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Dasa Sahitya Project Programme

Overview

The Dasa Sahitya Project propagates and popularises the literature of the saint composers of Karnataka, popularly known as Karnataka Haridasas, who enriched Kannada religious literature with their hymns.

Karnataka Haridasas who brought the esoteric Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas within the reach of the common man in lyrical form in simple Kannada, composed thousands of hymns in praise of Lord Sri Venkateswara, thus preaching devotion of God.

Purandaradasa, Kanakadasa, Vijayadasa, Sripadaraja, Vyasaraja, Vadiraja, Gopaladasa and Jagannathadasa were some of the luminaries in the galaxy of Karnataka Haridasas who treaded the path of dualism paved by Sri Madhwacharya. This lineage of Karnataka Haridasas has produced around 400 saint-composers.

The Dasa Sahitya Project aims at acquainting people with the lives and teachings of Karnataka Haridasas; spirituality, righteousness and morals preached by them, thus inculcating devotion in general and devotion to Lord Sri Venkateswara in particular. This is achieved through:

  • Publications
  • Exhibitions
  • Audio Cassettes
  • Religious and Cultural Programmes

Publications

The publications of the Dasa Sahitya Project include:

  • Abridged biographies of Karnataka Haridasas for children in various languages
  • Biographies of Karnataka Haridasas in the form of essays, Harikathas, Burrakathas, plays, ballets, etc.in various languages
  • Karnataka Haridasa literature with exhaustive commentaries in various languages
  • Hymns with musical notations
  • Sayings of the Karnataka Haridasas in various languages in the ‘Thus Spake’ series
  • Booklets in various languages with brief information on the main features of the Dasa Sahitya Exhibition, such as the Process of Creation, Devatas, Omkar, Kesava and other forms of the Lord, Kamalas, Papapurusha Visarjana, etc.
  • Papers presented by scholars at seminars conducted by the project
  • Works of comparative studies on the literature of Karnataka Haridasas and saint-composers of other languages.
  • Glossary of Karnataka Haridasas Literature
  • Rare, unpublished works of Karnataka Haridasas.
  • Photos of Karnataka Haridasas, in tricolour.

Exhibitions

  • Photographs of places connected to the Karnataka Haridasas; idols of Gods and Goddesses worshipped by them; articles used by them and photographs of temples constructed by them
  • Oil paintings depicting the teachings of the Karnataka Haridasas; philosophy and the secrets of Creation as evinced by them

Audio Cassettes

  • Cassettes of songs composed by Karnataka Haridasas and their biographies in the form of Harikathas by renowned singers are brought out.

Religious and Cultural Programmes

The project conducts the following religious and cultural programmes:

  • Aradhanas of Karnataka Haridasas: These programmes have religious discourses, Harikathas, and musical concerts as main features, and Bhajans and quiz contests as special attractions, arranged at various places in connection with the Vardhantis/Jayanthis of Karnataka Haridasas.
  • Summer Camps: Recitation of 'Harikathamritasara', discourses on Dasa Sahitya, teaching of Haridasa compositions and religious texts are the main features of the Summer Camp.
  • Metlotsavam: Climbing the Seven Hills in the traditional manner, as taught by the Karnataka Haridasas; singing of Bhajans by thousands of members of the Bhajan troupes attired in Haridasa-fashion, and procession of Haridasa portraits through the main streets of Tirupati. Bhajan and quiz contests are the main features of Metlotsavam.
  • 'Samyojana' of Bhajan Troupes: Teaching Bhajan troupes Haridasa compositions according to the tradition introduced by the school; providing them with perfected versions of Haridasa compositions in the order of Taaratamya; registering the Bhajan troupes with the project for achieving uniformity in Bhajan singing and popularising sankeertans through Bhajans.
  • Seminars on Dasa Sahitya: Arranging discourses on 'Dasa Sahitya' by reputed scholars and publishing the papers presented by them.
  • Dasotsavams: Lectures by scholars on the literature of 2/3 Karnataka Haridasas, based on comparative study; music concerts and Bhajans comprising songs composed by Haridasas and Harikathas.

The above programmes are arranged at various places every year. Local Aradhana Committees, Bhajan troupes and other religious and cultural associations are encouraged to participate and conduct programmes.

Propagation of Hari Bhajan Literature And Tradition

The easy path to deliverance, as shown by the Haridasas, is through Hari Bhajan. They taught, "Hari Bhajana Maado Nirantara - Paragatigidu Nirdhara", meaning perform Hari Bhajan always;The only way to Mukti is the preachings of Haridasas.

The great soul who introduced the Taaratamya-Bhajan was Saint Purandaradasa, a pioneer of karnatic music. He spread the Taaratamya Bhajan culture throughout the nation. However, the ethos and regulations he introduced have since disappeared.

The Dasa Sahitya Project has taken up the task of popularising the traditional Bhajan. Its main objectives are to:

  • Inculcate dharma in society through Bhajan Mandals
  • Establish Bhajan groups throughout the Nation
  • Encourage existing Bhajan Mandals
  • Encourage Bhajan Mandals to celebrate the Aradhanas of Karnataka Haridasas 
  • Popularise the use of "Hare Srinivasa" as a salutation among members of Bhajan Mandals.

Advisory Board

The project has an Advisory Board and Expert Committee, comprising eminent scholars, which reviews programmes and helps plan various activities involving research, publication and propagation.