SANCHIYA HONNAMMA, 1680 A.D.
- Sanchiya Honnamma (ಸಂಚಿಯ ಹೊನ್ನಮ್ಮ)
- sanciya honnamma
- 17th Century (Approximately 1680 A.D.)
- Yalanduru (yaLandUru) in Chamarajanagara district, the royal court
- 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
- Chikkadevaraya (1673-1704)
- Sarasasahityada Varadevate (sarasa sAhityada varadEvate)
- 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.
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.
Dharma’ should be studied as an extremely rare instance where in a woman gains an entry in to the
portals of literature.
- Hadibadeya Dharma (hadibadeya dharma) (The duties of a faithful
- 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.
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