its poetic merit. The fact that his patron Danachintamani Attimabbe got one thousand copies of this epic made and distributed it among interested readers goes to prove this fact.    

9.      a. shAntinAthapurANa b. bhuvanaika rAmAbhyudaya (Not found) c. jinAkshara mAle

10. References: 1. ‘Shanthi Puranam’, Ed. A.Venkata Rao and H. Shesha Iyengar, 1939, Madras University, Madras 2. 1. Kavi Chakravarthi Ponna mattu aatana Krutigalu, Umadevi M.R., 1979, Dharwada,

11. Links

12. Translations.

 

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