A lot of legend is intermingled with the biographical accounts of Purandaradasa. Most of them refer to a transformation of a miser in to a saint. Be that as it may, the works of Purandaradasa have made him a luminary among Kannada poets. Almost one thousand keertanas are attributed to him. Most of them are either lyrical outpourings of a troubled heart or sarcastic social observations. He was definitely against the cruelty of an iron clad caste system, practice of untouchability, puritanistic attitude and a dichotomy between action and speech. He has given vent to these ideas in songs and poems that are beautifully sculpted making use of images culled out of every day experiences. The yearnings of a human soul for peace and its hope for solace are brought out eminently in many songs.
Purandaradasa has written many beautiful songs/lyrics based on the life of Balakrishna and Gopikrishna. He has succeeded in imbuing the divine presence with human emotions and they are among the best poems written on children in the language.
Purandaradasa is honored as the founder of ‘Karnataka Sangeetha’. His songs are known as ‘dEvara nAma’ and ‘dAsara pada’ and most of them can be rendered to music. In addition to this Purandaradasa systematized the pedagogy of Katnataka music. He evolved a detailed system for imparting training in that art. He composed the ‘Swaravali’ (Simple exercises based on musical notes on specific scales), ‘Alamkaras’ (Exercises based on the seven basic taaLas) and GItams (melodic compositions in a simple style) Even Tyagaraja has expressed his indebtedness to Purandaradasa. Purandaradasa had written quite a few suLAdis and ugABOgas in addition to these keertanas.
Finally a reference must be made to the manner in which this poet has captured the very core of Kannada language. Most of his songs are refreshingly fresh even to this day after five centuries. He has used the syntax of the spoken language of his times and framed in soul stirring music. Consequently both Purandaradasa and Kanakadasa have achieved a lasting fame and many of their sayings have become an inseparable part of Kannada language.
Publishing History: The poems of Purandaradasa were published in along with the songs of other haridasas as early as the nineteenth century. However exclusive anthologies are documented here.
2. ‘Purandaradasara Keertanegalu’, 1931, Ibid. (five parts, 807 poems)
3. ‘Purandaradasara Keertanegalu’, (Six Volumes) edited by Betageri Krishnasharma and Bengeri Huchchuu Rao, 1964-66, Minchinaballi Prakashana, Dharawada.
4. ‘Purandara Sahityadarshana’(Four
Volumes) edited by S.K.Ramachandra Rao, 1985, Directorate of Kannada and
5. “Bhakta Purandaradasara
Padagalu mattu Jeevana’ published by T.N.Krishnaiah Shetty and Sons, 1968,
2. ‘Purandaradaasara Charitre’ by Beluru Keshvadaasa, 1921.
3.‘Purandaradaasara Jeevanacharitre’ by Ra.Swa.Panchamukhi, 1956
4. ‘Purandaradaasaru’ by G.A.Reddy, 1964.
5. ‘Purandaradaasaru’ by S.K.Ramachandra Rao, 1964.
6. ‘Purandaradasa and Haridasa
Movement’ by M.V.Krishna Rao, 1966,
7. ‘Purandaradasa’ by
V.Seetharamaiah, 1971, National Book Trust,
8. Sri Purandaradasa by SKR
9. ‘Purandaradasa Keertanas’ by Dr Gowri Kuppuswamy and Dr M.Hariharan, C.B.H. Publications, 1997(3rd Edition)
10. Purandaradasaru, by G.
Varadarja Rao, 1983,
Translations: 1. Anthology of Saint-singer Shri Purandara Dasa by DS Rao, 1978, Parijatha
2. Songs of Three Great South Indian Saints. Jackson, William J. 2002. Oxford India.