12.2.4 : PURANDARADASA
Purandara-dasa (1480-1564) is held by orthodox opinion to be an avatAra of Sage Narada, the wandering divine singer of yore. He was born in Karnataka in a rich household and enhanced his wealth manyfold by his business acumen. His spiritual enlightenment came by a miraculous intervntion by the Lord Himself. Then he started on a long pilgrimage and travelled throughout the length and breadth of India. He finally settled in Pandarpur in Maharashtra. He was one of the earliest composers of devotional songs in the vernacular. He is in fact considered as the originator of Carnatic music. His compositions on Lord Vithala of Pandarpur, all set to music by himself, number more than a couple of thousands. His compositions are sung in almost all religious congregations in the South and in all music performances. The Lord put him to the severest test by subjecting him to a nasty scandal and finally, when the law was all set to have him publicly whipped, at the crucial moment, the whip was simply snatched away by the Lord Himself in the form of the Vithala idol of Pandarpur and Purandaradasa stood redeemed.