Sri Jagannatha Dasa
Picture of Sri Jagannatha Dasaru
Brief sketch of Sri Jagannatha Dasaru..

Sri Jagannath Dasaru (1727 to 1809)

Born in a pious Brahmin family, he was given the name of Srinivasa. Even at a young age his brilliance was very evident and he was commended by Sri Vageesha Theertha, the then Pontiff at Mantralaya. He grew up to be a very great scholar, very well versed in all the great Dvaita works. Unfortunately, he also grew very proud and developed an intense dislike for Haridaasas, who he felt, were misrepresenting Dvaita philosophy.

He was a great sanskrit and dvaita scholar before becomming Dasa ( Srinivasa ). He had ego about his knowledge and disliked the Haridasas of that time. Foremost among the Haridasas among the time was Sri Vijaya Dasa. He disliked Haridasas of that time because he felt that they are misrepresenting the Dvaita School of thought by composing works in Kannada ( the local langauge ). He is said to have commented about Sri Vijaya Dasa that "Kannada pada heluva aa kUsi maganenu dasanaguttane". Meaning "How can that son of kUsi(name of Sri Vijaya Dasa's Mother), who sings kannada songs be a scholar". Later on he also refused to a feast in the honour of Sri Vijaya Dasa in the same city even when invited by Sri Vijaya Dasa himself. He complained that he is having some problems with stomach and thus he has already taken the food. To this Sri Vijaya Dasa replied "hage aagali" ( let it be so). Then Srinivasa developped a 'real' pain in the stomach.

From that day, Srinivasa developed intense stomach problems which grew worse by the day, finally reaching unbearable proportions. Srinivasa went to Tirupathi, Ghatikaachala and Mantralaya, performing intense Seva towards the Lord, Vaayu Devaru and Sri Raghavendra Swamigalu. None of this proved to be of any avail.

Finally, at the end of his stay in Mantralaya, he decided to commit suicide. That night, the epitome of mercy, Sri Raghavendra Swamigalu, appeared in his dream and told him that the cure for his problems lay in surrendering to Sri Vijayadaasaru and seeking his blessings. Srinivasa felt intense disgust at his own arrogance and rushed to Sri Vijayadaasaru, deeply regretting his behavior.

Sri Vijayadaasaru welcomed him without rancor, gave him a cure right away, and directed him to Sri Gopaala Daasaru who would be his swaroopa guru. Srinivasa went to Sri Gopaala Daasaru and spent some time with him. He realized the greatness of both the Daasarus and the fallacy of his own thinking.

Later, Sri Gopaala Daasaru and Srinivasa visited Tirupathi, where another miracle happened. Due to a combination of his previous ill-health and the strain of travelling to Tirupathi, Srinivasa expired on Bhadrapada Shukla Navami . Then, Sri Vijaya Daasaru appeared in an astral form before Sri Gopala Daasaru and directed him to donate 40 years of his life-span to Srinivasa and revive him. Sri Gopala Daasaru immediately complied, and by the grace of the Lord, Srinivasa came back to life again.

Deeply affected by the events in his recent past, Srinivasa decided to become a Haridaasa. Sri Gopala daasaru gave him Haridaasa Deekshe and directed him to Pandarapur for ankitha. There Srinivasa found a stone bearing the words "Jagannatha Vittala". From that day, he started composing devotional works with that ankitha. He became renowned as Jagannatha Daasaru.

He lived for 40 years after his miraculous rebirth. His life was full of incidents that reveal that he was an Aporaksha Gyani and a great Bhaktha with whom the Lord performed many leelas. There were many instances when the Lord took somebody's form and personally served Jagannatha Daasaru. When he visited Mantralaya, Rayaru personally appeared from the Brindavan and spoke to him (this wonderful incident is captured in the Devaranama "Yeddu Baruthaare Nodu...."). The jewel in his devotional crown was of course Hari Kathaamrutha Saara. It is said that in this wonderful work Sri Jagannatha Dasaru has captured the essence of his amazing grasp of Sastras, Srimad Acharya's works and works of other great Dvaita saints. It is a "must" for every Mumukshu aspiring for the grace of Hari, Vaayu, Guru.

Again, on the same Bhadrapada Shukla Navami, exactly 40 years after his rebirth, he reached the Lord's lotus feet.

  • Overview of his Compositions

    When we look into the entire Compositions of Sri Jagannatha Dasaru most of them are devotional and giving importance to bhakti. One more thing we can find in his compositions are that it is stotra oriented: vittalayya vittalayya tatitkotinibhkaya jagannathavittalayya.. it starts and yendu kambeno mArutiya yi.ndu bhaga nivAsa narana sArathiya... prays humbly. He also expresses satisfaction when he felt that he has seen the Panduranage Vittala in his songs.. ka.nde pa.ndarirAyana... and dhanyanAde vittalana ka.ndu. He felt very happy in explaining Vittala whom he met. Sri Jagannatha Dasa exponents contains Devottee humble beginning to see and percept Sri Hari, his humanatarian relationship which makes him happy and comfortable, devotion which is beyond emotional touch are some of the concepts of his works. It is assumed that a devotee can build a relationship with Sri Hari in four ways, they are:

  • Master and Servant relationship (Dasya bhava)
  • Friendliness
  • Mother and child relatonship (Tender fondness, parental relationship)
  • Husband and Wife (love) Other than the above four there is fifth one which is Devotee and Sri Hari relationship. This is very popular in Devotional group/sect. This has been carried from Sri Padaraja and Sri Jagannatha Dasa also has done this with his devotional compositions. In Jagannatha Dasa's atma para compositions his dasya bhava can be seen visibly ie master and servant relationship. dAsOHAM tava dAsOHAM is coming from his inner heart, pAhi pAhi is from his mind and he has expressed that Sri Hari has to protect him 'rakshisOsrIsha srInivsa.. He also regrets that with the relationship bad people and his mind has become culmina A devotee can build relationship with Sri Hari in four way Explanations in respect of Devotees humble beginning to see Sri Hari.

    Sri Jagannatha Dasa is a very forciable writer and known chiefly for his prodgious schloarship in Sanskrit and mastery of original sanskrit texts of the system. He has burning enthusiasm for the cause of Madhva philosophy and writes a powerful style laden with technical wisdom and theological intricacies. His style is highly Sanskritised and his work teems with the details of Bhakti, Mukti, Taratamya, Aparoksa etc. His magnum opus, the Harikathamruthasara is a mind of information on Madva theology and is honored as a great authority and standard work of reference on the Estoerics of its theology, by adherents of Dasa Koota. It is written in the Bhamini Satpadi meter and is an epitome of Madhva theology, in 32 sandhis (chpaters). This Kannada work has the special honor of having a very recondite sanskrit commentary by Sankarsana Odeyaru disciple of Sri Visvapriya Tiirtha of Sode mutt.

    Few Compositions of Sri Jagannatha Dasaru


    Sri Pada Raja Tiirtha Sri Vyasa Raja Tiirtha Sri Vadi Raja Tiirtha Sri Raghavendra Tiirtha Sri Purandara Dasaru
    Sri Kanaka Dasaru Sri Vijaya Dasaru Sri Gopala Dasaru Helevanakatte Giriyamma Sri Jagannatha Dasaru
    Sri Pranesha Dasaru Harapanahalli Bhimavva Sri Prasanna Venkata Dasaru Sri Venu Gopala Dasaru Sri Mohana Dasaru
    Sri Guru Jagannatha Dasaru Sri Asygyala Govinda Dasaru Sri Mahipathi Dasaru Haridasa HomePage FAQ