SHADAKSHARADEVA

 

  1. Shadaksharadeva (ಷಡಕ್ಷರದೇವ)
  2. SaDakSaradEva
  3. 17th Century (1665 A.D. approximately)
  4. Danuguru, (danugUru) Malavalli Talluk, Mandya district.
  5. Veerashaiva, Head of Danuguru Mutt, Disciple of Chikkaveeradeshika.
  6. ........
  7. Ubhayakavitavisharada
  8. Shadaksharadeva is a classic example of shifts in popularity and a change in the reading habits of communities. Shadaksharadeva was among the most renowned Kannada poets in the early decades of the twentieth centuries. Erudite scholars such as S.S.Basavanal have bracketed him along with Pampa and Ranna as one of greatest poets in Kannada in preference to Harihara, Kumara Vyasa and Raghavanka. However, now a days most discerning readers pass by him with out a glance. This is possibly due to the fact that he was a scholar in Kannada and Sanskrit and this bi-lingual mastery helped him in reviving the Champu tradition. He is considered as the last major poet who chose that genre. He had many imitators. But none of them could be called a successor.                   

Even though Shadakshara chose to write in Champu, his subject matter was radically different. He decides to write about the great Shivabhaktas, not from Karnataka, but from the neighboring Tamilnadu. Satyendra Chola and Soundara Chola are typical monarchs from the South. Even Shabarashankaravilasa is a tribute to the Lord Shiva,  worshipped in iconic form.                                                                                                                                        ‘Rajashekharavilasa’ is his first and the most popular work. It’s based on “Bhavachintaratna’ by Gubbi Mallanarya. This is the story of Satyendra Chola who undergoes an ordeal by fire to prove his sense of justice and devotion to Lord Shiva. Rajashekhara and Mitavachana are riding down the royal route and a young boy Shankara is trampled under the feet of the horse ridden by Mitavachana. Satyendra hands down death punishment to his own son Rajashekhara. Rajashekhara’s head will be chanting ‘Namah Shivaya’ even after the execution. Others follow suit by cutting off their own heads. Lord Shiva makes an appearance and the story meanders to a happy conclusion.                                                                                                                                             Shadakshara has narrated this story in an exalted style creating opportunities for an exhibition of his erudition. The laments of Tirukolavinachi the mother of young Shankara are very touchingly depicted. The importance given to human values is very admirable.                         ‘Basavarajavijaya’ also known as ‘Vrushabhendravijaya’ is essentially a compendium of the biographical sketches of eighty Shivasharanas. This contains forty two sections constituting more than 3500 poems. ‘Shabarashankaravilasa’ is a short work delineating the confrontation of Arjuna with Shiva in 467 poems. Other Kannada works by Shadakshara are essentially devotional with scant literary merit. ‘Kavikarnarasaayana’ in Sanskrit is about Soundara Chola another Shivabhakta from the Chola kingdom.  Shadaksharadeva made a valiant attempt of swimming against the tides by trying to revive the Champu tradition. It gained some recognition among the scholarly bunch of readers as also those who are very religious. This has been the fate of a long list of poets who try to revive the prosodic forms and stylistic choices of the past.                                               

  1.  1. rAjashEKaraviLAsa (Rajashekharavilasa) 2. shabarashankaraviLAsa 3. BasavarAjavijaya (basavarAjavijaya) 4. kavikarNarasAyana (In Sanskrit) 5. basavASTaka   6. nIlAmbikAstOtra 7. mangalASTaka 8. lingASTaka (All in Kannada) 9. shivastOtramanjari 10. shivastavamanjari 11. veerabhadradanDaka (All in Sanskrit)

(A total of twenty three works in Kannada [14] and Sanskrit [9].) 

10.  References: ‘1. Shadaksharadeva’   Chandramouli S.Naikar, 1995, Sahitya Academy,    New Delhi 2. Shadaksharadevana Nenapu, M.Mallappa, 1942 3. ‘Shadaksharadeva’ by De.Javaregowda, 1959, Prasaranga, Mysore University, Mysore 4. Mahakavi Shadaksharadeva B.Shivamurthy Shastry, 1966, Bangalore 5. Seemapurusha Shadakshari by V.Shivananda, 1966. 

 

 

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