Bhakta Ramadas
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 Bhakta Ramadas was born in 1620 AD at Nelakondapalli in Andhra Desam and lived for 68 years on this earth.  In the last verse of his Dasarathi Satakam , he describes himself this way: "Allana Linga Mantri Suthudu(son), Atreya Gothrudu, Adi Sakha , Kancherla Kulothbhavudu, Gopakavindrudu ". His give name was Gopanna . His father was Linganna Mantri(Minister) , a surname he kept as  a result of one of his forebearers being a minister at the court of a king . People called Gopanna by the name familiar to us as Bhadrachala Ramadas, because of his devotion to the Vaikunta Rama enshrined at Bhadrachalam , a small village in the middle of the jungle on the northern banks of the holy river Godhavary.


The temple of Rama here is on a small hillock. Some 22 miles to the north of Bhadrachalam on the bank of Godhavary is said to be the place of Parnasaala of Rama and Sita. This is by legend said to be the site where Ramana abducted Sita( Nasik -Panchavati is another site mentioned regarding the location of Parnasaala). At the spot, where Sita lived with her dear Rama, there are two kinds of stone , one Yellow and another red in color. Natives call them Pasupu Rallu and Kumkuma Rallu since they give powders on rubbing , which look like Turmeric and Kumkumam (red Saffron) . These stones are said to be used by Sita Devi for her bathing and decoration. There is a tree nearby, which is said to be Surpanaka. Pilgrims consider it their religious duty to throw a stone at this tree ! The base of the tree is covered with a huge assembly of stones.


 The temple at Bhadrachalam has the Archa Murthys of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana and are considered to be Svayambhu Murthys (self-manifested ones). The presence of these deities in the middle of the Jungle was revealed to one pious woman by the name Dhammakka in a dream.She was considered to belong to the kulam of Sabari .Dhammakka  hastened to the site,cleared jungle  and offered puja to the deities.


 This temple and its deities played a central role in the life of Ramadas . He was at the time the Tasildhaar of Bhadrachalam and began to collect funds from people to build a proper temple for Sri Ramachandra at Bhadragiri . When there was not enough funds to complete the temple , Praakaram construction and the Celebration of Utsavams for Sri Rama and  Sita , he took the money from the tax revenue of his king ( Taani Shah of Golconda) and vowed to return it back to the state treasury.Tani Shah was angry at the Tasildhaar for channeling the state money  and had Ramadas arrested and locked him up in a prison close to his palace. His incarceration gave Ramadas the name of Bandekhana

 Ramadas. From the prison, he cried out for Rama and reminded him about his services in his moving song Ishvaku Kula Tilaka . Here he has some rough words for Rama for not taking care of him inspite of his devoted and caring services to Sri Rama and His family. Sri Rama responded and came with His brother to the court of  Tanisha in the form of two youngsters and paid  back the debt of Ramadas and got his release papers. The golden coins paid by Sri Rama are known as Ram Tanka coins .They can be seen even today.


These coins have the Pattabhishekam scene on one side and the picture of another Rama Bhaktha, Anjaneya on the other side. Tanisha was moved and recognized the greatness of Rama Das and released him immediately and gave him land around Bhadrachalam to continue his dedicated service to Bhadrachala Ramamurthy .Here Ramadas spent the rest of his life and composed moving poems that inspired Saint Thyagaraja later. Latte rhas paid his tribute to the illustrious Rama Bhakthi of Ramadas in many of his Krithis (Kshira sagara sayana in Devagandhari, Brindavanalola in Thodi, Kaligiyunde Gada in Kirvani , Emi Dova Balkuma In Saranga and in Prahlada Bhakti Vijayam).


Two examples of Saint Thyagaraja"s tribute to the Rama Bhakthi of Ramadas are as follows :


In the Devagandhari krithi he asks Rama: "Dhirudau Ramadasuni Bandhamu dirchinadi Vinnanura Rama? ( O Rama! I have heard how You obtained the release of the BOLD Ramadas from his prison life).


In his Padya in Prahlada Vijayam ., we find another tribute:





( I praise Sri Ramadas,who shines in this world as the supreme devotee of Sri ramachandra , who shines forth from his seat at Bhadracahlam in this kali Yuga).


Saint Thyagaraja adopted Sri Ramadas as his role model and admired latter for his Ananya Bhakti, gaining Rama Sakshaatkara and spreading Rama Nama Siddhaantha . Saint Thyagarahja referred to himself as the Dasa Of Ramadas and equated the Bhadrachala Ramadas to other sterling devotees of Rama such as Narada, Parasara , Valmiki et al.


The Bhagavad anubhavam of Bhadrachala Ramadas poured forth from his heart and lips in the form of many krithis and Divyanamas. They are mostly in Telugu  with the exception of two in Sanskrit. The simple language used for these Bhakti-laden songs captured the minds of paamaraas and Pandithaas .


Professor P.Sambhamoorthy, the great musicologst has classified Ramadas krithis into three categories:


1.Those composed before his incarceration

2.Those composed during his incarceration

3.Songs composed after his release


He can be outspoken in his conversations with Rama like Thirumangai in his Madals .Saint Thyagaraja adopted this style in his anubhavam of Sri Rama. The song "Ishvaku Kula Tilaka" referred to by Rajiv is an example of such a mood.


Another example of this type of plain talk is provided in his Kambhoji krithi ,"Adarana Leni ":

Ennaga Sabari Yengili Bhakshanamu

Chesinathi Vyabichari Nivu

Ninnu Nammagarraadu ! Ninnu Daiva

Manaraadu ! Nijamu na mata Devuda ".


At other times, he will beg tenderly for Rama to appear before him (Ramararaa Sita --Anandhabhairavi) , Oh Rama Ni Nama Memi Ruchira --Purvikalyani). He will say in one Krithi , "Takkuvemi Manaku (Surykaantam Ragam )" and explain: "What do we need, When Rama is at our side? " in a mood of Maha Viswasam, an anga of Saranagathi.


Elsewhere, he will appeal to Sita Devi to come to his rescue and speak to Her Lord  as an expression of Her Purushakaaram. Two such songs are Ramachandrulu Naapai(Asaaveri) and Nanu Brovamani Cheppaveh (Kalyani). Sri Balamurali"s soulful rendering of these two Krithis in a 1977 recording are moving. He begs Sita Devi this way: " O Mother, My mother! When You are alone with your Lord and my Father after the day"s events, Please speak to him on my behalf and create a compassionate mood in Him.


 Please Remind Him of my sufferings and and ask Him to cast His merciful glances at me. Thru another Krithi , he will experience Karpanyam (another anga of Saranagathi) and will say "I do not know in which way you are going to come to my rescue. O Paramatma! How can I succeed in swimming in these Samsaric Ocean without your help? (Ea Theeruga Nanu Daya Choochedavo -Mayamalava Gowlam ).


Using Madhyamavati ragam, he will cry his heart out for the protection

by Rama (Pahi rama Prabho )>.  Examples of some other Krithis reflecting his moods of Bhakthi (Sanchaari Bhaavas) are:


1.Nirveda and Dainyokthi(Despondency and Plaintive pleading):

In Paluke Bangaramayena(Anandhabhairavi), He asks the Lord: " O Rama! Why wont you speak to me? I wont forget the chanting of your Taraka Nama even in my sleep". He is said to have received the Taraka Nama Upadesam from Bhaktha Kabir Das , another great Rama Bhaktha in his dream .Kabir Das preceded Ramadas by two hundred Years. After receiving his Upadesam , Ramadas sung his  Danyaasi Krithi " Taraka Mantramu " , where he proudly announced that He has been blessed and that he has

found his salvation. He made his first trip to Bhadrachalam by boat and at one  bend of the river caught his first glimpse of the Lord"s temple on the Badra Hill and sang with ecstacy "Idhigo Bhadradri " in Varali Ragam. At this temple, Sri Rama has Sita seated on his left thigh and carries chakram in the left hand and sankham on his right hand. Lakshmana stands by in vigil to serve His brother. Ramadas landed from the boat and  offered his profound salutations to Sri Rama and sang in

Suryakantam " Takkuvemi Manaku". Like Swami Desikan , he expressed here  his Vairagyam and said " What else do I need , when Ramachandra is at our side?" He sang Pallandu to the Lord like Periyaazhwaar in his Kurunji raga krithi, "Ramachandrayya " and hailed " O Rama living in the heart of your devotee Ramadas, May ALL auspiciousness befall You."


The Bhagavad Anubhavam and the Bhakti Prakaaras (Forms of Devotion ) of this great Rama Bhaktha set an example to other great Rama Bhakthas like Saint Thyagaraja.

Sri Hanumat Lakshmana Sametha Sitarama

Parabrahmaneh Nama:


Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan

Panguni Krishna Paksha Visakam.

Sankatahara Chathurthi Dinam.      



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athAto "brahma" zignAsA - Then thereafter be inquisitive to enquire about "the Absolute"