(1682-1755) Also known as Vijaya Dasa, Vijaya Vittala Dasa is one of the most renowed scholars and philosophers in Dwaita philosophy as well Dasa Sahitya, revered as the spiritual heir of Purandara Dasa. He was born to Srinivasappa and Kusamma who were very poor Brahmins in Chekalaparvi of Manwi Taluk in Raichur District. For his studies, he went to Kashi (Varanasi) for four years for studies and later returned. At 16, he married Aralamma, but they had a troubled domestic life because of their poverty. When his parents died, he returned to Kashi and became a renowned Sanskrit scholar. Once he had a dream in which Purandara Dasa appeared, initiated him into the order of Dasas and gave him the ankita or mudra of ‘Vijay Vittala’. From then on, he was known as Vijaya Dasa.
He spent the rest of his life popularizing Dwaita concepts, the works of Srimadacharya and Hari Bhakti malas. He has written about 25,000 Padya Sulyadi or UGAHA BHOGHA’s. His works are called kalasha’s creations or Urasu’s creations. In Kannada sahitya his literary works are regarded as second only to those of Sri Purandara Dasa. He is affectionately called Dasa Shresta, for his personality, knowledge and the brilliant disciples he left behind.
He also spent his life with purpose, doing good for others. Vijaya Dasa prevented a woman from killing herself and her son. He looked after them as part of his family. Later that boy became his disciple and a very famous Haridasa called Mohana Dasa. It is said that Mohana Dasa had another close brush with death and it was again Sri VijayadAsa who saved him. Among other miracles attributed to him, it is said that he gave rebirth to his own son (4 years from his own life, and 7 years from those of another). Another story relates that during one of his visits to Kashi, when the Holy Ganges was in spate, he took a dip in the river and sat in the lotus pose over the flowing river, all without getting his clothes and body wet. It is also said that he demonstrated his amazing mystical powers by making a dimwitted man recite and explain JayatIrtha’s Sriman NyAya Sudha in simple words, a task which even very learned scholars find difficult to do.
Vijaya means victory and he is regarded as the one who knows how to win the heart of Krishna and devotees of Krishna through his compositions. He is regarded as the reincarnation of Bruga Muni. It is believed that in the Krtha Yuga or era, he incarnated as a disciple of Sage Narada, in TrEta Yuga as a monkey called Suraleela, in Dwaapara Yuga as a Yaadava called Nikampana and in Kali yuga (the current era) as a calf and later as a brahmin. Bruga muni is also known as the tAratamya saint since he proclaimed that Krishna or Vishnu is the most powerful among the gods. Vijaya Dasa composed many songs and Suladis. His style is very scholarly and full of words from Sanskrit. His thorough grasp of the Sastras is very evident in his works. His compositions are simple and lucid, replete with telling phrases and similies, like those of his master Purandara Dasa. He was an ardent Vaisnava, which is evident in his compositions that praise Vishnu as the greatest of all gods.
Vijaya Dasa’s disciples include Jagannatha Dasa, composer of ‘Harikathamrutha Sara’, Gopala Dasa, and Kallur Subramanya Charya. Gopala Dasa, his chief disciple, constructed a temple for Anjaneya in front of the ‘Katte’. There is a pond close by called ‘Vijaya Thirtha’. It is believed that during his third visit to Kashi, Vijaya Dasa brought the Ganges and installed it in that pond, for the benefit of his disciples.
Every year, during Karthika Shudda Navami, Dashmi and UtwanDwadashi his ‘Aradhana’ is celebrated in Chippgiri, which is about 3 miles from Guntakal. The location where the aradhana is celebrated is called ‘Sri Vijaya Dasara Katte’ (Vrundavana). Thousands of Madhwas attend and get his blessings. The old house where Sri Vijay dasaru lived Chippgiri has been preserved by his devotees, as also the Mahadeva and Srinivasa Temples that he used to visit. There is cave close by where the Sun god is supposed to have conducted penance. It is believed that even to-day Sri Vijay Dasaru visits the spot in an astral form, takes bath in the Vijay Thirtha and cleans the Mukya Prana temple. One of the temple servants is supposed to have witnessed this miracle. He lived till the age of 79.
A story is told of the relationship of Vijaya Dasa and Purandara Dasa: Sri Purandara daasa had a son called Madhwapathi. Purandara Dasa would visit the Sri Yanthrodaara Praana Devaru temple (Hanumantha) in Hampi and offer naivedya (divine offering) to the deity. Once, due to paucity of time, Sri Purandara Daasa asked Madhwapathi to do the naivedya. Madhwa pathi, who was a small boy, honestly believed that Hanumantha would literally eat the food offered to him. When this did not happen, the little boy became very upset and started punishing himself. To prevent this, Hanumantha appeared before him and actually ate the food, leaving behind a small portion as prasad. When Madhwa pathi returned home and related this incident to his parents, nobody believed him. To test the veracity of his story, Purandara dasa accompanied him the next day, and saw the miracle with his own eyes. He became ecstatic and told Madhwa pathi that he was very lucky to have obtained the grace of Hanumantha. Sri Purandara dasa composed a total of 4,75,000 literary pieces (devaranamas, suladis, ugabhogas) in his lifetime. When Madhwapathi pointed out to his father he was 25,000 short of 500,000, Sri Purandara daasa told him that by the grace of Vijaya Vittala, he (Madhwapathi) would be reborn as a hari daasa in his next birth and make up the balance 25,000. Accordingly, Madhwapathi, the son of Sri Purandara daasa was reborn as Sri Vijaya daasa in his next birth and composed 25000 songs with the ankita(signature) of Sri Vijaya Vittala.