Purandara Dasa Conveys Advaita through a humourous song

Advaita or non-dual reality proclaims that there is only one without a second. The essence of Advaita is captured in the so-called MAHAVAKYAS of our Upanishads. (A MAHAVAKYA is a profound statement of reality in one sentence). Advaita implies that there is no second reality other than Eswara or God. But then one sees diversity all around. How does one account for it? This can be accounted for only by saying that the CREATION IS THE CREATOR! This simple message of our Upanishads is brilliantly captured in a song by the saint Purandara Dasa. The song is very simple and humourous besides conveying a profound message. Here is the link to the song and my brief explanation:

alli nODalu rAma illi nODalu rAma
ellelli nODidara alli SrIrAma || pa ||

rAvaNana mUlabala kaMDu kapisEne
AvAgale bedari ODidavu
I vELe naranAgi irabAradeMdeNisi
dEva rAmacaMdra jagavella tAnAda || 1 ||

avanige iva rAma ivanige ava rAma
avaniyoL Ipari rUpavuMTe
lavamAtradi asura duruLarellaru
avaravar hoDedADi hatarAgi pOdaru || 2 ||

hanumadAdi sAdhujanaru appikoMDu
kuNikuNidADidaru haruShadiMda
kShaNadali puraMdara viThalarAyanu
konegoDeyanu tAnobbanAgi niMta || 3 ||

Translation: Rama is here, Rama is there, He is everywhere! The mighty forces of Ravana fled from the scene when they saw Rama in every monkey.  While the evil forces got frightened and ran away, noble souls like Hanuman embraced each other and danced seeing only Rama in everyone!

Analysis:The saint brilliantly brings out the message of Advaita through this composition. If there is only Rama everywhere, everyone will see only Rama in every other person. One will only see Rama all around including himself. Then the poet-saint says with a touch of humour that Ravana’s army saw only Rama in every monkey in the army and hence started running away. Extending the logic and humour further, the saint adds: Hunuman and other good souls like him started embracing each other on seeing Rama in other persons.

The fact that the army of Ravana runs away seeing Rama everywhere means that egoistic minds feel threatened by the truth of advaita and hence would flee to a place where they would see multiplicity and feel at home.

The melodious song in the link above was sung by Mambalam sisters in the Raga Natakuranji. I have heard this song sung in much slower pace than the one in my link. However, I feel this pace is just right for this song. It’s in tune with its humourous content.

Published in: on April 23, 2016 at 7:47 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Seriously?
    Purandara Dasa was a renowned dvaita kavi, who exalted and propagated dvaita philosophy through his keertanas. You cannot just randomly come out of nowhere and conclde purandara dasas keertane as advaitic ,trust me it just shows your ignorance.

    Mayavadigala gedditu koosu
    Dvaita matavanu uddharisitu koosa
    Madhwa rayaremba hesarina koosu

    A verse from purandara Dasa’s keertanas on Madhwacharya .

    Unless you are neglecting such keertans out of ignorance, you’re act seems too desperate, for it is evident that Purandara Dasa was a staunch dvaita follower whose aim had been to condemn incorrect philosophies.

    • Agreed, he was a dwaitin. I stand corrected. Myself being a die-hard advaitin, I saw only advaita in this particular song. Sorry if I have hurt anyone’s feelings.

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