Kanakadasa Jayanthi celebrates the birth anniversary of Saint and Poet Kanaka Dasa, one of the greatest social reformers of Karnataka and who is equally noted for his musical compositions. It is annually observed on Karthika Krishna Paksha Tritiya tithi
Original name – Thimappa nayaka
Parents – Biregowda and Bachchamma
Birth place – Baada
Period – 1508 to 1606
Guru – Sri Vyasarajaru
Ankitha – Baadadadi keshava / kaginele adikeshava
Nanu Hodare Hodenu
Kanakadasa’s Master Vyasatirtha once poses a question to him, that who among the scholars present in the convention could attain salvation (Moksha). Every scholar present was asked the question, Kanakadasa firmly answers in the negative. He answers in the negative even when asked about the chances of his own master attaining salvation. But asked about his own chances he says in the affirmative by saying ನಾನು ಹೋದರೆ ಹೋದೇನು adding to the fury of the clueless scholars. His master who could understand the real wisdom behind Kanakadasa`s affirmation, asks him to elaborate his thoughts.
Kanakadasa expresses a philosophical idea behind his thought. Kanakadasa had made a Pun giving different literal and philosophical meanings. Though it seemed on the surface that Kanakadasa is claiming that he alone may attain salvation, he had in fact put forth a thoughtful message that no matter what is ones scholarly possess one cannot achieve anything until the ego is eliminated.
On the day of Ekadasi (Eleventh day of lunar fortnight), a day for fasting Vyasarajaru called all his students including Kanaka and said, ‘I know how difficult it is to fight the hunger. I am giving you a banana each, you can eat it provided you find a place where no one sees you.’
The students eagerly took the banana and started searching for secret places. In the evening the guru, Vyasatirtha after Patha (instruction) asked them where and how they ate their bananas. Some said they went to a dark corner, others hid behind a tree or had gone into the woods. When it was Kanaka’s turn, he showed his uneaten banana and said, ‘I am sorry I did not eat my banana’. On inquiring he said, ‘Respected guru, I searched a lot but I could not find a place where no one was present. Where ever I went, God was always present, watching me. You had said I should eat without anybody knowing, I could not do so as God was everywhere. ‘ This incident opened the eyes of the other students. Thus, Kanaka was praised by his guru for having aproksha, the deep and intuitive knowledge of Sri Hari
Once when Sri Vyasarajaru asked all his shishyaas to what is there in his handful (mushti). No one was able to answer. Then Kanakadasaru replies “it is vaasudeva saligrama”. When Vyasarajaru unfolded his hands, there was vasudeva saligrama. This incident has been explained by Sri Purandaradasaru in his devaranama :Kanakadasana mele daye madalu vyasamuni
Kanaka dasaru, worshiper and devotee of Lord Krishna, was not allowed entry into the udupi temple, as the priests would not allow him inside the temple as they considered him to be of inferior birth. It didn’t upset him; instead it made him pray with intense devotion. At that time, an earthquake happened and a small crack appeared on the wall of the temple. Through this crack, Kanakadasaru was able to have the darshana of Krishna paramathma. Vadirajaru having noticed this, having known of the yogyate of Kanakadasaru, and with due respect to the great daasa, he made that crack enlarged on the wall as a window instead of having it plastered. Thus that window got the name “Kanakana kindi”.Till today, devotees still worship Lord Krishna by praying through the same window that Kanakadasa was blessed with a view Bagilanu teredu seveyanu kodo hariye