Purandharadasa, the Kannada saint-musician,
was actually a Maratha by birth. He was born in a village
near Pune in 1484, the son of a banker.
As a boy, he learnt music and Sanskrit;
growing up was married to Saraswatibai, got involved in making
Suddenly One day, due to a miracle, the
young banker renounced everything and left for Pandharpur
and got initiated into asceticism. He travelled to various
temples and pilgrim centres all over India and composed devotional
songs numbering thousands.
Purandharadasa is considered the Grandfather
of Carnatic music. About 8000 of his musical compositions
survive today. Purandharadasa's songs extol the mercy of God
and are immersed in intense devotion, though replete with
references to myths and legends of Sri Krishna.
Having lived a full life of prolific creativity,
Purandharadasa died in 1564 at the age of eighty.
Purandharadasa illustrated through his life
Tyagaraja's dictum that music and devotion combined make the
best path to God-realisation.