SIDDARAMA CHARITRA

 

  1. ಸಿದ್ಧರಾಮಚಾರಿತ್ರ (Siddaramacharitra)
  2. siddharAmacAritra
  3. The Noble life of the Saint Siddharama
  4. rAGavAnka (Raghavanka)
  5. 1225 A.D. (13th Century)
  6. Hampi in Bellary district
  7. Veerashaiva
  8. Devaraja of Hampi, Visited Prataparudradeva of Varangal
  9. Ubhayakavi Kamalaravi
  10. Poetry
  11. Vardhaka Shatpadi
  12. Palmleaf and Manuscripts
  13. 1883
  14. Siddhanthi Shivashankara Shastry
  15. Madras
  16. Siddharamacharitra’, Ed. D.L.Narasimhachar and T.S.Venkannaiah, 1941, Karnataka Sangha, Shivamogga 2. ‘Siddaramacharitra Sangraha’ Ed. D.L.Narasimhachar, 1951,  Kavyalaya, Mysore 3. ‘Siddaramacharitra’ Ed. S.Vidyashankara, 2004, Priyadarshini Prakashana, Bangalore 4. Raghavankana Samagra Kritigalu, Ed. M.M.Kalburgi, 2004, Kannada University, Hampi. 
  17. Siddaramacharitra’ is an interesting experiment of deifying a saint. Raghavanka who chose a mythological protagonist for his ‘Harishchandrakavyam’ and ‘Veereshacharite’ has selected Siddarama a twelfth century saint based at Sholapur, now in Maharashtra. This place was then known as sonnalige. However this temporal proximity has not prevented the poet from creating a story which is suffused with mythological details as well as miraculous happenings.                                             

Siddarama is a contemporary of Basavanna, Allamaprabhu, Akka Mahadevi and many other Shivasharanas who initiated the great Veerashaiva movement in the twelfth century.(This contention is disputed by some scholars) There is no doubt that Siddarama was a part of the movement for quite some time after an admonition and initiation by Allamaprabhu. Siddarama was essentially a Karmayogi who was bent upon serving the mankind with various altruistic deeds. Raghavanka must have had literary, inscriptional and folkloristic sources for his story. But the work is a balanced combination of history, mythology and poetry. Raghavanka’s familiarity with every day life has given the work a contemporary flair which is hard to find elsewhere.                                                                                                                                              The work begins with Siddarama’s childhood and his search for the elusive Shiva who lures him to Srishaila in the disguise of an old man. He meets Lord Shiva in person and then comes back to Sonnalige and leads a life of piety and altruism. He builds a wonderful tank called ‘Vidyatataka’ (vidyAtaTAka) in Sonnalige. However, his confrontation with Allama becomes a turning point in his life and he is taught a different mode of perception which stays with him for the rest of his life. On the face of it, it seems like a story of a great religion appropriating smaller set of beliefs and cults. However one is not led to believe that Siddarama’s credo of social service is altogether irrelevant. Basavanna hinself was a votary of social service and social reform.                                                                                                                    Siddaramacharitra is an epic containing nine chapters consisting of 549 poems written in a style which is a powerful combination of Kannada and Sanskrit. Many sub plots such as the endearing story of Billesha Bommaiah and the confrontation between Allama and Siddarama are full of dramatic possibilities. As usual in Raghavanka, the conversations are handled very competently.                                                                                                                                           All in all, ‘Siddaramacharitra’ is an able representative of the Kannada tradition of transforming history in to a literary work with mythological overtones and making profuse use of imagination.

  1. References: 1. ‘Karmayogi Siddarama’, (Novel) G.S.Shivarudrappa, Bangalore 2. ‘Siddarameshvara Purana’, Jayadevitayi Ligade, Sholapur, Maharashtra.  
  2. Links and Translations: 1. Translations of excrepts by K.Narasimha Murthy, Medeival Kannada literature, Ed. T.R.S.Sharma, Sahitya Academy  

  

 

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