I was at Haveri, about 25Km is Bankapur fort, from here about 10km (there is a tempo that is quite infrequent) is Baada, you will have to walk about a km to reach Kanakadasa’s birth place. There seem to be elaborate plans to develop the place; you could see some construction activity. While I was walking on this shrubby terrain strewn with rocks that a bird fluttered and bolted away few feet from me, he so very well camouflaged that I didn’t see. So I walked cautiously to witness Ashy crowned Sparrow lark male in its full glory, it has quite a peculiar way of descend. You could see from the picture above how beautifully he blends into the surroundings.
Ashy crowned Sparrow lark (Eremopterix griseus) is a sparrow sized bird of lark family that can be seen throughout the peninsula in the shrubby habitat. They nest on the ground, in small depressions.
Kanakadasa, a saint poet and reformer
Kanakadasa was 16th century philosopher saint and poet, originally Thimappa Nayaka, he was a warrior (and did not belong to “warrior community” as many writings seem to point out. This is temple squatter’s deviant way of looking at things that has become dominant narration, since there is no ‘community’ that can claim to be warrior or non warrior, these are not decided by society but by individual choice and competence. The reason for Indian society’s incompetence could be traced to these frameworks of assigned occupation which even our Gandhi found some charm!! These ideas still thrive in mediocre India, quite ironically Kanakadasa was fighting against these very evils), he got injured in one of the battles, during this period he had some sort of enlightenment. He is in many ways comparable to Kabir, in using common people’s language and motif to express nuanced insightful thoughts. It is a statement on his talent and compassion for the plight of common people that even after 500 years he remains immensely popular in Karnataka region. He is so popular that many of his writings are part of well received Karnatic songs. Movie on him in Kannada (none other than Rajkumar played the role of Kanakadasa, has become a classic). Incidentally Kanakadasa’s birth anniversary, Nov 20, is a state holiday in Karnataka. Though i must point out here that the English translation of his work is very hard to find (I checked out each and every bookstall and library in Mysore).
Kanakadasa belonged to the tradition of Haridasa literary movement, who wrote devotional compositions which could be set to music with simple instruments. This movement was part of Bhakti movement that held its sway from 14th to 19th century. His concerns were directed against casteism and the devilishness it spread. In one kirtana he tells how people neglect their duties but call themselves “pure”. He says that "bathing in the river without conquering internal pride, envy and wrath is meaningless" and "exhibiting hyperbolic devotion is like an actress exhibiting her illusory beauty." He was stridently against rituals. Commenting on the hypocrisy, he says that he would like to be a servant of a chandala than to be a vicious ‘Brahmin’. His songs were dedicated to the lord and sought to connect to common people, he even used the allegory of humble food of the poor, ragi, to bring out the truth.
The story goes that he once visited the famous (infamous is better suited) Krishna temple in Udupi but the temple squatters did not allow him in. His devotion was such that, it is said, the lord i.e. the statue bent and turned west and gave him darshan through the window. Even today devotees visiting the temple try to relive the joy by peeping through this window. It seems like a good story but I have strong objection to the morals here. The zombies (read devotees) who accept these nonsenses should question the temple squatters on their propriety. It is a deeply disgusting matter that progenies who denied Kanakadasa are most likely running the temple. The soul of Hinduism is so very dark. Instead of questioning discrimination met to Kanakadasa, it is being celebrated with miracle story. Quite clearly these miracle stories were little squatter’s daily trick, Kanakadasa being an enlightened man was sought to be included through miracle, anything less than miracle will not be in the scheme of things, further it added to the branding of the temple. I stayed in Malpe beach for three months many years back and never went to this temple, frankly I don’t go to temples, it makes me sick. I find presence of temple squatters deeply disturbing unless they are evicted Hinduism remains a cesspool of muck, the reason the edifice (i.e. the society) is so very deviant. People having temple squatter surname are similar to nazi symbol on the forehead, probably it is much worst. Since Indian elitizens will not allow breach and common people are religiously driven zombies (I don’t blame them they work under overwhelming odds), it is for the international community to take action. They must deal with these very strictly and take the Indians to task for this heinous system that has been so far sold as some kind of cultural diversity, the crass impunity is shocking. There is a severe human right violation happening here. It is much worse than racism. Indians with genocidal surname should be denied visa by the international community!!
English Translation of Nee Mayeyolago
Are you a creature of illusion? or illusion your creation?
Are you a part of the body? Or is the body a part of you?
Is space within the house? Or the house within space?
Or are both space and the house within the seeing eye?
Is the eye within the mind? Or the mind within the eye?
Or are both the eye and the mind within you?
Does sweetness lie in sugar, or sugar in sweetness?
Or do both sweetness and sugar lie in the tongue?
Is the tongue within the mind? Or the mind within the tongue?
Or are both the tongue and the mind within you?
Does fragrance lie in the flower? Or the flower in fragrance?
Or do both the flower and fragrance lie in the nostrils?
I cannot say, O Lord Adikeshava of Kaginele,
O! peerless one, are all things within you alone?
From my scribble pad…
Thoughts to be pulped
Gandhi, I read
was a mahatma
apostle of peace and bearer of non-violence.
He stands like a statue on busy street
clutching his lathi in a rigor mortis thought.
Alright let’s give him a break
Here he comes down from his high pedestal
And swing his lathi at the sleeping policeman
Take the cheating politician by his throat
and chase the goon down the street
Gives the children lesson on morals
and teachers some guidance.
Feed the poor from his pocket.
Meets the business leaders and extol them to contribute for society
Calls on the scientific community to be inspiration
Speaks on climate change and dangers of nuclear bombs.
Is there anything else left to do, he ponders,
and climb back to his pedestal.
Bit trite, I say.
No he isn’t concerned about any vigilantism
Or superhero stuff.
Aha so he takes up the stone
Swings it at the baffled street cow where it hurts the most
Plucks the wings out of butterfly
Dismembers the insect
And piss down the bridge over the passing train
Pukes at the sleeping dog
Utters profanity concerning sacred
Swears at the kind stranger
He chuckle, relieved
climb up his pedestal
That I think will complete
a blasphemy that every statue
in every street corner will find hard to replicate
and live to tell.