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( ANOtiRA 


Accession No. 

* all No, \ 
\uthor ; 

We ; 

This book should 7 be returned on or before tne date 
ast marked below. 

The P. E. N. All-India Centre 


Printed by Kishansingh Chavda at Sadhana Press, Raopura, 

Baroda (India) and published for the P. E. N. All-India Centre 

by the International Book House, Ltd., Bombay. Nov. 1944. 


The Indian Literatures No. XV 
Edited by Sophia Wadia 

The P. E. N. All-India Centre 


( Andhra Literature ) 

Prof. P. T. RAJU, M. A,, PH. 
of the Andhra Universit 

Published for 

The P. E. N. All-India Cen 
Aryasangha, Malabar Hill, Bombay 


The International Book House, Ltd., 
Ash Lane, Fort, Bombay 


India is no exception in a world swayed by politics 
in an extraordinary measure. Her ruling passion is for 
freedom from foreign domination ; in other countries 
politics revolves round other ideas and ideals, other 
hopes aud aspirations. India has greater justification 
for being preoccupied with politics, for her servitude 
affects her indigenous culture on every plane. This has 
compelled even a mystic like Gandhiji to experiment 
with truth in the field of politics. 

Mainly because of this preoccupation Indians have 
undervalued the literary unfoldment of the last few 
years in the different linguistic areas ; if properly co-or- 
dinated and helped, this would develop into a renais- 
sance of the first order. Visions of literary creators 
enshrined in books of today are likely to become ob- 
jective realities of tomorrow. Moreover, the mystical 
intimations of the poet, the psychological analyses of 
the novelist, the philosophical expositions of the es- 
sayist, the tendency portrayals and the character 
delineations of the dramatist these are related to the 
very problems which engage the whole consciousness of 
the politician, the economist and the sociologist. India 
cannot afford to be neglectful of her literary movement 
of today. 

India's many languages are not a curse, however 
much her enemies may call them so or her political and 
other reformers may wish for a lingua franca. Ideas 

unite people and rule the world ; not words. Europe is 
not suffering because it has many languages, but because 
conflicting ideas and competing ideas have confused 
issues and have created chaos. Our many languages are 
channels of cultural enrichment. Many educated Indians 
are not familiar with the literary wealth of any Indian 
language other than their own. How many Bengalis 
know the beauties of Malayalam literature ? How 
many Tamilians are familiar with the literary efforts of 
old and modern Assam ? And so on. Again, India 
suffers grievously in the Occident, which is ignorant 
of the present-day literary achievements in the 
different Indian languages. No systematic attempt has 
been made to popularise the story of the Indian 
literatures or to present gems from their masterpieces to 
the general public in English translation. This is now 
being attempted by the Centre for India of the Inter- 
national P. E. N. 

The plan of this series of books is a simple one. A 
volume is devoted to each of the main Indian languages. 
Each book is divided into three parts ; (i) The history 
of the literature dealt with ; (2) Modern developments ; 
and (3) An anthology. There will be about sixteen 
volumes in all, and they were to have been published in 
alphabetical order. Our effort to adhere to that arrange- 
ment occasioned too much delay, however, and so it has 
now been decided to publish the remaining MSS. in the 
order of their receipt by the Editorial Office. A list 
of these publications will be found elsewhere in this 

In editing each MS. I have kept to the translitera- 


tion of words from the Sanskrit, Arabic and Indian 
languages selected by the author. 

I must thank my colleagues of the P. E. N. Movement 
and several other friends who have helped with advice 
and valuable suggestions. And, of course, the P. E. N. 
All-India Centre and myself are greatly indebted to the 
friends who have undertaken to write the books which 
make up this series. Without their co-operation we 
could not have ventured on the project. 

For me this is a labour of love. But time, energy 
and other contributions made bring their own recom- 
pense as all are offered on the altar of the Motherland, 
whose service of humanity will be greatly aided by the 
literary creations of her sons and daughters. 



Dr. P. T. Raju, M.A., PH.D., Sastri, the author of this 
brochure on Telugu literature is a scholar and thinker of 
merit. The honour of being first in this field belongs to 
Messrs, Chenchiah and Bhujanga Rao, whose book on 
Telugu literature in the Heritage of India Series, with a 
Preface by me, was published quite a number of years 
ago. But there are points in Dr. Raju's book which 
distinguish it from the earlier publication and give it 
special value. Though he has called it " Telugu Litera- 
ture, " the book is wider in its scope and is indeed a 
treatise on the Andhra contribution to the culture of 
India. Needless to add, that Andhra contribution is 
wider than Telugu literature, because it includes the 
contributions of the great savants in Sanscrit and Pali 
and religious teachers of the stature of Nagarjuna, 
Kumarila Bhatta and Basava and poets like Hala. 
Dr. Raju touches on these and on the works in Sanscrit 
of Mallinatha, King Katayavema, Vidyanatha, Pandita- 
raya Jagannatha and quite a number of other national 
heroes of philosophy and literature. 

Eminent archaeologists have held that the world- 
famous paintings of the Ajanta caves are the creation of 
Andhra artistic genius. The Amaravati and other 
sculptures are amongst the world's masterpieces. 

The Andhras played an important part in the devel- 
opment of Kannada literature also. There are hardly 


any other people in India who have played so various 
and illustrious a part in the political and in the cultural 
development of India; and Dr. Raju has presented this 
encyclopaedic background in a few bold touches. If 
Hala and Bhavabhuti also are Andhras by birth, the 
magnificence of the Andhra record would appear to be 
among the most shining of any in this land of ancient 
but perennial culture. 

A fascinating but perplexing problem is "Who were 
the original Andhras? Are they the same as the 
Telugus ? Or are they to be regarded as a conquering 
race, who subjugated the Telugu country in addition to 
Magadha and other lands north and west of the Desa 
now called Andhra after them, but later on became 
confined to these lands and merged in the Telugus as the 
Normans were dissolved in the Anglo-Saxons ? " Dr. Raju 
has dealt with this problem pertaining to the Andhra- 
Telugu relationship with much acumen and ability. It is 
difficult to believe that the Andhras mentioned in the 
Aiter ey a Brahmana are the same as the Telugus with 
whose literature this book is mainly concerned. 

There are at least three hypotheses regarding the 
Andhra-Telugu relationship. According to one of them, 
the Andhras were a North Indian tribe referred to in 
the Aitereya Brahmana contemptuously as eaters of 
dog's flesh. Were these Andhras racially Aryan or non- 
Aryan ? One hypothesis holds that they were Aryans 
by race who had become non-Aryan by deviating from 
their culture and adopting the ways of the non-Aryan 
tribes amongst whom they lived. The following quest- 
ions arise If they had been Aryans by race, they 


would have lived amongst the non- Aryans as conquerors. 
Would they have had any motive then to adopt the 
culture of their subjects? Is there much historical 
probability in the idea that in those remote times, when 
tribes were small and closely knit, small clans would 
have broken off and mingled with folk obviously regard- 
ed as inferior ? Is it not more probable for the inferior 
to adopt the culture of the superior, especially when the 
inferior are not equally or highly civilized ? If the 
Andhras were racially Aryan, why were they bracketed 
with the Kiratas, Pulindas and other non-Aryan tribes ? 
It seems to me that the probability is that the Andhras 
were a non-Aryan race who, starting low, gradually 
worked up the scale of Aryan culture until they finally 
became Aryanised. 

What was the language of these Andhras of the 
Aiter ey a Brahmana? There seems to be no clear evi- 
dence or indication ; but it is a fact that in later times 
Paisachi, a Prakritic language, was in use amongst the 
Andhras and indeed became the language of their 
Aryan affiliation. Race and language do not always go 
together. And from the fact that the Andhras spoke 
Paisachi at a later stage, one cannot infer an Aryan 
origin conclusively, though an Aryan adoption and 
assimilation are probable. 

At a later, and what may be called, relatively speak- 
ing, a more historical stage, the Andhras were found to 
be in occupation of the Vindhya regions with Paisachi 
as their language, certainly their written language and 
probably their spoken. From this Vindhyan centre they 
seem to have radiated in three directions towards the 

in its scope the lands and islands east and south of 
Burma right up to the Philippines, The main portion 
of the population of the Philippine Islands is known as 
Tegalogs, a variation of either the name Telaga or of 
Telugu. A large number of Telugu words are current 
in the Filipine language. A Jesuit Father has compiled 
a dictionary of the Telugu and Sanscrit terms found 
in the language of the Filipinos. I had that book once 
in my possession ; but it is now not to be found in my 
library ! 

As regards the resume of Telugu literature presented 
in this book, Dr. Raju's work, though naturally brief, is 
eminently accurate and comprehensive. His explana- 
tions and evaluations are of commanding significance. 

Special praise must be given to the Anthology which 
he has appended as Part III and in which he has given 
interesting translations of some of the finest pieces in 
Telugu literature, ballads and folk-songs, which will 
convey to the foreign reader an impressive idea of 
the literary heritage of the Telugus and their genius. 

I have no hesitation in pronouncing this book one 
of the most valuable ever produced on the subject of 
Telugu literature set against the background of general 
Andhra culture and history. The author deserves to 
be warmly congratulated on so masterly a publication. 

Padma-Prabhasa, C. R. REDDY 


i8th September, 1943. 


No correct estimation of any provincial literature is 
possible without taking into consideration the contribu- 
tion which that province has made to Sanscrit literature 
also, which is really the background and source of 
modern Indian literatures. The only exception may 
be Urdu ; but I imagine that the entire Urdu literature 
is not exempt from Sanscrit influence. However, in the 
other languages the earliest poems must have been 
written by poets well-versed in Sanscrit. So far as 
Telugu literature is concerned, all its authors, especially 
in the beginning, were Sanscrit scholars. And we read 
of a heated discussion on poetics between Srinatha, a 
Telugu, and Dindima Bhat, a Sanscrit poet, in which 
the latter was defeated. Hence between the poetry of 
the provincial language and that of Sanscrit the only 
difference must be that of language but not of theme 
and spirit. And so far as it is influenced by Sanscrit, 
the poetry of the whole of India will look alike. 

Still, there is poetry of a purely indigenous growth, 
particularly folk-songs, heroic ballads, cradle songs, 
songs of benediction and so forth. Their metres too 
are different. But their authors are not generally 
known and their dates cannot be fixed. The authors of 
the indigenous poems too adopted the Sanscrit poetic 
traditions, like comparing a beautiful face to the moon 
and the lotus and a woman's braid to a black cobra. 
But they have some usages of their own. For example, 


a pretty face is compared by the Andhra poets to a 
parrot, which is rare in Sanscrit. It would be interest- 
ing if collections of these usages were made. These 
usages as well as the metres of indigenous poems have 
crept into the works of the classical poets also, who are 
mainly influenced by Sanscrit. 

We may say that every province has three main lines 
of literary development the purely Sanscrit, the purely 
local and indigenous and a combination of the two 
which may be called the classical poetry in the pro- 
vincial language. Sometimes a few of the so-called 
classical poets may choose, like Gaurana, a purely 
indigenous metre but write in a grammatically and 
idiomatically correct literary language. And, as is 
now happening, a poet may use spoken and ungrammat- 
ical language but an old Sanscrit metre. Or, as was 
done by the Telugu classical poets themselves, Sanscrit 
and indigenous metres may be used together, just as 
they adopted both the Sanscrit and indigenous poetic 
usages. Thus many combinations are possible and are 
actually found. A comprehensive history of Telugu 
literature must take into account fully and in detail all 
the three lines of development and their further 

The Andhra country has made a very valuable con* 
tribution to Sanscrit, a full account of which it is not 
possible to give here. The names of many Andhras are 
familiar to the world of Sanscrit scholars. Qfallinatha, 
the commentator on Kalidasa's poems, is known to 
all Sanscrit students. The best and the most popular 
commentator on Kalidasa's dramas is King Kataya 


Vema. Singa Bhupala was a learned and powerful 
ruler, during whose time Srinatha and Potana flourished. 
He was so renowned a scholar that for the final test of 
learning every pandit of tlie time made it a point to 
visit his court and undergo his personal examination. 
He is the author of several Sanscrit works and his 
Rasdrnavasudhdkara is a well-known work on Sanscrit 
drama. Vidyanatha's Pratdparudnyam and Jagannatha 
Pandita's Rasagangddhara are famous treatises on 
Sanscrit poetics. The latter work has never been 
superseded. Bhavabhuti, who went to Kashmir from 
Vidarbha, is claimed here to be an Andhra, for Vidarbha 
which borders on Telingana was part of the Andhra. 
Krishnadeva Raya, in his introduction to Amuktama- 
lyadd, tells us that he is the author of half a dozen 
Sanscrit works. Gunadhya was a minister to a Sata- 
vahana emperor and the author of Brhatkathd. There 
are several less famous writers of whom Vamana 
Bhattabana, Sivalinga Bhupati, and Lolla Lakshmi- 
dhara may be mentioned. Hala's contribution to Prakrit 
is quite well known?} 

In Sanscrit philosophy the Andhra can justly be 
proud of having produced some of the greatest men. 
To Buddhism the country has supplied Nagarjuna, 
Arya Deva and Dignaga. Tney may not have been 
born in the country between the Godavari and the 
Krishna ; but that the Andhra was the place of their 
activities none can doubt, and who their parents were 
it is difficult to establish. Besides, the Andhras spread 
right from the Vindhyas in the North to the Kaveri in 
the South. [The belief is strong that Kumarila, Vidya- 


ranya, Sayana and Sayana-Madhava were Andhras. 
Annam Bhatta and Dharmaraja Adhvarindra are well 
known to all students of Indian philosophy. Nimbarka 
and Vallabha were famous achdryas who, strangely 
enough, could not get followers in their own country. 
Sripati's commentary on the Brahma-Sutras, called 
Sri-karabhdshya, written from the Virasaiva point of 
view, has recently been published. The author hailed 
from the Guntur District. Chitsukha belonged to the 
Vizagapatam District. There are others also whom the 
Andhras claim as their 

Of the people who made contributions to other 
indigenous literatures Pampa and Ponna may be men- 
tioned. Basava, the founder of Virasaivism, was an 
Andhra, but he could not obtain a following in this 
country. He and his religion made good contributions 
to Kannada literature. The Lingdyats of the Andhra 
are Brahmins who call themselves Arddhyabrdhmins. 
Their philosophy is the same as that of Virasaivism. 
The Saivism of the Arddhyabrdhmins possesses extensive 
literature in Telugu. The Ramanujiya Vaishnavas too 
have corresponding literature; but for them Tamil is 
the sacred language, which is undoubtedly a sign of the 
non- Aryan origin of the religion. Saivisrn too is non- 
Aryan in origin ; but the Arddhyabrdhmins of the Andhra 
do not so much revere the Dravidian Saiva Agamas. 

The traditional Sanscrit education was conducted in 
two kinds of institutions called Ghatikdsdlas and 
Vidydpithas. The kind of instruction given in both 
was the same. But the former were situated in capitals 
and were under the direct supervision of the king's 


officials. The latter were established in agrahdrams or 
villages granted to great scholars, living on the income 
of which they were to impart their learning to the 
students. Of course the students too were to be main- 
tained by the pandits who received the grant. No 
soldier might enter those agraharams and the king's 
officials had very little power over the Vtdyapilkas. 
Telugu scholars too were trained similarly. 

As a general rule at the capitals of empires, probably 
because of their cosmopolitan nature, Sanscrit was 
patronised, while in the principalities of tributary 
princes and smaller kingdoms Telugu literature flour- 
ished. There are indeed exceptions. The Chalukya King 
Rajaraja Narendra was the patron of Nannaya, who 
began the translation of the Mahdbharata. But his 
successors did not seem even to care for its completion. 
Tikkana and Yerrapreggada lived at the courts of far less 
powerful kings. There is no instance of the Kakatiyas 
encouraging any great Telugu poet at their own court, 
though they had high respect for these poets, as proved 
by Ganapati Deva's lending an army to Tikkana. 
Of the Satavahanas, Hala, the Emperor, himself took 
interest in the indigenous language, which at that time 
may have been Prakrit. Rao Singana, also called 
Singa Bhupala, wrote several Sanscrit works, though he 
patronised many Telugu poets. There are many other 
Velama and Reddi Kings who ruled over small kingdoms 
at Kondavidu, Rachakonda, Bezwada (Vijayavatika), 
Nellore ( Simhapuri ) and Rajahmundry and encouraged 
mainly Telugu. The Satavahana Kings, in the remote 
past, were patrons of Buddhism and Sanscrit Buddhist 


literature is indebted to the munificence of Dhanyakata- 
ka and Amaravati. The Ganga Kings of Kalinga were 
patrons of Sanscrit and not of Telugu. At Madura, 
Mysore, Puddukotta and Tanjore mainly Telugu litera- 
ture flourished. Some Andhra Sanscrit poets like Lolla 
Lakshmidhara were patronised by the Gajapatis of 
Cuttack also. 

In the present volume the whole of the Andhra 
literature is divided into two periods, the ancient 
and the modern, according to the instructions of the 
General Editor of the Series. But the ancient period is 
so wide that it itself contains nearly three distinct 
periods. The first is generally called the Puranic Period 
and the Age of Translation, the second the Prabandha 
Period or the Age of the Mahakavyas and the third the 
Sataka Period or the Age of the Satakas. In the modern 
period all types of literary activity are found and to 
divide the period according to literary types would be 
impossible; The types in which the modern Andhra 
literature has reached a fairly high level are the novel, 
the drama and the lyric or bhavakavitvam. 

Sometimes the literary periods are divided on the 
basis of the ruling religions. But the Telugu literary 
critic is in general opposed to such procedure. For 
religious poems intended to teach directly this or that 
religion do not have a high literary value. The teach- 
ing has to be done indirectly through some literary 
mode, in which case it is literature as literature that is 
of chief interest and the religious themes come to have 
only secondary importance. Further, in the Andhra, 
except for the Brahmanic revival which drove away 


Buddhism and Jainistn and strengthened itself to fight 
Islam, there are no strong and violent religious upheav- 
als. Basava could not find followers in his own 
country for his militant Virasaivism. The Andhra 
Kings did not allow any serious conflict between Saivism 
and Vaishnavism and the cult of Harihara, in which the 
ideas of Vishnu and Siva were blended into a unity, was 
the most admired. Tikkana, for instance, dedicated his 
Mahabhdratam to the god Harihara Natha. The Andhras 
generally showed no religious fanaticism. Again, Telugu 
sectarian literature, though extensive, is not given a 
high place by the literati here. From the beginning 
the Andhra Kings did not generally patronise such 
poets. Their poems have always been a by-product, 
not occupying any high place in the main line of 
development. The Andhra Bhagavatam, though a 
Vaishnava work, was never treated as such by the 
Andhras ; and it should be noted that Potana, its author, 
was a Saivite. 

It cannot but be said that Western criticism has 
missed the literary value of the Puranas. While speak- 
ing of Indian poetry very rarely are they taken into 
account. But in the Andhra literature they occupy so 
high a place that no true understanding of our literature 
is possible without knowing their actual nature. R. W. 
Frazer writes: 

India has sent forth work stamped with all the peculiar 
impress of its own genius. . .which will ever demand a place in 
the very first ranks of the world's literature ; but this place 
would never be claimed for the two great Herculean labours of 
Brahmanism the construction of the two Indian so-called epics, 
the Mahabharata and the Ram ay an a. 1 

1 A Literary History of India, p. 210. 


There cannot be a more biased and wrong judgment 
than this. All Indian poets, even the Sanscrit, 
acknowledge Vyasa as the source of their inspiration. 
They regard Valmiki as the first poet, but treat Vyasa 
as a greater one. It might be that not one Vyasa 
but many wrote the Mahabhdrata and the Purdnas. 
Still the opinion current among the Sanscrit poets, that 
" anything in the three worlds is a crumb from Vyasa's 
dish" ( Vydsocchishtam jagattrayam), that is, that there 
can be no really new theme for a poem not handled by 
Vyasa, shows in what esteem he is held as a poet. If 
Vyasa is a fictitious person the credit goes to the Mahd- 
bhdrafa and the Purdnas. 

One who is to undertake a significant history of 
Indian literature must give deep consideration to the 
philosophical principles underlying the growth of literary 
art as expounded by Indian rhetoricians. It may be 
that these rhetoricians are sometimes incorrect. Yet a 
total disregard of their views and a wholesale and 
unmodified application of the principles as expounded 
by Western theorists will lead to no other conclusion 
than that what our ancients regarded as the highest 
literature is nothing but a bundle of imperfections. 
Our ancients conceived of poetry as what induces one 
to do the right. Thus Purdnas like the Bhdgavata, 
Itihdsas like the Mahabhdrata and Kdvyas like the 
Rdmdyana were grand poetry that were meant to prej- 
udice people in favour of the Vedic or Bhdrata dharma. 
That is why the Purdnas are regarded as an updnga or 
secondary accessory to the Vedas. For the same reason 
they are also called Smrtis or, as Ren6 Gu6non would 


say, the traditional knowledge of the Sruti. When 
commenting on the Brahmasutras almost all comm- 
entators quote from these Purdnas and say, " Thus says 
the Sntfti. " Treating the Purdnas as great poems as 
well as an updnga of the Vedas shows that for our 
ancients too the task of both the poet and the philos- 
opher was the same. Like grammar etc., the Purdnas 
were not meant merely to help us in understanding the 
Vedas, but also to create a bias for leading the moral 
life implied by them. 

Macdonell's statement, for instance, in A History 
of Sanskrit Literature is only a half-hearted admission of 
what is contended above. He writes : 

In turning from the Vedic to the Sanskrit period, we are 
confronted with a literature which is essentially different from 
that of the earlier age in matter, spirit, and form. Vedic litera- 
ture is essentially religious ; Sanskrit literature, abundantly 
developed in every other direction, is profane. But, doubtless 
as a result of the speculative tendencies of the Upanishads, a 
moralising spirit at the same time breathes through it as a 
whole, (p. 277.) 

But really the two periods are not so distinct as the 
Western scholars suppose them to be. Some of the 
literature subsequent to the Purdnas may be totally 
profane. But the Purdnas as an upanga of the Vedas 
are religious also. Even the layman will not accept 
that iheMahdbhdrata, theRdmdyana and the Bhdgavata 
are profane works. They are read on holy and auspi- 
cious days and people are supposed to obtain special 
itoerit for reading and hearing them then. If the Sruti 
is revealed literature then Smrti is traditional literature, 
both intended to impart the same knowledge. Western 


critics here see difference while there is growth. 

Another feeling among them is that the poetry part 
of these grand epics is different from the rest. 
Winternitz, for example, writes : 

The more the heroic songs grew in favour and the more 
popular they became the greatei the anxiety of the Brahmans to 
take possession of this epic poetry also ; and they had the art of 
compounding this poetry which was essentially and purely 
secular in origin, with their own religious poems and the whole 
stock-in-trade of their theological and priestly knowledge. Then 
it happens that legends of gods, mythological narratives of 
brahmanical origin, and to a great extent even didactic sections 
referring to brahmanical philosophy and ethics and brahmanical 
law, were received into the Mahxbharata. * 

And he treats the ascetics as a distinct class who also 
tried by similar means to popularise their own doctrines. 

We shall not be able to establish that the Mahabha- 
rata, for instance, has no interpolations. But we shall 
not admit that everything of the epic except the simple 
story is an interpolation. Did not the heroes of the 
Mahabharata act according to some ethical ideal? 
Where did they get it except from the Vedas? Did 
the Brahmins of the Vedic Age belong to a different 
race and community from that of the Kshatriyas who 
are the heroes of the Mahabharato, so that the fornagfc 
felt it a necessity to introduce surreptitiously their owtr 
ideas into the heroic songs about the latter ? If there 
is a lengthy presentation of an ethical ideal, must it 
necessarily be an interpolation ? Did not some of the 
Kshatriyas themselves become ascetics? If the poem 
contains anything about asceticism, must it be an 

* A History of Indian Literature, pp. 318-19. 


extraneous addition? Further, the Mahdbhdrata and 
the Ramayana are not songs, though poems. It may be 
that their stories were at first sung by some bards, 
though we have no definite evidence for or against. It 
may be that the themes were later taken up by some 
poet and expanded in his own way. But if the expan- 
sion is made so as to suggest indirectly a particular 
ideal of life, the poem does not thereby become a collec- 
tion of interpolations. 

We may admit that the present recensions of the 
epics contain later accretions. An itihdsa is defined as 
a story of what once happened which is interwoven 
with advice about dharma, artha, kdma and moksha. 
( Dharmdrthakdma mokshandm upadetasamanvitam 
purvavfttakathdyuktam itihdsah prachakshyate. ) This 
definition must have allowed a number of later addi- 
tions. But we do not think that because the Mahdbhd- 
rata preaches a particular ideal of life, a particular type 
of morality, gives some views about the nature of heav- 
en or reality and introduces stories within stories to 
illustrate its ideas, therefore all that it says about these 
things are spurious additions. It must have been meant 
to contain much of these. Otherwise, it would not have 
been called the fifth Veda or a Smrti. Whatever it 
might have been as a folk-song, which we have little 
chance of knowing, the Sanscrit epic is a grand epic 
poem executed with a definite aim. It might have 
grown in bulk through the years ; and such growth is 
not denied even in the case of Homer's poems. Yet that 
its growth was not in accord with its original aims there 
is little evidence to show. It was because the epic was 


written with such high aim that the Andhra poets first 
thought of that work and made it so exquisite that 
people still view it with greatest admiration. And its 
influence on them is so great that even now none is 
regarded in this province as a great poet unless he 
writes a beautiful epic. 

In the Mahdbharata the story is narrated by Suta 
to Saunaka and other rshis. Similarly every Telugu 
epic, whether it be puranic, historical or merely fictitious, 
is narrated by the poet to some king, noble or guru to 
whom he generally dedicates the work. By some poets 
the work is dedicated to a god but narrated to his patron. 
The practice shows that evidently the Andhra poets at 
first intended their poems mainly for the spread of 
Bhdratadharma by influencing their patron kings. And 
every king to whom a poem was dedicated was 
supposed to be like Parikshit. He and his nobles were 
particularly to be initiated into the Bhdratadharma. 
Later the custom may have been followed as a mere 
Kavisampraddya or poetic tradition. Kalidasa, for in- 
stance, never dedicates his poems to his patron and 
does not begin, " Hear, Your Majesty. " But Peddana 
and other Andhra poets begin, " My Lord, listen. " In 
the dedicatory verses we get useful information about^ 
the dynasties and exploits of kings and the genealogies" 
of nobles and poets. 

The Telugu alphabet has more letters than the 
Sanscrit ; but I thought that it would be unnecessary in 
this little book to introduce new diacritical marks for 
the extra vowels and consonants. In a bigger work 
their omission should not be forgiven. 


The word Andhra is being used indiscriminately, some- 
times with the article " the " and sometimes without it, 
to denote the people, the country and the language. 
As regards Bengal, for instance, we have " Bengal' 1 for 
the country, " Bengali " for the language, and " the 
Bengali " for the man. Indeed, the original word is 
Vanga, not Bengal ; but somehow the latter has come 
into use and even in Bengali the word "Bangalades" 
frequently occurs. But " Andhra " has no such modifica- 
tions. I discussed this point with some of my colleagues 
and we came to the following conclusion : " The 
Andhra " should mean the country and the man, and 
"Andhra" the language only. Accordingly the word 
is used in this book. 

It is impossible to give in this brochure even a list 
of all the poets and their works, both ancient and 
modern, much less an idea of them. Of the ancient 
authors I have given only those who are generally re- 
garded as outstanding. The Telugu literary output was 
so large that Tippu Sultan, it is said, ordered the use of 
the palmyra manuscripts in the libraries of the palaces 
that fell to him, as fuel for boiling gram for his horses. 
We do not know what rare gems were thereby destroyed. 
Telugu literature up to the beginning of the present 
century is said to be larger than even the Hindi. 
Even the available literature, however, is quite vast, 
though we may not find all authors equally interesting. 
Similarly modern poets and authors too are many. For 
want of space I have to omit the names of several and 
the works of more. A larger volume including all is a 
real need. 


In the end I cannot adequately thank Sir C. R. Reddy 
for the Introduction which he has very kindly written 
to this book. 

The Andhra University, 
5th October, 1944. 







Editor's Foreword i-iii 

Introduction by Sir C. R. Reddy v-x 

Author's Foreword xi-xxiv 

I. Old Andhra Literature 1-51 

Chapter I. The Beginnings 3 

Chapter II. The Mahdbharata Poets and 

Nannichoda. 12 
Chapter III. The Rdmayana Poets and 

Srinatha and Potana 23 

Chapter IV. The Prabandha Poets 30 
Chapter V. The Satakas and the Age 

of Despair 44 
II. New Andhra Literature 53-87 
Chapter I. The Beginnings 55 
Chapter II. Bhdvakavitvam 59 
Chapter III. The Liberals 67 
Chapter IV. The Drama 70 
Chapter V. Novels, Short Stones, Essays 77 
Chapter VI. Literary Histories and Sci- 
entific and Philosophical 
Works 81 
Chapter VII. Academical Organs, Lexi- 
cography, Journalism 85 
III. Anthology 89-152 
i. Ancient Poetry 91 
ii. Modern Poetry 125 
iii. Drama 138 
iv. Prose 146 
IV. Suggested Reading List 153 


( Up to about 1875 ) 

Chapter I 

In no other country in the world was the poet more 
honoured than in the Andhra. Peddana mourns the 
death of his patron, the Emperor Krishnadeva Ray a 
of Vizianagar, who as a mark of recognition put a gold 
anklet (Kavtgandapenderamu) with his own hands 
round the poet's ankle and who on the road lifted him 
up to a seat in his houdah. Srinatha before him was 
bathed in gold in the Pearl Palace of Praudhadeva Raya. 
Tikkana got an army from the Emperor Ganapatideva 
of Warrangal for restoring the dominions of his king, 
Manumasiddhi, who had been deprived of them by a 
neighbouring ruler. Poetry was so much valued that 
verses were actually purchased. There is a tradition 
that Mohanangi, Krishnadeva's daughter, purchased a 
verse from a starving poet who was hawking it. It was 
a fashion with the kings to get works dedicated to them, 
while there were poets like Potana who were so pious 
that they thought it a sacrilege to dedicate their works 
to them and enjoy the luxuries of court life. As a 
result some kings tried to use force for obtaining 
dedication when temptations in land and money failed. 
Not to get a dedication reflected on their culture. 


The Andhra kings from the earliest times seem to be 
patrons of indigenous literature. To mention a few : 
Hala wrote his $dlivahana Saptaiati in Prakrit. Rajaraja 
got the Mahabharata translated into Telugu. King 
Nannichoda wrote Kumarasambhavam. And Krishnadeva 
Raya, the greatest of the Vizianagar emperors, wrote 
Amuktamdlyadd. Yet, in spite of this proud tradition, 
no Telugu literature before Nannaya, i. e. t the eleventh 
century A. D., is now available. An Andhra grammar 
is said to have been written by a Kanva king, who 
must have ruled before the Satavahanas. It is therefore 
inconceivable that not a single Telugu work was written 
before Nannaya. Yuan Chuang who visited the Andhra 
country in the seventh century A. D. wrote that the lan- 
guage of the Andhras was different from that of the 
North though they were using the same script. Most 
scholars are agreed that the modern Telugu script is 
derived, through the Sanscrit, from the Brahmi. We 
have to accept therefore Yuan Chuang's assertion that 
the ancient Andhras were using the Nagari script. 
Now it is difficult to understand how a race which had 
a language and knew how to write did not produce a 
single work from the seventh to the eleventh century 
A. D. 

Recently part of a work on prosody called Jana&aya- 
chhandas has been discovered. Its language is Sanscrit 
and its author is not known. But it is a work that 
deals with all the metres used in Telugu, including those 
not at all found in works on Sanscrit prosody. 
Evidently it is a work on Telugu prosody written in 
Sanscrit, as was the practice of the times. Janasraya, 
in whose name the work was written, was the title of a 


king called Madhavavarman of the Vishnu Kundin 
Dynasty which ruled in the sixth century A. D. The 
work therefore shows that Telugu had poetry in the 
sixth century A. D. even before Yuan Chuang visited 
the Andhra. Buddhaghosha in his commentary on the 
Buddhist Pitakas refers to the Arthakathas of the 
Andhras. Yerrapreggada in his Nrsimhapurdnam praises 
Nannaya and Tikkana for their having explained the 
truth of Vyasa's work to the Andhras, who formerly 
were reading nonsense and "digging gathas." The 
nonsense and gdthas may be some Buddhist and Jaina 
writings, which were contemptuously treated by the 
upholders of Brahmanism. And in some of the inscrip- 
tions of Gunakavijiaditya, who belongs to the ninth 
century A. D., we find Telugu verses. Thus there is 
now definite evidence to show that before Nannaya 
up to at least the sixth century A. D. Telugu verses 
were being written. But where are the works in which 
this versification was used ? 

Two hypotheses are current to explain their absence. 
Some maintain that Nannaya was the first man to 
write a Telugu grammar; for Nannichoda, a royal 
poet, says in his Kumdrasambhavam that the Chalukyas 
inaugurated the desi or indigenous literature as distinct 
from the mdrgi or Sanscrit literature. If this is 
true, there could not have been any Telugu literature 
before Nannaya. But some maintain that Nannichoda 
might be only voicing the tradition which may not 
be historically true. Besides, Satyasr^ya, the Chalukya 
king referred to as the inaugurator, is the title of 
Pulikesin II, who was a contemporary of Harsha 
and so must have lived towards the end of the sixth 


century A. D. But it is unimaginable that the 
inaugurator could not have got a single work written 
in Telugu. Indigenous literature before the eleventh 
century is available in Tamil and even in Kannada, 
which is closely allied to Telugu. In fact, two of 
the greatest and earliest Kannada poets, Pampa 
and Ponna, were Andhras ; and at that time there 
was very little difference between Telugu and Kannada. 
Even as late as the fourteenth century A. D. Srinatha 
said that he was a poet of Karndtabhdshd ( Kannada 
language ), which means that he made no distinction 
between Telugu and Kannada. Hence, alongside the 
Kannada the Andhra literature also must have been 
flourishing. But the Andhras before the eleventh 
century were Buddhists and Jains. That the 
Satavahanas were great patrons of Buddhism is a 
well-established fact. Nagarjuna lived in their 
kingdom, and Dhanyakataka and Amaravati were 
great centres of Buddhistic learning. It is said that 
the Prajnaparamitas were first known to the Andhra 
(Andhaka) Buddhists in Prakrit. Hala's Sapta&ati, 
which gives a most vivid and beautiful picture of 
country life of the time, was written in Prakrit. And 
among the founders of the Andhra language is 
mentioned the name of Ravana along with those of 
Brihaspati, Kanva, Pushpadanta and Adharvana. 
Perhaps this Ravana is the same as the Ravana of the 
Lankdvatdrasfitra, who is represented as a saintly 
king, and who, during the Brahmanic revival, might 
have been identified with the wicked Ravana of the 
Rdmdyana. If the latter did not really belong to 
Ceylon but to some place in Central India as modern 


criticism tries to make out, then the suggestion that 
the Ravana of the Lankdvatarasutra may someliow 
be identical with the Ravana who is one of the 
founders of the Andhra language cannot be regarded 
as fantastic. Even if this suggestion is false, the 
mention of Ravana among the founders of Telugu 
is proof of the non-Vaidic influence, either Buddhist or 
Jaina or both, in shaping the language. For no King 
who followed Brahmanism would have liked to be 
called Ravana, who is represented as so many vices 
personified, in the Ramayana. There is a tradition 
that as late as in the thirteenth century A. D. Tikkana 
defeated a large number of Jainas at the court of 
Ganapatideva of Warrangal, who consequently expelled 
them from the kingdom, and that the Jainas swearing 
vengeance on the country later instigated Allauddin 
to invade Trilinga and gave him the necessary secrets. 
It is also said that the Jainas cursed the Andhras that 
they should not have any literature left by the Jainas, 
thinking that thereby the Andhras would be turned 
into uncultured barbarians. But probably the upholders 
of Brahmanism felt it a boon, as the disappearance of 
Jaina literature would make the propagation of their 
ideas the easier. The eleventh century marks the 
revival of Brahmanic literature in Tamil and Kannada 
as well as in Telugu. And the inference is that the 
Andhra country, where at that time the kings were the 
most powerful in the whole of the Deccan, the destruc- 
tion of Buddhism and Jainism was so thorough that 
not a single work sponsored by them was allowed to 
survive. But there are no records of any blood being 
shed in the Andhra as in the Karnataka, where the 


Virasaivas massacred the Jains. The destruction here, 
though thorough, seems to be of culture but not of life. 

Whichever hypothesis is true, no literature before 
Nannaya is so far available. Nannaya is believed by the 
pandits to be the first grammarian and systematiser of 
the Telugu language. He holds the view that Telugu is 
a vikrti ( modification ) of Prakrit, a view which agrees 
with the belief that Hala wrote his Saptaiati in 
the spoken language of the time. But this is not 
accepted by Caldwell, who in his Comparative Grammar 
of the Dravidian Languages maintains that Telugu 
as a Dravidian language has nothing to do with 
Prakrit. His thesis is based mainly on a consideration 
of the syntactical and declensional peculiarities. But 
a recent scholar, Dr. C. Narayana Rao, has shown with 
a fair amount of success that these peculiarities are 
found in the North Indian languages also, which are 
not classed as Dravidian. And some of the conjuga- 
tional forms like arambhinche of Telugu and arambh 
hoyeche of Bengali, both meaning " has begun, " are so 
alike, the former being a nasalised form of the latter, 
that we cannot but think that Caldwell's theory is at 
least one-sided. A true theory must include both. 
Had Caldwell known Prakrit, and compared both 
Sanscrit and Prakrit with Teluga, his view would have 
been considerably different. 

Besides, the original Andhras were not the inhabitants 
of only the small stretch of land between the deltas of 
the Godavari and the Krishna as is generally supposed. 
Even now about three crores in number, they occupy 
the northern part of the Madras Presidency right from 
the south of Madras to Orissa, the Ceded Districts, the 


eastern half of Hyderabad, and parts of the Central 
Provinces, Orissa and Mysore. Some have settled down 
in Tamilnad. Even now we find the Andhra Valley 
near Bombay, though the people living near-by are not 
called Andhras. Many coins of the Andhra Satavahana 
kings are found in the Bombay Presidency near Nasik 
and other places. These facts show that the Andhras 
at one time or another occupied almost the whole of the 
Deccan from the Vindhyas to the Kaveri. Parts of the 
modern Berars were at one time included in Telengana 
or the land of the Telugus. It cannot be proved that 
the modern Telugu was spoken in those parts during 
the time of the early Satavahanas. It could not have 
existed in any part in the remote past. But it is not 
unreasonable to say that Prakrit and some of its forms 
were spoken by the ancient Andhras and that their 
dialects gradually changed and became the modern 
Telugu. The direction of this change might have been 
determined by the languages of the people who occupied 
the lowest strata of the society of the time. But the 
languages of these classes too must have been influenced, 
in their turn, by those of the higher classes. The 
Sabaras of the Vizagapatam District, for instance, even 
now speak a language which is more akin to Hindi 
than to Telugu. It can be shown that Telugu has syn- 
tactical and inflexional affinities with both the North 
Indian and South Indian languages. And curiously 
enough there are no non-Sanscritic words in Telugu for 
many objects, for example, God. It would be absurd 
to say that the ancient Andhras had no idea of God. 
They must have been using the Prakrit or Sanscrit 
word, which supports the view that the ancient Andhra 


language was Prakrit or a form of it. Modern Telugu 
consists of nearly three-fourths Sanscrit. It includes 
all the Sanscrit letters besides a few of its own. It 
is the sweetest language in India and its words generally 
end in nasals and vowels. It uses fewer gutterals and 
aspirates. Its movement is smooth like the waves of 
the deep sea ; Hindi and Urdu sound, when compared 
with it, like breakers beating against rocks. Telugu 
sounds sweet ; Hindi and Urdu sound grand. It is so 
smooth that when we read a Telugu verse we are often 
unconsciously carried forward by its soft, rolling, gliding 
and nasal sounds and miss the meaning. It is called 
the Italian of the East, and even non-Telugu South 
Indians take pleasure in singing Telugu songs though 
they understand little of their meaning. 

It seems therefore that the ancient grammarians and 
Caldwell must be more systematically reconciled ; and 
the task of reconciliation must be left to future 
scholarship. As regards the derivation of the words 
Andhra and Telugu, too, there are widely differing 
opinions. The Andhras are mentioned in the Itereya 
Brahmana of the Vedas, but it is not known what 
language they were speaking. The word is said to mean 
inhabitants of a dark country ( just as Africa was called 
the Dark Continent, the land south of the Vindhyas 
might have been called the Daik Country) or a dark 
people or people who do not fly from the battle-field or 
those who speak a language that removes the darkness 
of ignorance. The pur&nas give eloquent descriptions of 
Andhra kings. But in them also the language of the 
Andhras is not given. The words Tenugu and Telugu do 
not seem to be of so ancient an origin. Tine in Telugu 


means honey ; and it is said that Tenugu is that 
language which is sweet like honey. Tennu means way ; 
and it is thought that Tenugu is that country which 
is the way for the Aryans of the North proceeding to 
the South. But the most widely accepted view is that 
Telugu is a corrupt form of Trilinga or the country of 
the three lingas of Siva, namely, Srisaila, Kalesvaraand 
Daksharama, and the / of Telugu is nasalised into the n 
of Tenugu. To the present author too this view seems 
to be more plausible ; for it is more reasonable to derive 
Tenugu from Telugu than vice versa. The tendency in 
torrid zones is to nasalize a consonant or semi-vowel and 
not the opposite. And it is easy to derive Telugu from 
Trilinga. Even now some Andhras in the Maharashtra 
are called Telangs, and in the United Provinces all are 
called Trilingis and Tailangis. The Andhras must have 
been called and identified with Tailangis after they 
settled down in the land of the three lingas. 

Chapter II 


The work that is generally accepted to be the first in 
Telugu is Nannaya's Mahdbhdratam or that part of it 
which is written by him. And in no other language 
was the first book written with a higher aim than the 
Mahdbhdratam in Telugu. By the poets of this country 
the Bhdgavala is treated as a purdna, the Mahdbhdrata 
as an itihasa and the Ram ay ana as a kavya. A kavya 
is poetry, an itihdsa is history and a purdna is history 
and mythology mixed. The characteristic of the last 
as described in Sanscrit poetics is that it contains 
accounts of creation, dissolution, dynasty, history of 
the dynasty and the ages of the Manus who are fourteen 
in number, the age of each being 4,320,000 years. We 
may say that a purdna is a history of the world as 
understood by our ancients. But the Andhra poets 
deliberately made no distinction between the three and 
treated all as kdvyas or groups of kdvyas in their 
Telugu writings. This agrees with the European classifi- 
cation of the Rdmdyana and the Mahdbhdrata as epics. 
Tikkana openly calls the Mahdbhdrata a group of 
prabandhas or prabandamandali, a prabhandha being a 


kdvya like Kalidasa's Raghuvamfa. This idea probably 
gave birth to such works in Telugu as Srinatha's 
Haravildsamu which is also a group of stories but fewer 
in number. Works of the kind are called in Telugu 
kathdprabandhas. These contain a small number of 
practically independent stories somehow connected with 
the life of the same god or person. For instance, 
Haravilasamu contains four stories concerning Siva, 
the story of Chirutondanambi, a devotee of Siva, the 
story of Siva's marriage with Gauri, the story of the 
hdldhala poison swallowed by Siva, and the story of the 
incident with Arjuna who was presented by Siva with 
the pdsupata weapon. Even if one or two stories are 
removed from the book the rest do not suffer. These 
works do not contain stories within stories or plots 
within plots but several different stories or plots. It is 
for a similar reason that Hegel could not see unity 
running through the plots of the Rdmdyana and the 
Mahdbhdrata. He writes : 

The unity of the particular parts is of an extremely unstable 
kind ; and layers upon layers of episodal matter, consisting of 
the tales of Gods, narratives of ascetic penances, and the powers 
they create, tediously long expositions of philosophical doctrines 
and systems, so entirely impair the collective unity that we are 
forced to regard many of them as later accretions. 1 

Evidently he is judging the Rdmdyana and the 
Mahdbhdrata from the standard supplied by the Greek 
epics. If we search for the so-called unities, we shall 
never find them in the Indian epics. Or, in Hegel's 
words, we shall find only the underlying unity of 

i The Philosophy of Fins Art, Vol. IV, p. 175. 


through injunction as the moral codes did. Nannaya, 
who began the work, says in his Andhraiabdachintamani 
that poetry is for the good of the world. Vidyanatha, 
the court poet of Prataparudra II of Warrangal, says in 
his Prataparudriyam that the Vedas like kings make 
men carry out their injunctions by word of command ; 
the Puranas like friends influence our actions through 
words of praise and blame; but a poem like a sweet- 
heart gets its wishes done through love and charm. In 
this the ethical conception of poetry is evident. It was 
not as yet felt that poetry was mainly to please. The 
latter conception we come across in the Rasagangddhara 
of Jagannatha, another Andhra who holds that poetry 
is an utterance that produces a peculiar pleasure, a 
conception which fits, both the lyric and the epic. 
Jagannatha's was a time when the Andhras were not at 
the zenith of their glory, and his conception of poetry 
represents the mentality of a people who were driven 
to seek satisfaction in creations of imagination as their 
life in the concrete world was thwarted and checked. 
For Nannaya and Vidyanatha, however, poetry was not 
an utterance to soothe a disappointed heart in alien 
surroundings. The people, especially the Andhras of 
the time, had a strong epic sense. They had not yet 
lost the hope that their ideal of life as represented 
by the Bhdratadharma (the Hindu view of life) was 
capable of realisation. They did not yet feel separation 
from the concrete national world with its conditions, 
modes of opinion, exploits and destiny. They still felt 
the surroundings plastic to their touch; there was as 
yet no division between their emotions and volitions. 
The Telugu Mahfibharatam was written especially to 


popularise the Bhdratadharma. Rajaraja Narendra, the 
Chalukya King who ruled at Rajahmundry, at whose 
instance Nannaya began the work, lived at the time 
when Mahmud of Ghazni was plundering in Northern 
India. He felt the weakening and enervating effects 
of Buddhism and Jainism on the Hindus, who lacked 
the necessary energy of spirit to withstand the invader. 
He strongly felt the need for an attempt to teach a 
Hindu dharma which possessed the required vigour. 
And that dharma was best depicted in the Mahdbhdrata, 
the heroes of which belonged to the same race, namely, 
the lunar, to which Rajaraja himself belonged. The 
purdnas of the Jainas, which seem to have been popular 
previously, had to be supplanted. This much seems 
to be implied by Yerrapreggada's introduction to his 

Nannaya did not complete the Mahdbharatam; he 
wrote only two and half parvas or parts. Tikkana did 
not complete the third but wrote the other fifteen. The 
third was completed after Tikkana, by Yerrapreggada. 
Nannaya lived in the eleventh, Tikkana in the thirteenth, 
and Yerrapreggada in the fourteenth century. Of the 
three Tikkana outshines the others as a personality. 
He was not only a poet but a politician. In his time 
one of the greatest bulwarks of Hinduism was the 
Andhra Empire of Warrangal, and Tikkana wanted to 
strengthen it by propagating the Bhdrata culture among 
the Andhras. The Mahdbharatam afforded him a vast 
field in which he could work out his ideal in fullest 
detail. His work is thus an artistic symbol of the 
times, the assertion of the Bhdratadharma in the Telugu 
country. It is interesting to note that Tikkana lived 


about forty years before Vidyaranya, the moving spirit 
of the Vizianagar Empire in its inception, who realised 
the desire of Tikkana by founding an empire on a 
cultural basis. 

The reason why the Mahdbhdratam was first written 
and not the Rdmdyanam is that the life depicted in the 
latter belonged to a far remoter age and afforded no 
suitable example to follow in those times, whereas the 
Mahdbhdratam with its constant conflict between good 
and evil and with the brilliant diplomacy of Sri Krishna 
offered numerous suitable examples. Almost all the 
battles of the Rdmdyana are of pure might and magic, 
but in the Mahdbhdrata diplomacy and statesmanship 
play a great r61e. It not only served to destroy the 
Buddhist and Jaina influence on the masses but pre- 
pared them for the impending conflict with Islam by 
infusing vigour into their life and faith. 

The Telugu Mahdbhdratam is not an exact translation 
of the Sanscrit original. It was already said that moral 
and philosophical disquisitions are either summarised 
or omitted. Diffuse narrations are abridged. Some- 
times new descriptions are introduced, and events are 
depicted in ways familiar to the Andhras. 

The three poets, Nannaya, Tikkana and Yerrapreggada 
are called the Kavitraya or the poet-trio in the Andhra. 
The first is also called Vdganuiasana or the lawgiver 
of the language, the second Kavtbrahma or the poet- 
creator and the third PrabandhaparameSvara or the lord 
of the prabandha. These three poets established a 
poetical tradition in Telugu as Valmiki and Kalidasa 
did in Sanscrit. For every usage their authority is the 
necessary support. Credit must be given them for the 


boldness they showed in rendering, in face of the strong 
opposition of the margi or Sanscrit poets, the sacred 
Sanscrit works into the popular language. They gave 
the lie to the contention that the original ideas of 
Sanscrit could not be expressed in Telugu. Mischievous 
margi poets have been finding out silly mistakes in 
Telugu works, for Nannichoda, who belongs to the same 
age, calls them in his Kumarasambhavam by the name 
Kukavis or rogue-poets. And in their desire to show 
that the Mahabhdrata could be written in Telugu, the 
three poets tried to make it more beautiful than the 
original. Their main interest was in language and the 
beauties of language. They more than realised their 
aims and laid the whole Andhra country under eternal 

It is not to deprive Vyasa of his due credit that it is 
said that the Telugu work is more beautiful than the 
original. The original work is superior so far as philo- 
sophical depth is concerned; but the Telugu stands 
higher as a kdvya or a prabandha. As has been said, 
Vyasa 's work was turned into a kdvya in Telugu so 
that unphilosophical laity might take interest in it. Yet 
it is not an original work ; it is an improvement upon 
the original. 

Another poet of the time whose work, Kumarasam- 
bhavam, has been recently unearthed and who should 
be mentioned with the three is King Nannichoda, also 
called Tenkanaditya. By some he is placed in the 
beginning of the tenth century, in which case his work 
has to be regarded as the earliest of all available 
Telugu literature, and by others in the twelfth, that is, 
between Nannaya and Tikkana. His work is not a 


translation of Kalidasa's Kumdrasambhava, though 
Nannichoda draws his inspiration from him as well as 
from Udbhata and some other stories current in the 
Saivaite literature of the time. He dedicates his work 
to his religious guru, Mallikarjuna, whom he identifies 
with the Siva of his Kumdrasambhavam. The work 
evinces great poetical talent. There are some who 
regard it as the best poetical work in Telugu. Really 
the credit of having written the first prabandha in our 
language should go to him. But unfortunately his 
language violates the rules of grammar established by 
Nannaya and accepted by the rest ; and he uses words 
which are either too archaic or do not belong to Telugu. 
It is possible his language is more ancient than 

These four poets wrote other works also. Andhraiabda- 
chintdmani, Lakshanasdramu, Indravijiamu, Chamundi- 
vildsamu, and Rdghavdbhyudayamu are attributed to 
Nannaya. Tikkana wrote Nirvachanottarardmdyanam> 
an all-verse poem about Rama after his coronation. He 
is said to have written Viziasenam and Kavivdgbandha- 
nam also, but these two are not available. Yerra- 
preggada composed Harivamiam and Nrsimhapurdnam. 
His Ramdyanam has not been discovered so far. 
Nannichoda is reputed to be the author of Kaldvildsam, 
which also is lost. 

Two mathematical works of the eleventh century, 
Ganitasarasangrahamu and Prakirnaganitamu, written 
by Pavuluri Mallana and Eluganti Peddana respectively, 
are now available. These two are the first scientific 
works in Telugu. Later several others were written 
on philosophy, astrology, medicine and mathematics. 


But almost all of them are translations or adaptations 
of Sanscrit works. They contain no original ideas as in 
literature. It must be said that scientific literature in 
Telugtf is very small when compared with poetry, the 
reason being that the former was not for the general 
reader and the specialist was expected to study the 
originals in Sanscrit. 

A great poet whose works are particularly popular 
with the Virasaivas is Palkuriki Somanatha of the 
twelfth century. He seems to be a prolific writer not 
only in Telugu but also in Kannada and Sanscrit. Of 
his Telugu works Pangitdradhyacharitramu, Basava- 
purdnam and Anubhavasaram are important. His 
Vrshddhipatiiatakam or the century of verses addressed 
to Basava is the first iataka available and is one of the 
most widely read. 

A word has to be said here about iataka literature, 
which seems to be peculiar to Telugu. A iataka is a 
century of verses addressed to a god, a saint, a lover 
or the beloved. They do not form a continuous story 
or narrative ; each verse stands by itself. They are 
lyrical outbursts. Some are written in moments of 
great excitement, devotion, anger, love, distress, danger, 
contempt and so forth. In Sanscrit too we find iatakas 
like those of Bhartrihari. But they do not contain a 
refrain as in Telugu. In Sanscrit there are not many ; 
but in Telugu hundreds have been discovered; and 
some of them are of such great charm in both idea and 
sound that they are taught to lisping children and are 
memorised by both the literate and the illiterate. The 
devotional iatakas are repeated every morning and 
night by the pious. 


Though Somanatha is the earliest known author of a 
iatdka, even before him verses were composed carrying 
a refrain. Mallikarjuna, who is believed to be a 
contemporary and guru of Nannichoda, wrote Sivatat- 
tvasaram, in which all the verses end with the name of 
Siva or its synonyms. But Sivatattvasaram is not a 
century but several centuries. Nearly five hundred 
are now available, but it is believed there must be a 

Chapter III 


Now should be mentioned the authors of the 
Rdmayanam. This seems to have been written by 
Yerrapreggada also, but has not yet been discovered. 
The earliest writers of the available works are 
Ranganatha and the authors of Bhdskarardmdyanam, 
namely, Hulakki Bhaskara, his son Mallikarjunabhatta, 
his friend Ayyalarya and his disciple Rudradeva. 
Ranganatha's Rdmayanam is written in dvipada metre 
all through and can be recited as well as sung. Sir 
C. R. Reddy tells us that it is very popular in the 
Ceded Districts. It seems to have been really composed 
by Buddharaju, a tributory prince under Prataparudra 
II of Warrangal and dedicated to Ranganatha, who 
might have been his guru. Buddharaju's son completed 
this Rdmayanam by adding Uttarardmdyanam. 

Bhdskarardmdyanam is written after the Mahd- 
bhdratam in Champu, that is, a mixture of prose and 
verses of all metres. Here too the authors do not 
merely translate the Sanscrit original, but introduce 
descriptions and even incidents of their own. Not only 
Valmiki but also other writers on the story of Rama 


seem to be sources of inspiration. Though the work 
does not equal the Mahabhdratam in vigour, it too is 
popular. Both the R&mayanams belong to the late 
thirteenth and the early fourteenth centuries. Bhaskara, 
who seems to have guided the others, dedicates his work 
to Sahinimara, who is regarded by some as a son of 
Buddharaju and by others as a Niyogi Brahmin who 
was a commander of horse under Prataparudra II. 

A great poet of the time about whom wonderful 
stories are told is Vemulavada Bhimakavi. None of 
his works are extant, but quotations from them are 
given in some anthologies. Chenchiah and Bhujanga 
Rao write : 

Bhima Kavi flits across the stage like a strange shadow, the 
centre of myth and miracle, never materialising into a concrete 
figure of history. 1 

There is much controversy about his date. 

A name that is a favourite of the learned and the 
layman, the beggar and the prince, the lover and the 
pious, and the romanticist and the classicist, is that of 
Srinatha. Like him no other poet could have 
experienced the ups and downs of fortune. He ate 
with kings on gold plate, was actually bathed in gold 
by Praudhadeva Raya of Vizianagar, enjoyed life to the 
full, spent like a prince and died like the poor. The 
reason of his poverty seems to be the defeat of his 
patron Reddi kings by the Gajapatis of Cuttack, who 
had no love for the poet. His chains or stray verses 
on miscellaneous subjects are so many and so popular 
that there is not a single educated youth of the country 

1 Tttlugu Literature, p. 59. 


who does not know at least one of them. Srinatha is 
respected by the pandits for his translation of Sriharsha's 
Naishadha, and by the romanticist for his independent 
work Krigdbhirdmam, which gives a nice picture of the 
urban society of Warrangal. His Palnativiracharitramu, 
which is a story of the heroes of Palnadu (now in 
Guntur District ) is sung even by beggars. His Har a- 
vildsamu is a kathdprabandha of four stories about Siva. 
It is an original work, though Srinatha seems to have 
borrowed some ideas from Kalidasa, Bharavi and some 
Kannada work. He is a great devotee of Siva and 
wrote Bhlmakhandam, Kdsikhandam, and Sivaratri- 
mahatmyam. He says that be composed Marutrdt- 
charitram while yet a boy and translated Salivdhana- 
saptaiati in his teens. These two as well as his 
Panditdrddhyacharitram are lost. Another work attri- 
buted to him is Sfingdradipikd, though its authorship 
is contested on behalf of Kumaragiri Reddi also. 

Srinatha's Krlddbhiramam is called a vidhindtakam in 
Telugu. In it one person narrates his experiences of 
Warrangal to another who plays the part of only a 

Palndtiviracharitramu is the earliest available work 
commemorating national heroes. Works of the kind 
are called viragitams or songs of heroes. Later several 
gitams were composed, for example, on Katamaraju of 
some place near Nellore, Khadgatikkana who was a 
general of Manumasiddhi, and Maharajah Ranga Rao of 
Bobbili, who fought with the French General Bussey 
in the eighteenth century. 

Srinatha is one of the greatest poets of Telugu, 
versatile, bold and graceful. None else seems to have 


used the St'sfl-metre ( called iirshikd in Sanscrit though 
no Sanscrit poet used it ) with ease and advantage 
like him. Both as a personality and as a poet he is not 
surpassed. The ease and charm of his expression, the 
beauty of his imagery, the majesty of his style and the 
brilliance of his wit are familiar to every one of his 
readers. He defeated even the Sanscrit poet, Dindhima 
Bhat, in controversy. As Keats speaks contemptuously 
of philosophy, Srinatha administers a good rebuke to 
the logicians (Tdrkikas) of Rajahmundry with whom he 
might have entered into a discussion on poetics. He 
belongs to the later half of the fourteenth and the 
first half of the fifteenth century. There was practically 
no great royal court in the Andhra of the time in which 
he was not honoured. 

A philosophical poet of the time who is known both 
to the young and the old alike is Vemana. He is 
known to people outside our country also and his verses 
have been translated into many European languages. 
The charm of simplicity both in language and idea is 
patent in his verses which come under the iataka class 
of poetry : He is placed by Vanguri Subbarao in the 
first quarter of the fifteenth century. 

The next great poet of the time is Bammera Potana, 
the author of the Bhdgavatam. He is the brother-in-law 
of Srinatha, though much younger. The Telugu BMga- 
vatam unlike the Telugu Mahabharatam is much longer 
than the original and this length is due to the 
uncontrollable emotion of the poet, which made his 
imagination fly higher and the descriptions longer than 
in the original. It is more popular than the R&mdyanam 
and the Mah&bharatam, and verses from it, particularly 


those dealing with the liberation of Gajendra, the 
marriage of Rukmini and the story of Prahlada, are 
recited even by the illiterate. His language is so sweet 
that the verses dealing with the liberation of Gajendra 
are turned with little effort into song and sung in 
early dawn in Ananda-bhairavi Raga by old people in 
several houses. For devotional inspiration and emotional 
intensity he cannot be beaten ; but when these became 
unrestrainable he overlooked now and then certain 
rules of grammar and rendered himself open to the 
criticism of the pandit who cared less for poetry than for 
grammar. Potana is the author of Virabhadravijayam 
also. In his youth he was a favourite at the court of 
Rao Singa, a great patron of letters, and composed 
Bhdginidandakam on the king's concubine. But later 
when he wrote the Bhagavatam he turned so pious that 
he even refused to dedicate it to Rao Singa who gladly 
asked for it, and who, as the tradition goes, persecuted 
him for non-compliance. But Potana felt it a sacrilege 
to dedicate so great a work to human beings and offered 
it to Rama. The verses he wrote in this connection are 
known to all. 

As an example of his devotional intensity the following 
story is told. When Gajendra was caught by a crocodile 
and prayed to Vishnu in distress the latter heard him 
and, as represented by Potana, descended to the earth 
in a hurry without taking any weapon. Srinatha who 
read this account asked Potana whether Vishnu went to 
Gajendra only to weep with him. Potana did not 
answer then; but when once Srinatha was taking his 
food he hid the latter's son somewhere, threw a big 
stone into a well nearby and informed Srinatha that the 


boy fell into it. Srinatha then ran to the well wringing 
his hands and began running round it without giving 
any thought as to what he should do. Potana then 
revealed the truth to him and told him that Vishnu 
loved his devotee Gajendra as strongly as Srinatha his 
son, and his anxiety for his devotee's life hurried him to 
the latter's place without any thought about arms. 

The earliest independent love dandaka available in 
Telugu is the Bhdginidan$akam of Potana. A dandaka 
is a rhapsody which uses the same gana or foot all 
through. Its movement is rapid like the flow of a 
mountain torrent, and when recited properly infuses 
awe, wonder and horror, sounds grand and majestic, 
and creates a thrill in the hearer and the reader. It 
is used generally for praising deities, particularly 
Hanuman, Narasimha, Siva and his consort Kali. Very 
rarely is it used in the case of irngara or love. Several 
are available and many are popular. They are recited 
often for driving away ghosts. Much of their effect 
will be lost if they are translated. 

Another poet who is counted among the great is 
Pillalamarri Pinavirabhadriah of the fifteenth century. 
His Jaiminlbhdratam and $rngdra^dkuntalam are now 
available. His Avasaradarpanam, Naradiyam, Mdgha- 
mdhdtmyam, Purushdrthasudhdnidht and Mdnasdlldsa- 
sdram are lost. As a scholar he is given a higher place 
than Srinatha. 

There are several other works of this period a list of 
which will neither be possible to give in this book nor 
be interesting to the reader. They contain many 
purdnas, works on Telugu poetics, $atakas> kdvyas and 
scientific works. But mention may be made of 


Prataparudra I of WarrangaTs Nitisara, a treatise on 
politics written in both Sanscrit and Telugu, Atharva- 
na's TrilingaSabddnuidsanam ( the author is supposed 
to be a Jaina), Bhadrabhupati's (Baddena's) S- 
matUatakam and Nitisaramuktdvalt, Nachana Soma's 
UUaraharivamiam (the poet lived in the court of 
Bukka Raya of Vizianagar), Bhairavi Ravi's Ratnasdram 
(a treatise on precious stones) and Manumanchi Bhatta's 
Hayalakshanasdram ( a scientific work on horses ). 

The age up to the end of the fifteenth century A. D. 
is called the Period of Puranas and the Period of 
Translation. But it is not merely either. Nannichoda's 
Kumdrasambhavam, Srinatha's Haravildsam and Kridd- 
bhirdmant, the tatakas and the dandakas are not 
translations or purdnas. However, the major part of 
the work of the period consists of translations of 
Purdnas and a few other Sanscrit works. And that is 
as it should have been. For the available Telugu 
literature shows that it began for the spread and 
propagation of Brahmanic religion and culture among 
the masses, and it could not have begun except with 
epics like the Mahdbhdrata and the Rdmdyana and the 
Purdnas. These Purdnas are more or less world-histories 
written to convey world-views ; the Rdmdyana and the 
Mahdbhdrata too present grand pictures of the same 
world-view. It is not for lack of originality but with a 
definite aim that the poets of the time undertook the 
renderings. It would have been strange had they done 

Chapter IV 

The period from the beginning of the sixteenth to the 
end of the nineteenth century is generally called the 
Prabandha Period in Telugu literature. As already 
pointed out, this nomenclature does not mean that there 
were no prabandhas before. Yet the ambition of every 
poet of this period in general was to write a prabandha, 
which came to be fully identified with the mahdkavya 
of Sanscrit poetics. That is, the prabandha should 
contain descriptions of cities, rivers, mountains, seasons, 
forests, lakes, sun, moon, wine, sex affairs, pinings, 
marriage, birth, morals and politics, travels, battles, 
gambling and kings. The attempt to follow this 
definition too closely rendered some of the works of this 
period very artificial. But still there are many which 
can stand comparison with works of a similar kind in 
Sanscrit. Ramarajabhushana's Vasucharitram had the 
honour of being translated into Sanscrit. The earlier 
poets of this period did not try to follow the above 
definition too closely, and their works bear a freshness, 
ease and naturalness that are absent in the later. They 
incorporated only those descriptions which enhanced 
the beauty of their poem. Still artificiality is not 


completely absent. 

The poet's aim of the time is best described in a verse 
in Vasucharitram in which Tirumala Raya, the brother 
of Ramaraju, the last of the Vizianagar rulers, telling 
the poet that stories which were complete inventions 
were artificial stones whereas Purdnic stories were pure 
but unpolished ones, invited him to take an incident 
from a Pur ana and develop out of it a prabandha, which 
would be both a pure and polished stone. From the 
time of Krishnadeva Raya the practice came into vogue 
of taking some Purdnic event and expanding it into a 
complete prabandha. The Purdnic connection gave the 
prabandha a religious background and touch while the 
expansion gave the poet freedom of description and 
plot-construction. But later, when the poet followed 
too closely the rules of Sanscrit poetics which were 
thoroughly systematised by that time, he was deprived 
of even this freedom as he had to make the descriptions, 
comparisons etc., according to rules which were once 
for all fixed. Then we find staleness, insipidity and 
absence of originality. Descriptions are repeated; 
idioms are copied ; comparisons become far-fetched ; and 
the poets vie with each other in hyperbole and word- 

One point we have to notice, however, that the 
people have still not lost the epic sense. It was thought 
that the poet who did not write an epic could not be 
classed with the first-rate. There were many poets who 
wrote iatakas which make a fine appeal to our lyric 
sense and which our modern taste would place higher 
than the epic. But those poets did not command much 
respect ; and those of them who did, thought that their 


claim to the name of poet could not be fully justified 
unless they wrote a prabandha. It was still felt that an 
individual could systematically construct a world 
according to his views and longings ; it was not thought 
that if every individual did his bit, the world would 
construct itself. And the construction was to be based 
on Bhdr atadhar ma ; hence the need for a Purdnic 

Of these prabandha poets the first place goes to 
Allasani Peddana, the author of Svdrochishamanu- 
sambhavam or simply Manucharitram. He flourished at 
the court of Krishnadeva Raya of Vizianagar. The 
work is the development of an episode in Mdrkandeya 
Purdria relating to the birth of Svarochishamanu, who 
is one of the fourteen Manus. A pious Brahmin youth 
Pravara goes ,to the Himalayas with the help of a 
charm given by a siddha. As he wanders on the snows 
the charm melts and he is rendered incapable of 
returning home. In that condition he comes across 
Varudhini, a beautiful gandharva damsel, who falls in 
love with him. But as a moralist he would have none 
of her and returns home with the help of the fire-god. 
Meanwhile, a gandharva youth who was in love with 
that maiden but was rejected, comes to know of 
Pravara and, assuming his form, succeeds in winning 
her love. To them is born Svarochisha, the father of 
Svarochishamanu. In interest the work resembles the 
Kumarasambhava of Kalidasa. Just as in this work the 
reader gets little pleasure in reading about Kumara, 
but only about Siva and Parvati, in the Manucharitram 
the Svarochishamanu is less interesting than Pravara 
and Varudhini. Peddana is remembered mainly for 


creating these two characters. The work is dedicated 
to Krishnadeva Raya, who regarded Peddana as the 
greatest poet of the time. He is reputed to be the 
author of Harikathdsaramu also, which is not extant. 
Peddana's style is simple but dignified. As a favourite 
of the emperor he saw and experienced much. Con- 
sequently his poetry is highly appealing. For beauties 
of sentiment and imagery he is unequalled by any other 
poet of the time. The emperor's choice certainly fell 
on the right man when he conferred on him the title 
Andhrakavitapitamaha or Grandfather of Telugu Poetry. 
Nandi Timmana, the author of Parijatapaharaiiam, 
another court-poet of Krishnadeva Raya, is well known 
for the creation of the character of Satya or Satya- 
bhama, one of the wives of Sri Krishna. Though the 
story is borrowed from HarivamSa, the familiarization 
of the character of Satya is due to Timmana. Some 
scholars are of the opinion that the creators of the 
character of Radha were Andhras ; and it is significant 
that the creator of Satya too was an Andhra. But as 
the work is written in Telugu, the idea of Satya does 
not seem to have spread to the other parts of India. 
Radha is a selfless lover and does not suffer from 
jealousy. There is something of the sublime and divine 
in Rukmini ; she moves before our imagination like a 
noble lady smiling at her husband's weaknesses and, 
fully conscious of her divinity, interested in the welfare 
of the world. But Satya is a jealous lover, anxious to 
have her husband all for herself, egotistic and unable to 
bear any sign of his loving another more than herself. 
The story goes that once Krishna offered a parijdta 
flower brought from Indra's heaven to Rukmini and 


the information was brought to Satya by Narada. 
Immediately began love's quarrel, and to please her 
Krishna had to fall at her feet and promise her that he 
would bring the pdrijdta tree itself and plant it in her 
garden. This he did by fighting with Indra. 

A story is current that a wife of Krishnadeva 
incurred his displeasure by sleeping with her feet 
towards his portrait. At her entreaty the poet wrote 
the poem in order to indirectly teach the emperor that 
in the Puranas gods even touched the feet of their 
beloved. There is another story. Krishnadeva 
questioned the possibility of Krishna falling at the feet 
of his wife and did not attach much value to the work. 
Then his wife dressed one of her maids in her own 
clothes and told him that she was her cousin and would 
attend on him. On some pretext she left the place only 
to hide near-by. Then the emperor made advances to 
the maid who cried according to previous arrangement 
that she would report the matter to the empress. 
Krishnadeva then fell at her feet and begged her to 
keep quiet, during which act the empress made her 
appearance and asked him whether Krishna's story 
could not be true. There is no evidence for the truth 
of either story. 

However, the characterisation of Satya in the poem 
is one of the most beautiful and is the archetype of 
several bhagavatams or village dramatisations of the 
story. Timmana's style is easy, sentiment delicate 
and imagery refined. The work occupies a high place 
in Telugu literature. 

Dhurjati is another poet at Krishnadeva Raya's 
court, who wrote Kalahastimdhatmyam and Kdlahasti- 


svaratatakam. Modern taste would give a higher place 
to the latter than to the former. The style in both is 
simple and elegant. Dhurjati seems to be very pious : 
he dedicated his work not to his patron but to the god 
of Kalahasti. His grandson Kumara Dhurjati composed 
Krishitadevardyavijayam, a chronicle of the conquests 
of Krishnadeva Raya. 

Ayyalaraju Ramabhadriah lived at the same time. 
He is the author of Sakalakathdsdrasangraham contain- 
ing several purdnic stories and Rdmdbhyudayam* The 
second work was written during Ramaraju's time. 

Madiahgari Mallana, another court-poet of Krishna- 
deva, wrote Rdja&kharacharitramu. He is not so well 
known and popular as the above. 

Krishnadeva Raya is reputed to have had at his court 
eight great poets called Ashtadiggajas. Just as eight 
elephants are believed, in Hindu mythology, to support 
the world in eight directions, so these eight poets 
were supposed to be the support of the world of letters. 
These are Allasani Peddana, Nandi Timmana, Ayyala- 
raju Ramabhadriah, Dhurjati, Madiahgari Mallana, 
Pingali Surana, Ramarajabhushana and Tenali Rama 
Krishna. But history tells us that the last three did 
not live during the time of Krishnadeva. Popular 
imagination grouped together some of the great poets 
and placed them in the court of a great emperor. 

But the emperor himself is no ordinary poet. His 
poem Amuktamdlyadd or Vishnuchitttyam is ranked as 
one of the five Mahdkdvyas in Telugu. In Sanscrit 
the five mahdkdvyas are Kalidasa's Raghuvamta and 
Kumarasambhava, Bharavi's Kirdtdrjuniya, Magha's 
Sitvpdlavadha and Sriharsha's Naishadha. In Telugu 


the five are Peddana's Svarochishamanusambhavam, 
Krishnadeva Raya's Amuktamalyadd, Ramarajabhu- 
shana's Vasucharttram, Srinatha's Srngdranaishadham 
and Tenali Ramakrishna's Pdndurangamahdlmyam. 
Some mention, in place of the last, Surana's Kalapur- 
nodayam, others his Prabhavatipradyumnatn, and some 
others Chamakura Venkata Kavi's Vijayavil&sam. Just 
as in Sanscrit one cannot be a pandit unless one studies 
the five great epics, in Telugu too one cannot lay claim 
to that title without a study of the latter five. But as 
a matter of fact, every great Telugu pandit must have 
read all the ten, as without a good grounding in Sanscrit 
one cannot be a Telugu scholar. 

The authorship of Amuktamalyadd is sometimes 
attributed to Peddana as in this work a few introductory 
verses relating to the author's own conquests are 
incorporated from Peddana's. But even a superficial 
reader can observe that in every other respect the works 
widely differ from each other. Krishnadeva's style is 
involved and repelling, though dignified like Peddana's. 
He uses uncommon words. His descriptions, however, 
are natural and homely; the flow of his ideas is 
constant ; and as an extraordinary man of the world he 
shows deep insight into human nature. For a charming 
description of customs, religious beliefs, the peaceful 
villages and serene temples his work is unsurpassed. 
On all these points Peddana's taste and observations 
differ. There are few now who dispute the authorship 
of Amuktamalyada. 

Krishnadeva Raya tells us in his introduction that 
he was commanded by Andhravishnu, also called 
Andhranayaka, when he visited him during his invasion 


of Kalinga, to compose the work. The god is reported 
to have said to him in a dream : " Hear what you should 
write on. Speak of the marriage with me in Srirangam 
of the girl who was giving the garland to decorate me. 
Formerly I was accepting with disgust the flower garland 
offered by a man. I am the lord of the Andhras, and 
you of Karnataka. Remove this want through the story 
of the acceptance of the garland enjoyed by my beloved. 
( And ) why in Telugu ( hear ! ). The country is Telugu 
and I am the Telugu lord. Telugu is the same. When 
all kings pay you their respects, have you not talked 
with them and found that of all the languages Telugu is 
the best ? " 

The temple of Andhravishnu is in Srikakola near 
Bezwada, formerly called Viziavatika. Why the deity 
there is called Andhravishnu is not definitely known. 
We do not read of a Dravidavishnu or Ghurjaravishnu 
or any other Vishnu identified with a nation or 
nationality. Andhravishnu is also called Andhranayaka 
'or the leader or lord of the Andhras. Even during the 
time of the Empire of Warrangal this Andhravishnu 
was being worshipped not only in Srikakola but also in 
Warrangal. Special temples seem to have been built 
for this Lord of the Andhras in all the cities of the 
Andhra, and his worship seems to have been encouraged 
in order to create and preserve in the minds of the 
Andhras a feeling of unity, which we may now call 
national feeling. And the present-day Bharatamata 
worship is not an absolutely new invention. In 
Srinatha's Krldabhiramam, which describes some city 
scenes of Warrangal, we read not only of the worship 
of the Andhranayaka but also of the heroes of Palnadu. 


This Andhranayaka too, it is believed, must have been 
an Andhra hero who saved the Andhras from the 
calamity of some foreign invasion. In evidence stanzas 
are quoted from Brahmdndapurana saying that a 
king called Andhravishnu saved the Andhras by killing 
a rdkshasa called Nisumbha and fixed as the boundaries 
of his own kingdom Srisailam, Kalesvaram, Daksha- 
ramam and the mountain Mahendragiri (in modern 
Orissa). There is a tendency to identify this Andhra- 
vishnu with the first Satavahana emperor, Simuka or 
Srimuka. But this may be an injustice to him, as he 
killed Vikramaditya of Ujjain and ruled up to Malva. 
This Andhravishnu might be the emperor who was the 
first ruler of Trilinga or the land of three lingas, which 
the mention of the first three boundaries suggests. 

Krishnadeva Raya lived during the time of the 
Vaishnava revival, and he was himself a Vaishnava. 
Amuktamalyada means the giver of a worn garland. It 
is the name of a girl discovered by a pious celibate 
priest of a Vaishnava temple in Villuputtur in the South. 
This priest, Vishnuchitta, adopted her and employed 
her in preparing garlands for the deity. But the girl 
fell in love with the deity and used to wear the garlands 
before presenting them to him. Once Vishnuchitta 
discovered it and, thinking that a sacrilege was being 
committed, did not decorate the deity that day with 
the garland and fell into a disturbed sleep. The 
deity appeared in a dream, told him that the girl was 
in love with him and that he particularly liked the 
worn garland, and asked him to take her to Srirangam 
and marry her to him there. His command was obeyed. 
The work is based on some Tamil Vaishnava tradition. 


Krishnadeva Raya tells us in his introduction that he 
is already the author of five Sanscrit works. They are 
Maddlasacharita, Satyavadhuprinana, Sakalakathasdra- 
sangraha, Jftdnachintdmani, and Rasamaftjari. But 
unfortunately all are lost. He was called the Andhra 

Of the five Telugu Mahdkdvyas, V asucharitram 
occupies, in difficulty of style, a place midway between 
Manucharitram and Amuktamdlyadd. Its author, Rama- 
rajabhushana, was a great poet and is held in high 
esteem even now. The name, meaning the ornament 
of R^naraja, suggests that it was a title conferred on 
the poet by the last ruler Ramara ja of Vizianagar. The 
original name of the poet is Bhattumurti. He is the 
author of Harischandranalopdkhydnam, a poem meaning 
both the stories of Harischandra and Nala, and 
Narasabh&pdliyam, written in imitation of Vidyanatha's 
Pratdparudriyam. But Ramara jabhushana is better 
known for his Vasucharitram. The poet compares very 
favourably in style, diction, command of language, 
imagery and suggestiveness with many Sanscrit poets. 
The plot of the poem is very simple. It is the marriage 
of a Prince Vasu with a Princess Girika, the daughter 
of the river Suktimati and the mountain Kolahala. 
The poem describes how the lovers met accidentally and 
were finally married. As was the practice of the times, 
the poem is the development of an episode borrowed 
from the Mahabhdrata. 

Tenali Ramakrishna, also called Ramalinga or simply 
Rama, is the author of Pdndurangamdhdtmyam and 
flourished at the court of Venkatapati Raya, a 
Vizianagar king who, after its fall, changed his capital 


to Chandragiri. He wrote Lingapurdnam also. The 
poet's name is familiar to all the people of South India, 
not only the Andhras but also the Tamils, Kannadigas 
and Malayalis, as the author not of either of the 
above works but of innumerable pranks to which he 
subjected both the emperor and his Vaishnava guru 
TatachariL What Virbal is to the people of North 
India, Tenali Rama is to the people of the South. It 
is interesting to note that Virbal is believed to have 
migrated to Delhi from some place near the Godavari. 

Tenali Rama shows no signs of his fooling and 
mischievous life in his Pdndurangamahatmyam. The 
style is simple, the ideas are chaste and the sentiments 
pure. The work gives a legend about the god Vishnu 
called Panduranga of Pandharpur in Maharashtra. A 
Brahmin named Nigamasarma led a vicious life, but 
died in that holy place. Both the servants of Yama and 
Vishnu wanted to take possession of the soul, the former 
claiming it on the ground that Nigamasarma led a life 
of dissipation and the latter for the reason that he died 
in Pandharpur. Finally the soul was carried away to 
the heaven of Vishnu. 

A great poet whose name cannot be omitted is Pingali 
Surana. He flourished at the court of Krishnaraja of 
Nandyala ( Krishna District ), who was a contemporary 
of Sadasiva Raya, the son of Krishnadeva Raya. He 
is the author of three poems, Raghavapandaviyam, a 
poem which means the stories of both Rama and the 
Pandavas, Kaldp&rnodayam or the birth of Kalapurna, 
and Prabhfivatlpradyumnam or the story of Prabhavati 
and Pradyumna. As regards the first the poet's merit 
lies in using words which easily give the double mean- 


ing. If we read the work with the story of Rama in 
mind, the meaning comes naturally to us. And equally 
naturally is obtained the meaning of the Pandavas if 
we read the poem with their story in view. Kalapur- 
nodayam is a novel in verse written independently of 
any purdna or Sanscrit kdvya. Sir C. R. Reddy in his 
Kavitvatattvavichdramu is inclined to regard it as the 
best poem in Telugu. It is often compared to the 
Comedy of Errors of Shakespeare, of whom the poet is 
a contemporary. But the present writer feels that it 
would be unfair to Surana to do so; for Kaldpurno- 
dayam is a comedy of errors and so many other stories 
intermixed that the work presents a very complex but 
beautiful whole. It may be compared to Sana's 
Kddambari. But the latter contains very lengthy 
descriptions and a less complex plot. The temporal 
coincidence of Shakespeare and Surana and their come- 
dies of errors are often wondered at. Shakespeare is the 
author not only of his Comedy of Errors but also of 
several other dramas. And some of them put together 
may show correspondence to the works of Surana. 
Surana's Prabhdvatlpradyumnam is sometimes compared 
to Romeo and Juliet. But these comparisons are not 
happy and are misleading. The fact is that Surana 
comes towards the close of the best part of the Praban- 
dha Period, felt its shortcomings and wanted to strike 
an independent path for himself. Except for the names 
of Indra, Narada etc., Kaldp&rnodayam has no puranic 
connection. The story is completely new ; but the poet,* 
in order to satisfy the demands of poetics, introduced a 
few artificial descriptions towards the end. But on the 
whole the poem is very interesting, and is well worth 


translating into English and the other Indian languages, 
It is impossible to say anything more about it within 
the limits prescribed for the present book. 

Prabhavaiipradyumnatn is a story that ends with the 
marriage of Prabhavati, the daughter of a Daitya king 
called Vajranabha and Pradyumna, a son of Sri Krishna. 
This is a story from Harivamia skilfully expanded by 
the poet. 

Of the other poets of the time Sankusala Nrsimha- 
kavi, the author of Kavikarnarasdyanam deserves men- 
tion. Kumari Molla was a woman poet and her 
Rdmdyanam is read even by boys. Both of them lived 
during Krishnadeva's reign. 

There seem to be other women poets and women 
interested in literature. We read that Krishnadeva's 
daughter, Mohanangi, composed Marichiparinayam and 
submitted it in the full court for judgment. But the 
work is not available. Muddupalani of the eighteenth, 
and Tarikonda Venkamma of the nineteenth century 
deserve mention. The first wrote Rddhik&svdntatn and 
the second Bhagavatam, Rajaydgasdram, and Venkatd- 

Addanki Gangadhara's Tapatisamvaranam and Ponna- 
kanti Telaganarya's Yayaticharitram were dedicated to 
Ibrahim Mulk, a Nawab of Golconda (sixteenth cen- 
tury ), a fact which shows that a few Mohammedan 
rulers began patronising Telugu literature. Another 
point of interest about the second work is that it is 
written in pure Telugu without using any Sanscrit 
word. By the ordinary Andhra pure Telugu cannot 
be easily understood. Later some other works appeared 
in pure Telugu. They have mainly a scholarly interest. 


There are other types of works which are only exer- 
cises in versification and word construction. Maru- 
ganti Sringaracharya's Dasaratharajanandanacharitram, 
also called Nirliptaramdyanam, is a work eschewing all 
labials. Word construction developed in this direction 
so far that some poets used only one letter. And 
metrical feats like bandhakavitvam and garbhakavitvam 
were performed by poets of the sixteenth century also. 
But this was carried to excess later. In bandhakavitvam 
verses are fitted into figures. For instance, if a verse is 
to be fitted into a circle with diagonals, at the centre a 
letter should be used which would be common for 
several feet. In garbhakavitvam one verse contains 
another of a different type. All these have no poetical 
value, and are mostly written during the close of the 
seventeenth and during the eighteenth and nineteenth 

Chapter V 


After the fall of the Vizianagar Empire the glory of 
the Andhras faded and their hopes were shattered. 
They lost their self-confidence. The poetic vigour 
continued till the middle of the seventeenth century, 
but later it slackened and its constructive power prac- 
tically ceased. From about the end of the seventeenth 
up till now few important and interesting epics have 
been written. The Modern Period begins from about 
the third quarter of the nineteenth century. The time 
from the middle of the seventeenth to the Modern Period 
may be called the Age of Despair, and in support of the 
fitness of this name we may point to several iatakas 
like Bhadradrirdmasatakamu, Andhrandyakaiatakamu 
andSinhddrinarasimhaSatakamu, all of the last quarter of 
the seventeenth and the eighteenth century, written by 
the despairing authors and addressed to the respective 
deities rebuking them for their passiveness while the 
Mohammedans were destroying their temples, devas- 
tating the country, plundering towns and villages and 
violating women. For some time the images were 
removed from the temple of Bhadrachalam for fear of 
desecration, and the temple of Andhravishnu was 


neglected. Only after the reconquest of these places 
by the kings of the modern Vizianagaram were the 
images carried back to Bhadrachalam. The worship of 
Andhravishnu was revived by Sri Ankinidu, a zamindar 
of Devarakonda, on whose estate the temple was 
situated, and who was so moved by the Satakam written 
by his court poet that he immediately repaired the 
temple and made arrangements for worship. It is said 
that, while the Mohammedans were about to destroy 
the temple at Simhachalam, a poet, Kurmanatha by 
name, was so moved that he composed the whole century 
standing before the deity on one leg and rebuking and 
appealing to him to defend himself and the Hindus. 
Tradition believes, and the satakam states that by the 
time the sixty-seventh verse was completed a huge 
swarm of bees started from the temple and attacked 
the invaders, who fled. The Hindus then must have 
pursued and driven them out of their kingdom. The 
swarm, it is believed, disappeared into a hill near 
Vizagapatam, which is still called the Bees' Hill 
( Tummedala Metta ). These three satakas possess such 
poetic vigour and beauty and charm of both ideas and 
style that they deserve translation into all Indian 
languages. They cannot but be pleasing and interesting 
to all Indians. 

During this period, however, the epic sense waned, 
and the several epics that were written are stale and 
insipid. But real poetry did not disappear ; it found 
vent in the form of Satakas. Restricting the Prabandha 
Period to the seventeenth century, the period from the 
eighteenth to the third quarter of the nineteenth 
century should be designated the Period of Satakas. 


For in V. Subbarao's Satakak&vulacharitramu we find up 
to the end of the seventeenth century only 35 iataka 
poets, but from the eighteenth up to the end of the 
nineteenth we find as many as 165. And it is possible 
the list is not exhaustive. We may say the constructive 
epic sense died and poetry now and then burst out as 

Among the seventeenth-century poets Chamakura 
Venkatakavi's name should be mentioned. He is the 
author of two prdbandhas, Vijayavildsamu and Sdranga- 
dhara. The first describes the adventures of Arjuna 
during his exile when he married Ulupi, a Naga 
princess, Chitrangada, the daughter of a Pandyan king, 
and Subhadra, the sister of Sri Krishna. The second 
gives the story of Sarangadhara, the son of a Malvan 
king, Rajamahendra, also called Rajaraja Narendra. 
The king had a concubine called Chitrangi, who fell in 
love with the prince. But the prince was of too pure 
a heart to requite her love. Chitrangi in vengeance 
brought a false charge of immoral attack against him 
to the king, who ordered in rage that the hands and 
feet of the prince should be cut off and that he should 
be left in a forest. But there he was rescued by 
siddha called Matsyendranatha, who restored his hands 
and feet. The poem gives a beautiful portrayal of the 
purity and serenity of the prince and the mental 
conflict and suffering of the king. 

Venkatakavi lived at the court of Raghunatha Raya 
of Tanjore. After the destruction of Vizianagar the 
deputies of Krishnadeva Raya became independent and 
at their courts Telugu literature continued to flourish, 
though not with the same grandeur. The chief 


contributions come from Tanjore, Madura, Pudukotah 
and Mysore. From Madura the eighteenth century 
work Tarasaidnkavijayam of Sesham Venkatapati is 
the most popular. Tara, the wife of Brihaspati, falls 
in love with his student Sasanka or Moon. ( The moon 
is masculine according to Hindu mythology. ) They 
spend a few happy days while the teacher is away 
on business. He returns, and discovers what has 
happened. Then a battle ensues between the teacher 
and the pupil and they are somehow reconciled by 
the gods. What a significant history of literature has 
to note is the way Tara marshals with success evidence 
to demonstrate to Sasanka, who was at first innocent, 
that no moral code has absolute validity. For, are 
there not instances in the puranas of great women who 
were regarded as chaste in spite ot their loving, and 
living with men other than their husbands ? Literature, 
however, does not show lack of faith in Bhdratadharma, 
but only in the absoluteness of moral laws. We may 
say that this work boldly points to a differentiation 
between morality and religion. Moral law has ceased 
for the poet to inspire religious awe. But previously, 
however immoral people might be, the poet's work was 
not to show any disrespect to the injunctions of the 
moral code. There are some other works like Tardsasan- 
kavijayam belonging to this period. 

It would be interesting to trace a line of develop- 
ment here. The Puranas were really the starting-point 
and the source of inspiration for Telugu Literature. At 
the very beginning they were not rendered as pwdyas 
but converted into prabandhas or groups of prabandhas, 
so that unphilosophical laity might imbibe the spirit of 


Bharatadharma. Later some purists wanted to trans- 
late the Purdnas as such; but their works did not 
achieve popularity. What the people of the country 
wanted was a kavya with religious atmosphere. By the 
time of Krishnadeva Raya the feeling must have grown 
that if the plot had some basis in the Puraqas it would 
be enough. But by the time of Snrana the need was 
felt for severing even this connection. And later 
Sesham Venkatapati boldly questioned the absoluteness 
of the moral side of Bharatadharma. 

The seventeenth century marks the beginning of prose 
kdvyas and Raghunatha Raya's Valmlkicharitram is 
the first important prose work. Prose was used even 
before but only occasionally. There is evidence for 
prose hymns even during the twelfth century. There is 
a fourteenth-century prose work called Pratapacharitram 
of Ekamranatha, which gives the history of the 
Kakatiya dynasty. But none of these earlier works 
has literary value. Iti the eighteenth century Kandurti 
Venkatachalakavi wrote the Bhdratam, the Bhdgavatam, 
and the Rdmdyanam in prose. And during this period 
several other prose works made their appearance in the 
courts of Tanjore, Madura and Mysore. 

Of the contributions from Puddukota Nudumpati 
Venkatanarayudu's Andhrabhashdrnavam, which is a 
sort of dictionary, may be mentioned. 

Tanjore is remembered mainly for Tyagaraju, the 
greatest Hindu musician that India has so far produced, 
whose songs are sung by all musicians following the 
Katnatic style of music. In fact, the Karnatic style is 
the only Hindu style of music, whereas that inaugurated 
by Tansen in the North is a mixture of the Hindu and 


the Muslim. Besides, Tyagaraju's songs written in 
popular everyday Telugu are of great poetic charm. 
He belongs to the eighteenth century. He was a great 
devotee of Rama to whom he addressed most of his 
songs, and shunned kings and their courts. His songs, 
though without much literary value, were composed 
according to the rules of scientific music and are printed 
in all South Indian characters. Even before him there 
were songs called kirtanams in Telugu, for example, of 
KancherJa Gopanna, which also are sung according to 
rdga and tola ( tune and beat ). But they are not meant 
for advanced music. The Muvvagop&lapadams of 
Kshetrayya who belonged to the seventeenth century 
and whose songs were meant mainly for Bharatandtyam 
are sung by advanced musicians also. His songs are 
in Telugu what Gttagovinda is in Sanscrit. Kshetrayya 
does not command the same respect as Tyagaraju whose 
devotion to Rama is pure and whose songs do not 
make an appeal to sex. Kshetrayya's patron was 
Viziaraghava Raya of Tanjore. 

There are other kinds of songs like javalis or love 
songs, tatvams or songs for teaching philosophy and 
sectarian dogmas, Idlipdtas or cradle songs, mangala- 
hdraiis or songs of benediction, and ntelukolupus or songs 
of awakening, sung at dawn. But none of these have 
literary value. 

During this period the drama seems to have been 
enthusiastically taken up. Several dramas were written, 
but in colloquial language. The precursor of the drama 
in Telugu is yakshagdnam or jakkupdta in pure Telugu 
out of which sprang bhdgavatams, vidhindtakams, 
narrative songs, and harikath&s. Jakku is a modified 


form of yaksha. All these, except probably harikathds, 
were known even in the fourteenth century. The 
harikatha is what is called abhang in Marathi and 
kdlakshepam in Tamil. In it the narrator identifies 
himself with the different characters of the story and 
speaks. The narrative songs or padams do not differ 
much from the harikatha except that they are composed 
in the same metre throughout and are mostly sung by 
the illiterate. In the bhdgavatams different people 
play different r61es ; there are crude stage and sce- 
nic arrangements and much music and dancing. 
Bharatandtyam is preserved among these bhdgavatam 
parties and the devaddsis in the Andhra. But 
unfortunately the art is dying since the advent of the 
modern drama. The devaddsis are taking to the screen ; 
and the bhdgavatams are being ejected by third-rate 
imitations of the modern stage. Dying remnants of 
the Bharatandtyam are still to be found in Kuchipudi, 
Krishna District, where pious and orthodox Brahmins 
were cultivating the art and teaching it according to 
the ancient gurukula system. In the vidhindtakam one 
person narrates his experiences, which are necessarily 
of a very interesting type, to another who plays the 
part of a simple listener. The Sanscrit dramas were 
known to the Andhra poets; and it is a wonder 
they did not translate those dramas as dramas or 
compose their own dramas in imitation. But the 
general practice of the time was to turn even a Sanscrit 
drama into a Telugu prabandha. The first Sanscrit 
drama translated into Telugu is Prabodhachandrddayam. 
But the translators, Nandi Mallayya and Ghanta 
Singayya who lived at the court of Krishnadeva Raya's 


father, rendered it into a prabandha. But we may 
imagine that Sanscrit dramas as such were played 
before learned audiences in royal courts. 

There are several other works of this period, hundreds 
of which are known and to give an idea of which in 
this book is not possible. Nor would a mere list be 
interesting. Of the eighteenth-century poets Kuchi- 
manchi Timmakavi too may be mentioned. He is the 
author of several works though none shows any 
originality. His brother, Jaggakavi, though not his 
equal, is remembered for his comic poem, Chandrarekha- 
vildpam, in which he parodies the love of the hero 
and the heroine. From the second quarter of the 
seventeenth century, except for the works of Chamakura 
Venkatakavi and Sesham Venkatapati, good poetry is 
found only in the satakams and the songs of Tyagaraju. 


( From about 1875 ) 

Chapter I 

If every new literary movement in the world is 
associated with some political, social or religious 
upheaval, then Rao Bahadur K. Viresalingam must be 
mentioned as the founder of modern Telugu literature. 
He was a man of varied activity and as a personality he 
easily outshone others of his time. It will not be an 
exaggeration to say that what Tikkana was to the 
beginnings of the ancient literature Viresalingam is to 
the beginnings of the modern. In fact he is called 
" Gadyatikkana " or the Tikkana of prose, a title which 
does not do full justice to his literary greatness. He 
did not possess high university degrees ; but as was the 
practice of ancient scholars, he studied literature 
widely. Though trained in ancient lore according to 
orthodox methods, his impressionable mind easily saw 
the beauties of English literary modes and became eager 
to adopt them. Thus appeared the first novel in Telugu, 
called Rajaiekharacharitramu, which the author wrote 
after Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakcfield. It is not a 
translation of the English work, though the theme was 
suggested by it. Rajaiekharacharitramu was translated 
into English under the title "Fortune's Wheel" by Mr. 


T. R. Hutchinson and General Macdonald added a 
Preface. It was very favourably reviewed by The 
London Times, September 30, 1887. 

It was at that time that Raja Rammohan Roy's 
endeavours to uplift the women of India began to bear 
fruit ; and in Bengal the Brahmo Samaj started its work 
in full swing. Though a great pandit brought up in 
the orthodox tradition, Viresalingam became a Brahmo 
and set afoot a vigorous campaign for social reform. 
And in his life could be seen easily reflected the militant 
aggressiveness of Virasaivism, to which he originally 
belonged. In this connection there is not a subject on 
which he did not write. He preached remarriage of 
Hindu widows, advocated women's education, ridiculed 
superstitious beliefs and customs, wrote in favour of the 
spread of scientific knowledge, started journals to 
preach hygiene to housewives, and, to impart to them 
some knowledge of the world outside their homes, wrote 
on lives of great women, Indian States, the Congress 
and so forth. This type of literary activity was 
completely new, Had it not been for the unfortunate 
fact that Viresalingam did not occupy some high 
Government post, he would have been an All-India 
figure and his works would have already been translated 
into all the provincial languages. As a scholar and a 
mian of true culture he rarely transgressed the limits of 
decency in his ridicule, unlike many other writers of 
the time. Even now his farces and comedies, apart 
from their propaganda value, will be found to be of 
high literary merit ; they are well worth translating into 
other languages. 

The literary activities of Viresalingam extended 


farther. His Telugu Kavulu is the first attempt 
at a history of Telugu literature, and he tets given us 
the first autobiography. He attempted a number of 
short stories, wrote fables for children and conducted 
journals like Vivekavardhani. As a scholar he entered 
into literary controversy with Pandit Kokkonda Venkata 
Ratnam and Mahamahopadhyaya Vedam Venkataraya 
Sastri. Their triangular fight was a literary treat for 
the educated of the time. He translated several 
Sanscrit dramas into Telugu ; and his translations are 
marked off from most of the others for the grace of 
their simplicity and absence of scholarly display. He 
wrote on grammar and poetics also. 

This brief sketch of Viresalingam's activities conveys 
to the reader how many kinds of literary modes could 
have originated with him. He might not have left a 
school of poetry behind ; but he supplied the spiritual 
motive force for many. And whatever he wrote, whether 
liked by the conservatives or not, appealed to all. 

The interest which Christian Missions evinced in 
Telugu language and literature does not seem to have 
been great. Even the translations of the Bible into 
Telugu are done by such incompetent men, who weref 
not educated in the language or who did not even 
belong to the Andhra, that the expression Biblical 
Telugu still means the ungrammatical, the unidiomatic 
and the nonsensical. Only of late have the missionaries 
come to realise their mistake. 

There are not many Englishmen who have taken 
interest in Andhra literature, the reason being again 
the fact that the activity of the Christian Missions did 
not spread in these parts as farther South. None- 


the-less, Mr. C. P. Brown and Colonel Mackenzie should 
be mentioned, though not particularly as authors 
but as patrons. The first wrote the Stories of Tatachari 
and a dictionary, and the second, Kaiphiyats. Neither 
was a missionary ; both were government servants. 

Another voluminous writer like Viresalingam is 
Pandit Chilakamarti Lakshmi Narasimham. He has 
written many dramas, essays, novels, short stories, 
and lives of great men and saints and even on 
pragmatics. His name is popular throughout the 
country for his dramas. 

Of the poets who are carrying on the ancient tradition 
Satavadhanis Tirupati Sastri and Venkata Sastri are 
the greatest. They have cultivated the skill of attend- 
ing to a hundred things at a time, For the poetic 
revival in the Andhra they are to a very large extent 
responsible. They are very prolific. Of their works 
their somewhat original work Buddhacharitram, their 
translations of Balardmdyana and Devlbhagavatam and 
their Mahabharata dramas are the most interesting. 
They have hosts of disciples everywhere, and hundreds 
flock to hear their witty, learned and entertaining 

Pandits Vavilikolanu Subbarao, Sripada Krishnamurti 
Sastri and Janamanchi Seshadri Sarma are great 
scholars and well-known for their translations from 

Chapter II 

A group of young men, almost all of them influenced 
by English poets like Keats and Shelley, began writing 
poems after them on Indian subjects. Their poems 
were new to Telugu literature and were not particularly 
well received by the conservative critics. These young 
men had a predecessor, Mr. Guruzada Apparao of 
Vizianagaram, who was not only the first to write such 
poems but also the inventor of a new metre called 
Mutyalasaramulu or rows of pearls, which was a 
modified indigenous metre of a folk-song. But Mr. 
Apparao did not write many poems, and so this group 
of poets became practically the first group of bhdvakavis 
and turned into a school by itself. The first to come 
into prominence among them was Mr. Rayaprolu 
Subbarao, who is now the Head of the Department of 
Telugu, Osmania University, Hyderabad. When his 
poems first appeared, they could not be placed under 
any of the recognised classes of poetry ; and so Mr. G. 
Harisarvothama Rao invented the name bhdvakavitvaiK 
for them. Mr. Abburi Ramakrishna Rao, who is now a 
lecturer in the Andhra University, Guntur, and Mr. 
Basavaraju Apparao belonged to this group, which 


began to publish poems in Andhragrandhalayasarvasvamu, 
a journal of the Andhra Library Association. At first 
their poems were received with disfavour and suspicion. 
Their subjects included not only the sublime but also 
the lowest in creation, which violated the recognised 
rules of poetics. But these young poets were not 
disheartened. They received support and encouragement 
from many great men with modern education. In spite 
of the ridicule of the orthodox pandits they did not 
desist from writing and their numbers swelled. Mean- 
while Tagore obtained the Nobel Prize for an unorthodox 
poem, and the information of his recognition gave them 
new impetus and set the conservative reflecting. 

Bhavakavitvam may generally be translated as lyrical 
poetry. Some of it may be sung and the rest recited. 
It is more subjective, particular, free both in theme and 
metre, less long and more romantic than the ancient. 
By these bhayakavis the poet has come to be differen- 
tiated from the pandit. The ancient classical poetry did 
contain lyrical pieces. Particularly, as it was said, the 
iataka literature is mainly lyrical. But it is not often 
that the theme of the orthodox poet was particular. 
The content of the poem had little that was the poet's 
own reaction. Themes were classified by the writers 
on poetics, and the poets wrote their poems accordingly. 
For them the rules of poetics were the actual source of 
inspiration. Though the ancient poems are numerous, 
if we omitted the names of persons and places, one 
work would be just like any other. And a poet who 
could impart any speciality to any of his characters 
must be considered especially fortunate. The very fact 
that the works of such poets have never lost popularity 


shows that implicitly and tacitly people appreciated and 
valued originality and particularity. But on the whole 
it must be said that the ancient poets did not care much 
for contemporary life. Their thought was not set re- 
flecting by the political events of their time; their 
emotions were not excited by incidents that happened 
before their eyes ; their imagination was not stirred by 
social injustices; national feeling did not move them; 
and they did not care to sing their own joys and sorrows. 
The controversy that developed between the bhd- 
vakavis and the classical poets threw a flood of 
light on the nature of both. It is certainly a mistake 
to think that bhdvakavitvam differs from classical poetry 
by its adoption of new metres, disregard of certain 
grammatical rules and so forth. These differences are 
only non-essentials. Many of the new poets use old 
metres with grace. One point seems to be significant, 
namely, that the classical poets care for rasa or 
sentiment whereas the moderns car$ for bhdva or 
emotion. This appears naturally to follow from the 
shortness of the modern poem. In an epic all emotions 
find their place while one of them overwhelms the rest 
and settles down ( sthdyibhavati ) as the chief rasa of 
the poem. But in a short poem the poet may give 
expression to one or two emotions roused by some 
event or object. However, there is here a question 
both for the poet and the psychologist whether an 
emotion which does not contest with others for 
supremacy cannot settle down as a rasa. Further, in 
the mind of the poet an object or event may arouse 
two or three emotions, which may not fight for 
dominance. The controversy about bhdvakavitvam 


gives form to many such problems, when attempts are 
made to relate it to the old types of poetry. Into a 
discussion of these problems we cannot of course enter 

But unfortunately many of these bhavakavis are not 
well read. They are not well posted with information 
about events happening in the world and the currents 
of thought that are swaying nations. Their outlook 
is not as wide as might be desired. Some of them are 
shallow and have very little to say though they say too 
much. And some who could have been better do not 
possess the necessary scope and opportunities for wide 
study and intellectual development. Hence their field 
of ideas and imagination is narrow and the topics on 
which they can write soon get exhausted. Besides, to 
write poems does not pay ; and when poets write for 
their livelihood and not as a hobby or pastime, their 
economic condition is generally deplorable. Among 
them, however, there are some who have given us 
excellent pieces. 

Of the group of three poets mentioned above the 
first two are very popular and have good opportunities 
for widening their intellectual horizons. Professor 
Subbarao is the author of many beautiful poems like 
Trnakankanam and Svapnakumaram and has numerous 
admirers all through the country. Mr. Ramakrishna 
Rao is not so prolific, but in his poems Mallikdmba, 
Chdg&nam and Purvaprema as well as in his lyrical 
drama Nadisundari he creates like Keats in the minds 
of his readers a definite impression of his ideas. Again, 
like the poems of Keats Mr. Ramakrishna Rao's poems 
are rounded out in plan and the reader can get a clue 


to the intentions of the poet. Mr. Apparao wrote a 
number of songs like Burns. The language of all th& 
three is chaste and their poetic merit high. Mr. 
Ramakrishna Rao is also a guide of a number of younger 
poets, whom he supplies with ideas and latest develop- 
ments in literary thought. 

It seems that the time has come when clarity in ideas 
and imagination has to be placed before the bhdvakavis 
as a great ideal of poetic art. We may well appreciate 
the vagueness of a mystic's ideas. But while it may be 
difficult to be a mystic like Tagore, it is easy to be " mys- 
ty " for want of real inspiration. A poet may imagine 
that a great idea is dawning upon his mind, but it may 
be empty sentimentality, mere effervescence. And one 
is tempted to doubt, after reading some of these 
bhavakavis, whether Croce's theory that there can be no 
idea without expression is not after all true. Of course, 
these poets use a number of words; but how their 
imagination forms itself is difficult to understand. Pandit 
Akkiraju Umakantam in his Netikdlapu Kavitvamtt 
{Poetry of Today) ably brings to light some of the defects 
of the bhavakavis. But unfortunately he could see 
nothing good in them and so his work seems to be 
somewhat one-sided. The very fact that bhdvakavitvam 
has come to stay shows that there is nothing funda- 
mentally wrong with it. After all, as Moulton says* 
"when a poet does not conform to the existing laws 
of poetry, he is extending the law/' 1 Poetry which is 
not true poetry will be a passing phase and may be 
criticised as not conforming to law ; but poetry which 
is abiding gives the law. 

1 The Modern Study of Literature, p. 300, 


In fact bhdvakavitvam has made its appearance at the 
proper time and the proper place in the order of 
growth of Telugu poetry. Telugu poetry began its life 
with the purdyas, for the Mahabharatam though strictly 
an itihasa is called a purdna also and even the 
Rdmdyanam is called so by the laity. These purdnas are 
grand epics and not simple epics ; for their chief rasa is 
not any one particular rasa but all emerging out of 
idnti and merging in it. Later the poets produced 
simple epics of lesser scope with only one predominant 
rasa. These are the mahdkdvyas or prabandhas. 
Then Telugu poetry passed through the stage of the 
fatakas, which are still narrower in scope, like the 
khandakdvyas. All of these are of course not lyrical. 
For every short poem need not be a lyric just as every 
long one need not be an epic. An epigram or a gnome 
is in essence an epic. Mallikarjuna's Sivatatvasdramu 
and many of the verses of Vemana and SumatUatakam 
are not lyrical. But an autobiography when written as 
a poem which gives the reactions of the poet's mind to 
the conventional and established world with which he 
puts up a lifelong fight in order to alter it, would be a 
nice lyric. In the epic the poet enters the objective 
world and becomes one with it in imagination. That 
is why the authors of the Mahdbhdrata and the 
Rdmdyana say that they saw the world of their events 
as a totality like an dmalaka fruit in their palms. And 
their narrative is given in the tranquillity of their 
mind's fulness. But the lyric poet absorbs and 
assimilates the world. The focus of unity is his own 
mind, which loses its peace whenever the order of the 
established world is not in harmony with its deeper 

' BH AVAKA VIT VAM ' ' 65 

aspirations and likings. That is why the lyric poem is 
generally an outburst and is consequently short and 
small. Convention deemed that the Sataka should 
consist of one hundred and eight verses ; but even that 
is felt by the bhdvakavi to be too long. He wants a 
much shorter length, which again is to be determined not 
a priori but by the nature of his emotions. Their 
nature is to decide again what metre he is to use. In 
understanding this growth no hard-and-fast distinctions 
can be made or cut-and-dry rules framed. For 
instance, the fatakas are mainly lyrical, particularly so 
when they were written by authors who were in some 
distress. But sometimes even these authors give mere 
purdnic descriptions in order to fill the prescribed length, 
and then the poems are uninteresting. And some of the 
Satakas which preach morals, philosophy and so forth, 
are not certainly lyrics. And so it would be wrong 
to call the iataka a lyric. But we may say that the lyric 
as an independent type of poetry was beginning to 
evolve through the sataka, and has taken full shape in 
the poems of the bhdvakavis. And probably even if 
the earliest bhdvakavis had not been influenced by the 
English poets, it would have evolved naturally. 

Of the younger bhdvakavis Mr. Devulapalli Krishna 
Sastri is the most admired and imitated. His Krishna- 
paksham is the most popular. But in him some of the 
vices of bhdvakavitvam are not totally absent. Of late 
Mr. Srirangam Srinivasa Rao with his Prabhava has 
come to the forefront. It is not possible to give a list of 
all these poets and their works. They have some 
associations of which Sahitisamiti with Mr. Tallavajjhula 
Sivasankara Sastri as the president and Kavitasamiti 


with Mr. Marepalli Ramachandra Sastri as the president 
may be mentioned. Of the poets Messrs. Adavi Bapiraju, 
JC. V. Subbarao, S. Narayana Babu, N. Narasiraha 
Sastri, P. Venkataratnam, G. Rukmininatha Sastri, and 
G. Venkatachalam are widely known. The last is a 
social rebel. Mr. Sivasankara Sastri's Hfdayeivari is 
read by many. Mr. Nanduri Subbarao's pastoral song 
Venkipatalu created a sensation when it was first 
published. In it beautiful and sublime ideas are 
expressed in the colloquial language of rustics. Some of 
these poets are socialists. 

Mr. Duvvuri Kami Reddi needs special mention. Of 
all the bhavakavis he is the most influenced by Tagore. 
He is the author of several poems, many of them 
published in Kavi-Kdkilagranthavali. His pastoral poem 
Krshivaludu ( Cultivator ) is the most popular and 
beautiful. His translation of Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat 
under the title P&naSdla is unsurpassed in charm by 
other attempts. His language is chaste and he has few 
of the vices of the bhavakavis. He translated some of 
his poems into English and Dr. J. H. Cousins has a high 
opinion of them. 

There are women poets also among the bhavakavis, of 
whom Shrimatis T. Visvasundaramma, C. Bangaramma, 
Saudamini and B. Kanakamma are well known. 

Chapter III 


There are a number of poets who have recognised the 
true value of bhdvakavitvam but do not particularly like 
to be called bhdvakavis. Like the poetry of decadence 
in Europe bhdvakavitvam as such, after a life of about 
two to three decades, is turning into surrealism, cubism, 
unanism, imagism, futurism, pessimism and what-not. 
The poets who profess to follow these 'isms are not 
master-minds ; and for several reasons among which 
finance is an important one their experience and outlook 
are circumscribed. Further, what is wanted in such 
poets is not merely a second-hand acquaintance through 
books with the world of things about them but a 
peculiar sensitiveness and affectability, which are best 
expressed by the Sanscrit word anubhava. Or, as Hegel 
says, such a poet should be 

rich in fancy and feeling, or imposing and profound in his 
views and reflections, and above all should be essentially 
independent, the possessor of a unique ideal world, from which 
the servility and caprice of a prosaic nature is excluded. A 

But this requirement is rarely satisfied. The word 
bhdvakavitvam has now come to mean a slight humorous 

1 The Philosophy of Fine Art, Vol. IV, p. 198* 


disparagement. It means mellifluous and spontaneous 
verbosity, monotonous dwelling on one's own experi- 
ences, lengthy repetitions of words meaning sweetness, 
love and sublimity, tedious outpourings of fancied 
sorrows, reasonless fears and imagined dread, and the 
use of confused imagery and mixed metaphor. There 
are other defects which critics have brought to the 
notice of the public. It is high time that those who call 
themselves bhdvakavis gave full thought to what their 
critics say. 

For this reason some poets who are alive to both the 
defects and merits of the bhavakavis did not join that 
group. Of these the names to be first mentioned are 
those of Mr. Pingali Lakshmi Kantam, Head of the 
Department of Telugu, Andhra University, Guntur, and 
Mr. Katuri Venkatesvara Rao, who generally publish 
their poems jointly. Their Tolakari ( First Shower ) 
which is a collection of small poems on different subjects 
and Saundarananda, a small epic, are favourably 
received both by the conservative and the modern 
critics. Their language is simple and beautiful, thought 
clear and neat, and sentiment pleasing and dignified. 

Pandit Visvanatha Satyanarayana is a very prolific 
writer of this type, and has a nice flow of ideas and 
language. He has attempted all literary forms, novels, 
dramas, essays, songs, and short and long poems. His 
language is chaste, and sometimes sonorous and high- 
flown. His patriotic verses and his songs called Kinna- 
rasanipatalu are very popular. 

Another poet of this type is Mr. Joshua. He is a 
Christian and is one of the best contemporary poets. 
His language also is chaste. His poems contain no un- 


necessary words and are pregnant with meaning. They 
are many, of which Phirdausi may be mentioned. 

Mr. G. T. Somayaji, Lecturer in the Telugu Depart- 
ment, Andhra University, Guntur, has written a beauti- 
ful poem called Rdmachandruni Hampiyatra after 
Byron's Childe Harold. In it the author has successfully 
incorporated a number of ideas and sentiments both 
from Western and Indian poets. Mr. K. Subbarao's poem 
on the same subject has been very highly reviewed by 
the press and is regarded as one of the most beautiful. 

Among the modern poets the name of Maharajah 
Dr. Vikaramadeo Varma of Jeypore should not be 
omitted. He is a scholar of Sanscrit, Telugu and Oriya 
and has written poems in the three languages. As that 
of a patron and benefactor his name is unsurpassed in 
the Andhra country. 

In poetry Sir C. R. Reddy is a mind capable of great 
achievements. His earliest attempt, Musalammamara- ' 
nam t which he wrote as a university student, is very 
promising. For their lyrical charm his dedicatory verses 
in his ArthaSdstramu are highly praised. With all his 
culture, experience of the world and width of learning, 
had he continued his poetic work, Telugu would have 
been proud of a great poet as Bengali is of Tagore and 
Persian of Iqbal. However, even now he is a friend and 
patron of every young poet, and there is no bhavakavi 
who has not received an encouraging word from him. 

The present Yuvarajah Saheb of Pithapuram, Sri Rao 
Venkata Mahipati Gangadhara Ramarao, is of late com- 
ing into the limelight as a poet. Besides, he is a patron 
of poets, and Telugu literature naturally depends Upon 
princes like him for its growth and enrichment. 

Chapter IV 

As regards drama, the Telugu poets, as it has been 
said, did not take to it for a long time. Even 
Prabddhachandfddayam was first translated into an epic. 
But, on the other hand, histrionic art was encouraged 
and widely cultivated. The bhdgavatam parties were 
nothing but dramatic societies. But their plays are 
not based on Sanscrit models and are purely indigenous. 
Hegel writes : 

In the drama, then, subjective emotion passes on likewise to 
the expression of action ; and, by so doing, renders necessary the 
manifestation to our senses of the play of gesture which con- 
centrates the universality of language in a closer relation with 
the expression of personality, and by means of position, 
demeanour, gesticulation and other ways is individualised and 
completed. If, however, this aspect of deportment is carried 
forward by artistic means to a degree of expression, that it can 
dispense with speech, we have the art of pantomime, which 
resolves the rhythmical movement of poetry in a harmonious 
and picturesque motion of limbs, and in this, so to speak, plastic 
music of bodily position and movement gives animated life in 
the dance to the tranquil and cold figures of sculpture that it 
may essentially unite by such means music and the plastic art. 1 

But the actors in the indigenous Andhra bh5gat>atams 
1 Ibid., Vol. IV, p. 105. 


not only act and dance as in the Kathakali of Malabar, 
but also sing and converse. Dancing seems to have 
been excluded from drama even before Kalidasa. But 
in the indigenous Telugu drama it is retained. And 
this dramatic tradition is being carried on by the 
Kuchipudi bhagavatars even now. Their dramas are the 
most perfect blend of poetry, music, acting and dance, 
and their dance is technically called Bharatandtyam. 
Their acting ( abhinaya ) and dance are still superb and 
what is wanted to save their art from death and 
popularise it is some refinement of their music to suit 
modem taste. Some revivalists object to any modifica- 
tion and even insist upon playing those dramas in the 
glow of torches in preference to the light of gas and 
electricity. But they seem to be too puristic. 

However, dramas after those of Sanscrit do not seem 
to be written till the Modern Period. After the advent 
of English education, many educated Andhras attended 
English theatres and wanted that similar dramas should 
be enacted in Telugu. Meanwhile Parsi theatrical 
companies from Dharwar toured the country and staged 
their plays in Hindi. Seeing them, Maharajah Sir 
Ananda Gajapati of Vizianagaram started the Sanscrit 
Dramatic Association at his place, which began to stage 
Sanscrit dramas, but after his death it became extinct. 
The Zamindar of Munagapaka started a dramatic 
company by which Hindi plays were enacted, but it 
ended in his financial ruin. By that time Sanscrit 
dramas began to be translated into Telugu and the 
first translation to see print was Kokkonda Venkata 
Ratnam's Narakasura Viziavyaydgam. Next Viresa- 
lingam's Abhijii&na&ikuntalam and Ratndvali appeared. 


He also translated Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice 
and Comedy of Errors. 

Then were started two dramatic societies, the 
Sarasavinodini Sabha of Bellary and the Sugunavilasini 
Sabha at Madras. In the latter not only Telugu 
dramas but also dramas in other South Indian 
languages were staged. The moving spirit of the former 
was Dharmavaram Krishnamachari, who was not 
only an actor but one of the foremost playwrights of 
the time. After these Sabhas several theatrical societies 
were started in big towns all over the country, of which 
the Chintamani Nataka Samajam of Messrs. Nagesvara 
Rao and Gunnesvara Rao at Rajahmundry and the 
Jaganmitra Nataka Samajam which flourished tinder 
the patronage of Maharajah Vikrama Deo Varma at 
Vizagapatam, may be mentioned. Some of them became 
professional touring parties, of which the " Surabhi " 
companies are the important ones. The members 
of these companies belonged to single families, and 
both men and women appeared on the stage. Almost 
every one of these societies had its own playwright, 
who used to compose dramas to suit the histrionic 
abilities of the available actors. Hence most of the 
dramas could not attain a high standard of perfection. 
Actors were not chosen to suit the characters of a play 
well conceived, but characters were delineated to suit 
the actors. Even then some of the plays reached a 
high standard and became very popular. They were 
written mainly after the Sanscrit models. 

Of the earliest playwrights the names of Dharmavaram 
Krishnamachari and Kolachalam Srinivasa Rao stand 
out pre-eminent. Krishnamachari wrote nearly thirty 


plays, of which some thirteen have been printed. His 
Vishdda-S&rangadhara, Chitranaliyam, Prahldda and 
Padukdpattabhishekam are the most famous. He is 
called " Andhranatakapitamaha " or the Grandfather of 
the Andhra Drama. Mr. Srinivasa Rao too wrote many 
dramas of which several are historical. But he is famous 
only for his Vizianagararajya Patanam ( Fall of 
Vizianagar), which was the first historical drama written 
in Telugu. Mr. Chilakamarti Lakshmi Narasimham too 
wrote several plays of which Prasannayddavam and 
Gayopdkhydnam attained unequalled popularity. Of the 
other dramas which are well known, Satyaharischandra 
of Mr. Baljepalli Lakshmi Kantam, Rasaputravijayam 
of Ichchapurapu Yajna Narayana, Pratdparudrtyam of 
Mahamahopadhyaya Vedam Venkataraya Sastri and 
Venlsamhdram of Vaddadi Subbarayudu need mention. 
All these authors are great scholars. Bilhanlyam of 
Umar Ali Sha needs special mention as it is a Telugu 
drama written by a Muslim poet. 

Kanyasulkam of Guruzada Apparao is the first 
important social drama in Telugu. In it the practice of 
selling young girls in marriage to aged husbands is 
ridiculed and widow remarriage advocated. It had a 
sensational reception. Mr. Apparao will ever be remem- 
bered for the creation of the character Girisam, a 
social reformer of easy virtue. Plays on similar themes 
are Viresalingam's Brdhmavivdham and Kallakuri Nara- 
yana Rao's Kaqthdbharanam. Of late several plays 
with social themes have appeared which preach against 
the dowry system of marriage and the demand for 
educated and fashionable brides, in preference to illit- 
erate ones who would make devoted wives. 


Of recent historical dramas Unnava Lakshmi Nara- 
yaaia's N&yakw&lu, Duvvuri Rami Reddi's Kumbhar&nd 
and several plays dealing with the battle of Bobbili, in 
which the Rajahs fought heroically with the French 
General Bussey, are the most popular. Unfortunately, 
the actual details of the fall of the Satavahanas of 
Dhanyakatakam, of the Kakatiyas of Warrangal, and 
of the Reddi Kings is not known. The Ganga Kings 
who ruled Kalinga, the country between the Mahanadi 
and the Godavari, wrote their inscriptions in Telugu 
and Sanscrit a fact which lends support to the view 
that they were Kannada people domiciled in the 
Andhra. But the details of their exploits, which would 
have offered good themes for dramas, are not welt 
preserved. So, until historical research makes further 
progress, good dramas with themes from Andhra history 
cannot appear. But on Vizianagar there are a few 
good plays. 

Mr. Abburi Ramakrishna Rao's Nadisundari is an 
excellent lyrical drama. Mr. Tallavajjhula Sivasankara 
Sastri has written a number of all-verse plays called 
Geyandtikalu. The Yuvarajah Saheb of Pithapuram 
also has written a number of such interesting dramas of 
which Alokamunundi Avhdnamu may be mentioned. 

There are not many metaphysical or philosophical 
plays. Besides the translation of the Sanscrit drama, 
Prabddhackandrddayam by Viresalingam, Hamsavijayam 
of Kanchanapalli Kanakamba, a lady-poet, needs 
mention. Religious dramas are many. The Bhdrata, 
RSmSyana and Bhdgavata dramas too come under this 
class. Plays with deep philosophical meaning touching 
the innermost depths of our life, culture, outlook and 


civilization are few or none. 

Of late there have appeared several one-act plays 
which are mostly read and not staged, one of the 
unfortunate reasons being the popularity and cheapness 
of the cinema. There the indigenous dramatic modes 
are unable to develop. The Telugu cinema is a more or 
less second-rate imitation of the Hindi, and even the 
songs are nothing better. Here too wider outlook, 
deeper insight and imagination, better taste and fuller 
understanding of ancient dramatic modes are wanted. 
These films seem to be intended more for pandering to, 
than for educating the taste of the masses. 

Some of the best one-act and other short plays are 
the farces, comedies etc., of Viresalingam and Chilaka- 
marti Lakshmi Narasimham. They cover a variety of 
topics, the ignorance of women, learned but hypocritical 
discussions of pandits, foolish superstitions, social 
injustices to women, communalism and sectarianism, 
village factions, malpractices among certain services, 
the taking of census and so forth. Panuganti Lakshmi 
Narasimham is a leading comedy writer and is very 
entertaining. He first became famous through his 
Sakshi (Spectator) in which he gave a humorous 
description of a variety of things. All his comic dramas 
are popular. Mr. Bhamidipati Kamesvara Rao has of 
late come into prominence as a comedy writer. . He 
and Mr. G. Venkatachalam too have written a number 
of one-act plays. 

A very interesting account of the growth of the 
Andhra stage and of the different views held about 
histrionic art and the art of play-writing, is given in 
G. Sitarama Sastri's Andhranatakarangamu. Puranam 


Suri Sastri's Andhranataka Samskaranamu and R. 
Anantakrishna Sarma's Natakopanydsamulu. Some held 
that only women should take the part of women, some 
that there should be no songs and music, some that 
the drama should be written only in prose and not in 
verse also, like the Sanscrit dramas, and so forth. 
But many, like Pingali Lakshmi Kantam ( See his 
Presidential Address to the Andhranataka Kalapa- 
rishat, 1937), maintain that men may play the r61es of 
women and that songs, music and verses, when used in 
their proper place, add to the dramatic effect. It 
must, however, be said that the number of verses in 
contemporary plays is much reduced, though songs and 
music remain as before. And everyone who can sing 
is not now regarded as a great actor. 

For nearly eight years the Andhranataka Kalapari- 
shat has been doing good work by giving opportun- 
ities to both dramatists and actors to meet and discuss. 
This academy has instituted prizes for the best actors as 
well as for the best drama of the year and is thus 
encouraging the histrionic art and that of the play- 
wright. This academy meets once every year in some 
big town and is a provincial body. Attempts were 
made to start associations of that type in places like 
Masulipatam and Nellore, but these could not thrive 

Chapter V 

Novelists and novels are numerous. There are all 
types of novels. Many are translated from English and 
Bengali. As has been said, Viresalingam is the first 
novelist. Chilakamarti Lakshmi Narasimham wrote 
many. The novels of both have a standard and include 
both the historical and the social. Then a number 
appeared, of which many are good. The historical 
novels generally deal with the kingdoms of Vizianagar, 
Warrangal and Rajahmundry, the Reddi principalities 
and the Zamindari of Bobbili. Some novelists go 
beyond the Andhra and write about the Rajputs, the 
Marathas and the Moguls. In some of the earliest 
historical novels some mythological and supernatural 
element used to be mixed up. But of late the practice 
has been discontinued. Of the historical novels 
Bhogaraju Narayana Murti's Astamayamu and Chilukuri 
Virabhadra Rao's Nayakurali Darpamu may be 

Of novels on social subjects Viresali*gam's Raja- 
Sekharacfaritra, Chilakamarti Lakshmi Narasimham's 
Htmalatt and Karpfirama&jari, Ketavarapu Venkata 
Sastri's LakshmiprasSdamu and Rajyalakskmi, and 


Visvanatha Satyanarayana's Cheliyalikatta are well 
spoken of. All these authors are highly respected. 

Detective novels are very many. But they have only 
an entertainment value. A few of them are realistic, 
but the rest are fictitious. Translations too are many. 
But all along the Eastern Ghats some of the hill chiefs 
turned into robber leaders ; their exploits, heroism and 
ultimate capture could have formed very interesting 
topics for the novelist. But the realistic illusion is rare 
in the available novels and, where present, is not 
maintained all through. 

The activities of the Indian National Congress both 
in the political and social spheres have provided themes 
for a number of novels, the most famous of which is 
Unnava Lakshmi Narayanans Mdlapalle (The Hamlet 
of the Harijans ). It was at first proscribed by the 
Government, but of late the ban has been lifted. 

There are some associations which are encouraging 
the writing of good novels by giving prizes and publish- 
ing series. Of these K. V. Lakshmana Rao's Vijnana- 
chandika Mandali ( Madras ) with its Vijnanachandika 
Series, Venkata Kavi's and Parvatisvara Kavi's Andhra- 
pracharini Nilayam ( Pithapuram ) with its Andhra- 
pracharini Series, the Sarasvatigrantha Series ( Rajah- 
mundry) of Addepalli Lakshmana Svami and the 
Veguchukkagrantha Series ( Berhampur ) of Tapi 
Dharma Rao are the most important. 

The Telugu short story originated with Mr. Guruzada 
Apparao ; but Mr. Gudipati Venkatachalam is the lead- 
ing writer, if both quality and quantity are assessed. 
These two, along with Mr. Chinta Dikshitulu, occupy 
the front rank among Telugu short-story writers. Mr. 


Venkatachalam is a rank realist and often violates the 
canons of decency; but Mr. Dikshitulu is an idealist and 
does not transgress the limits. There are a few others 
like Messrs. M. Narayana Sastri, S. Subrahmanya 
Sastri, and A. Bapiraju, in the field. Almost all of 
them are influenced by Western writers; but they 
handle quite skilfully subjects from Andhra life. 

There are several essayists of whom Viresalingam and 
Chilakamarti Lakshmi Narasimham are the leaders. 
They wrote on many subjects, which have already been 
mentioned. Of late several others have come into 
prominence, of whom Jonnalag^dda Satyanarayana is 
one. He has written on travels also. Panuganti 
Lakshmi Narasimham's essays are well known for their 
satire. Viresalingam and Rayasam Venkatasivudu 
wrote autobiographies. There are a few biographies. 
Viresalingam 's Telugu Kavulu ( Lives of Telugu Poets ), 
Guruzada Srirama Murti's Kavijivitanwlu ( Biographies 
of Poets). Vanguri Subbarao's and Veturi Prabhakara 
Sastri's works on Srinatha may be included in this class. 
Unfortunately it is very difficult to get authentic 
material on the lives of ancient poets. Viresalingam's 
Abhagyopakhyanam and Tirupati Kavi and Venkata 
Kavi's Glratam are interesting parodies. Rukmininatha 
Sastri's Rachanalu also comes under this class of 

A number of works have appeared on literary 
criticism. The work of Viresalingam, Venkataraya 
Sastri and Kokkonda Venkataratnam belongs to the 
old school. Sir C. R. Reddy's Kavitvatattvavicharamu 
inaugurates the new school, which is influenced by 
the Western theories of literary art. After him 


Sdhiiyatattvavimartana of Jonnalagedda Satyanarayana 
and Samiksha of Mutnuri Krishna Rao have been 
written. Akkiraju Umakantam's Netikalapu Kavitvam 
is a very interesting, scholarly and useful, though some- 
what one-sided, criticism of bhdvakavitvam. A lot of 
controversial literature appeared about the advisability 
of using the spoken language for literary purposes. Rao 
Saheb Gidugu Ramamurti, a great and highly respected 
scholar, advocated its use, while several equally great 
scholars like Vedam Venkataraya Sastri, Kokkonda 
Venkata Ratnam and Jayanti Ramayya Pantulu 
opposed him. Ramamurti had the modern Bengali 
literature as an example in support. Both parties have 
now several writers as followers. 

Chapter VI 


We do not have quite satisfactory histories of Telugu 
literature, which is due to the difficulty of collecting 
relevant material. Still, serious attempts have been 
made and a number of works have been published. 
Viresalingam with his Telugu Kavulu ( Lives of Telugu 
Poets) heads the list. Guruzada Srirama Murti's 
Kavijivitamulu (Biographies of Poets) is an interesting 
though not a very reliable work. Vanguri Subbarao's 
Andhravangmayacharitramu (History of Andhra Litera- 
ture) and Sataka Kavula Charitramu (History of the 
Sataka Poets), T. Achyuta Rau's Andhravangmayacha- 
ritramu, which he translates "History of Andhra 
Literature in the Vizianagar Empire/' aad Kavitva- 
vedi's Andhravdngmayacharitra-Sangrahamu (A Brief 
History of Andhra Literature ) are very useful books. 
Mr. G. V. Raghavarao brought out an excellent work, 
Andhragadyavdngmayacharitramu (History of Telugu 
Prose ). Chilukuri Narayana Rao's Andhrabhashacha- 
ritramu ( History of the Telugu Language ) is a standard 
work from the scholarly point of view. But a compre- 
hensive and fully informative history of Telugu 


literature which gives not only names and dates but 
also some idea of the works, and traces the literary 
development in a significant way is still a desideratum. 

In this connection Pandit Malladi Suryanarayana 
Sastri's Samscrtavdngmayacharitramu ( History of Sans- 
crit Literature ) needs mention. It is a very informa- 
tive and interesting work written by a Telugu scholar 
belonging to the ancient tradition. Pandit Vajjhula 
Chinasitarama Sastri's work on some points of Telugu 
grammar is of very great academical interest. Mr. Veturi 
Prabhakara Sastri has made an interesting collection of 
chdtus or stray verses on miscellaneous subjects in his 
Chdtupadyaratnavali (A Garland of Stray Verses). 
Attempts are being made to collect mangalahdratulu or 
songs of benediction, yakshaganams, which are indigenous 
precursors of drama, folk-songs, dance songs and so 
forth. Some good work has already been done in this 
field by Vanguri Subbarao, Nandiraju Chalapati Rao 
and others. 

An excellent beginning was made by Sir C. R. Reddy 
through his A rthaidstramu (Economics) in writing books 
of a scientific nature. As history, geography, science 
and mathematics are now taught in Telugu up to the 
Matriculation examination, a number of text-books on 
these subjects have appeared. Recently, for students 
who undergo training in education, a few small books 
on educational psychology have been written. After 
the advent of the Congress a small number of works on 
political theory, nature of self-government, and forms of 
government in Europe, America, China and Japan have 
also been published. But most of these, meant only for 
the general education of the people, are not of a high 


standard. Atmakuri Govindachari's Indian Economics 
and Professor Venkatarangiah's Economics, however, 
deserve mention. 

Of the works on science K. Kondayya's Vitvar&pam 
(The Nature of the Physical World) is the most 
important. G. V. Raghavarao's Everyday Science and 
Gullapalli Narayana Murti's Radio are prize works. 
Important attempts are being made by the staff of the 
Andhra University to discover and coin indigenous 
technical terms in arts and science subjects. Until these 
attempts are co-ordinated and systematised, works of 
lasting importance cannot be written on these subjects. 
In this connection co-operation of the workers of all the 
provinces may be necessary. 

So far as Indian philosophy is concerned, there have 
been several works, both ancient and modern. All 
purdnas contain philosophical discussions. Many of the 
satakas are philosophical poetry or poetic philosophy. 
It has been said that Tikkana omitted the Bhagavadgfta 
altogether from his Mahabharatam. Tupakula Ananta 
Bhupala translated it into simple and beautiful prose in 
the eighteenth century. The philosophical work which 
has been very popular with the Andhras is Sitaraman- 
janeya Samvddamu (eighteenth century) which is an 
interesting mixture of metaphysics, psychology and 
hathayoga. Of the recent works K. Gopalakrishnamma's 
Andhramimamsd Nyayamuktdvali may be mentioned. 
On the whole it must be said that in the Andhra there 
is not so much interest in philosophical writings as in 
pure kdvya literature. There are, indeed, a number of 
books on contemporary saints and philosophers like 
Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Ramatirtha, Aurobindo 


Ghosh and Dayananda. Of these Shri Raja M. Bhujanga 
Rao's translation of parts of The New Testament into 
Telugu verse and Chilukuru Narayana Rao's translation 
of the Koran should be mentioned. Of course, there 
are some translations of the Vedas and the Upanishads 
also. Probably the want of real depth in modern 
Telugu poetry in general is due to lack of interest in 
philosophical literature. 

Chapter VII 


There are a number of learned societies with their 
series and periodicals, which have done great service to 
the cause of Andhra literature. The first and foremost 
among them is the Vijnanachandrika Mandali. It was 
started by Komarraju V. Lakshmana Rao, whose name 
is remembered by all educated Andhras with pride and 
enthusiasm. This society published a number of 
standard works on various subjects. Sir C. R. Reddy's 
ArthaSastramu and Chilukuri Virabhadra Rao's Andh- 
rula Chariira, both of which were the first works of 
their kind, belong to this Series. But unfortunately 
after Lakshmana Rao's death the society became extinct 
for want of funds, and the noble projects begun by him 
could not progress beyond the stage at which he left 

The Andhrasahitya Parishat was started by Jayanti 
Ramayya Pantulu under the patronage of the Maharajah 
of Pithapuram, Dr. Rao Venkata Mahipati Suryarao. 
It has its own journal called Parishatpatrika. It has 
printed and published many valuable ancient works. 
Its headquarters are at Coconada. 


The Navyasahitya Parishat of Guntur of which Sir 
C. R. Reddy is a patron, is doing similar service for 
modern literature. Its journal is Pratibhd, edited by 
Telikicharla Venkata Ratnam. It has published the 
complete works of Gidugu Ramamurti and is publishing 
the poems of many a modern poet. 

There have been smaller bodies of a similar nature. 
But they have not been able to continue their work 
long. The Andhra is not an industrial country and is 
very poor. And without rich patrons literary activities 
cannot flourish in the present conditions. 

Again finance is standing in the way of bringing out 
lexicons and encyclopaedias. B. Sitaramacharyalu's 
Sabdaratndkaram is a good dictionary. C. P. Brown 
and C. A. Galletti have brought out small English- 
Telugu dictionaries. K. Nagesvara Rao published a 
bibliography of Telugu literature, called Andhra- 
vdngmayasftchakamu. The Andhrasahitya Parishat has 
been working at a voluminous dictionary called 
Sftryardydndhranighantuvu, financed by the Maharaja of 
Pithapuram. Shri Raja K. Prasadarao of Devidi has 
published a small encyclopaedia called Andhra- 
vijndndmu. Long ago, when the Madras University 
made a grant for the preparation of a Tamil Encyclo- 
paedia and did not make a similar grant for a Telugu 
Encyclopaedia, K. Nagesvara Rao wanted to undertake 
it and was able to issue two volumes. Much depends 
on finance, which it is so very difficult to obtain in 
this country, and on Government support and the 
co-operation of scholars. 

Of the dailies, weeklies and journals the following 
may be mentioned. The Andhrapatrikd is both a daily 


and a weekly. It was started by K. Nagesvara Rao 
and is the most widely circulated Telugu newspaper. 

The Krishndpatrikd is a very popular weekly edited 
by Mutnuri Krishna Rao. The Andhra Prabhd is a 
daily issued by the publisher of The Indian Express, Mr. 
Ramnath Goenka. The Anandavdni, the Vihari and 
the Trilinga are weeklies edited by Kalidas, Narahari 
and Venkatesvara Sastri respectively. The last is 
Anglo-Telugu and represents the views of the 

The Bhdrati, the most popular Telugu monthly, was 
started by K. Nagesvara Rao. The Prdbuddhdndhra of 
Sripada Krishnamurti Sastri, which has now ceased 
publication, maintained a high standard. The Grha- 
lakshmi of Dr.Kesari is meant only for women. There 
are some other weeklies and monthlies of an enter- 
tainment value, containing wit and humour, short 
stories and so forth. Their names need not be 

There are some good journals which are no longer 
functioning but which were of a very high standard. 
The Manjuvdni and the Sarasvati were publishing 
unpublished works and were conservative in views. The 
Kala was started with the highly ambitious programme 
of correlation of art and literature, but could not con- 
tinue long. The Sdradd was slightly liberal in its views 
and was also publishing unpublished works. The 
Pratibhd and the Parishatpatrikd have already been 
referred to. The Telugu of Gidugu Ramamurti ran for 
some time during the days of the controversy about the 
use of literary and spoken languages. 




( A folk-song generally sung by women ) 

(During his exile of fourteen years Lakshmana left 
his wife Urnrila and followed Rama and Sita into the 
forests. All these years Urmila lay in a long and 
continuous sleep. The following is the scene of her 
reunion with her husband. ) 

Lakshmana entered the bedroom and on the soft bed saw 
The parrot-voiced lady. Her thigh he touched and 

her sari 
Arranged. Cool pastes he applied and ornaments 

Sitting on her bed he fondly began to speak: "Tender 

Your beautiful face the moon desires to worship. 

Nectar rains 
Down from the sweet corner of your smiling lips that 

Dispense with betel leaf and nuts. Move with that 

sweet sound 
Your feet which are like small lotuses." But in sleep 


Herself the lady forgot. Half -awake she trembled and 

" Who are you, Sir ? For so great a mischief have you 

come ! Through lanes 
And by-lanes searching, have you come to do me 

wrong ? You have, 
When nobody is here, approached me privately ? 

Will you be, if my father, King Janaka, hears of this. 

In danger 
Will your life be, if my sister and her lord know this. 

On earth 
He will not let you live, if my sister's brother-in-law 1 

is informed. 
Alas ! What am I to do ? Ill fame has fallen on this 

noble line. 

Is it not for desiring another's wife that Indra's body 
Became corrupt, Havana died with his kith and kin, 

and Kichaka 
Lost his life ? You know about these sins and yet have 

you come 
For sinning! Sisters and mothers like me have you 

none ? " 
Lakshmana heard her. Sad he felt, and said: " Rama's 


Am I. Who else is Rama in this creation ? Am I not 
Janaka's son-in-law ? Who else is Janaka on earth ? 
Urmila are you called on earth. Your name belies you. 

From Rama 
Separated, Janaki 2 was kidnapped. Ravana have we 

1 That is, her own husband. 
1 Sita. 


Destroyed and returned home with that goddess of the 


Accept me, moon-faced Lady ! Willingly shall I receive 
The bad name. Am I not Sita's brother-in-law ? Lady ! 
Be kind and awake. Friend of my life ! From the 

I left you, food and sleep have I not known. If you 

do not 
Wake up, O Friend ! I cannot endure life. " And, 

drawing his sword, 
" I shall cut myself ! " he cried. Urmila shuddered and 


She realised that he was the lord of her life, felt relieved 
And fell at his lotus-feet. He raised her from his feet 

with his hands, 
Pressed her to his bosom and wiped her tears. She 

said: " My father, 
King Janaka, trusted you and gave me as wife. 

Deceived he was 
In thinking that you were a man of honour. Men have 

their minds 
Somewhere and women disappoint/' Lakshmana heard 

and understood 
The thoughts of his wife who, weeping in her heart, 

was unable to speak. 
He caressed her and said: "0 Girl! why are you 

sorrowful ? My life 
Without you these fourteen years I bore somehow. 

O Lady ! 
Food and sleep I knew not. In our past life we must 

Innocent wives and husbands separated. And the fruits 


Of our actions we should enjoy some time or other/' 
This state of the couple Kausalya saw and brought 
Champaka oil. 

( Date unknown ) 


The gods and demons of the earth then saw 

The lords of the Ganas, huge and terrible. 

They lost heart. Some fought and were defeated ; 

Some were surrounded and cried ; some wept in fear. 

And, afraid of falling into the hands 

Of the dreadful lords of the Ganas, 

The gods concealed their faces from their men 

And began to escape. At that time 

Brahma ran to mount his swan and fell 

In fear trembling. But, as if carrying a lotus-stalk 

The bird by its beak caught him and fled. 

Between the feet and neck of his Garuda 1 

Vishnu escaped creeping. And as he fled 

Across the sky his sweat appeared 

Like drops from a rainbow oozing. 

As the Ganas uttered their war-cries 

To his white elephant Indra ran ; 

And with his thousand eyes like a peacock appeared 

By hunters chased to the White Mount escaping. 

Yama like a coward fell across 

His buffalo, while the Ganas hooted. 

He forgot the saddle and the stirrup 

In a hurry of fear. 

1 Eagle. 


Like a weaver Varuna fled. 

Though the lord of vast seas, 

His tongue was parched as if to show 

When fortune leaves nothing remains. 

With the hooting Ganas behind, 

To mount his man Kubera forgot. 

He placed him on his own shoulders instead 

And fled in consternation. 

(From NkixxicHonA'sKumdrasambhavam, II, 201-8) 
( I2th Century A. D. ) 


"" O delicate Maid ! Why glance you not at me, 
The lustrous beauty of your white eyes displaying ? 
Why does not your sweet smile double the beauty of 

your face ? 

Lotus-eyed One ! Why speak you not Love's word, 
The rays of your pearly teeth accompanying ? 
Lotus-faced Lady ! Why do you not hint 
Playfully the love of your heart ? " 
Thus speaking, the rogue, Kichaka, makes eyes, 
Approaches and longs to hear her sweet words, 
And take her hand in his own his passion to convey. 
And in great excitement, to know her mind unable, 
Says he: "O Lady of beautiful teeth! Afraid am I 

to look 
Full at your beautiful form lest from an evil eye you 

Darling ! The word from my mind sprouting is caught 

in your beauty, 
And reaches not the tip of my tongue. 


Lady ! Look at this hand that in doubt shakes 
Through longing to hold yours. 
Woman ! In all ways I think but cannot decide 
What your mind is. Dear One ! If you your love no 

longer show 
Killed shall I be by Cupid. And then can you have me 

by any means ? " 

(From TIKKANA'S Mahabharatam, " Virataparvam," 

( I3th Century A. D. ) 


The male cuckoos ate the tender leaves of the Parijata 

And wanted more. The heavenly elephant with its 

gold bell ringing 
From its neck on its morning duties started. The dark 

short tresses 
Of the Apsara maids stirred the breeze on the waves of 

the Mandakini. 

High rose the sound of the Vedic chant in the hermit- 
ages of the seven Rishis. 
For its little calf in affection the Kamadhenu 1 began to 

And the dawn in heaven the conch-shell sounded in 

Indra's clock. 
Then Manjughosha 2 lifted the covering bed curtain and 

got down 

1 Kamadhenu is the cow of Heaven. 

* Manjughosha, Rambha, Pramlocha, Harini and Menaka are 
courtesans of Heaven. 


From her ivory cot. Rambha, her beautiful anklets 

Her sandals of golden toes put on, and arranging her 

tresses with one hand, 
Released the latch from her glassy door. Drowsy and 

Pramlocha into her long mirror looked. Harini clad 

In her lotus-bordered sari. And Menaka wore her 

jacket over her breasts. 
And the cock crowed in the homes of the Apsara 

The gods of Amaravati downwards looked in the early 

morn and saw 
The sun to salute him, when in the middle world with 

his dazzling rays 

He appeared like a bunch of guruvinda beads 
In the red hand of the damsel of the East. 
The beauty of the lady of daylight awoke. And the 

And divine hands of the great Rishis were laid on their 

In the delicate sunlight the young Chakravaka pair by 

Indra fostered 
Stretched out their necks. On the golden lotuses of the 

divine river 
Hummed and swarmed the bees. And in the dancing 

Of the Vidyadharis the bands of music began to sound. 

( From SRINATHA'S Haravildsamu, VII, 135-139 ) 
( i4th Century A. D. ) 



With his tender and fresh rays up to the spaces of the 

The moon in a comprehensive sweep the darkness 


As Varaha 1 with a single tusk heroically lifted 
The whole of the earth. 
The nectarous moon rising half his 2 orb 
In the evening red appeared beautiful, 
Like the Bimba-like lip of the damsel of the East, 
Turned red by the colour of betel leaf and nut. 
When fully risen he shone as if 
He had played on hills of red earth 
And turned pale red, and black also 
By the Kalakuta 8 sticking. 

Lo ! Is it the gold peak of the Eastern Mountain ? 
No ! it is the grand Panaghatta. 4 
It is not the full orb of the moon but the Sivaiinga of 


No, it is not the lustre of the glow of moonrise ; 
It is the fresh saffron paste. 

No, no, it is not the shine of the group of black spots ; 
It is the lily flower used in worship. 
Such ideas did the rising moon occasion. 
The seven seas swelled and the Chandrakanta stones 
Trickled. Like a pearl-umbrella rose the moon 
And flooded the world with his light. 
Gradually leaving the redness of the rise 

1 The incarnation of Vishnu as a boar, 

1 The moon is masculine in Indian literature, 

8 A black poison. 

4 The dais or platform on which Siva is installed. 


The full moon to the eye a festivity became, 

With the lustre of the diamond-like teeth 

Of the wives of the Kings of the South, 

Set in glistening red within the mouth. 

Then higher over Benares ascended the moon 

T&e high road of the heavens along. 

On the sacred dais of Siva he poured 

His nectarous rain of light. 

Passing he saw his reflexion 

In Visalakshi's 1 glassy cheeks. 

On the sandy banks of the holy river 

The Chakravaka maids to suffering he put. 

Dhunti Vighnesa* he greeted by patting 

On his hard and spacious neck. 

He added beauty to the teeth of Kalabhairava 3 

And showered his light in a forest of bliss. 

( From SRINATHA'S Bhimakhandam, II, 39-44 ) 

( A Heroic Song ) 

Dear Manchala ! Hear gladly. 

On the tree of life there are two fruits, beautiful and 

tasteful : 

Rippling enjoyment the first and fame the second. 
One tastes the first and goes, 
Another tastes the second and dies. 
The difference is wide between the two. 

1 A goddess in Benares. 

1 An elephant-headed god in Benares. 

8 A god in the form of a dog. 


The juice that issues from the first, 
Momentary is it and vanishes for ever. 
But that which comes forth from the second 
Is eternal. As long as the directions exist, 
Till the sun dies and the moon, 
The stars, the earth and the ocean vanish. 
Does it last. Those who taste the juice of both 
And enjoy happiness are rare in the world. 
Mortals common obtain the first 
And content can be with it. 
But for those who are of heroic descent 
The first fruit is not of worth. 
Their heroism glowing in their hearts, 
For the second fruit they strive. 
Dear girl ! A hero is your lord, 
Enthusiastic he is, longing for renown. 
Give up attachment to enjoyments, 
Balachandra's noble mind understand, 
And try to foster the creeper of his fame. 
Dear girl ! Stop him not ! " 
Then obediently Manchala 
To her mother did obeisance, 
Approached her lord and reverently stood. 
* * * 

The lotus-eyed girl blessed him smiling : 
" Beautiful like Cupid and brave in battle, 
Burning like the sun, O Abode of Mercy ! 
Soon will you be strong like the son of Vinata, 
Heroic will you be like the son of the Wind, 
You will shine with the brightness of the Sun. 
Avenge Alaraju with your men. 
For the splendour of your great heroism 


Blessed will you be by Chennakesava and Srigirilinga. 
And you will prosper. Victory over your enemies 
You will obtain. This weapon will bring you success. 
In this Kaliyuga will you be worshipped as great/' 
Thus did Manchala bless her husband. 
And he accepted the sword she gave him. 

( From SRINATHA'S Palndtiviracharitramu ) 


Will ever the bee that floats on Mandara honey 

To the Dhattura plant go ? 

Will ever the flamingo that is rocked on the Mandakini 


To the rivers of the earth fly ? 
Will ever the cuckoo that feasts on the tendrils of the 


The Kutaja tree approach ? 

Will ever the Chakravaka that flashes in the full moon 
For the thick snows make ? 
How can the mind intoxicated 
With the nectar of thoughts divine 
To something else ever take ? 
Virtuous King, why a thousand words ? 

( From POTANA'S Bhagavatam, VII, 150 ) 
( i4th Century A. D. ) 


There in that Vaikuntha, in that corner of the city, 

near that palace, 
On that couch of Chandrakanta stones near the lake in 

the Mandara garden, 


While in dalliance with Lakshmi, Vishnu, the Protector 

of the afflicted, 
Heard the distressed lord of the elephants cry : " Mercy ! 

Mercy ! " and in haste rose, 
Eager to save the elephant's life. He told not Lakshmi 

and did not take 
The conch-shell and the discus, did not call his 

attendants to get ready 
His King of the birds, did not comb his ornamented 

tresses and did not 
Even let go the sari's end, lifted in love's play from the 

breasts of Lakshmi. 

* * * 

Then followed Lakshmi, and after her the servants and 

the lord of the birds, 
And by his side, the great bow, Kamandaki, conch-shell 

and discus, 

Then Narada and the commander of the armies. 
In short, the whole Vaikuntha followed him, all, young 

and old. 
Lakshmi, from the lotus of whose face were oozing drops 

of honey 
And were gladdening the bees, was led along by the end 

of her sari 

Twisted round the hand of Vishnu. To herself she said: 
" He says not where he goes ! Has he heard the wail 

of women unprotected ? 
Have wicked rogues the Vedas stolen? Have the 

Rakshasa hordes 
The city of gods invaded ? Or have vicious people 

His devotees the Lord of the worlds to show ? " 


With her ear-ornaments rippling, her braid dancing on 

her shoulders, 
Her sari removed from her breast, her beauty shining 

through her body, 
The scented paste falling from her forehead, her waist 

bent under the weight of her breasts, 
With haste she walks to enquire, but desists lest he 

should not answer. 
Now she steps forward, her knotted tresses ruffling, and 

now tired she lags behind. 
As she walked in the footsteps of her husband she 

looked like a lightning flash after a cloud, 
When she pushed back the short hairs from her forehead 
Bees swarmed on the lotus of her face. 
When the bees were prevented, down came the parrots 
To peck at her Bimba-like lips. 
When these were driven away, the big fishes of the 


Rushed to swallow her fish-like eyes. 
As that river was crossed, the lightning creepers of the 


Formed a row to rub with her lightning-like body. 
When these were avoided, the Chakravaka birds 
Challenged her breasts that looked like their kith and 


* * * 

At that time in the protection of the elephant-lord 


The salutations of gods unacknowledging, 
With the speed of mind, on and on Vishnu journeyed, 
And at a distance saw the lake, 


The ocean of pity, Vishnu, to kill the crocodile 
Hurled his discus, the protector of the gods, whose 


Are unchecked in all the worlds. 
The earth shook with convulsions. 
Sparks flying from the discus flew high 
And overpowered Sukra in the heavens. 
Like the sun who would come playfully to embrace 
The new-blown lotuses, gurgling the discus entered the 


Stirred them and turned them into a muddy pool. 
It rushed at the wicked crocodile with the speed of 


Terrible ! It severed its head, and drove life out 
From its body, huge like the Himalayas, 
A terror to the elephant herds, the abode of lust and 

The drinker of the elephant's blood with infinite 

Whose thirst was quenched and who was yearning for 


(From POTANA'S Bhagavatam, VIII, 94-I04 1 ) 


Asses ! You make balls of rice, 
Think of your forefathers and to the crows offer. 
But how can a erow that eats dung be an ancestor ? 
Hear, O Vema 1 The Delighter of the World ! 

1 This description of the rescue of Gajendra is Potana's own 
and is not found in the Sanscrit original. 


People hear the lizard's note 
And are glad that their attempts would succeed. 
The trials that fail they attribute to their fate ! 
Hear, Vema ! The Delighter of the World ! 

The Brahmins meet and recite nonsense, 

And the wife and husband in marriage unite. 

If they choose an auspicious occasion why becomes she 

a widow ? 
Hear, O Vema ! The Delighter of the World ! 

The Turk that to Tirupati goes 

Will not become a Vaishnava devotee. 

The prostitute that visits Benares 

Chaste will not be rendered. 

Can ever a dog become a lion 

If it in the Godavari bathes ? 

Hear, Vema ! The Delighter of the World ! 

( I5th Century A. D.? 1 ) 


The mouth that does not read well, 
And asks not for food calling aloud 
And calls not the younger brother 
Is a pit in which the potter digs 

To a horse drinking water and a 
To an elephant with rut intoxic 
To a low fellow uneducated, 
Never go, O Sumati ! 

1 There is much controversy about 


Education is that which gives, 
And heroism what the battle enters. 
Skill is what is appreciated, 
And harm what ends in calumny. 
This is true on earth, O Sumati ! 

Century A.D. l ) 


With wonder the lotuses of her eyes opened and the 


Flooding her pupils rained down full-blown lotuses. 
Her projecting breasts thrilled, the desires of her heart 


When she saw that Brahmin, handsome like Nalakubara. 
Having seen him she rose up, with the knot of her 

tresses and her young waist 
Slightly wavering. She approached the trunk of a small 

betel tree, 
And flooded the milky ocean of his path with ripples 

of the light of her eyes. 
The fear that first arose made her unsteady. Her joy 

And desires began to leap. Her admiration quickened 

the movement of her eyelids. 
Her great passion increased her wonder. Coquettishly 

the tender girl, 
Her beaming eyes Streaming moonlight, at the Brahmin 


( From PEDDANA'S Manucharitram, II, 28-30 ) 

( i6th Century A.D. ) 
1 There is much controversy about the date and the person. 



(A Village Scene) 

Around the village wells the Dravidian women, before 

they bathe, 

Rub turmeric on shining stones and wash it down. 
The yellow water flows over the swans sleeping below. 
Up they wake with shining wings of yellow feathers and 

fly about, 
The illusion producing that they from the Mandakini 


In the early morn the village police on their rounds see 
The ducks sleeping with their heads beneath their wings 
Along the irrigation canals ; and mistaking them for the 


Washed and lumped and forgotten by the Brahmins 
Who come there their morning ablutions to perform, and 


To their owners to restore them, they get down, when 
The birds rise up and fly; at which sight the village 

That keep watch over their crops laugh in amusement. 

The shining Rajana crop its superiority displays, 

And interpersed with cranes seems wondrously to 


At the flower gardens proudly ; 
In which- are planted in rows jasmine creepers and 


And where bloom bunches of flowers 
Of Mangoes, Champakas, Gannerus and Bales. 


Ripe are the rice crops. With the weight of their ears 
They bend. When shaken by the breeze from the 

adjacent forests, 

Their prickles rub on the lilies that grow thick below. 
And when the water in the fields is let out, 
The plants appear to have put forth their roots at the 


And bending quench their thirst in the sun by drinking 
the honey of the flowers. 

Ripe is the jack-fruit at the foot of the tree. It bursts 

and takes on dirt. 
The juice oozes out from it. The buzzing bees swarm 

over it to drink its honey. 
Oh, the fruit is as huge as a big rock and looks like a 

mad elephant 
In spring, whose temples burst and are full of dust, and 

Drunk with wine, keeps its strong chains incessantly 


In that village huge and fragrant bunches of ripe fruit 

Rows of plaintain groves. Their fruits have burst and 

they scratch the ground. 
Like big garlands of thickly set Champaka flowers the 

bunches look ; 
And their black tips like the bees that faint from the 

strong Champaka scent. 

There in that town the betel trees drop their dried 
leaves on the sugar-canes 


And constantly shatter their pearls 1 down into the 

oven where boils the juice, 
And where into powder the pearls are turned, as if 

By the betel creeper embracing their necks that the 

Is the only medicine to enhance the colour of their union. 

There among mango groves could be seen sacred tanks 

By flowers thickly covered as if we could walk on them, 

from which 
Emanates the smell of camphor, moss, weeds and lilies. 

In them 
Small fish with each other fight ; and to eat them the 

Their curved necks thrust into the water with bubbling 


In the evenings sound the drums in Vishnu's temple. 
Like their echoes through the Buruga trees rise in the 

bowers of pleasure gardens. 
The cries and flutter of the wings of white birds 
That from the tanks fly back to their nests. 

(From KRISHNADEVA RAYA'S Amuktamalyada, I, 64-72) 
( i6th Century A. D. ) 

1 This refers to the ancient belief that pearls are found in 



From the hill-tops and roofs of hamlets the cocks 

With their bent necks crowed a threefold note ; 

As if to proclaim: "Hear, O Men! The knowledge of 

my cry 

Everywhere is the cause of the cessation 
Of lovers' activities, and of the beginning 
Of the threefold activity of Dharma, Artha and Moksha, 
Enjoined by the sacred Veda." 

(From PEDDANA'S Manucharilram m, 55.) 
The copper-crested birds crowed in three notes as if 
Proudly to proclaim to the world : " Hear ye my voice ! 
Of great importance is it, informing you of the three 


When the Rishis in the three worlds worship. 
Do not forget that one day the sage of the time to remind 
No less a god than Indra imitated me, 
And fell a victim to his curse." 

{ From RAMARAJABHUSHANA'S Vasucharitram, IV, 126 ) 
( i6th Century A.D. ) 


"The bee that enjoys the scents of so many flowers, 
Why does it not myself approach ? " 
So thinking the Champaka blossom 
To the forest retired and penance did. 
The form of a woman's nose it then took on, 
In which resides the beauty of the world's flowers, 
While the bees as the pair of her eyes 
Rested on both its sides. 
(From RAMARAJABHUSHANA'S Vasucharitram, II, 47) 



Like hailstones in clusters showered 
By the enveloping clouds of darkness welded, 
Like marble bullets which the moon blows, to part, 
Through the pipes of his rays, the Chakravakas, 
Like heaps of moonlight the Apsaras collect 
On the sands of the heavenly river everywhere, 
Like holes in the plate of the heavens through which 
The silver wires of bright moonlight are drawn, 
Like the Akshatas * of benediction Rati 2 sprinkles 
Over her lord starting for the invasion of the world, 
Like drops of perspiration on the sky's body 
Heated by the bright sunlight, the stars appeared. 

( From NANDI TIMMANA'S Pdrtjdtdpaharanam, II, 37) 
( i6th Century A. D. ) 


Upon high watch-towers the Bhilla maids stand, 
And with loud cries drive the birds wonderfully with 

their slings. 
The yellow leaves around their waists their nakedness 

And the beauty of their arm-pits spreads on to their 

young breasts. 

From the crops the maids scare flocks of birds away 
With sweet cries which the lusty male cuckoo mistakes 
For the notes of its own species and emulates ; 

1 Rice coloured with turmeric. 
8 Wife of Cupid. 


And the Bhilla men that hunt around are pierced to the 

By the arrows of Cupid and draw near. 

* * * 

They roam about with their heroes, with spikes, arrows 
and bows 

Of close-knotted and strong bamboo, with drawn bow- 
strings of bark. 

Round the knot of their hair, hard and dishevelled, 

The peacock's feathers they tie, and put a red mark 
glistening with scent 

On their forehead, and cover with deckings of ripe leaves 

Their breasts that give no place even to Kuruvinda 

And fix the peacock's tail tightly 

To the twined girdle around the waist. 

(From DHURJ ATI'S Kalahastimahatmyam, III, 10-15 ) 
( 1 6th Century A. D, ) 


All the day from the far-off east along the way of the 


Travelled the sun to the West and felt fatigued. 
As if perspiring and wishing to bathe 
Down into the western waters he dipped. 

The evening glow of pure red 
And the darkness that alighted on the sea 
Looked like red and blue stones embedded 
On the sun that appeared like Varuna's head. 


Then darkness spread and enveloped the earth 
Like black clouds and dark pigment of the eyes, 
Like waters and the lustre of blue stones, 
And like a heap of black grain, step by step. 

( From HOLLA'S Ramdyana, I, 6-9 ) 
( i6th Century A. D. ) 


In the Sarada monastery of Kashmir there lived a priest. 
His daughter was Sugatri and her husband Salina 
Was adopted as a member of the house. On the first 

day of their union, 

Heavily decorated, into the room the bride was sent, 
While outside watched her friends to see how she was 


Her ornaments repelled him and he withdrew, 
The girl waited and returned. 

* * * 

She was at a loss and thought : " If I do anything, 

He will be estranged and left shall I be. Enough if my 

bridal knot 
Unimpaired continues. " No motives she attributed to 

him and continued to wear 
Her ornaments as usual, believing that thereby 
His life would be prolonged and prosperity increased. 
Respectfully her mother she begged not to be vexed 

with him. 
Prevented was the old lady from using harsh words ; 

but at last called 
Her daughter and said : " At least tell him he should 


Go to the flower garden and tend. " 

With respect she called him and on the duty sent. 

* * * 

In chaste consecration of her life to her husband 

Sugatri wanted her husband to help. 

Fatigued must he be with the work in the garden 

Because of her mother's words. 

There she walks to aid him, 

But returns bashful. 

* * * 
Flash after flash the lightning shot, 

Peal after peal rolled the thunder, 
And the bolts fell crashing. 
Down poured the clouds in all directions 
Thick jets of water. 

* * * 
In the house anxious stood Sugatri 

From the time the clouds spread, 

And stray drops into thick showers developed, 

Lest her husband be woefully drenched. 

* * * 
To her household deity Sarada she prayed 
And could not stay at home. 

Without her mother informing 

She stole out and found him safe. 

* * * 

Her bashfulness vanished. And through devotion to her 


That from within swelled 
She ignored her mother's words. 
Decorating herself, all charming, 
To the garden she went where her husband worked. 


Though dissuaded by him, her ornaments in a corner 


She tied her sari round her waist, 
And began to work. 

She dug and dug with a spade where needed. 
Her stout breasts leaped. 
Here and there she walked and her quick hips shook 

with weight. 

Specks of dirt were spattered on her glossy cheeks 
When she directed the water through the channels of 

the beds. 

Her waist like a creeper shook as, from place to place, 
She carried weights. 
Her young body with drops of sweat 
A new polish acquired. 
Foremost to work she charmed her husband. 
When briskly she was working, 
Her tight breasts and knot of hair shaking, 
Watched was she by her husband and in him love dawned. 
He could bear it no longer and said : 
" Mad Girl ! However prevented, you do not desist. 
How remote is your life from the garden labour ! " 
With the end of his cloth he wiped 
From her forehead sweaty drops, 
But they came again as if 
Through the mischievous power of Cupid, 
And down her shining cheeks streamed. 
He saw them and could not endure it. 
Saying: "You have to this labour taken and are 

fatigued, " 
He pressed her head to his breast. 


Thus received Sugatri the favour of her husband and 

home returned. 
That night was she decorated all the more in joy by her 


And entered the bedchamber of her lord. 

* * * 

But he opened not his eyes at the dazzling ornaments 

And scented pastes, and looked aside. 

Unmoved, he did not stir. 

Anxious the girl became and thought : 

"What has happened in the house to displease my 

lord ? " 

* * * 

Then as before to the flower garden she went 

And joyfully undertook the tasks. 

His favour she received and then realised 

That charms natural and not ornaments to him appealed. 

(From PINGALI SURANA'S Kaldpurnddayam, IV, 60-123} 
( i6th Century A. D, ) 


Moon ! Are you not coming in these full-moon nights 

From the flocks of Nanda's sheep ? 

How goes Burdaranya ? Are the cattle flourishing ? 

Are Nanda and his wife doing well ? 

With the cowherd boys and girls happy, 

Are Krishna and Halayudha playing ? 

Moon ! Are you not coming in these full-moon nights 
From the flocks of Nanda's sheep ? 
Have you looked at Krishna tending 
The cattle, by many girls attended, 


In his sweet voice singing, 
And slow smiles extending, 
In his Cupid's form charming, 
And with youth blooming ? 

Moon ! Are you not coming in these full-moon nights 

From the flocks of Nanda's sheep ? 

Does ever Krishna think of me 

In pity, knowing my state ? 

Does he ever wish my longing to satisfy ? 

What a joy I derive when in Nanda's lands I see 

His charming games of childhood f 

Moon ! Are you not coming in these full-moon nights 

From the flocks of Nanda's sheep ? 

In the pasture grounds Yasoda sees Krishna, 

Looks fondly at his beautiful face, 

And says : " He is the ocean of our merits " ; 

She passes him to Nanda. How he caresses ! 

Have you seen with both your eyes ? 

Moon ! Are you not coming in these full-moon nights, 

From the flocks of Nanda's sheep ? 

Tell the darling of the cowherd Nanda 

My words as I speak. 

"My thought, learning, self and life 

Do I surrender to you. 

Save me, meet me without fail, 

My heart to satisfy. " 


( I7th Century A. D. ) 



Great are you by marrying our Janaki. 
O greatest King of kings ! O lotus-eyed One ! 
Your fame as Havana's foe you owe to her. 
To the forest she went and, with Fire remaining, 
Her false form she gave the Demon to carry. 
At the foot of the Asoka tree, by his words enraged, 
With a look she would have killed him but for your glory. 
O Protector of Tyagaraju ! Your greatness you owe 
to her. 

Is it not for bliss that they surround you ? 

O Giver of fortune, Ocean of mercy, Self of Chit, 

And Chintamani of the dependents ! 

In your beauty Sita finds happiness, 

And Lakshmana in the signs of your eyes. 

In the grace of your face Bharata finds joy, 

And Satrughna in the halo of your wisdom, 

O Tyagaraju's Boon-giver ! 

Is it not for bliss that they surround you ? 

O Mind! worship the glorious deities of the Svaras 1 


That reside in the naval, heart, throat and tongue 
And nose and other organs ; in the Rik, the Sama and 

the other Vedas, 
In the heart of Gayatri and the minds of gods and 

And in Tyagaraju. 
O Mind! Worship the glorious deities of the Svaras 


1 Musical notes. 


O Mind! Is there virtue in music without devotion 

divine ? 

Adored was it by Bringa and Matanga, 
Natesa, Hanuman, Agastya and Narada. 
Even for Tyagaraju, who the just from the unjust 


And knows that the worlds are by nature Maya, 
And to be won are the six deadly enemies. 
Is there virtue in music without devotion divine ? 

( i8th Century A. D.) 


Was it not with the idea that you were not there 
That in wrath the Danava King struck the pillar in the 

hall with his palm ? 

Was it not with the idea that you were not there 
That at the womb of Uttara Asvatthama his arrow 

aimed ? 

Was it not with the idea that you were not there 
That the Kuru King to the abode of the Pandavas 

Durvasa sent ? 

Was it not with the idea that you were not there 
That Dussasana in the full council Draupadi's garment 

removed ? 

Though absent, were you not present everywhere ? 
Strange it is that you cannot be here. 
O Lord of varied and wondrous powers ! O merciful 

Life of the afflicted ! O Andhra Lord of Srikakula ! 


When will your temple illumined be with the big lamps 

your devotees offer ? 
When will your home the sweet fragrance emit of 

Agaru l and Sambrani ? * 
When will your temple the sweet sounds and tones 

enjoy of dances and songs ? 
When will your beautiful body shine with worship and 

decorations ? 

Now you appear poor like a miser. 
Did such a thing ever before happen ? 
O Lord of varied and wondrous powers! merciful 

O Life of the afflicted ! O Andhra Lord of Srikakula ! 

In that Repalle when the cowherd damsels wanted to 

beat you 

In house after house did you not hide ? 
In that Rasa play when surrounded and caught by girls, 
Did you not try to escape ? 

When at you the sixteen thousand princesses stared, 
Did your mind not rave ? 
In love's quarrel scolded by your eight wives 
Did you not for affection beg ? 
Even before women were you perplexed ! 
Can you stand before your royal enemies ? 
O Lord of varied and wondrous powers! O merciful 

O Life of the afflicted ! O Andhra Lord of Srikakula ! 

( i8th Century A. D. ) 

* Scent. 
1 Incense. 



For a merry dance this is not the bank of the Yamuna 

but a battle-field. 
To beat and drive, these are not herds of cattle but 

To grasp and see, these are not the breasts of cowherd 

girls but cannon balls. 
The old Arjuna trees these are not that broke at your 

touch, but soldiers. 

You cannot fight with the Yavana l armies ! 
This is like you who by cruel Jarasandha were routed. 
Won't you be laughed at ? 
O Terror of the enemy ! Narasimha of Simhadri ! 

Prahlada you did not save except after the torture by 

Panchali you did not protect except after the Kuru 

King by the hair dragged her. 
You did not rescue the elephant lord except after his 

agonies from the crocodile. 
You did not help the Pandavas except after their 


Your devotees you do not defend except after miseries. 
Caressed is the baby after it is made to weep. 
O Terror of the enemy ! Narasimha of Simhadri ! 

What greatness was there in crushing Bali 

After he granted the three feet of land you begged for ? 

Concealed you killed Vali to please Sugriva : 

That alone is suited to you. 

1 Muslim. 


That was your valour when you fled 

Of Kalayavana afraid to Muchikunda. 

In the flight to Dvaraka lies your heroism 

By Jarasandha defeated in battle. 

To speak truth is to invite wrath. 

Are you a hero ? Defeat the Yavana hordes cruel, 

And preserve the creation of the Andhras. 

O Terror of the enemy ! Narasimha of Simhadri ! 

The divine prowess that protected the gods 

By killing Hiranyaksha and others, 

Your heroism that defended the hermits 

By destroying Havana and his kin, 

The way you save the meek in the world 

By slaying cruel men like Sisupala, 

Your mercy that rules the earth 

By annihilating the wicked like Kamsa, 

We hear of but never have seen. 

We now see the power that subdues 

The Yavanas and saves the people. 

O Terror of the Enemy ! Narasimha of Simhadri ! 

You viewed us, merciful, and to protect us, 

O lotus-eyed One ! You have sent 

Huge terrible bees from within the hill 

To meet the Persian armies 

Like dark clouds in a cataclysm 

They overwhelm the sky and attack, 

And drink streams of blood that flow from the 


Lumps of flesh fall from his body 
As they tear him with their sharp steel stings. 


They surround each and kill him ! Wonder ! 
O Terror of the Enemy ! Narasimha of Simhadri ! 

( i8th Century A. D. ) 


Great in the world it is not to get upon a throne ; 

Proudly the tree-top can the monkey climb. 

To put on ornaments is not a blessing ; 

Gorgeously decorated is the beggar's bull. 

Real fame is not to hoard treasures ; 

The dog protects several of them. 

It is not a pleasure to oppress people ; 

All living creatures Yama plagues. 

These are not the marks of royalty, 

But heroism, generosity and manliness. 

O Praised of the world ! Inhabitant of Pithapura ! 

O Kukkutesa, glorious as a crore of moons ! 


( i8th Century A. D. ) 

The skill in speech of a woman whose lover is away 
Is like that of a parrot speaking in a ruined house. 
The beauty of a woman from her husband separated 
Is like that of a night without the full moon. 
The hauteur of a woman by her lord abandoned 
Is like that of a peacock's dance in some wild tract. 
And the youth of a woman rejected by her husband 
Is like that of flowers that blossom on some high hill. 


My life has become miserable like this. 
Why has Brahma created me thus to suffer ? 
O Friend ! To the young Krishna of Kaluvayi go. 
O Lotus-eyed Lady ! Return with him, quickly. 

( igth Century A. D. ) 



When at the beauty of Prakriti we look, 

And of the power of Purusha think, 

How diverse appears the nature of love ! 

As mother, wife and daughter 

Prakriti offers happiness. 

As son, husband and father 

Purusha enjoys happiness. 

When Prakriti and Purusha are one 

In the bliss undifferentiated of the Brahman, 

Merging, emerging and re-emerging, 

They long for crores of births. 

One with experince is the witness. 

( From M. PARVATISVARA SASTRI'S Palavelli ) 


Unable to know Nature's truth 

I wander with a roving mind 

Along the ways of the world, worried. 

But why, O Cloud, like me do you wander ? 

Ignorant of your greatness, might and destiny. 

Under an illusion are you. 

Innumerable are the powers 

That rest in you. 


Do you not with powerful ease amazing, 

Full shining darkness displaying, 

Conceal sometimes the dazzling sun 

Worshipped of the three worlds ? 

Indeed are you with supreme light endowed. 

But, ignorant of your greatness, might and destiny, 

Under an illusion are you. 

Sometimes dense and with fearful strength, 

Releasing tempestuous waves of cataclysmic winds, 

Like a dreadful cannon you roar. 

Is not the grandeur of this ceaseless downpour 

Your greatness and your destiny ? 

Indeed are you with supreme light endowed. 

Sometimes playfully you shine 

In sprouting shades of evening glow. 

You dance in the streets of the heavens 

In glorious colours and glee. 

Is not this joy enthusiastic 

Your wealth and your destiny ? 

Then still, O Cloud, why do you wander ? 



When in the city of Amaravati the Buddhists their 

university established, 
And in Warrangal military colleges for the heroic cult 

were run, 
When festive pavilions for the Muse in Vizianagar were 

And near Potnur the Andhra Empire built her pillar of 



To what a heroism and ambition did our forefathers, 

happy and sublime, 
Consecrate themselves ! Sprinkle the Akshatas on the 

Andhra land, 
And, O Andhras, bless her with that enthusiasm. 

The Telugu language which was a glory and taught the 

Tamil race her songs, 
The Telugu sword that flashed unendurable by her enemy 

The Telugu beauty which her neighbours the standards 

of beauty taught, 
The Telugu land whose rivers the green earth with crops 

I remind you, that they might the streets of your mind 

with feeling flood, 

They are not dead. Dead is not the Andhra history, 
Oh, you who can feel ! Tear your hearts and read it 


When the Andhra boats meet, spring and dance on the 

Krishna's waves, 
When in every home the Andhra genius rubs with 

the light of Telugu letters, 

When the Andhra skill in the world of fine arts contests, 
And the Andhra valour strides forward under the colours 

in battle array, 
Then will the Andhra sons and daughters see, and with 

joy and pride 
Shake their heads and obtain peace. Till that day no 

rest can we have. 

Is this the time for quiet and making no vows ? 



As in world-destruction, 

With sound shattering the sky, 

O Thunderbolt, do not roar. 

Stop and hear my request. 

My golden idol, 

The giver of my happiness, 

On the hard ground in the graveyard 

Sleeps unconscious. 

Thunderbolt ! Display not 
Your great prowess there. 

My dear daughter will shudder and rise 
And weep bitterly loud. 

1 rave with a burning heart ; 
I am the father. 

Please do not be vexed 
With a poor father's request. 



Mother ! With a full meal are we never blessed 
Though the songs of the rising sun we sing. 
We notice not those ways of motherly patronage 
In spite of our delicate sounds on Vina's strings. 
Where are the charms of the flowers that fall 
Separated from their stems ? Mother I Give us alms f 

Bathing in the sweet waters of the Krishna, 
With thrills water in hands holding 
Awaiting are the brother poets, 
Reciting new songs beautiful. 


Delay not. Your motherly affection bestow 
On your wandering sons, who have to go. 
Mother ! Give us alms ! 



Quickly bathe, Farmer, to eat your rice and butter-milk 
Speaking sweet words to the poor lady who is coming 
With her pot of food. The hot dust in the path has 


Her feet. From her face is streaming sweat. 
Lady ! For the blisters on your feet chafe not at your 


Cultivation for running the family is possible 
If both of you labour. Can ever a cart reach 
Its destination if in opposite directions its horses pull ? 
Woman ! Do not be sad if the yield is to your pains 

not proportionate. 
Till the scorching sun goes down, swing in clusters of 

banyan roots. 
Then take the path home. Your child might have got 


From sleep and for milk been weeping. Sweet Baby 1 
While along the path walking, from the tank nearby 
A few lotuses pluck and take them home. The child 
Will look at the beautiful flowers in wonder and play, 
While you do your work in the kitchen before your 

husband returns. 

Having sucked honey from flowers, charming to the ears 
The swarms of bees are singing sweet songs and tunes. 
Why mix you not your voice with their pleasant hum, 


And with your heart swelling even a village song sing ? 
Rich daughters wear ornaments of varicoloured stones, 

and saris 
Of lace-borders. Seeing them, hanker not after those 

deceitful trinkets. 
Your juicy love is a gem invaluable. Let it shine in the 

lotus of your heart. 
Your husband may see you wearing thousands of costly 

Still he will not love you if for a moment your smiles 


Which rain from your blooming face, do not appear. 
Ornaments can never equal love in honourable woman. 

(From DUVVURI RAMI REDDI'S Krshlvaludu) 


The world of the Gandharvas was first my home, 

The land of beautiful songs of delicious nectar. 

A song of separation am I. High in a flight I flew 

Along the ways of the moonlight of sleep, 

Grazing the tragic tones of some lute. 

I am the streak of pain of the heart's passion 

Of some woman from her lover separated. 

During her painful hunger I fell 

From her tender finger's shaky tip 

Into this infinite world. 

That was the first time I ran 

In all directions for reasons unknown, 

From that time I wander 

Along the roads of love of the Apsara maids, 

In the beautiful throats of the Kinnaris, 

In the embraces of the Sravana clouds, 


Among the brilliant rows of stars, 
And on the broad wings of the winds, 
Day and night without sleep and rest. 
This is a mad search, meaningless, 
Endless and restless. 
Thus I roam in this playful exile 
Across the space of the directions 
Like a sigh, a dumb tear and a deep desire. 


O Lord ! With divine speed does your Chariot run. 

Crushed is my body under its wheels 

That with clots of blood are blotted. 

Your Chariot shines with sublime light, 

But stopped not at the uneven jerk, 

Even looked not back at my sudden cry. 

Tomorrow will your cleaner wash 

My blood from the wheels. 

There among the marks of blood of so many men 

O God ! how discerned can be mine ? 


The Language of flowers is to Enki known : 
Enki knows the mind of the garden flowers. 
Says Enki : " The flower plants stand 

The watery ways along 

Your songs to hear. " 

The language of flowers is to Enki known : 
Enki knows the mind of the garden flowers. 


Says Enki : " Touch the flower plant ; 

It is a virtue. 

This flirting girl 

Puts on an ornamental petal. " 
The language of flowers is to Enki known : 
Enki knows the mind of the garden flowers. 

Says Enki : " As if with masts hoisted 

When the bee like a ship flies, 
The flowers bend along its path 
With their hands folded. " 
The language of flowers is to Enki known : 
Enki knows the mind of the garden flowers. 

(From NANDURI SUBBARAO'S Enki Patalu ) 


So long this anxious thought has my mind haunted 
That this boat will break. But now 
My joy swells at the idea that you will help, 
Swimming the vast ocean without leaving the wreck. 

So long this anxious thought has my mind haunted 
That this boat will break. But now my heart leaps 
At the thought that within the ocean 
You will build a diamond chariot with the wreck. 

So long this anxious thought has my mind haunted 
That this boat will break. But now my mind is calm 
With the thought that you will the wreckage gather 
And honour it as the fuel for your funeral pyre. 




The glow of our long friendship 

That knows no difference, 

Is it the shower of moonlight ? 

Is it the full-blown jasmines ? 

Our youthful love is aged in our mind. 

In our friendship close 

Is it a group of lightnings ? 

Or some light inexhaustible ? 

Days coursed like moments 

Along shortest routes. 

Is it the lustre of eyes ? 

Or the merit of our best days ? 

Is it the essence 

Of the love of all our Hfe ? 

Is it the delicate shine 

Of white moonlight, 

The symbol of love sublime ? 



( The story of Phirdausi is well known. Mahmud 
invited the poet to immortalise his conquests in a poem 
and promised to pay one gold dinar for every verse. 
The poet laboured for thirty years and produced the 
Shdnama of sixty thousand verses. But the Sultan paid 
only a silver coin for each verse, which the poet refused 


to accept and, as Mr. Joshua represents him, wrote the 
following letter. ) 

O Sultan Mahmud ! I relied on the deceitful lights of 

And built a palace of hope. A barren void has it 

Has stolen my all and crashed into Hell. In a world 


By sorrow am I left, a product of unavailing pains. 
The heart of Sultans, that resolutely feeds the sword 

with men, 
Is hard like a stone. The sin of sprinkling the nectar 

of my Muse on them 
Is weighing me down. True, my own fault it is. And 

the gold 

Is burnt in its fire. How can it ever reach me ? Now is left 
Only for songs of misery the black in my pen. Un- 
fortunate am I. 
My youth has sunk with its strength. The demon of 

old age possesses my body. 
The reward of thirty years' service is now tears to 

despair dedicated. 
For every verse I wrote by one drop has my blood 

It was vain labour. Can ever a king of high descent 

be false 

Like this ? Would he not to the Muse his debt repay ? 
Sultan Mahmud ! Your true nature I knew not and 

have been deceived. 
In the name of Allah you promised in gold to pay. And 



You pay in silver and cheat. Will ever Allah be happy 
If by you worshipped ? O King Mahmud ! In all the 


He is a man and great who speaks the truth. 
A palace for your fame have I built happily to live, 
And blessed it with posterity and long life. With 

empty hands 
Shall I go into darkness. The sun on my happiness has 

At the black gate of dreadful misery shall I dance. I 

The Attar of jasmine and anointed for eternity a 

Has any from artificial lace gold extracted, cruel 

Muslim King, 
In this world ? Fiery coals of everlasting misery have 

I poured 
On my head. In the graveyards of Muslim kings shall 

I now rest. 
Tired is my mind with this labour of thirty years. 

My Muse that can rain 
The full-moon light endlessly has now into a liar's hands 


(From G. JOSHUA'S Phirdausi, I, 

(Sundari is the wife of 
Nanda became a Sanyasin 
Sundari became a nun and 
monastery of her husband by Bu< 


a nun, one day she remembers the happy days of her 
love and addresses her pet parrot thus. ) 

Fond Parrot ! Is it not foolish to stop for sport in the 

garden tank of our house, 
The Mandakini of love that, submerging the three 

worlds, rises ? 
Placed on the flow'ry throne of his sweet and infinite 

love I tried to judge, 
And grant boons like a goddess whenever begged. The 

sweet lady 
Of his heart was I made. O Friend ! Dethroned have 

I been. 

Over the limitless kingdom of the world he now reigns. 
Not knowing the depth of my lover's mind I took it 
To be only knee-deep, and my heart swelled. Maharshi 

Gotama discovered the mines 
At his heart's bottom and presented pure diamonds to 

the people of the world. 
That auspicious light which shone in the dark caves of 

my heart 
Illumines the world today, and with its pure lustre of 

love floods it. 
The world's merits have fructified : it ?s receiving now 

the services of my lord. 

But do I object ? Let my poor self too get a part and 

be not outcast. 
Do I not deserve to turn into flowery carpets the paths 

my beloved treads ? 
Can I not be water and flowers for his worship of the 

world ? 


In his loving service of the distressed can I not be the 

fan to cool 
His perspiration of fatigue ? Should I not put life into 

the wonderful ideas 
He paints on the monastery's walls ? If he that life a 

boon regards, 

Is this life for me proper ? He has left for the forest 
And made my home a wild ? Can I not his forest into 

a temple turn ? 

VENKATESVARA RAO'S Saundarananda) 


You beckon with the hands of the wreaths of waves 

And call me aloud from the sea. 

You hide behind the ripe moonlight fully spread 

And smile at me from the sky. 

Through the drifts of breezes, sweet, cool and gentle, 

Your desires do you whisper. 

Through the tears of dew of honeyed flowers 

You look at me from the earth. 

You manifest through the crackling fire 

Your anger when I do some wrong. 

The form of all the elements you are in essence ; 

Though no more on earth, you are with me for ever. 

(From SIR C. R. REDDY'S " Dedication " in his 



( Sarasvati and Madhurika in male attire. Enters 
Jayarama Sing. ) 

Sing "Ha, Ha! We are not ignorant that you are 
men come for an interview with us. Now what 
is the prayer you want to submit ? " 

Madhurika ( To herself ) " For an interview with you ! 
That is false. Men ! That too is false. " 
( Aloud ), " Sir why did you let go the young deer 
that fell into your hands ? " 

Sing " When we saw the tails of those deer the knotted 
braid of our new bride flashed before our mind. 
We therefore ordered that no harm should be 
done to them. This is the worldly reason. " 

Madhurika "That is very good. What a taste for 
beauty ! You are the great poet who will start 
the new poetic usage of comparing a lady's heavy 
tresses to a deer's tail. You are speaking of the 
worldly reason. What can that other-worldly 
reason be ? " 

Sing "Is it not enjoined that we should not kill the 
animal that adorns the knotted hair of our holy 
Vasishtha ? " 

DRAMA 139 

Madhurika " But do not the Puranas say that that 
animal is to be found in Siva's hand ? " 

Sing " Indeed, in the North Indian recensions it is so. 
But in the Kritayuga Sankaracharya proved that 
it was an interpolation. " 

Madhurika "Ha, Ha! Your critical scholarship has 
lighted up every subject. " 

Sing " In the sixty-four arts and sciences established 
by our ancients our knowledge is as perfect as 
the language of legal documents. Only a true 
judge can know ; but such a one is not to be found 
anywhere today, probably because those old kings 
are no more. Cock-fighting by itself is a science 
as vast as the ocean. One who does not know it 
does not deserve to be a king. Stealing is a 
great art. One who is not perfect in it is not fit 
to be a minister. After all even begging is an art. 
One who is ignorant of it is not worthy of being 
a Brahmin. " 

* * * 

Sarasvati " Boy ! Why do you trouble His Highness 
by talking about all sorts of things ? Take leave 
of His Highness. We shall depart. We have 
important business. Why waste our time ? " 

Madhurika " Sir, please excuse me. Now we go. 
(Aside) I shall make him fall at your feet. 
Please wait a minute. " 

Sarasvati (Aside) " I do not care. " 

Sing" Well, Sir, why is he so angry ? " 

Madhurika " You ask me calmly why he is angry! 
For what you have said he would have caught 


you by the hair, shaken you and dashed you to 
the ground. For my sake he must have kept 
quiet. " 

Sing " Why ? Have we said anything offensive ? You 
see, we never pick quarrels. Not because we 
are not brave. How can we not be brave when 
we eat one goat a day? Courage lies in the 
strength of teeth. Take it from us, he who can- 
not scrape with his teeth as with an iron scraper 
the fat from pork must have his courage dead. 
From teeth to tonsils is the region of effort, 
below which there is liberation effortless. Any- 
way, now tell me why your friend is angry. 
More important than that, how can he be 
appeased ? We should scratch immediately we 
feel itching, but not delay enquiring into causes/' 

Madhurika " As you are his great enemy he will not be 
satisfied until he punishes you." 

Sing " Why so far ? Flight is also a sign of valour. 
This is recognized by philosophers. So shall we 
respectfully retreat ?" 

Madhurika " If you stir, he will cut you to pieces. " 

Sing " If it comes to that, we shall fall at his feet. 
We make no distinction between dignity and 
indignity. And we care less for name and 
descent. Fighting is for lower animals, not for 

Sarasvatt ) 

DRAMA 141 


( Scene 3. On the Deck ) 

Vidyanatha (To himself) "Here all are Muslims. 
There is nothing noteworthy. What can 
there be inside the boat?" (Shivering 
and dripping water over the whole deck ) 
" Fever! Fever! Oh dear! It is as if 
the pestle had fallen on the finger with a 
boil. Cold! Cold! Cold! Hu, Hu, Hu, 
Hoo ! " 

The Second Muslim Soldier " Pandit, don't drip water 
here. Get inside. Sit there comfortably. 
You will not feel cold there. This is the 

Vidyanatha ( Gets up) -Where? Hu, Hu, Hu!" 
(Descends and comes up again) "My 
God ! All is one dark corner ! " 

Boatman " Sir, the darkness will not last for more 
than a moment." 

( Scene 4. Inside the boat ) 

Vidyanatha " If so, all right." (Gets down and looks 
round. Takes ashes and rubs them thick 
over his body for preventing cold. Wipes 
off water from a book of palmyra leaves 
and arranges its leaves ) 

Prataparudra ( Sees Vidyanatha and says to himself ) 
" What ! This Brahmin is shining like 
the Fire-god. From his arrival I conclude 
that Minister Janardana is trying to 


prevent the Muslims from crossing the 
Godavari and destroy them here alone. 
My ministers are not at fault. This is 
only fate, which can be countered only by 
Yugandhara." ( Thoughtfully ) " Through 
him will the ministers learn of me/' 

Vidyanatha ( Opens the book and chants ) 

" ' Now through Virarudra Deva's charities 
Exhausted soon will be the gold moun- 

Numbered are its days. ' So thinking 
Rejoices the Chakravaki." 

Prataparudra " Oh ! What a beautiful verse! What is 
that book, respected Sastri ? " 

Vidyanatha " Is there a ghost in this boat ? " ( Looks 
around searching) "What is this light 
in the corner ? " (Sees the King) " What ! 
Is this boat pregnant ? Sir, you too are 
here to bear me company ! " 

Prataparudra" What is that book ? " 

Vidyanatha (To himself) "Who is this gentleman? 
He is tearing the darkness like the rising 
sun. All right.' 1 (Aloud) " Sir, this book ? 
This is a work on poetics* I have compos- 
ed it on Emperor Prataparudra/' 

Prataparudra " Why have you composed it on him ? " 

Vidyanatha "If any reward is given, I wish to cel- 
ebrate the marriage of my daughter/' 

Prataparudra " Have you received any reward ? " 

Vidyanatha "Reward! Even an audience has been 
a big zero/' 

Prataparudra" Why ? " 

DRAMA 143 

Vidyanatha " The King is not in the capital. I waited 
for a month. He has not returned. " 

Prataparudra " What has happened to him ? " 

Vidyanatha " I do not know what has happened to 
him. Some say that he went hunting, 
some that he made a pilgrimage to 
Benares and some that they do not know. 
Each says something different. I got 
impatient and for want of royal patron- 
age I started back home." 

Prataparudra "Then why do you not dedicate it to 
somebody else and obtain a reward ? 

Vidyanatha " Sir, am I so lucky ? Everywhere I glori- 
fied his name only." 

Prataparudra (To himself) "Alas! How painful to 
hear such words!" (Aloud) "Respected 
Sir, will you please read one or two verses ? 
I shall listen and be happy." 

Vidyanatha "Very well. What else do I want than 
an appreciative listener ? 
' From a distance the enemies hear drums 

that beat 
The setting out of Prataparudra's armies 

on their march, 

Their sounds spreading over the world. 
And the fever of fear 
They catch, to the mountains flee and 

thick forests enter. 
Thorns catch them by the hair. And 

mistaking the trees 

For their enemies, they beg, "Mercy! 
Save us, leave us. " ' " 


Prataparudra " Oh ! How beautiful ! Is it nectar or 

poetry ? " 
Vidyanatha " Hear this : 

' The Andhra Emperor his mighty hand 

raises and with his sword 
The crowns of his foes sends flying, at the 

sight of which 
The sun flees mistaking them for Rahu ; 

and then, as if 
His protecting hand lifting, the Emperor 

sends up 
Enveloping dust. In the battle fury he 

breaks the heads 
Of drunken elephants, from which are 

thrown up heaps of pearls, 
Which like shining stars in the sky surround 
The moon-like faces of the damsels of the 

heavens. ' " 

Prataparudra " You are in truth Vidyanatha, the lord 
of learning. There is nothing to give you. 
My hands are not free even to salute. In 
the pocket of my coat there is my seal 
finger ring. Take it there is nothing a 
poet cannot understand and use it. " 
Vidyanatha (Takes it and reads the name, " Maharaja 
Prataparudra, " and with surprise ) : 
" You have my name uttered, and I 
Yours have seen. Again on your finger 
Shall I place this may the Goddess of 


Protect you! on the throne of War- 
rangal ! " 

DRAMA 145 

Prataparudra ( To himself ) " Oh ! His name is 
Vidyanatha! A great poet indeed. His 
vow may be that of Chanukya. God has 
given me some support. " 

Vidyanatha " Now I go. " 

Prataparudra " Salutations. " 

Prataparudrtyam, Act III ) 



No member of the human race can be happy without 
at least a few friends. Even the naked forest-dwellers 
living like animals cannot be happy without friends, 
however small their number, suited to their mode of 
living. There are three advantages derivable from 

1. One can talk over one's joys and sorrows with 
friends. If we relate to our companions the story of 
our miseries half our sorrow is gone and our heart 
becomes light. When we give our friends the news of 
our joys, our joys are doubled and we get infinite 

2. We can obtain good advice regarding our affairs. 
However excellent our advice may be regarding others' 
matters, in our own affairs we cannot use our intell- 
igence so well. As we are unable to discern the good 
from the bad when our own self is involved, we have to 
depend upon the good counsel of others who wish 
us well. 

3. In times of need we can obtain help. When phys- 
ically or financially \ve are in a bad state we need 

PROSE 147 

pecuniary assistance. None will give us such help 
except those who are interested in seeing that we are 
happy. Even when we are rich we undoubtedly need 
man's assistance. Hence in order to enjoy the above 
benefits every man is in need of friends. 

Since our joys and our troubles increase or decrease 
according as we have good or evil friends, we should 
always make friends with good people and enjoy the 
benefits. Our conduct may be good. But if we have evil 
friends the world will regard us also as bad. So in all 
ways we should try to give up the company of bad men,. 
Those who are friends should help each other in their, 
activities and wish the welfare of each other till death. 
That friendship the bond of which can be broken at the 
slightest provocation is not true. Hence we should not 
trust all as friends, but watch them long. If they are 
found to be good we should conduct ourselves towards 
them with an open heart. Some men with a motive 
appear friends, remain faithful till their work is done, 
and afterwards leave us. Generally the friends of the 
rich are almost all of this type. But when the rich 
become poor none of such friends makes his appearance. 
Therefore he who is a friend through affection and 
expects nothing in return is a true friend, but others 
are not. They are selfish rogues who pretend to be 
friends. Those who are gentlemen expect help from 
their friends after the friendship is established, but do 
not cultivate friendship in order to get such help. 

Generally boys who are naturally without experience 
trust everybody as a friend and reveal their secrects to 
any. By regarding as a bosom friend every wicked 


rogue who approaches them pretending friendship, they 
being upon themselves not only troubles but also some* 
times danger to their lives. We should therefore have 
ait eye on pretenders and act very carefully. 

Young men and boys often obtain friends of a diff- 
erent type. During the time of their friendship they 
act as friends for life, render financial and other help to 
one another, and in quarrels with others fight with 
them as a body. Friendship among such people is 
sftmek during debauchery or gambling. So long as this 
relationship lasts they speak of their secrets and render 
help to one another and remain the fastest friends. If 
accidentally the bond that united them is broken, they 
toead upon their friendship and from that day become 
deadly enemies, expose each other's secrets and do harm 
to* each other. Only friendship acquired in performing 
good acts lasts long and is a giver of happiness ; but 
that acquired while performing evil deeds can never be 
a, lasting and happy one. The guardians of the young 
should know this and prevent them from making friends 
with bad people. 

Friends are not made in a day or two. Hence we 
should not commit the mistake of thinking that they are 
made at first sight or by short acquaintance. True 
friendship sprouts slowly, takes root and grows its 
branches and strengthens its roots in the mind, but never 
like a magician's tree spreads its branches and bears 
fruit all of a sudden. We should keep these truths in 
our mind, never open it to others, and behave skilfully. 
Butt then we should not appear distrustful. We should 
treat aU with love and kindness, but until we are able 

PROSE 149 

to know their innermost heart, should not open ours 
and should conduct ourselves as suits the occasion. 


Then Rama Raju spoke thus : " Jagannatha Dasu ! 
From the time I saw Warrangal I have been beside 
myself. Of the ancient splendour of the city I heard 
from my elders, but have never seen it with my own 
eyes. When I reflect over the glory of the city of those 
days and its present wretchedness, dejection fills my 
mind. What a splendour did that city experience! 
Not to speak of that city. Are not all these paths those 
that were trodden by the great armies of Ganapati 
Deva and Prataparudra Deva! Some of the trees on 
the sides of this road must have actually seen the inva- 
sions of Prataparudra Deva. If all the leaves of these 
trees were tongues, and if, like the human, God had 
endowed them with the power of speech, could they not 
have described the might of the Kakatiya Empire more 
beautifully, more skillfully than historians and Adisesha 
with his two thousand tongues? Many of the trees 
found here must have sheltered under their cool shade 
and tended the soldiers of Warrangal who were wounded 
in battle and fatigued by the journey* These parts 
must have echoed the boom of the war drums of the 
Kakatiya Kingdom, which were a terror to its enemies. 
The war elephants of Prataparudra Deva, like thousands 
of moving mountains, with auspicious beHs tinkling from 
their necks and gold-tipped houdabs on their broad backs, 
going with a slow and steady pace, as if the goddess of 


the Kakatiya Empire put on thousands of huge forms 
and was taking a pleasure-walk, must have made all 
these adjacent forests echo their loud roars, and the 
Adisesha and the eight elephants of the directions 
supporting the earth bend their necks. 



While some felt sorry that the attempts for the 
marriage of Rajyalakshmi with the son of her paternal 
aunt failed, others were glad. About this the person 
who was the most sorry was Peri Sastri's mother, 
Narasamma. Unwilling to break off with a close re- 
lation, though they complained that they could not pay 
so heavy a dowry, she wanted to settle the match even 
by giving a part of her own money. But at the very 
start she was disappointed. She told her devoted son 
in several ways, chided him and scolded herself. She 
demonstrated the advantage of entering into an alliance 
with close relations. She explained the disadvantages 
of not keeping one's children within the bounds of dis- 
cipline. But nothing was of avail. Even if he had sold 
hi* ail, it would not have been enough for the dowry. 
Himself to refuse assent to the marriage he deemed 
improper. He was in fact glad that Rajyalakshmi 
herself, without throwing the burden of responsibility 
on his shoulders, refused it. Though Mangamma was 
sorry that they were missing an alliance with a family 
of equal status, she was angry with the bridegroom's 
parents who demanded so high a dowry, and was not 

PROSE 151 

without relief now that the marriage proposals had 
failed. All the rest were pleased with what Raju had 
done ; for if the house had been emptied for a single 
marriage, the family would have had to starve. 



Then both the kings agreed that Nayakuralu on the 
side of Nalagama Raju and Brahma Nayadu on the side 
of Pedamali Deva Raju should be the representatives. 
Nayakuralu rose up and looking at Pratapa Reddi, said : 
" Sir, Mr. Reddi, where is our Kakidega (a kind of black 
cock) ? Leave it first into the arena. " Pratapa Reddi 
got that Dega cock ready and pushed it forward to 

Brahma Nayadu saw it and, observing, "How is it ? 
It is blacker than the crow ! What ? Have they colour- 
ed it ? " ordered, " Karma, let loose our Vinjaberasa ( a 
kind of cock ) as its rival. " 

Kanna did accordingly and the two cocks began to 
fight. And while Balachandra, who was watching the 
fight with interest was remarking : " Kannama Dasu, 
that is not a Kakidega, it seems to be a magical Dega, " 
the Kakidega aimed a kick at the Vinjaberasa. Imme- 
diately the latter began to run. Seeing it Balachandra 
became despondent. All belonging to the side of 
Gurijala began to laugh with pride. Then Brahma 
Nayadu, humiliated, said : " Kanna, what a bad omen ! 
We hoped that our cock would maintain the proud 


name of Macherla. The coward ! What ignominy has 
it brought us ! " 

Then Kannama Dasu caught the Vinjaberasa which 
was fleeing, combed its sides with his fingers, shook its 
head and infused courage, and flung it again against the 
Kakidega. Up sprang the Kakidega and gave the 
other another blow with its legs. With it the latter was 
unable to move its head and, while all the men of 
Gurijala were laughing hilariously, it turned tail and 
crying, " Ko, Kro, Ko, " began to run. At that time 
a bard got up and began to sing : 

" The houses of Palnadu have no beams. 
The Brahmins of Kondavidu have no moustaches, 
And the cocks of Macherla have no courage. " 
Tan Dana Tana 1 

Hearing this Balachandra cried in rage : " Who is that 
fellow ? Probably a man of Gurijala. Why are you 
puffed up so soon ? If you wait a little you will see 
whether the cocks of Macherla have courage or not." 

Darpamu, Vol. II) 

Tan Dana Tana " is meaningless rhyme. 


[Below we print a list of books and articles which 
the reader may be interested to consult. ] 

The Novel in Telugu Literature. By Prof. V. N. 
BHUSHAN. ( The Calcutta Review, February 1939) 
(Reprinted in pamphlet form by the University 

of Calcutta). 

{Telugu Literature. By. P. CHENCHIAH and RAJA M. 
BHUJANGA RAO BAHADUR, with a Preface by Sir 
C. R. REDDY. ( The Heritage of India Series, Oxford 
University Press, Paper Re 1/4 ; Cloth Rs. 2/- ). 
Mirror of Gesture, being the Abhinaya Durpana of 
Nandikeswara. Translated into English by A. K. 


Introduction and Illustrations. 2nd edition. (E. 
Weyhe, New York. 2is. ) ( A work on Indian 

dancing and acting). 

"Andhra Literature in the Vijayanagara Empire-"' 
(Journal of Andhra Historical Research Society, 

" Thyagaraja, the Minstrel Saint. " By R. B. PINGLAY. 

( The Indian P. E. N. t September 1938 ). 

"The Telugus and the Epic. " By P. T. RAJU. ( The 

Indian P. E. N., October 1937)* 


Songs of Tyagaraja. Translated into English by 
Dr. C. NARAYANA RAO. ( The Heritage of Andhra 
Series. Published by Dr. Narayana Rao, " Atrey- 
asram, " Anantapur, Madras Presidency). 
"The Short Story in Telugu. " By SRIRANGAM SRI- 
NIVASA RAO. (Triveni, August-September 1939). 
A Historical Sketch of Telugu Literature. By T. 


tfLife of Pingali Suranarya. ( An Original and Unique 
Andhra Poet of the Sixteenth Century A. D. ). By 
Street, Mylapore, Madras. Rs. 2/-). 
"History of Telugu Poetry." By D. SAMBAMURTY. 
( The Indian P. E. N. t August 1939 ). 
".Trends in Modern Telugu Poetry.' 1 By J. SIVA- 
SAN KAR SASTRI. ( Triveni t April 1938 ). 
yA Hand Book of Telugu Literature. By K. SITARAMAIYA, 
M. A., Nizam College, Hyderabad (Dn.), with a 
Foreword by Sir S. RADHAKRISHAN. ( Publication 
No. 6, Hyderabad Telugu Academy, Hyderabad 

(Dn.). Re. 1/8). 

Soli Vahana Gadhah ( Glimpses of Rural Life in Ancient 
India). English free rendering of 64 verses in the 
Second Century Anthology of Hala. By T. SIVA- 
SANKARAN. (Author, Penukonda, S. India. As. 4), 
Leaders and Landmarks of Telugu Literature. " 
(Published serially in Triveni (Madras), from 

April 1939). 


The International P. E. N. Club was founded in 
London in October 1921 by Mrs. Dawson Scott, with 
John Galsworthy as its first President who, on his death, 
was succeeded by Mr. H. G. Wells, arid he in turn by 
M. Jules Romains. In 1940 a Presidential Board of 
five was elected : Mr. H. G. Wells, Mr. Hermon Ould, 
Dr. Hu Shih, M. Denis Saurat, and Mr. Thornton 

Before the war there were National P. E. N. Centres 
in some forty countries. Those in Nazi-occupied coun- 
tries have been dissolved but numerous P. E. N. Groups 
of exiled writers have been formed. The P. E. N. 
exists to promote friendliness among writers everywhere 
in the interest of world peace ; and to uphold tree cul- 
tural intercharge and freedom of the pen. Its annual 
International Congresses exert a considerable moral 
influence through their resolutions, constructive and 
critical. But for the war the International Congress 
would have met in India in iq40, on the gracious 
invitation of the late Maharajah of Mysore. 

In India the P. E. N. serves also the cause of 
national unity by spreading appreciation of the litera- 
tures in the different language areas. The India Centre, 
founded by Sophia Wadia in 1933, includes many of the 
country's leading writers and editors among its 
members. Shrimati Sarojini Naidu succeeded our first 
President, Dr. Rabindranath Tagore, upon the latter's 
death. Each major Indian language is 
the P. E. N. Advisory Linguistic Comii 
two outstanding writers. Membershj A 
Indian writer of standing, subject 
the All-India Executive Committe 
directed to the Honorary Secret 
bar Hill, Bombay. 


The Indian Literatures 

* i ASSAMESE Shri Birinchi Kumar Barua, 

M. A., B. L. 

* 2 BENGALI Shri A. S. Ray, i. c. s., & 

Shrimati Lila Ray. 

3 GUJARATI Prof. Vijayarai K. Vaidya, 

B.A., & 
Prof. Vrajrai M. Desai, M. A. 

4 HINDI Dr. Ram Kumar Varma, 

M. A., PH. D. 

* 5 INDO-ANGLIAN Dr. K. R. Srinivasa lyengar, 

M. A., D. LITT. 

6 KANNADA Prof. B. M. Srikantia, 

M. A., B. L. 

7 MAITHILI Pandit Amaranatha Jha. 

8 MALAYALAM Principal P. Sankaran Nambiyar, 

M. A., & 
Shri G. Sankara Kurup. 

9 MARATHI Prof. M. D. Altekar, M. A. 

ID ORIYA Shri Kalindi Charan Panigrahi, 

B. A. 

11 PANJABI Dr. Mohan Singh, 

M. A., PH. D., D. LITT. 

12 SANSKRIT Shri K. Chandrasekharan, 

M, A., B. L.,& 

Brahmasri V. H. Subramania 


14 TAMIL Rao Sahib S. V. Pillai, 

B, A., B. L., & 

Shri P. N. Appuswami Aiyar, 

B. A., B. L. 

*I5 TELUGU Dr. P. T. Raju, PH. D., Sastri. 

16 URDU Rai Bahadur R. B. Saksena, 

M. A., LL. B. 

* Already published.