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Bhadrachala Ramadasu (Telugu: భద్రాచల రామదాసు)

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Kancherla Gopanna (Telugu: కంచెర్ల గోపన్న) (c 1620 – 1680 CE), popularly known as  Bhadrachala Ramadasu (Telugu: భద్రాచల రామదాసు), was a 17th century devotee of Lord Sriram and a composer of Carnatic music. He is one among the famous vaggeyakaras, in the Telugu language, the others being Tyagaraja, Annamayya, Kshetryya. He lived in the village of Nelakondapalli near Bhadrachalam, Andhra Pradesh during the 17th century and is renowned for constructing a famous temple for Rama at Bhadrachalam. His devotional lyrics to Rama are famous in South Indian classical music as Ramadaasu Keertanalu. Even the doyen of South Indian classical music Saint Thyagaraja learned and later improved the style now considered standard krithi form of music composition.He also wrote Dasarathi Shatakamu (దాశరధి శతకము) with a ‘makuTamu’ (మకుటము) ‘Dasaradhee Karuna payonidhi’ (దాశరధీ కరుణా పయోనిధీ!), a collection of nearly 108 poems dedicated to the son of Dasaratha (Lord Rama).

Early in Life:

Ramadasu was born Kancherla Goparaju in an affluent Telugu Nandvarika Brahmin family to Linganna Murthy and Kamamba in Nelakondapalli village of Khammamett Taluk, Warangal Division of northern Andhra Pradesh.

Ramadasu was appointed as the Tahsildar of ‘Palvoncha Paragana’ by Akkanna, his uncle and the administrative head in the court of Qutub Shahi Sultan Abul Hassan Tana Shah. He discharged his official duties earnestly and collected revenues due to the Sultan – while continuing his unswerving service to Lord Rama by chanting his name and feeding the poor.

One day, he visited Bhadrachalam for a Jatara (fair) and was disturbed by the dilapidated state of the temple there. Bhadrachalam was significant to devotees of Rama for many reasons. Lord Rama is said to have stayed near the Parnasala there with Sita and Lakshmana during his exile and also to have visited Sabari near Badrachalam. Pothana is believed to have been given direction by Rama to translate the Bhagavata Purana into Telugu here. In spite of its significance, the temple was utterly neglected. So, Ramadasu started to raise funds for the renovation and reconstruction of the temple. After he emptied his coffers and could raise no more money, the villagers appealed him to spend his revenue collections for the reconstruction and promised to repay the amount after harvesting crops. As such, Ramadas finished the reconstruction of the temple with six hundred thousand rupees collected from land revenues – without the permission of the Abul Hasan Qutb Shah.

As the temple was nearing completion, he was perplexed one night about fixing the Sudarshana Chakra at the crest of the main temple. On the same night, it is believed that he saw Rama in his dream and asked him to have a holy dip in the Godavari River. When Gopanna did so the next day, he found the holy Sudarshana Chakra in the river very easily.

Soon after the reconstruction though, his miseries started. He was dismissed from his job for misusing the Sultan Abul Hasan Qutb Shah’s revenues and was imprisoned in the Golconda Fort (near Hyderabad) with orders that he be released only after the exchequer received all the taxes in full. Ramadas implores Rama through many emotional songs that were popularized from the stanzas of ‘Dasaradhi Sathakam ‘ and ‘Keertanas’ of Bhakta Ramadasa. They praise the Lord for all his mysterious ways in popularizing his devotees and Ramadasu regularly sings the Lord. The songs ended in a state of total and unconditional surrender to the will of the Almighty.

After 12 years of imprisonment, Lord Rama decided that his devotee’s suffering had reached its pre-ordained ending (because of a certain transgression his soul had committed in a previous birth). Lord Rama and Lakshmana, disguised as two young warriors, entered the bed-chambers of the Sultan Tana Shah in the middle of the night. They presented themselves as Ramoji and Lakshmoji and gave the king six lakh gold coins imprinted with Rama’s own seal in return for the spent six lakh silver coins. The Sultan was bewildered at the presence of these charming but strange youngsters in his inner quarters at late night irrespective of tight security. They demanded and obtained on the spot, a written receipt for the money. The receipt was shown to the jailer who released Gopanna the same night. The next day, both Gopanna and the Sultan realized what had happened. Gopanna did not care much for his release but was inconsolable at his not having seen his Lord even with all his devotion while the Sultan was visited by the Lord. The Lord then appeared to Gopanna in a dream and explained him the real reasons for his actions and promised him salvation at the end of his natural life. The king was convinced that what had happened was a miracle of Lord Sri Rama. He returned the entire money to the Bhadracalam temple. Since then, it has been the royal custom of the Hyderabad State to send gifts to the temple on the occasion of Sree Rama navami celebrations every year.

Sl.NoPoem Name
1Sri Raghuraama Chaarutulaseedaladaama | శ్రీ రఘురామ చారుతులసీదళదామ
2Raamavisaala Vikrama | రామవిశాల విక్రమ
3Aganitha Satyabhaasha | అగణిత సత్యభాష
4Ramgadaraatibhamga Khaga | రంగదరాతిభంగ ఖగ
5Sreeda Sanamdanaadi | శ్రీద సనందనాది
6Aaryula Kella Mrokkivina | ఆర్యుల కెల్ల మ్రొక్కివిన
7Masakoni Remgubamdlukunu | మసకొని రేంగుబండ్లుకును
8Sreeramaneeyahaara Yatasee | శ్రీరమణీయహార యతసీ
9Durithalathaalavithra Khara | దురితలతాలవిత్ర ఖర
10Kanakavisaalachela Bhavakaanana | కనకవిశాలచేల భవకానన
11Sree Raghuvamsa Toyadhiki | శ్రీ రఘువంశ తోయధికి
12Gurutaramaina Kaavyarasa | గురుతరమైన కావ్యరస
13Tharanikulesa Naanudula | తరణికులేశ నానుడుల
14Daarunapaata Kaabdhiki | దారుణపాత కాబ్ధికి
15Harunaku Navvibheeshanunaka | హరునకు నవ్విభీషణునక
16Muppuna Gaalakimkarulu | ముప్పున గాలకింకరులు
17Paramadayaanidhe Pathithapaavananaama | పరమదయానిధే పతితపావననామ
18Ajunaku Thamdrivayyu | అజునకు తండ్రివయ్యు
19Pamdita Rakshakum Dakhila | పండిత రక్షకుం డఖిల
20Sreerama Seetagaaga Nijasevaka | శ్రీరమ సీతగాగ నిజసేవక
21Kamti Nadeethatambubodagamtini | కంటి నదీతటంబుబొడగంటిని
22Halikunakun Halaagramuna | హలికునకున్ హలాగ్రమున
23Komjakatarka Vaadamanu | కొంజకతర్క వాదమను
24Raamumdu Ghora Paataka | రాముఁడు ఘోర పాతక
25Chakkeramaanivemudina | చక్కెరమానివేముదిన
26Raa Kalushambulella | రా కలుషంబులెల్ల
27Raamahare Kakutdhsakula | రామహరే కకుత్ధ్సకుల
28Amdajavaaha Ninnu | అండజవాహ నిన్ను
29Chikkanipaalapai Misimi | చిక్కనిపాలపై మిసిమి
30Sirulidaseeta Peedalega | సిరులిడసీత పీడలెగ
31Halikulisaamkusadhvaja Saraasana | హలికులిశాంకుశధ్వజ శరాసన
32Jalanidhilonadoori Kula | జలనిధిలోనదూఱి కుల
33Bhamdana Bheemudaa Rtajana | భండన భీముడా ర్తజన
34Avanija Kannudoyi Togalamdu | అవనిజ కన్నుదోయి తొగలందు
35Kharakaravamsajaa Vinu | ఖరకరవంశజా విను
36Jurredameeka Thaamrutamu | జుఱ్ఱెదమీక థామృతము
37Ghorakrutaamta Veerabhata | ఘోరకృతాంత వీరభట
38Vinnapamaalakimchu Raghuveera | విన్నపమాలకించు రఘువీర
39Pempunamdallivai Kalusha | పెంపునదల్లివై కలుష
40Kukshinajaamdapam Ktulona | కుక్షినజాండపం క్తులొన
41Gaddariyo Gihrutkamala | గద్దరియో గిహృత్కమల
42Kaliyuga Martyakotininu | కలియుగ మర్త్యకోటినిను
43Janavara Meeka Thaali | జనవర మీక థాలి
44Paapamu Lomduvela Ranapannaga | పాపము లొందువేళ రణపన్నగ
45Aganita Janmakarmaduri | అగణిత జన్మకర్మదురి
46Nenonarimchu Paapamula | నేనొనరించు పాపముల
47Paradhanamul Harimchi | పరధనముల్ హరించి
48Chesiti Ghorakrutyamulu | చేసితి ఘోరకృత్యములు
49Parula Dhanambumjoochipara | పరుల ధనంబుఁజూచిపర
50Salalita Raamanaama Japasaara | సలలిత రామనామ జపసార
51Paatakulaina Meekrupaku | పాతకులైన మీకృపకు
52Maamaka Paataka Vajramu | మామక పాతక వజ్రము
53Daasina Chuttoomaa Sabari | దాసిన చుట్టూమా శబరి
54Deekshavahimchi Naakoladi | దీక్షవహించి నాకొలది
55Neelaghanaabhamoortivagu | నీలఘనాభమూర్తివగు
56Valadu Paraaku Bhaktajanavatsala | వలదు పరాకు భక్తజనవత్సల
57Tappulerumga Leka | తప్పులెఱుంగ లేక
58Itadu Duraatmudamchujanu | ఇతడు దురాత్ముడంచుజను
59Amchitamainaneedu Karunaamrutasaaramu | అంచితమైననీదు కరుణామృతసారము
60Jalanidhu Ledunokka Mogi | జలనిధు లేడునొక్క మొగి
61Kotikisakyamaa Yasurakotula | కోతికి శక్యమా యసురకోటుల
62Bhoopalalaama Raamaraghupumgavaraama | భూప లలామ రామ రఘుపుంగవ రామ
63Nee Sahajambu Saatvikamu | నీ సహజంబు సాత్త్వికము
64Charanamu Sokinatti | చరణము సోకినట్టి
65Daivamu Talli Tamdri | దైవము తల్లి తండ్రి
66Vaasava Raajyabhoga | వాసవ రాజ్యభోగ
67Soorijanul Dayaaparulu | సూరిజనుల్ దయాపరులు
68Vaaricharaavataaramu Vaaridhilo | వారి చరావతారమున వారిదిలో
69Petapetanukku Kambamuna | పెటపెట నుక్కుకంబమున
70Dhaaruni Jaapajuttina | దారుణి జాపజుట్టిన
71Petapetanukku Kambamuna | పెటపెట నుక్కుకంబమున
72Padayugalambu Bhoogagana | పదయుగళంబు భూగగన
73Iruvadiyokka Maaru Dharanee | ఇరువదియొక్క మాఱు ధరణీ
74Duramuna Daatakamdunimi | దురమున దాటకందునిమి
75Anupama Yaadavaanvayasu | అనుపమ యాదవాన్వయ
76Suralu Nutimpagaa Dripura | సురలు నుతింపగా ద్రిపుర
77Samkara Durgamai Durita | సంకర దుర్గమై దురిత
78Manamuna Noohaposhanalu | మనసున నూహపోహలను
79Mudamuna Kaatapattu | ముదమున కాటపటు
80Durita Lataanusaari | దురిత లతానుసారి
81Haripadabhakti Nimdriyaja | హరిపదభక్తి నింద్రియజ
82Vanakari Chikku Mainasaku | వనకరి చిక్కె మైనసకు
83Karamulumeekumrokkulida | కరములు మీకు మ్రొక్కులిడ
84Chiratarabhakti Nokka Thulaseedala | చిరతరభక్తి నొక్క తులసీదళ
85Bhaanudu Toorpunamdu | భానుడు తూర్పునందు
86Neemahaneeyatattva Rasa | నీమహనీయతత్త్వరస
87Kaamchana Vastu Samkalita | కాంచన వస్తు సంకలిత
88Neesathi Pekku | నీసతి పెక్కు
89Vaarijapatramam Didina | వారిజపత్రమం దిడిన
90Dorasina Kaayamul Mudimi | దొరసిన కాయముల్ ముదిమి
91Sirigalanaamdu Maimarachi | సిరిగలనాడు మైనుఱచి
92Jeevanamimkam Bamkamuna | జీవనమింక బంకమున
93Sarasuni Maanasambu | సరసుని మానసంబును
94Shreeyutha Jaanakeeramana | శ్రీయుత జానకీరమణ
95Nomchina Thallidamdriki | నోచిన తల్లిదండ్రికి
96Emtati Punyamo Sabari | ఎంతటి పుణ్యమో శబరి
97Bomkanivaamde Yogyu | బొంకనివాడె యోగ్యు
98Bhramaramu Keetakambumgoni | భ్రమరము కీటకంబుగొని
99Taruvulu Poochi Kaayalagu | తరువులు పూచి కాయలగు
100Pattiti Bhattaraarya Guru | పట్టితి భట్టరార్య గురు
101Allana Limgamamtri | అల్లన లింగమంత్రి
102Kaliyuga Martyakoti | కలియుగ ముర్త్యకోటి

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