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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Haridasas Last updated: April 16, 1998 Haridasa Home Page http://www.dvaita.org/haridasa/ Haridasa FAQ (web version) http://www.dvaita.org/haridasa/faq.html Haridasa FAQ maintainer haridasa -at- dvaita.org Dvaita Home Page http://www.dvaita.org/ Dvaita FAQ (web version) http://www.dvaita.org/faq.html Contents: I. Frequently Asked Questions for Haridasas II. Glossary of Terms with meaning used in Haridasa Sahitya I. Frequently Asked Questions for Haridasas ------------------------------------------- 1) Who are Haridasas? The term 'Haridasa' means literally 'servant of Sri Hari'. In common parlance the term refers to devotional poets, who composed songs in Kannada (a language in use in South India particularly in Karnataka) in praise of Sri Hari (The supreme Godhead according to Hindu scriptures, who is also called Narayana, Vishnu etc.). The Haridasas were servants of God. Sri Vijayadasa, a famous Haridasa in his Haridasalakshana Suladi describes the vows that have to be taken by the Haridasa before ordination. These include absolute faith in Sruti, Smriti, Purana and Ithihasa as interpreted by Acharya Madhva and his disciples who preached the Dvaita tenets. Note : The Haridasas are followers of Sri Madhwacharya who was the founder of Dvaitha siddhanta which has the following nine fundamental tenets. * Sri Hari is sarvottama ,sarvashaktha, sarvavyapi etc. The supreme being is infinitely superior to all, and has infinite capacity and pervades every where. * The world is satya (has real existence) * Bheda (difference between objects and souls etc as observed in the world) is real and not imaginary as postulated by Advaitha. * There are fundamental and eternal differences between souls or JIvas who have different innate capacities. * All the jIvas are servants and dependents of Sri Hari. * Mukthi or liberation from the eternal cycle of births and deaths and suffering in this world is the realisation with God's grace, the innate bliss that is the essence of the JIva himself. * Bhakthi (Devotion) is the main sadhana (means) of achieving Mukthi (liberation). * There are three pramanas (means of cognising valid truths) only - Pratyaksha, Anumana and Sabda. * Hari is knowable only through the Vedas. The order of the Dasas was built up by a regular band of saintly souls, who dedicated themselves to the service of the Lord by propagating their faith and singing the praises of Hari wandered from one end of the country to the other. The main messages enshrined in their songs were : * God is easily approachable by all. * God is to be praised and constantly remembered as our benefactor. * Realising the true nature of God's benevolence towards us and offering even simple worship within the means available to one is more acceptable to Him than ritualistic or pompous ornamentation without mental participation. They were universally respected and fully supported by MAdhva pontiffs (MatAdhipathi's or swamiji's) and scholars. The Dasas were semi-ascetic in their approach to the world at large. They renounced the pleasures of the world but were house-holders and lived a normal family life. They accepted food offered to them when they went around with their bags (called Jolige) without storing it for profit (Unchha Vrutti). Temples and maThas became their main abode. They went around towns and villages singing and dancing with a single-stringed tamboori instrument and castanets. Barefooted, simply dressed in dhoti and turban, the Dasas presented a picture of simplicity, austerity and elegance. 2) What is Dvaita or TattvavAda? Dvaita or TattvavAda is one of the leading schools of Hindu philosophy. It was propounded by AchArya Madhwa (aka MadhwAchArya, Ananda tIrtha). The cardinal precepts are : The supremacy of Sri Hari and surrender to Him and service to humanity as the sole means of liberation. Please see item No.1 for details. The philosophy of Sriman Madhvacharya is essentially pragmatic with relevance to everyday life. Its emphasis on Duty, Morality and Devotion to the supreme being at every stage of life leads towards the twin objectives of building a sound individual and an orderly society. Acharya Madhwa propagated the true spirit of modesty, selflessness and sublimity by commending that every individual shall always consider himself as a servant at the feet of the Supreme Lord, who is the embodiment of all perfection and perform his assigned role in the world as his duty towards the Lord. for further details see Dvaita FAQ. (http://www.dvaita.org/faq.txt or http://www.dvaita.org/faq.html) 3) Who was AchArya Madhwa? He was the founder of the dvaita or tattvavAda school of philosophy. For more details, see the dvaita homepage (http://www.dvaita.org). 4) What was the relationship between Dvaita and HaridAsas? HaridAsas were followers of AchArya Madhva, the founder of the dvaita school of philosophy. They drew their inspiration from scriptures as correctly interpreted by AchArya Madhva. Consequently, dvaita provided the philosophical underpinning for their work. Compositions of Haridasas can be broadly classified as those essentially meant to explain the Dvaita vedantha concepts and others which are prima-facie devotional music. The former were mostly composed by Ascetics and householders who wanted to popularise Dvaita amongst the masses. They are sometimes in the form of independent texts like Harikathamruthasara by Sri Jagannatha dasaru in the 18th century, which is accepted as an authority in Thathvavada even by scholars. Sri Vadiraja has also composed many significant compositions with this end in view. Such works were mostly composed till the 18th century. But a large number have been composed by others in the form of Suladis and Ugabhogas in kannada, which can be sung to rhythm, but are not particularly intended for musical rendering but for explaining the Thathva and deal with it in some detail by explaining the concepts in simple language. Ugabhogas are very short and emphasise a topic considered very important. Suvvalis are also written occasionally, which contain great philosophical truths embedded in homespun kannada - Ex. Thathva suvvali of Sri Jagannatha dasaru. The majority of songs composed by Haridasas, specially those who came in the Nineteenth century, however are in the nature of devotional music extolling the supreme being and our reverence to Him. Occasionally they also refer to specific Thathvas and injunctions briefly which are illustrated by stories from Puranas. There is no detailed reasoning and exposition of the philosophy of Acharya Madhva, which is usually taken as axiomatic. The drift of the songs is lyrical and didactic rather than logical and definitive. Nevertheless, certain basic tenets of the system like the doctrines of Hari sarvOttama (Lord Hari is the Supreme amongst all gods), 'tAratamya' (gradation), 'panchaBhEda' (fivefold differences amongst all the entities in the world), the nature of souls, the infinite and immutable attributes of God, and the nature of 'mOksha (liberation) are invariably dealt with. Most of the songs are extremely well written for being sung in classical music - Ragas, Thalas etc. These songs when sung with great musical beauty and emotional feelings take the singer and listeners very close to the object of such worship. For more details you can go to Influence of Sri Madhvacharya on Haridasas section of Haridasa homepage. (http://www.dvaita.org/haridasa/overview/mphil.html) 5) What are the basic tenets of Acharya Madhwa's teachings? * Vishnusarvottamatva - Supremacy of Lord Vishnu * Vayujeevottamatva - Supremacy of Vayu among Jeevas * The World is real (satya) and not illusory * Panchabheda - Five fold distinction * Bhakti (Devotion to God) is the sure route to God 6) How did the concept of 'haridAsatva' start? The first person to start the practice of composing devotional songs in kannada, the language of the people, was Shri NaraharitIrtha, (a direct disciple of Acharya Madhwa himself in the 14th century), but the one who really breathed life into the practice was Sri shrIpAdarAja (aka Sri LakshmInArAyanatIrtha) and his disciple Sri VyAsaIrtha. They were both mAdhwa pontiffs, with extraordinary proficiency in the original philosophical compositions of Acharya Madhwa and his disciples which were in sanskrit. However, in order to draw the common man into the fold of devotion, they composed devotional songs in kannada. Even though there were a few others before him, the first, universally revered haridAsa who was not an ascetic was Shri Purandara dAsa. He was a direct disciple of Shri VyAsatIrtha and lived in the 16th century, contemporary to Sri Purandara is Sri Kanakadasa. Among other dasas were Sri Vijaya Dasa, Sri Gopala Dasa, Sri Jagannatha Dasa, Helevanakatte Giriamma and others. For further details see http://www.dvaita.org/haridasa/overview/hist.html 'History of Haridasas". 7) What is the Background of Dasa's? The Dasas, though learned, were humble servants of God and undertook to spread the message of Acharya Madhva in the simplest, most comprehensive style. Kannada, the spoken language of the common people was the medium of communication. Telling phrases couched in common idiom and racy vocabulary made the compositions directly appealing to the mass of people. Hundreds of common day-to-day figures of speech, similes and thoughtful observations with deep insight into human nature made their songs crystal clear in conceptualisation of abstract thoughts of philosophy along with their relevance to day to day living. The beauty of Dasa sahithya lies in simplicity, directness, and clarity without being crude and inane. Additionally, Dasa literature appealed not only to a particular sect or area, caste or community but had a universal appeal. Their sole purpose was to praise the Lord for his mercy and beneficence. Their art lay in unravelling the heart without ego, arrogance, cunning or secrecy. The Dasas broke open the hidden treasures of philosophy unexplored till then except through sanskrit; the common man had the feast of scriptural knowledge and drank the ambrosial honey to his heart's content. The Dasas reiterated the basic concept, that devotion to the Supreme creator was the only salvation for mankind. Being in close touch with the life in the raw of common people the Dasas became shrewd observers of life. Their compositions therefore were natural, spontaneous and quick to touch the heart. The Dasas preached basic things such as ephemeral qualities of human life, the superficially enchanting and miragelike worldly attractions which usually lead to misery and the deep seated quest for liberation in everyone's heart, which leads us to the final saving grace of the Supreme being. The incarnations of Sri Hari was always a very fertile subject and in the hands of Haridasas, He became a well known figure who was almost human - like Sri Rama and Krishna who besported themselves in the world while concealing their incomparable superiority to other persons around them. A similar approach was adopted by the famous devotion poets in the north like Meera, Surdas etc. Instead of a frightening and unknown entity to be feared, God became a person to be adored for His great and auspicious qualities and above all for his closeness and approachability by all. 8) What kind of life did the haridAsas lead? HaridAsas were semi-sanyAsis. They renounced all the pleasures of the world but were house-holders and had a normal family. They were mendicants who accepted alms for sustenance, without storing it for profit. Temples and maThas were their main abode. They moved from place to place and lived by getting food from house to house,(Uncha Vrutti), singing and dancing with single-minded devotion. A typical sight would be that of a haridAsa walking on bare foot from one place to another, playing the tambUri and singing kIrtanas, despising comfort and rest, suffering hardship and privation, exhorting people to lives of truth, virtue and devotion to God, conveying their teachings through soul-stirring music. The gentle message of their songs had a direct appeal which no heart susceptible to noble impulses could ever resist. 9) What is the Order of 'Dasatva'? There are no distinctive religious practices and rituals associated with the order of the Dasas, except perhaps the congregational prayers held at Pandharpur, or other holy places, temple, maTha, Guru's (preceptor) house etc. The initiation ceremony and administering oath of allegiance, and the employment of music and dancing served as part of the devotional discipline. The order of the Haridasas (servants of God) was built up by a regular band of saintly souls, who dedicated themselves to the service of the Lord and singing the praises of Hari, wandered from one end of the country to other. These saints of Dasa order centered their affections on Vithala of Pandharpur as the patron deity of their order. Each of them was awarded an Ankitha - Nomogram, (nom-de-plume) which was different from his original name, like Purandara, Vijaya, Gopala etc and they were known by the new name - Purandara Dasaru etc. In the case of well known ascetics like Sri Vyasaraja and Vadiraja, while they retained their ordained ascetic names, they still used a distinctive name of the Lord - Sirikrishna, Hayavadana etc as Ankitha in their songs. 10) What was the contribution of haridAsas to literature? KannaDa, the spoken language of the people was the medium of communication. Telling phrases, couched in racy vocabulary made the compositions powerful and effective. Hundreds of common figures of speech, thoughtful observations served to make their song easily understood by the common man. Beauty lies in simplicity without being crude and inane. Dvaita sidhdhAnta thus reached many people/devotees through the music and compositions of the dAsas. Their compositions are equally available to all - the young and the old, men & women, the pious as well as the sinful, untouchables as well as high-caste people, without any distinction of caste, creed, region or religion. Many of the simple statements made by Haridasas were accepted into the ordinary vocabulary of common people to express their own approach to life. For more details see Haridasas Contribution to Literature (http://www.dvaita.org/haridasa/overview/hdlit.html). 11) What were the main messages propagated by haridAsas? The main messages enshrined in their songs were : * God is easily approachable by all. * God is to be praised and constantly remembered as our benefactor. * Realising the true nature of God's benevolence towards us and offering even simple worship within the means available to one is more acceptable to Him than ritualistic or pompous ornamentation without mental participation. 12) What was the style of Compositions followed by HaridAsas? Each haridAsa had a distinct style of his own, inimitable and personal. While PurandaradAsa adopted a simple, lucid KannaDa style with telling phrases and similes, KanakadAsa revelled in a strong, fighting style that delivered the message directly. VijayadAdAsa followed his master Sri Purandaradasa while Sri Jagannathadasa sprinkled his compositions with many sanskrit words. Each dAsa took a road of his own choice knowing fully well that the ultimate goal was to praise the Lord. The compositions of the haridAsas are thought-provoking yet simple yet serious in content, serious yet enchanting, enchanting yet didactic. Many serious philosophical tenets were introduced to the uninitiated as well as described in depth to the expert. For further details you can refer to Style & Compositions of Haridasas at http://www.dvaita.org/haridasa/overview/style.html. 13) What type of Compositions did the haridAsas produce? There is a wonderful fusion of music and poetry in the works of the haridAsas. There is great variety in their compositions: * prosody-pada, * suLAdi, * ugABhOga, * tattva-suvvAli, * shlOka, * kanda, * vachana, * vrittanAma, * dvipadi, * tripadi, * choupadi, * shatpadi, * ashtapadi, * ragale * yalapad. We find a vast variety in the subject matter too - biographical, religious, philosophical, social, ethical, ritualistic, introspective, and so on. It was PurandaradAsa who composed the famous 'pillAri gItas', the learning of which has become the firm foundation of karnAtik music even today. For further details you can refer to Style & Compositions of Haridasas at http://www.dvaita.org/haridasa/overview/style.html. 14) What instruments were used by Haridasas? Haridasas constantly moved from place to place touring towns and villages singing and dancing with a single-stringed tamboori instrument, foot bells (kalgejje) and castanets (chatike) being their only musical accompaniments. Portability and simplicity were the keynotes to the musical instruments they used. 15) What is the meaning of Devotion? The path of devotion calls for total surrender to the almighty. Based on the Upanishads, the Puranas and personal experience, the proponents of Bhakthi Marga (the path of devotion) have structured their relationship to God in different ways ie mother-child, preceptor-disciple (Guru-Shishya), master and servant, husband and wife, Shantha-swaroopa etc. to feel from the core of their heart intense devotion or love for Sri Hari. In a nutshell these relationships are called panchavidha bhavagalu. They are Dasya, Madhura, Sakhya, Vatsalya and Shantha bhava. Intense love and devotion for the Supreme being lead one to release from the trammels of worldly sufferings. The road starts with the directions in Bhagawatha Purana and the Geetha. Liberation is the slave of devotion. As taught by Acharya Madhva, Haridasas attach supreme importance to bhakthi, though karma and jnana (action and knowledge) are also necessary. In fact, these three means of salvation are complementary to one another. The Haridasas were imbued with a spirit of equanimity, detachment from worldly attractions, great love and kindness towards mankind and other living beings along with a strong sense of social duties and responsibilties coupled with selflessness. They are like the torch-bearers guiding those who still wander in the dim darkness of dreary samsara. Their experiences and expressions give solace to many a passerby to avoid the pitfalls of life, rest himself and quench his thirst by drinking the sacred nectar of their most sublime and immortal songs. For further details you can go to Devotion/Bhakti Movement at http://www dvaita.org/haridasa/overview/devot.html 16) How does one practice devotion? Devotion calls for both external and internal cleanliness (Antaranga Shuddi and Bahiranga Shuddi). Internal cleanliness refers to having a pure mind and heart. To achieve external cleanliness one should take bath, wear clean & washed clothes, eat the food which has been offered to God (nEivedya). Internal cleanliness is achieved by following the prescribed modes of worship of the Supreme being - such as Shravana (listening), Manana (assimilating), nididhyasana (concentrating one's mind), etc. of the great and auspicious qualities of God. By doing all these things one can hope to get devotion. For further details you can go to Devotion/Bhakti Movement at http://www.dvaita.org/haridasa/overview/devot.html. 17) What is the significance of Taratamya / Panchbheda in the Dvaita system? AchArya Madhva has defined Bhakthi or intense devotion to God as "Mahathmyajnanapoorva", "Sarvathodhika" Sneha. True devotion necessitates accurate and complete knowledge of the object of Love - its superiority and goodness etc. As men are always attached to objects of desire or emotion, the love of God should grow and transcend all other attachments. Only then will it be possible to achieve the single minded devotion to God which leads to liberation. The immense superiority of God in all respects, His transcendental q ualities and His nature which is infinite and unreachable by words or thought is extolled by Upanishaths. Thus, our very limited and imperfect natures, and our total dependence on God's bounties for our very existence should convince any one of the difference between God and ourselves. Existence of multiple conscious beings is also a fact observed by all. That there is difference amongst such living beings and they have innate worths which lead them to achieve different levels of misery or bliss is also an empirical extension of the observations from the external world. Acharya Madhva has shown that these differences between God and the soul, the souls themselves, inanimate objects and God and the souls are also the final conclusions of Vedantha philosophy when interpreted correctly. In Dasa compositions, these are stated in general terms and no attempt to explain this doctrine, which is generally stated as an accepted fact. There are some compositions which refer to the incorrectness of Advaitha concepts which lead the aspirant away from the true path. References are also made to the shruthi texts which support the Bheda doctrines and the concept of Taratamya or gradation. The subject is dealt with more exhaustively in Suladis and Suvvalis. But the emphasis is not on polemics, but on teaching the essential doctrines to the deserving aspirants. By highlighting the gulf of difference between God and man and the great qualities of God and his devotees, the songs rouse the spirit of man from a life of worldly attachment and turn it Godward. They deal with all aspects of spiritual discipline taught by the scriptures and take us along the path of God realization. 18) What is the hierarchy of gods according to dvaita? Following is the hierarchy of Taratamya Devataas: the number stands for the rank of the respective devata and bracketed description is the respective tatvas they belong to: 1. Paramathma, Hari Vishnu (Sarvottama; Purusha) 2. RamA Devi, MahAlakshmi (Avyaka Tatva; MUla prakruti) 3. Brahma and VAyu (mahattatva) 4. Saraswathi or Brahma Pathni and BhArathi or VAyu Pathni (Mahadavyaktha) 5. Garuda, ShEsha and Rudra (Ahamkara Tatva) 6. Krishna's shanmahishi's: Nila, Bhadra, Mitravinda, Kalindi, Lakshana, JAmbavathi 7. Sauparni or Garuda Pathni, VAruni or ShEsha Pathni and PArvathi or Rudra Pathni 8. Indra and KAma (manasthathva) 9. Ahamkarika PrAna (Tejasahamkara, Tvagindriya) 10. Daksha (Paneendriya), Anirudda and KAmaputra, Rathi and KAmapathni, SwAyumbhuva Manu (Upasthendriya) Bruhaspathi (shabda), shachi and Indra pathni 11. PravahavAyu (Vayutatva, BhUtavayu) 12. SUrya (Chakshurindriya), Shataroopa or SwAyambhuva Manupathni, Chandra(Shrothrendriya) and Yama 13. Varuna (Aptatva, Rasanendriya) 14. NArada 15. Prasoothidevi, Bhrigu and PradhAnagni (Vagindriya, Tejotatva) 16. Sapta Rishi's, PrahlAda and Vyvaswathamanu 17. Mitra, PrAvahidevi and TAra : Bruhaspathi's wives and NiR^ti who is Rakshadinatha 18. VishvaksEna, Ashwini DevatAs (Ghranendriya), Ganapathi(Akasha Tatva) KubEra and Shata Devataas. Here out of Pancheindriya, four has been covered; Prithivi tatva concerned devataa is ShanEshwara who stands at 25th place. From Pancha Karmendriya, four has been covered in the above list and the other devataa is Jayantha who is the son of Indra. The reverse order of the above ranking is Arohana method. Haridasas follow the same path what has been shown by Sri Madhwa and composed their songs accordingly. 19) What is the meaning of VyAsakoota & DAsakoota? Haridasas were sometimes referred to as belonging to two divisions: VyAsa Koota and DAsa Koota. The followers of VyAsa Koota were learned in the Vedas, Upanishads and other Darshanas with a true constructive appreciation of the metaphysics and of manifestations of Vishnu. They were strict disciples of Vedavyasa Tradition and have composed both slokas and Keertanas in Sanskrit and Kannada. The followers of DAsakoota were generally content to write compositions in kannada which explained to the masses all elements of value enshrined in the Vedas and in those involved in Vyasa tradition and taught the masses. There was no philosophical or doctrinal difference between the two groups. Both accepted Dvaita philosophy of Acharya Madhwa. The difference in approach was superficial as the compositions were targeted at different levels of seekers of truth - the former being intended for those who wanted to delve deeper while the latter was for the general lay public. In fact, the Krithis of some saints like Sri Vyasaraja have some, which could be classified as belonging to Dasakoota. VyAsa Koota was concentrating on the philosophic aspect of the teaching Thathva, removing connfusion in interpretation of vedic texts, showing errors of previous interpretations, turning every prejudice into light and kindling love of truth into a passion; the other class was singing the praises of Vishnu to the masses for persuading them to follow the path of Bhakthi in a manner which they could best understand and follow. Both the groups spread the message of the great teacher to the farthest corner of the country. For more details you can refer Vyasakuta and Dasakuta (http://www.dvaita.org/haridasa/overview/vdkuta.html) 20) What is "Ankitha"? It is the phrase or set of words used by a Haridasa, usually at the end, to sign-off a composition. It is basically a literary signature or signet /mudrika or pen-name or nom-de-plume that identifies the composed. Each Haridasa had his or her own ankitha. The table of Haridasas provided in the Introductory part lists the ankitha of all popular Haridasas. Ankita was conferred by the Guru after being duly satisfied of the merits of the student aspiring to be a member of the Haridasa Pantha. The ankita as Vittala in the case of Purandara, Vijaya and Jagannatha Vittala was intuitively perceived by the Guru after apprehension of the Swaroopa Guna and after realisation of the immanence of Bimba Rupi Paramathma in the soul of the sishya. However, some Dasas obtained their Ankitas directly through divine intervention, usually in the form of a dream (this method is called swapna labda). Some of the saint Haridasas kept their Ankita's of the special form of Lord to which they were devoted for example Sri Vadiraja - Hayavadana & Sri Vyasaraja - Siri Krishna. One exception to this rule was Jagannathadasa who got his ankita on a stone in the Bhima river in Pandharpur. Most of the dasas worshiped Vitthal of Pandharpur and adopted the God-given 'Ankita' "vitthala". For example "Purandara Dasa", "Vijaya Dasa" "GopalaVittala" etc. For further details go to http://www.dvaita.org/haridasa/overview/ankit.html. 21) What is a Bhajan? What are the types of Bhajans? Faith and Bhajan (prayer) are the constituents of Bhakti or devotion of Haridasa for, by faith and prayer alone that one can acquire the Nom de Plume of Haridasa. Prayer is one of the sources of deep constructive energies of life and has always been a steady uplifting power in the long story of human progress. Prayer raises man above self-seeking and utilitarian aspiration. It transcends rationalising tendencies in man. The attempt to find antecedent causes for everything is bound to explain higher stages in terms of lower and simpler ones. We are bound to go back and back for our causes until we lose sight of supreme values of life, and find ourselves enmeshed in a mechanistic scheme of movements, which is substituted for more vivid realities subjectively experienced. Prayer is born of our own need for spiritual fellowship, and it is a kind of divine mutual and reciprocal correspondence, and gives a transcendental thrill of life. Prayer in its highest reaches climbs to a vicarious exercise of the soul, in the sense of feeling with those who feel and suffer, and thus establish through invisible vibrations, complete identity with Humanity. There are three types of Bhajans (prayers). They are; * supraBhAta (early morning/wakeup) Bhajana * avarOhaNa (descending order) early morning Bhajana * ArOhaNa (ascending order) evening bhajana 22) What are the rules which are generally followed before doing bhajan or devotion to the God? * The one who does the bhajan should wake up early in the morning. * On completing the nature call (purification) and dental cleaning one has to take bath. * Or one has to wash his face and put Mruthike (mud) of Tulusi (basil leaves) and start Bhajans. * According to the environment one should wear suitable clothes. * One could wear Tulusi (basil leaves) beads necklace which is considered as sacred to Vishnu. * After taking bath one has to wear Urdhva Pundra through Gopi Chandana and Pancha Mudra. * For evening bhajans one should wear Sandal Paste, Akshatha & Angara on the forehead. * One can also tie pink cloth on the head to show the passionlessness. * One has to detach his mind from impure and unpleasant things which are happening in and around the place and will be concentrating only the bhajan and Sri Hari. * One should adopt restricted food habits. * One should conduct the Bhajans either in the temple or in the house where God Icons are specially kept for this purpose. * One should conduct the bhajans the way in which great Haridasa's has taught or shown. * One should try to follow the raga of the songs as laid down by the composer and should not invent new ragas. * One should try to keep in his mind the meaning of Shruti, Smruti and Puranas texts which are summarised in the songs. * One should sit in a disciplined way to make bhajans. 23) What are the sequence of Bhajans? The songs which are sung by Haridasas are usually in the following sequence. They are; * Avahane * Asana * Arghya * PAdya * Achamana * SnAna (bath) * Vastra (cloth) * Abharana, Upavitha (jewels) * Gandha (sandal paste) * Pushpa * Dhoopa * Deepa * NeivEdya * MangalArathi * LAli (only during night times) * Sarva Samarpana 24) What is the meaning of "Padas", "Suladis" and "Ugabhogas"? * Padas: Padas are composed both before and after the God-Vision (Aparoksha jnana) obtained by the Haridasas. * Suladis: Suladis are composed and used for preaching doctrinal points once Haridasas obtained Aparoksha. * Ugabhogas: Ugabhogas are composed automatically when they were experiencing ecstatic meditation. For further details you may refer to Compositions and Style of haridasas at http://www.dvaita.org/haridasa/overview/style.html 25) Where can I find biographical information on Important Haridasas : Haridasa Bhaktha Vijaya written by Beluru Keshavadasa which is considered to be classical book on Haridasa Sahitya was first published in 1944 (reprinted) will give brief account of each Haridasas in kannada language (Ref : Sri Karnataka Bhakti Vijaya, Mysore, Harimandira 1944) 26) Why Vittala is added with Ankitha? Lord Vishnu in different forms, especially in his Krishna/Vittala form is the source of inspiration to the Haridasas. The followers of Madhva are inspired by Krishna. This is mainly because of the importance given to Krishna by the great Madhvacharya who installed Bala Krishna in Udupi and also the lord has been wonderfully depicted in the Bhagavata. Sri Vittala of Pandarapura is associated with Bhakthi and Bhajan movement since the time immemorial. Sri Vittala is being adorned by large number of devotees barring caste, religion, sex etc. That might be the reason for Haridasas associating their ankita with Vittala. Another explanation is that Sri SripAdaraja who was the beginner of this great movement has kept his ankita as 'Ranga Vittala' and Sri Purandara Dasa has continued this tradition by keeping his ankita as Purandara Vittala. This tradition has continued even to-day. 27) Which are the holy places associated with Haridasa movement? Pandarapura, Udupi, Tirumala Tirupathi, Manthralaya, Vraja-Gokula-Brandavana-Mathura, Dvaraka, Srirangam, Hampi, Belur, Srirangapatna and other few places are associated with Haridasas. These are the places where Bhakti/Devotion movement has been started and reached its peak in praising the presiding dieties of the places. Some of the local dieties are also associated with Haridasas like Kaginele Adikeshava, Helevanakatte Ranga etc. depending upon the individual haridasa's devotion and worship. 28) Are all Haridasas Brahmins/Madhwas or are there others who are associated with this movement? For worshipping God there is no bar on caste, religion, creed etc. Other individuals who have faith in God and the principles of dvaita have also subscribed to Haridasa movement. Sri Kanaka Dasa, Sri Bade sab Ramdas and others are the living example of individuals who are associated with dasa movement though they belong to other communities. 29) Are there Dasas in other hindu religious sects also? Yes, Alwars are assocated with Srivaishnava sect, Hare Krishna Panth aka ISKON or Gaudiya sect is also associated with bhakti movement. There are few Advaita dasas also. Shaivites are also associated with Bhakti movement with their vachanas with different principles. You can also look at Comparison of Haridasas with other saints of Haridasa homepage at http://www.dvaita.org/haridasa/overview/com_dasa.html. 30) Which are the regions where Haridasas are concentrated or lived and Haridasa sahitya is generated? Most of the Haridasas are from Karnataka and Maharashtra region. In Karnataka also most of the Haridasas and Haridasa sahitya were available from Raichur district covering Gadwal, Anegundi, Lingasugur etc and Dharwad district. It has also spread in south of Karnataka like Mysore, Bangalore etc. 31) Who are the famous Haridasas? Among the Yathi (saint) dasas Sri Sripadaraja, Sri Vyasaraja and Sri Vadiraja thirtha are well known. Among the house holder haridasas Sri Purandara Dasa, Sri Kanaka Dasa, Sri Vijaya Dasa, Sri Gopala Dasa, Sri Mohana Dasa, Sri Jagannatha Dasa, Helevanakatte Giriyamma, Sri Mahipathi Dasa, Sri Venugopala Dasa, Sri Prasanna Venkata Dasa, Harapanahalli Bhimavva, Sri Guru Jagannatha Dasa, Sri Pranesha Dasa are most popular. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ II Glossary of Terms with meaning used in Haridasa Sahitya ---------------------------------------------------------- The following is the list of foreign terms used in this document (mainly from sanskrit and Kannada languages) and their definition/meaning in the context ofHaridasas. * Acharya : Spiritual teacher, most commonly used in connection with Acharya maDhwa. * angAra : A special coal-based paste worn on the forehead used by maDhwas. Usually used in combination with akshate. * Ankitha : A phrase or combination of words used by a dAsa to identify a composition as his or hers. * akshathe : A special paste worn on the forehead used by maDhwas. Usually used in combination with angara. * arohana : Ascending order * avarohana : Descending order * BhAgavata : BhAgavata purAna : one of the holy scriptures revered by all Hindus. It describes the incarnations of vishnu. * BhagavadgIta : one of the holy scriptures revered by all Hindus. * Bhajan : A hymn. Usually sung collectively. * Bhakthi : devotion * Bhakthi-marga : The path of devotion * Bharatha : India. Is also used as short form of MahABhAratabharatha. * Chatike : Musical instrument used by HaridAsas for their bhajans. It is made out of wood with small bells which gives sound for their songs. * dAsa : see HaridAsas * dAsakUta : gathering of dAsas see FAQ * dAsatva : the principle of considering oneself a haridAsa, surrendering to the lord. * dashAvatAra : the ten incarnations made by Vishnu to protect the world. * Dhoti : A cloth used by Indians to cover the lower part of their body. Usually this cloth is made of cotton and is usually white in colour. * Dvaita : one of the major schools of Hindu philosophy. * gIta : another term for BhagavadgIta. * gOpi-candana : Special yellow mud available in Dwaraka, western part of India which is used by maDhwas for Urdwapundra and other marks on the body * JnAna : Knowledge. * guru : Teacher, preceptor * guru-shishya : teacher-pupil * Hari, Sri Hari : One of the names of Vishnu. * hari sarvOttamatvatva : The principle of considering hari (or vishnu) to be \ the foremost amongst all Gods. * HaridAsa : Servant of God * Hindu : One of the major religious of the world. The main religion of India and Nepal. * Indriya : Sensory organ. * jada : a non-living or inanimate being. * jIva : a living being. * kAlagejje : small bells attached to the foot. * kannaDa : one of the languages of India, spoken mostly in karnAtaka * karma : has several meanings. Major ones are fate or Destiny, action * karnAtaka : one of the states of India. * karnatak music : One of the traditional schools of Indian music. Popular in the southern parts of India. * kIrtana : A song composed according to conventions of classical music. * MahABhArata, bharatha : A holy epic revered by all Hindus. * mantra : hymn, a devotional incantation. * maTha : a religious monastery. * maThADhipatis : the head of a religious monastery. * maDhwa : The founder of dvaita or tattvavAda school of Hindu philosophy. * mADhwa : can be used as a noun to indicate any follower of maDhwa. Can be used as an adjective to indicate anything related to the dvaita \ school of philosophy. * mOksha : used interchangeably with "mukthi"to indicate liberation of a soul from the cycle or birth and death. * mrutthike : soil or mud which has been sanctified. * mudrike : signet, ring or ankitha * mukthi : used interchangeably with "mOksha" to indicate liberation of a soul from the cycle of birth and death. * naivEdya : food offered to God. * nArAyana : One of the names of Vishnu. * padas: Padas are type of compositions of HaridAsa's composed both before and after the God-Vision is provided by the Haridasas. * panchaBhEda : Five-fold difference. See FAQ for more details. * pancha-Mudra : five seals or symbols. These are used by maDhwas to sanctify their body. * panchEndriya : five sensory organs. * pandharapur : A city in Maharasthra, India, a religious pilgrimage center for Hindus. * pAnDuranga : one of the names of Vishnu alias Krishna. * paramAtma : supreme soul (God) * pillari gItas : Musical compositions to be taught to beginners * prakruthi : nature * purAna : Sacred Hindu mythology supposed to have been composed by vEdavyAsa. * purusha : human being (male). * rAma : one of the incarnations of Vishnu. * rAmayana : a holy epic revered by all Hindus. Describes the life of rAma one of the incarnations of Vishnu. * sAhitya : literature * samsAra : material world. * samsAra bandhana : worldly bondage (usually meaning misery) * samgIta : music. * sanskrit : ancient language used in Hindu religious scriptures. * sanyAsi : mendicant friar. He is supposed to have renounced all worldly ties. * sarvOttamatva : quality of being Supreme, used to denote vishnu or Hari * shuDhi : purity, clean * shruti : musical tone used to help a musician stay in tune. It is also used for vEdas (which are usually heard in ears). * siDhDhAnta : Fundamental principles. * sishya : Disciple, follower, student. * smruti : holy scriptures. Usually used to denote vEdas. * sulAdis: Suladis are composed and used for preaching doctrinal points once Haridasas obtained Aparoksha. * swAmIjI : A (respectful) form of addressing a religious pontiff or saint. * tAla : rhythm * tattvavAda : another name for the dvaita school of philosophy. * tambUri : a single or four stringed instrument used by Indian musicians as an accompaniment. * tAratamya : hierarchy * tulasi : basil plant. Considered to be very dear to Vishnu and hence revered by all hindus. * uGabhOgas: uGabhOgas are composed by Haridasas when in ecstatic meditation. * Uncha vrutti : One who earns the food/money not for keeping or saving and to eat/live for daily basis. * Urdhva pundra: Five symbols or stamps which are put up by the maDhwa's on the body through gOpi-candana. * upanishads : sacred or religious lore of Hindus. * vEda : sacred scriptures of Hindus. * ViTTala : one of the names of Vishnu alias Krishna. * vyAsa : short form of 'vEdavyAsa', one of the incarnations of Vishnu. Is also used to denote vyAsa Tiirtha a great maDhwa pontiff. * vyAsakUta : a gathering of scholars see FAQ.