Personalities: Pothana

In light of our Spotlight on the Telugu Bhagavatamu, it is only appropriate for us to spend a little time on the background of its author.

We continue our ongoing Series on Telugu Personalities with today’s post on Pothana.


Pothana Mahakavi may be famous for one thing, but he was known by many names. Also called Potaraju and later Potanamatya, he is a native of the town of the same name as his surname. Bammera Pothana was born some time in the first decade of the 1400s , in Nalgonda District of Telangana. While his exact birth year is not known, it is said that he lived between 1400 and 1475. [3] A minority school of thought has argued that his birthplace was in fact Vontimitta in Kadapa district.

Irrespective, it is known that his mother was Lakkamamba and his father was Kesana, who was of the Kaundinyasa gotra and attached to the Apastamba Dharmasutra. [1, 535] His elder brother was Tippana.

There is a beloved myth among Telugus that Pothana and Srinatha were brothers-in-law. In contrast to the spiritual and penurious Pothana, Srinatha lived an hedonistic life, and would periodically visit to poke gentle fun. Pothana is said to have always had a ready riposte to the Kavi Sarvabhauma’s gest and celebration of sensuality. However, Professor T.S.B. Narasaraju garu asserts that this tale of relation by marriage does not have any historicity to it.  Nevertheless, comparison remain apt:

Pothana was honoured in his day for his purity, integrity and independence. In this he was a striking contrast to his brother-in-law, Srinatha, who lacked the subtle sense of self-respect. Srinatha basked in the sunshine of royal favour; Potana avoided kings and courts. Srinatha knew how to turn rhyme into rupees, Potana preferred poverty with honour [2, 63]

In any event, Pothana did marry and had one son named Mallana and another son named Kesava, who was also a great litterateur. He earned the title Praudha Sarasvati, and the entire lineage itself is said to be blessed with literary prowess. [3]

As for the man himself, he is thought to not only have been a self-made man,but self-taught as well, with little or no formal schooling. To what extent he was an auto-didact was not known, given his father’s own status as a Pandit, nevertheless, it speaks volumes not only about his dedication to the divine, but to learning itself.

A yogi name Jeetananda blessed him in his younger years, and that was said to be the origin of his later intellectual awareness and talent for poesy. [2, 64]

Potana’s Bhaagavatam, a translation of the Sanskrit Mahabhaagavatam, is his magnum opus. This great work also shared, for causes unknown to us, the same fate as the Bhaaskara Raamaayana. There is a traditional story current in the country that Potana buried his Bhaagavatam underground to save it from destruction at the hands of Sarvajna Singa III, to whom Potana refused to dedicate that work [1, 536]

Unlike his contemporary, Srinatha, Pothana didn’t stoop to ninda-stuthi (praise of men). Further Sarvajna, though a cultured ruler, nevertheless remains infamous in the annals of the Telugu history for his family’s alliance with the Turkic Bahmanis and betrayal of the Musunuri Nayaks, as well as his war with the Reddi Kings.

It only goes to show that while Dharma is the foundation of our Culture, it is possible for one to be cultured and adharmic. As such, despite writing on the Bhagavata Purana, which largely focuses on the life of Sri Krishna, the dedication was to Lord Vishnu’s 7th avatar:

Potana dedicated his Bhaagavatam to god Sri Raama. He had the title sahajapaanditya, which shows that he acquired proficiency in the Telugu language and poetics by his self-effort. Potana’s poetry is mainly devotional in character. He is at his best when describing a devotional episode. He intensely felt the emotions of a devotee whom he described and went into ecstasy, while singing the glory of god Visnu. [1, 536]

But perhaps the best commentary on this Saastriya Telugu Poet is one that shows how his life influenced and was in turn reflected in his art:

In his later life when he wrote his Bhaagavatam, Potana was a bhakta practicing bhaktiyoga. He was, therefore, able to add devotional fervour to Telugu poetry. [1, 536]


Pothana is credited with authoring 4 works: The Telugu Bhagavatam, Veerabhadra-vijayam, Narayana Satakam, and the Bhogini Dandakam.

Telugu Bhagatavam is in fact longer than the original Srimad Bhagatavam of Veda Vyasa. This is because, as stated by Narasaraju garu, Pothana’s translation style was a combination of Svatantra anuvada (taking liberties with the original) and Bhava anuvada (focus on the essence rather than word for word). That is also why Pothana is so celebrated. Rather than merely repeating word for word, Vyasa’s own work, the great Poet of Telangana added his own original thought, while holding true to the spirit of the Maharishi.

Hence, his work, Bhaagavatam may be aptly termed as a devo-tional lyric. Potana had such a mastery over the language that sabdaalankaaras, like yamaka and anupraasa and others, crept into his poetical lines without effort. In spite of these sabdaalankaaras his poetry has a fine finish and an innate beauty about it, characterised by its sweetness and melody. The flow of his poetry is smooth, and his style vigorous and supple. Potana’s imagery is superb. He can make us realise the spirit conveyed in his poems intensely. He pressed the figures of speech in to service so as to make his imagery perfect…” [1, 536]

His style of Telugu was also rich in Sanskrit, making him the litterati’s delight. At the same time, the work is so popular, that large sections are famous even among the unlettered masses. Such is the impact the Telugu Bhagavatam has had on Telugu culture.

Veerabhadra Vijayam is an interesting work. According to legend, Pothana is said to have written it as atonement for writing the section of Bhagavatamu where a Rakshasa insults Lord Siva. Coming from a staunchly Saivite family, the Poet of Bammera felt the need to expiate himself for repeating the words in translation.

A third work of interest in the Narayana Satakam. The least known of the 4 credited to Pothana.

The last is in fact said to be his first, and is a work with rati as the sthayibhava, though this remains subject to much debate. There are those who argue that Pothana, like Srinatha, initially lived a more materialistic life in his youth before fully dedicating himself to traditional austerity. But it is also important to note that the orthodox do not accept this asserting that in marked contrast to Srinatha, Pothana lived according to traditional observances his whole life and did not write this text, known as Bhogini Dandakam. [1, 89]

The first work, Bhogineedandakam, furnishes the clue to settle the date of Potana. He wrote that work on a vesya of his patron Sarvajna Singa Bhoopaala. Some Telugu scholars contend that the author of this Bhogineedandakam could not have been Potana for the simple reason that, as he was a great devotee, he could not have stooped to write this work on a courtesan.” [1, 535]

Historians will have to settle the matter. For now, however, it is better to focus on the composition of his that most reflects his character and his contribution to our Culture:


The state the Telugu Bhagavatamu is found in is very much a commentary on the state of Telugu society.

decay of some of the portions—the fifth, sixth, eleventh and twelfth skandhas—which were later on comple-ted by some Telugu poets, namely, Gangana, Ercoori Singana and Veligandala Naaraya, a pupil of Potana himself. [1, 536]

Pothana was disgusted with material life, and did not publish the Telugu Bhagavatam himself. Believing the people of the time too be too engrossed in material worldliness, he felt them to be unworthy of his work. He passed it on to his other son, Mallana, instructing him to give “this Pearl of Great Price…to a pure man who had devotion in his heart.” [2, 65] Interestingly, Mallana never opened the box, and when he gave it to Veligandala Naarayya, the manuscript was found to be partly diminished by worms. The sections that were destroyed were later re-translated by Erchoori Simganna and Velingandala Narayya.

Pothana himself was later emulated by Haribhat who translated parts of the Srimad Bhagavatam in 1660. There is also the Baala-Bhagavata of Koneru Kavi, and the Devi Bhagavata translated by Dammanodara and later Srirama Pantulu and Mulugu Paapayya. [2, 65]

Pothana’s entire collection of works can be accessed here for free.

To read Bhagavatamu in Telugu, click here.

Those of you who wish to read in English can download T.S.B. Narasaraju garu’s translation of Telugu Bhagavatam’s Dasama Skandha on our article here.

Those who wish to buy book versions can go to online publishers such as these:


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There is much dividing the modern states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. However, Mahakavi Pothana is, without a doubt, one of the many things uniting the Telugu people, on both sides of the Polavaram.

There was a movie in 1942 featuring Chittoor Nagaiah and Hemalatha, called Bhakta Potana.  Here is a lovely clip from it here:

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) sponsored a Serial on his life, with a title by the same name.

Pothana’s work is said to be rhythmic with beauty and alliteration, so much so that it is said to be best savoured through music.

As such, we will end with a poem from the Prahalada Charitam of Srimadandhra Bhagavatam written by Bammera Potana.

Kamalakshu narchinchu karamulu karamulu

The hands that worship the Lotus-eyed One are the real hands. The tongue that speaks Srihari’s language is the True Tongue. The looks that absorb the protector of the worlds are the right and precise eyes. The head that bows to the sleeper on the snake bed is the great head. The ears that hear Vishnu, the all-pervading one, are perfect ears. The feet that guide one to the almighty are the truthful feet. The thought that revolves around Him is the noblest thought. The day that praises the Lord of Lords is the best day. The studies that reveal the wheel holder is the true learning. The teacher who tells about the master of the earth is the real teacher. The father who bids his son to reach Hari is the perfect father.” [4]


  1. Malampalli, Somasekhara Sarma.History of the Reddi Kingdoms.Delhi:Facsimile Publ. 2015
  2. Bhujanga, Chenchiah P. A History of Telugu Literature. Vol.2. London: Forgotten Books.2015
  3. Narasaraju, T.S.B. Potana. Dasama Skandha of Potana’s Telugu Bhagavatam.

Excerpt: Dasama Skandha of Potana’s Bhagavata Purana II

The following Post continues our Series on Narasaraju garu’s Book on Bhagavatamu

Continuing our Series of Articles on the translation of Telugu Bhagavatam by Professor T.S.B. Narasaraju of Banaras Hindu University, is Excerpt II. Those interested in reading Excerpt I of our series can find it here.

This installment will cover the Author’s Preface, a brief intro on Pothana Mahakavi, and provide selections from the Original Work itself.

Publishers interested in printing or offering e-Publication of Narasaraju garu’s work can reach him via email at

Click here to download Part I of the English Translation of Potana’s Bhagavata Purana (Dasama Skandha)

Part II can be found below at the end of the article and is also available for free.

       chetularanga sivuni pujimpadeni

       norunovvanga hari kirthi nuduvadeni

       dayayu satyambu lonuga talupadeni

        kaluganetiki tallula kadupuchetu

If Lord Siva is not worshipped by one with folded

hands till the hands ache, Lord Hari`s glory is not

sung in full throat till it chokes, kindness towards

others and righteousness are not cultivated by one,

giving such a birth is a curse to the mother

[Excerpt. Some emphasis ours.]

Copyright: T.S.B.Narasaraju. All rights reserved. 2017.


Bhagavata Purana is one among eighteen Puranas written by sage Vyasa in Sanskrit. Puranas are  accounts of births and deeds of Hindu gods.The literal definition of a Purana is that which remains new perennially.  Bhagavata Purana emphasizes the path of devotion to the lord by describing his sterling qualities and incarnations. It was first taught by Vyasa to his son, Suka. Being requested by Parikshit tormented by an impending death by the bite of a serpent, Suka recited Bhagavata Purana enabling Parikshit to attain salvation.

Being the most prominent among the Puranas, Bhagavata Purana underwent translations into several other languages. Its translation into Telugu by Potana is one such. It is believed that Potana was born and spent his life in a village called Bammera located in the present Telangana State during the fifteenth century. He wrote the work there motivated by the appearance and command of lord Rama of whom he was an ardent devotee.

Potana’s Bhagavata Purana continues to remain close to the hearts of Telugu-speaking people since the concept of Mathura Bhakti, one of several recommended methods of devotion to the lord, is competently illustrated by him in the work through simple and sweet vocabulary. His work has been embedded with a rhythmic and a delightful combination of vocabulary to make the readers recite its verses over and over again in a devotional ecstasy. Potana`s Bhagavata Purana continues to influence a large section of Telugu population to imbibe a spiritual thinking, a devotional involvement and a principled living.

It is believed that Telugu has been in use ever since the commencement of the Christian era. However, prominent literary works in Telugu emerged only from the middle of eleventh century C. E. The earliest significant work was a translation of Mahabharata from Sanskrit, like other works which followed. Consequently, this period of Telugu literature is known as Anuvada Yuga, an era of translations.

The mode of translation followed can be divided into three types: (i) Swatantra Anuvada or Kathanuvada, (ii) Bhava-anuvada and (iii) Yatha-tadha-anuvada.The first mode of translation was adopted by the famous Kavitraya, the three famous Telugu literary personalities, Nannaya,Tikkana and Yerrapragada in the translation of Mahabharata. Here the translator enjoys the liberty of additions and deletions of the original work adhering at the same time to the story of the original. In the second type followed by Srinatha, another towering Telugu literary personality of the distant past, in the translation of Nyshadha,written in Sanskrit by Harsha, only the essence of the original is reproduced.The third type, followed principally for the translation of dramas, is a true reproduction of the original including the usage of the same vocabulary, being a literal counterpart of the one used in the original. Potana followed a judicious combination of types (i) and (ii) being motivated by the Kavitraya and Srinatha. Being a strong devotee of the lord he elaborated extensively the devotional sequences departing from the original. Potana, in addition to his devotion to the lord, was a great scholar and a poet of exllence. His Bhagavata Purana contained stanzas of all categories of Telugu poetry.  It is mentioned by Potana in his Bhagavata Purana that he had a transcendental experience of the appearance of lord Rama and his consort Sita commanding him to translate Vyasa’s Bhagavata Purana into Telugu to free himself from the mundane terrestrial bonds to get salvation. That experience seemed to have transformed the natural poetic ability of Potana into an ecstatic state of mind which resulted in his version of Bhagavata Purana which makes a studious and devoted reader of the work wonder whether at all a human mind can attain such levels of excellence once again.

Potana`s literary prowess is believed to be a divine gift. He says that some among the likely readers of his work have a bias for Telugu while others have a liking for Sanskrit. He prefers to adopt a judicious combination of the two languages in his Bhagavata Purana, a luxury which he could afford because of his proficiency in both the languages. According to Potana`s philosophy activities devoid of devotion to god are totally futile.

The Dasama Skandha,Tenth Canto of Bhagavata Purana, is different from others, being a complete and a competent account of the different facets of Krishna Avatara,  an incarnation of lord Krishna. He is considered to be the primordial incarnation of lord Vishnu, who appeared in the form of other Avataras. Bhagavata Purana is considered to be an embodiment of lord Vishnu himself with its twelve cantos as the different organs of the lord.The significance of Dasama Skandha is evident from the fact that it is considered to be the face of the lord and is therefore distinct from the other cantos. It is the biggest among the cantos of Bhagavata Purana spreading over three thousand verses and pieces of prose.

The writer of the present translation of Dasama Skandha of Potana`s Bhagavata Purana into English has no pretensions about his competence to undertake the work since he spent a major part of his life of about eight decades in studying, teaching and guiding research in Chemistry at a couple of Central Universities, namely, Banaras Hindu University,Varanasi and North-Eastern Hill University, Shilling.A tenure of about four decades, his entire professional career, was consequently spent away from Andhra Pradesh as a Pravasa Andhra. He could thus realize the disadvantage inflicted by him on his son and daughter, as well as by his intimate Telugu colleagues on their children, by alienating them from an exposure to even rudimentary aspects of Telugu literature for no fault of the youngsters. The same sentiment is applicable to a big chunk of contemporary Telugu-speaking people scattered all over the globe consequent upon professional compulsions.

Being motivated probably by an over-ambitious feeling that he is capable of writing a comprehensible English, the author ventured to do Yadha-tadha anuvada into English of Dasama Skandha of Potana`s Bhagavata Purana which has been very close to his heart right from his days of higher secondary education  in Veeresalingam High School, Rajahmahendravaram, a place of Adi Kavi Nannaya. His audacity to attempt this work was to a large extent motivated by the fact that selected portions of Dasama Skandha of Potana`s Bhagavata Purana were taught to him by an illustrious Telugu literary personality of the recent past, namely the late Sri Madhunapantula Satyanarayana Sastri, the then member of the teaching staff of the high school in which the author studied, to whom the author wants to express his homage and gratitude. The present attempt is primarily intended to expose the Pravasa Andhra adolescents, not knowing written Telugu, who may read this work, to the nuances of Potana`s Bhagavata Purana, an opportunity denied to them by their parents, for which the youngsters are not to be blamed.

The author is not apologetic about his truncated level of comprehension of Bhagavata Purana since Potana himself says in his work that a complete understanding of the work is beyond the capability of any one. The greatness of this Purana is such that even a negligible level of understanding benefits the one who makes an attempt. In order to avoid inconvenience in typing, no transliteration is followed in the present work since the clientele is supposed to be familiar with pronunciation of the Sanskrit words of the work given in italics.The present translation has been divided into three parts to avoid unwieldiness. Part I consists of events ranging from Krishnavatara to lifting of Goverdhanagiri while Part II includes events ranging from Rasakrida to Rukmini Kalyana. The remaining events of Dasama Skandha ranging from Narakasuravadha to  Subhadra Parinaya come under Part III of the present work.

Miscellaneous short-comings of the author in understanding some of the usages of Potana are adequately compensated by referring to a few illustrious relevant publications of TTD Religious Publication Series, Tirupati, Potti Sriramulu Telugu Viswavidyalayam, Hyderabad, and of Geeta Press, Gorakhpur. In addition, an exposure to the spiritual discourses by illustrious personalities namely, Sri Swamy Chinmayananda, Sri Swamy Ranganathananda, Sri Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj, Sri Ganapat Sachchidananda Swamy, Sri Sukhbodhananda Swamy, Sri Sundarachaitnyananda Swamy, Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamy, Sri Siddheswaraananda Bharathi Swamy and Sri Ravi Shankar and also of Sri Chaganti Koteswara Rao and Sri Samavedam Shanmukha Sarma, among others, transmitted through different TV channels of India, is of extensive  guidance to the author. The author desires to place on record his indebtedness and gratefulness to these organisations and personalities for rendering commendable service to the spiritually oriented sections of our community.

T.S.B. Narasaraju


(v) Potana`s Biography

Potana also known as Potaraju was born in a village Bammera located in the Warangal Taluk of the present Telangana State . While the exact year of his birth is not known, he is believed to have lived between 1400 and 1470 C. E. He was born in Kaundinyasa  Gotra as the second son of  Kesana and Lakkamamba. Their first son was Tippana. That Srinatha, the famous Telugu poet, was Potana`s brother-in-law, has no historical basis. There is evidence to show that Potana had a son by name Kesana  named after Potana`s father. Potana`s son seemed to have inherited literary prowess of the father to earn the title, Proudha Saraswati .  In fact the literary proficiency seemed to have percolated through the entire progeny of Potana. In addition to Bhagavata Purana,  Potana wrote Veerabhadra Vijaya, Bhogini Dandaka and Narayana Sataka.

(vi) Dedication of Potana`s Bhagavata Purana to Almighty

Bammera Potaraju decided to offer his version of Bhagavata Purana to lord Sri Hari for the good of all. By offering , instead , to kings of disrepute in return to gifts  such as  Dhanadhanya Vastuvahanas and Grihagramadulu, the author feels that he succumbs after death to  lord Yama`s punishments. The following is an account of the sentiments of Potana which prompted him to offer his work to the almighty :–

“A great man appeared before my eyes. He was with his consort and comparable to a blue cloud coupled with a lightning. His smile was as pleasant as the moon-light. He wore a bow comparable to the curvatures and beauty of a huge Ganuga tree entwined with creepers. He wore a crown as effulgent as the sun on top of a blue mountain. His eyes were as elegant as the petals of a lotus. He was a broad-chested prominent king of kings.”

He exhorted Potana to translate Vyasa`s Bhagavata Purana into Telugu.

“ What I am going to write is the most sacred Bhagavata Purana. The one who makes me write is Ramachandra Prabhu himself.This writing has the propensity to disentangle me from the family bonds. Therefore I decided to write it. Where is the need to write any other work?

When a complete comprehension of Bhagavata Purana transcends the abilities of even lord Siva and Brahma will it be possible to understand it for an ordinary man like me? Yet I make an attempt  to  write  what I heard about it from  scholars  and what is understood by me. Because of my good fortune great poets like Nannaya and Tikkana who translated many works from Sanskrit to Telugu left Bhagavata Purana.I translate it into Telugu to sanctify myself.

I offer my version of Bhagavata Purana to lord Gopalakrishna who wears beautiful effulgent garlands, resides in Nandagokula, steals  butter and ghee  from houses of shepherds, redeems the sorrows of devotees, wins the hearts of Gopakantas and  destroys  demons such as Trinavarta and Putana. My work is dedicated to Krishna, a lord of exemplary qualities endowed with the grace of lord Siva, a destroyer of demon Banasura, a savior of Gopagopikas from a hail-storm caused by Indra, by lifting the Govardhana mountain, a redeemer of a curse on Yakshas by uprooting a couple of huge trees, a protector of Varnasrama Dharma and a lord capable of obstructing sun`s rays through his Sudarsana Chakra.

I offer my work to the lord who is an embodiment of grace, a counsellor capable of averting the agony of Arjuna to revive his duty consciousness, a protector of the safety of all living beings and a benefactor of his devotees having the sense organs under their control. He could dance playfully on the hood of a serpent, Kaliya, and destroy the army of Jarasandha several times.

The version of Bhagavata Purana written by me is dedicated to the lord who reclines on a serpent, Adishesha, wearing yellow silken garments. He  follows justice   rigorously  in deciding the results of Karma of human beings, resurrects  lives of sons of a Brahmin , restores mental peace to an agitated Rukmini, gives happiness to all living beings, exhibits grace to righteous human beings, steals butter from the houses of Gopikas and creates the entire universe.

My Bhagavata Purana is offered to the almighty who is a skillful sole monarch of initiating creation, propagation, protection and destruction of the universe. He taught Vedas to Brahma. Remaining pure and effulgent, he spreads an illusion as a magician showing that the universe created by him engulfed in the Trigunas  is real, like the belief of existence of water in a mirage. I adore such a lord who is ever present in my thoughts.”


Dasama Skandha of Bhagavata Purana is distinct from the other Skandhas since it contains a complete and competent account of the different facets of Krishnavatara. It is therefore considered as Sri Krishna Sarvaswa. Lord Krishna is considered to be the primordial incarnation of the lord who appeared in the form of the other Avataras. Although the appearance of lord Rama and his exhortation to translate Bhagavata Purana into Telugu to be dedicated to lord Rama motivated Potana to take up the sacred mission, he dedicated his work, instead, to lord Krishna conscious of the primordiality of the lord.

Bhagvata Purana is considered to be an embodiment of lord Vishnu, its twelve Chapters or Skandhas being considered as the organs of the lord. The significance of Dasama Skandha is evident from the fact that it is considered to be the face of the lord. Just as Krishnavatara is distinct from the remaining Avataras of the lord, Dasama Skandha is distinct from the other Chapters of Bhagavata Purana.

The story of Krishna is competently described in several other Sanskrit works, the principal among them being Jaya Deva`s Gita Govinda, Leela Suka`s Sri Krishna Karnamruta and Narayana Tirthulu`s Sri Krishna Leelatarangini, among others. An equally eloquent account of lord Krishna in Telugu is provided by Yarrana’s Hari Vamsa and Potana`s Dasama Skandha of his Bhagavata Purana, among others.

Dasama Skandha is the biggest among the Chapters of Bhagavata Purana spreading over three thousand verses and pieces of prose. It is divided into two parts known as Purva Bhaga and Uttara Bhaga. The Telugu titles of principal aspects of the Purva Bhaga are : (Part I): Krisnavatara Ghattam,   Kamsuni pampuna Putana yanu Rakshasi  Vrepalle ku Chanudenchuta, Sri Krishna Balaramula Balyakreedabhivarnana, Mryudbhakshana, Viswarupa Pradarshanabhivarnanamu, Sri Krishnudu Kaliyamardanamu Gavinchuta, Gopika Vastrapaharanamu, Sri Krishnudu Govardhana Parvatamunettut. (Part II):  Rasakreedabhivarnanamu, Kamsuni Pampuna Akrurudu Brindavanamunaku Chanudenchuta, Sri Krishnamurty Madhuranagara Prvesamu Cheyuta, Sri Krishna Balaramulu Chanura Mushtikulanu Vadhinchuta, Sri Krishnudu Kamsuni Vadhinchuta, Muchkunduni Purva Kathabhivarnanamu, Rukmini Kalyana  Katha Prarambhamu, and Sri Krishnudu Rukmini Devini Pendliyaduta.among others. The Uttara Bhaga of Bhagavata Purana  is constituted, among others, by the Telugu titles :  (Part III): Sri Krisnudu Satyabhamatokudanaragi Narakasuruni Vadhinchuta, Naradundu Sri Krishnunito Dharmaraju Rajasuyamu Neraverpumani Chepputa, Pandavulu Sri Krishnuni Yadurkoni Todkoni Povuta, Sri Krishnuni Sahayunduga Bhimundu  Jarasandhunito Yudhamu Seyuta, Dharmaraju Chesedi Rajasuyamunandu Sri Krishnudu Sisupaluni Vadhinchuta, Kuchelopakhyanamu, Subhadra Parinayamu, and Parikshittunaku Sukayogi Vishnuseva Prasastyambu Chepputa.

2.Krishna Bringing Nanda from City of Varuna

On a sacred Ekadasi-day Nanda observed fasting and performed Puja of Vishnu. Unmindful of the fact that it was time of demons, he got into river Yamuna to have Dwadasi-bath even before the day-break. Then demon Varuna`s servant took him away to the city of Varuna. Rest of the Gopakas got agitated since they could not find Nanda. They shouted loud to call Balarama and Krishna. The latter could know that his father was deceitfully kidnapped by the servant of Varuna to his land. He reached that land at once (953).

Varuna saw Madhava visiting his place, worshipped him hurriedly, and said obediently, “Oh! Lord! You are kind enough to visit my house. You make the learned happy. You are the lord who makes those rejoicing in your lotus-shaped feet tread a path unattainable to others. A visit by such a lord filled my heart with over-flowing joy. My desires are fulfilled. Obeisance to you makes my life sanctified (954, 955, 956). Oh! Mahatma! Maya, capable of engulfing all the Lokas, is incapable of conquering you and hence remains under your control, you being the lord of lords.Your effulgent form is the donor of good. You rejoice always in protecting the pious-minded. You are the emperor of those virtuous people who possess Tapas as their wealth. I am saluting to such a lord to free myself from the bodily turmoils (957).You are a role-model in devotion to one`s father ! Your devotees with  pure hearts  are dear to you ! Without even an iota of intelligence my servant  brought your father here. Kindly take back your father with you.Forget about the offence. Pardon me and my servant and show kindness to us. Forgiving the repentant  is a resplendent virtue in you (958).

Excusing the repentant Varuna, Hari returned along with his father. Nanda narrated to his relations the account of his son releasing him from Varuna`s city and bringing him back.They in return thought Krishna to be lord Iswara himself. He promised to fulfill their desires (959). He felt that people, in general, get entangled in mundane worldly activities experiencing pleasure and pain being engulfed in a mirage incapable of realizing his true form (960). With such thoughts  the kind-hearted lord manifested to the Gopakas his Loka which transcends Maya,which is effulgent, indescribable, real, blissful with realization, ultimate, eternal and seen only by those transcending the Trigunas (961). The lord showed to Nanda and others the Brahmaloka seen by Akrura earler. They felt delighted. They saw the divine form of Krishna, praised and worshipped him (962).

There was then the onset of autumn with nights illuminating all directions under full moon.These nights caused feast to the lotuses, difficult times to the love-lorn, favourable conditions for Cupid`s sojourns, enjoyable times to clusters of Chakora birds and times congenial for the wives to succumb to the enticements of their husbands (963).There was onset of Sarad Purnima which provides a clarification to the art of love-making, makes the lotuses blossom, provokes the desire for love-making, eliminates the tolerance of love-lorn, perturbs the Chakravaka birds and causes joy and good to the people, in general (964). Just as a lover applies Kumkum to the fore-head of his sweet-heart, moon, comparable to a lover beautified the east, comparable to his sweet-heart, by the red light, comparable to Kumkum, propagated at the time of his onset in the east (965). Circular, effulgently red and extra-ordinarily smooth  full moon emerged on the sky in the proximity of Udayagiri to the delight of clusters of Chakoras. It appeared as a golden Kalasam on the army-camp of Manmadha invading the soldiers of the love-mongers. It is like the weapon of the destroyer of demon Sambara intended to cut across the resistance of the love-lorn, comparable to the tender edges of a creeper. It is like a fire let loose by Manmadha to destroy the cofidence, comparable to a forest, of the lovers separated from their sweet-hearts. It is like a torch used by Manmadha to hunt the lovers tormented by the pangs of separation from their love-mates (966).

Click here to download Part II of the English Translation of Potana’s Bhagavata Purana (Dasama Skandha)

Disclaimer: This book represents the opinions of Author, and should not be considered a reflection of the views of Andhra Cultural Portal. The author is responsible for ensuring the factual veracity of the content, herein.

Copyright: T.S.B.Narasaraju. All rights reserved. 2017.

Excerpt: Dasama Skandha of Potana’s Bhagavata Purana

The following Post is based on the Translation of Professor T.S.B. Narasaraju garu

To inaugurate Andhra Cultural Portal’s Spotlight on Telugu Literature, is a wonderful work based on one of the most beloved texts in Telugu Poetry.

We are honored to present an excerpt of the Pothana Telugu Bhagatavam, translated into English by Professor T.S.B. Narasaraju.

Much as the Andhra Mahabharatamu is a classic of Telugu literature so too is the Andhra Maha Bhagavatamu another. But at a time when the word Andhra itself is being reduced in scope, what better work to unify all Telugus than the Telugu Bhagavatamu of Telangana’s Pothana.

For those of you who wish to read the Bhagavata Purana translated into contemporary Telugu, please refer to this excellent site: However, many of our diasporic youth are unable to understand Telugu, let alone, read Telugu script. Therefore, Sri Narasaraju garu has embarked upon this tremendous effort on behalf of all Telugus, to translate key parts of the Mahabhagavatamu, into English. Here is his own selected quote from Pothana’s original to express the sentiment behind his effort to bring a classic to the current day.

kamalakshu narchinchu karamulu karamulu

srinadhuvarninchu jihva jihva

sura rakshakuni chuchu chudkulu chudkulu

seshasayi ki mrokku siramu siramu

Hands deserve to be called as hands only if they pray to the Lord. Tongue is worthy of being called as a tongue only if it praises and describes the Lord. Eyes can be called as eyes only when they see the Lord. Head deserves its name only if it salutes to the Lord


T.S.B. Narasaraju garu is a much respected academic who taught Chemistry at Acharya Nagarjuna University (Guntur) and Banaras Hindu University. He is also learned in traditional Saastriya Telugu, and in his retirement, has embarked upon translating the Bhagavatamu into English for the benefit of our pravasandhra youth.

Professor Narasaraju has done a great service for our Telugu community and we are privileged to bring his work to you in a Series of Articles. These will feature excerpts from his Taatparyam of the Dasama Skandam of Telugu Bhagavatamu.

Publishers and other inquirers can reach Sri Narasaraju via email at:


Below we provide an excerpt from Part I of T.S.B. Narasaraju garu’s book:

Dasama Skandha of Potana’s Bhagavata Purana.

It is a translation into English of the 10th Canto of Pothana’s Telugu rendition of the Bhagavata Purana. On request of Professor Narasaraju, we have attached Part I of his 3 Part translation of the Dasama Skandhamu, which can be downloaded at the end of the article.

Without further ado, here are selected excerpts from the book.

[Excerpt. Some emphasis ours.]

Copyright: T.S.B.Narasaraju. All rights reserved. 2017.


                            A Literal Translation into English  (Part I)


Life on earth is sustained by many essentials. The most important among them, to live with joy and enthusiasm, is love-divine. Although Sri Bhagavata Purana is the quintessence of Karma, Bhakti and Jnana, it primarily elicits love-divine which is transcendental in its experience. Blessed are those who drank the nectar of love! Blessed are the Gopikas who could taste it and got completely merged with Sri Krishna Chaitanyam!

There are many translations of Vyasa Bhagavata Purana into several Indian languages. Its translation into Telugu by Sri Bammera Potana of fourteenth century stands on a high pedestal both in its language and sweetness of Bhava. Its verses are sublime in thought, sweet to chant and easy to memorise. They bring out a vivid picture of stories and expressions of feelings of characters, especially the Leelas of Bhagawan Sri Krishna even to ordinary readers who wish to read them as stories.

Telugu literature with all its lofty thoughts and rich translations is being slowly forgotten by the masses in the din and roar of modern life and its various compulsions. The fact that Puranas, epics and Upanishads, among others, build the character of our nation is not remembered and replaced with a modern craze for standard of living leading to dangerous tendencies.Such a trend causes all kinds of unhealthy comparisons and hatred among people resulting in destruction. These great texts that build character among human beings are going out of reach. Efforts must be made to bring a fresh breeze of life through a revival of a desire for higher knowledge.

It is with this sincere and dedicated thought that Dasama Skandha of Potana`s Bhagavata Purana has been brilliantly translated by Sri T. S. B. Narasaraju into English for the benefit of many residing abroad who lost touch with their mother-tongue, Telugu. Sri Raju`s heart throbbed with enthusiasm to bring  Potana`s Bhagavata Purana to children of Telugu resulting in the form of this book.The author introduced the present work very well by giving necessary background in the form of a brief biographical account of Potana, style of his literary prowess, purpose behind the present translation and the sources of inspiration motivating  the completion of the present work. In the beginning of the work itself the author brought out the difference between Puranas and Itihasas. This sets the tone of the text and surges the reader ahead with ease in mind and clarity in intellect. His translation is lucid and deep in its flavour. Without losing the essence of the original he brought out the translation in an exemplary manner using simple and effective language. The work is inspiring and holds the reader`s mind with inquisitiveness to read further. It is lucid in style and flows with beauty of expression. The content is absorbing.

The work begins with an invocation seeking the blessings of all those inspiring Sri Raju to grasp the core essence of Srimad Bhagavata Purana. In his Introduction Sri Raju wonderfully described how Potana got motivated by Lord Sri Ramachandra to translate Bhagavata Purana into Telugu from Sanskrit. It was, however, dedicated to Sri Krishna, a Purna Avatara and a Supreme Lord manifesting himself with all his powers unconcealed unlike other incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

It is not an easy task to bring out expressions from Potana`s verses into English. Sri Raju achieved this because of his devotion to the Lord, sincere self-application and taking up the work as a Tapas. I am sure that this work reaches the hands of many inspiring them to read, understand and cultivate the great ideals of Rishis of yore getting motivated to live as beacons of light to many around their lives.

May Lord Sri Krishna bless one and all!

Hari Om!

Swami Chidrupananda


(i) Potana`s Prayers

Sri Krishna, the lord who is a  saviour of mankind, skilled in showing grace to his devotees, a destroyer of demons, a creator of several universes by  a mere twinkling of his eyes in a playful way and a son of king Nanda and Yasoda is being worshipped to get salvation.

I salute to lord Vighneswara, a recipient of  maternal love of Himagirinandini, a  cleanser of the sins of Kaliyuga, a source of pleasure to his devotees, a  destroyer of impediments  of those worshipping him, a centre of joy through his sweet talk to those praying to him and one who relishes Modakas being seated on a Mooshika Vahana.

I pray by prostrating with devotion to lord Siva, the destroyer of  pride of Manmadha. He  holds a spear in hand, wears a  garland of skulls and  a crescent moon on head, makes the lotus-like face of Parvati blossom like the sun  making the lotuses blossom  and resides in the hearts of  great ascetics like Narada. Engrossed in a playful dance, he is  kind to his devotees like an ocean of grace.

I serve with attention and devotion  lord Brahma, a skillful creator of the universe, a donor of happiness to goddess Saraswati, a codifier of the Vedas, a leader to rescue the Devatas, a conqueror of sins, a saviour of devotees and a well-wisher of ascetics.

Touching the floor with my forehead, I salute with devotion to goddess Saraswati having beautiful black locks of hair and carrying a garland of Rudrakshas, a parrot, a lotus and a book in her hands. Having won the heart of lord Brahma, Oh! goddess Saraswati! You are a mother full of condescension.  I venture to write Bhagavata Purana  in spite of the fact that I do not have the proficiency of any one among Valmiki, Kumara Swamy, Vyasa and Kalidasa, among others. Please grant me adequate competence to fulfill my objective.

I pray to goddess Durga Bhavani to grant me the fortune of a poetic ability of distinction.  She is the mother of all mothers being the primordial mother of the three famous mothers, goddesses Lakshmi. Parvati and Saraswati. She is a destroyer of the demons and is the greatest among the mothers. The Devatas have implicit faith in her and hence she stays in the minds of their mothers. Such a goddess Durga is my mother.

May goddess Lakshmi grant us perennial fortunes! She is the empress of lord Sri Hari, an abode of fortunes, a treasure of wealth and prosperity and a sister of the moon god Chandra. Tender as a flower and comparable to a bunch of lotuses she is the play-mate of goddesses Vani and Sarvani and is being worshipped in all the three Lokas. She is a destroyer of poverty through her effulgent looks.

If lord Siva is not worshipped by one with folded hands, lord Hari`s glory is not sung  in full throat till it is choked, kindness  towards others and righteous living  are not cultivated by one,   giving such a human birth is a curse to  the mother.

(ii) Puranas and Itihasas

Purana is defined as one among a collection of Sanskrit writings not included in the Vedas . Puranas give an account of births  and deeds of Hindu gods as well as of creation and destruction of universe. The literal meaning of a Purana is that which remains perennially new in spite of its ancient origin. Its primary objective is to teach methods of righteous living through a medium of stories. An Itihasa, on the other hand, is an account of historical events which literally happened.

Mahabharata and Ramayana are two famous Itihasas, the latter also being considered to be a Kavya.They are rated to be next only to the Vedas in importance, the Puranas collectively are valued as the fifth Veda. Recent findings established the Puranas, also like Itihasas,to be indispensable sources for establishing authentic Indian history. Puranas are important store-houses to unravel ancient Indian political, religious, social, spiritual and cultural aspects.

In Sanskrit there are eighteen principal Puranas known as Mahapuranas and another eighteen subsidiary Puranas known as Upapuranas. The Mahapuranas are classified into three principal categories based respectively on Siva, Vishnu and Sakti. These originated independently from different pilgrim centers,being places usually heavily crowded and hence amenable for wide publicity.

Vedic literature is difficult to read and understand, a full life-span being inadequate for the purpose for mundane spiritual aspirants. The Puranas provided a suitable milieu as alternatives and hence became popular. It is believed that all the Mahapuranas are written by Vyasa in an easily comprehensible Sanskrit. They function as sources of Dharma and promote  principled living ensuring human enlightenment.

The following lines enable one to remember the names of all the eighteen Mahapuranas :-

Bha-dwayam  ma-dwayam chaiva bhra-trayam  vaa-chatushtayam                                                                                   

Anaapalinga kooskaani puraanaani prachakshate

Bha-dwayam   (two starting with Bha-):  1. Bhagavata Purana, 2. Bhavishyapurana

Ma-dwayam  (two starting with Ma-) :   3. Markandeyapurana , 4 .  Matsyapurana

Bhra-trayam  (three starting with Bhra-) :      5. Bhramhapurana, 6. Bhrahmandapurana , 7 .  Bhrahmavyvartapurana

Vaa-chatushtayam  (four starting with Vi/ Vaa) :   8. Vamanapurana , 9 .  Varahapurana, 10. Vayupurana,, 11 .Vishnupurana

Anaapalinga12. (A) Agnipurana, 13. (Naa) Naradapurana, 14. (Pa) Padmapurana, 15. (Lin) Lingapurana 16.(Ga) Garudapurana

Kooskani : 17. (Koo) Koormapurana and 18. (Ska) Skaandapurana

(“Bha-Bha-Ma-Ma-Bhra-Bhra-Bhra-Va-Va-Va-Vi-Ana-pa-linga-ku-skani” is

another acronym  to remember)

(iii) Bhagavata Purana

Sage Vyasa became Veda Vyasa by classifying the unified  form of Vedas into four parts known as Rigveda, Yajurveda,Sama Veda and Adharvana Veda. In addition, Vyasa  gave the principles of righteous living through his works. Since reading of Vedas was prohibited to some sections of the population in those days, Vyasa was feeling sad that he could not write  something for the benefit of such in their quest for god.

Sage Narada  came to the agitated Vyasa. He praised the divine qualities of Vyasa and wanted to know the reasons for Vyasa`s sorrow.Vyasa in return praised Narada`s qualities  of uninterrupted devotion to the lord motivating others in all parts of the universe to do the same. Since Narada is omniscient Vyasa requested him  to  diagnose the reason for Vyasa`s mental agony and to suggest a remedy.

Narada said  that though the works of Vyasa were eloquent in establishing the different facets of Dharma, there was no mention of the stories of the lord  emphasizing  his divine qualities.That, according to Narada, was the reason for the mental agony of Vyasa. According to Narada no literary work,  however  well- written,  was worth the effort without a mention of the lord.  Narada said that,  on the contrary, even a sub-standard literary work had a sanctifying effect on the reader if it mentioned about the lord. Narada exhorted Vyasa to come out with Bhagavata Purana emphasizing the path of devotion to the lord, praising Hari`s sterling qualities and giving an account of Hari`s incarnations since they were missing in his earlier works. Narada said  that listening, thinking  and meditating about the almighty supplemented by praising the lord and  singing about his glory  were the only  means for human salvation which transcendeds even  proficient learning and rendering  of Vedas,Vedanta and Bhagavatgita.

Being thus provoked by Narada and having realized the importance of inculcating the concept of Bhakti, Vyasa wrote Bhagavata Purana meant for universal good and taught it first to his illustrious son Suka. Being requested by king Parikshit tormented by an impending death by the bite of a serpent Takshaka, sage Suka enabled the king to attain Moksha in seven days through the milieu of listening to Bhagavata Purana recited by him. This account describes the genesis of Bhagavata Purana. The origin of Bhagavata Purana is thus the Veda, an abode of all boons. It is delivered by sage Suka as nectar to be relished by the desirous to attain Moksha which is a merger of the human soul with the almighty. Bhagavata Purana is considered to be the most prominent among the Puranas being equivalent to the entire collection of Upanishads. Attainment of Moksha is easier through a devotional and concentrated study of Bhagavata Purana than by reading the entire gamut of Vedas. It is an established fact that the worldly pleasures are temporary. Moksha is permanent and is the ultimate goal of human birth. It is achieved only through the grace of god. One is qualified to get divine grace only through devotion to god adopting Bhakti, knowledge and renunciation.

(iv) Dasaavataras and Importance of Krishnavatara

The Dasavataras, the ten principal incarnations of the lord Vyshnavism are Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Rama, Parasurama, Krishna, Budha and Kaliki. These are given in the following Sloka :-

Matsyaha kurmo varahasche narasimhasche vamanaha

ramoramasche budhaha kalikirevacha

There is no mention of Krishna in this verse. The reason for this is that Krishna transcends the Trimurtys. He is an embodiment of Parabrahma and is considered to be the primordial form of all Avataras.

The following abbreviation in Telugu enables one to remember the names of the ten incarnations and their serial order :- (Ma-Ku-Va-Na,Va-Ri Pelli-Ki-Ba-Ka) : 1. Ma = Matsya , 2. Ku = Kurma, 3. Va = Varaha, 4. Na = Narasimha , 5.Va = Vamana , 6. (R)i = Rama, 7.(P)elli = Parasurama , 8. (Ki)  = Krishna, 9. (Ba)  = Budha, and 10.  Ka = Kalki. (The abbreviation means in Telugu: Makuvana “Rain for us” and Varipelliki Baka “Trumpet for their marriage”)

(vii) Literary Aspects of Potana`s Bhagavata Purana

Bhagavata Purana remains close to the hearts of Telugu-speaking people, particularly the descriptions of Krishna Leelas due to the fact that these aspects were competently described by Potana in his Bhagavata Purana,  promoting Madhura Bhakti through selection of simple and sweet vocabulary. It has been emphasized in the scriptures of Hindu religion that realization of god can be through paths of Jnana, Karma and Bhakti.The path of Jnana is difficult and is achieved principally by Rishis and that too only in the form of Nirakara or Nirguna Brahma. The path of Karma is also of restricted utility since it is dependent on gender, caste and age of the devotee. The path of Bhakti is capable of transcending all these obstacles since it has been successfully adopted by the learned, common folk, male and female as well as young and old. Through Mathura Bhakti it is easier to get the Akara or Saguna Brahma. Bhagavata Purana has been playing a significant role in propagating the concept of Navavidha Bhakti, the nine established forms of Bhakti.  These are : 1. Sravana (Listening), 2. Sankeertana (Praising), 3. Smarana (Remembering), 4. Paricharya (Praying to lord`s feet), 5. Archana (Worshipping), 6. Vandana (Prostrating), 7. Dasya (Serving), 8. Sakhya (Befriending) and 9. Atma Nivedana (Surrendering). It is the dominance of Mathura Bhakti which distinguishes the Dasama Skandha of Bhagavata Purana from others.

In addition, Potana gave appropriate importance to other Rasas depending upon the context of the work. Even abusive language used by the enemies of Krishna has been dexterously handled  by Potana adopting Vyangya Rachana , giving a double meaning,  without hurting the sentiments of Krishna`s  devotees , himself being one among them.

His work has been embedded with a rhythmic and a meaningful combination of vocabulary to make the readers recite its verses over and over again in a devotional ecstasy. Even today Potana`s Bhagavata Purana is able to influence a large section of Telugu population to imbibe a spiritual thinking, a devotional involvement and a  principled living.

Telugu language seemed to have been in use ever since the commencement of the Christian era. Prominent literary works in Telugu emerged only from the middle of the eleventh century A.D. and the earliest significant work was Mahabharata, a translation from a Sanskrit  work like other works which followed. Consequently, this period of Telugu literature is known as Anuvada Yuga, an era of translation. The mode of translation followed was divided into three types: (i) Swatantra-anuvada or Katha-anuvada, (ii) Bhava-anuvada and (iii) Yatha-tatha-anuvada .The first mode of translation was adopted by the famous Kavitraya, Nannaya, Tikkana and Yerrapragada, in the translation of Mahabharata. Here the translator enjoys the liberty of additions and deletions of the original work adhering at the same time to  the story of the original. In the second type, followed by Srinatha in the translation of Nyshadha, written in Sanskrit by Harsha, the essence of the original is scrupulously reproduced in the translation. The third type followed principally for the translation of dramas is a true reproduction of the original including the usage of the same vocabulary, being a literal counterpart of the one used in the original.

In the translation of Vyasa`s Bhagavata Purana into Telugu,  Potana followed a judicious combination of types one and two being motivated by the Kavitraya as well as by Srinatha . Being a strong devotee of the lord, he elaborated extensively the Bhakti-oriented sequences departing from the original. Potana was a great scholar and a great poet. His Bhagavata Purana contained stanzas spread over all categories of verses of Telugu Chandas such as Kanda, Ataveladi, Tetagiti, Utpala Mala, Champaka Mala, Mattakokila and Seesam.

As mentioned earlier, Potana had a transcendental experience of the appearance of lord Rama exhorting him to translate Bhagavata Purana of Vyasa into Telugu to free himself from the mundane terrestrial bonds to get sanctified. That experience  transformed  the natural poetic proficiency of Potana into an ecstatic state of mind  which resulted in Potana`s version of Bhagavata Purana which makes a studious reader of the work wonder whether at all a human mind can attain  such levels of excellence once again.

By Potana`s time Telugu language blossomed into a sweet and mature mother tongue for Telugu people. The language became a great milieu for lullabies, humour, and abusive vocabulary and for blessings, among others. The language thus became a potential medium for delicate expressions spread over all the Nava Rasas. Potana says that some among the likely readers of his work have a bias for Telugu, while others have a liking for Sanskrit. Potana prefers to adopt a judicious combination of the two languages, a luxury which he could afford because of his proficiency in both the languages. Potana`s Bhagavata Purana contains in totality a higher proportion of words of Sanskrit than of Telugu.

Potana pays homage to Vyasa,Valmiki, Bana, Kalidasa, Mayura, Bharavi and the Kavitraya, among others. A testimony that he read their works was indicated by the fact that his Bhagavata Purana contained occasionally their influence on his style of translation. Potana had descriptive sequences in his work both in poetry and prose and his literary prowess was established by the fact that his descriptions have been exquisitely picturesque.

Potana`s literary prowess is known to be a divine gift. It has been established that Potana`s parents and sister were staunch devotees of lord Siva. Motivated by this family tradition Potana strove at every opportunity in his Bhagavata Purana to establish the indistinguishability of Hari and Hara. At the very threshold of his work in the context of his prayers to the almighty he mentions, as indicated in this write-up earlier, that if one fails to do puja to Hara till the hands are tired and does not sing in praise of Hari till the voice chokes his birth is futile and a curse to his mother .While describing the child-hood pranks of lord Krishna, Potana uses his intuitive literary proficiency to establish a parallelism between the highly contrasting Balakrishna and Siva.

Potana sanctified his life by listening to sacred words from scholars of his time. According to Potana`s philosophy activities devoid of devotion to god are totally futile. Potana`s Bhagavata Purana has been exerting a many-faceted influence on the cultural life of Telugu-speaking people. The stamp of Potana`s Bhagavata Purana is evident on many recent and contemporary literary works in Telugu.

Click here to download Part I of the English Translation of Potana’s Bhagavata Purana (Dasama Skandha)

Disclaimer: This book represents the opinions of Author, and should not be considered a reflection of the views of Andhra Cultural Portal. The author is responsible for ensuring the factual veracity of the content, herein.

Copyright: T.S.B.Narasaraju. All rights reserved. 2017.

Talent: మానస మనస కవితలు

The following Post consists of Poems spotlighting the Cultural Talent of @nasa_manasa.

Along with appreciating the past, it is important to encourage the future. New talent is should be given patronage and their skills shown to the community-at-large. Sometimes it is the refined and scholarly verses of a Vanichandra gaaru, and sometimes it is a fresh voice from a budding poetess.

Today we feature the latter courtesy a young lady named Manasa. Here are her poems in Telugu (with English translation provided by us). Please leave your comments below and encourage this young voice so she may continue to hone her skills in Telugu verse. In the manner of Hala Satavahana’s Gatha Saptasati, she has composed the padhyas below.

మానస మనస కవితలు

ఆమాత్రం చెప్పుకోవద్దు పూలు బాగా కడతాను అని జానెడు జడకోసం గుప్పెడు కడుతుంటే గంపెడు బంతి పూలు పంపారు తోరణాలు అల్లమని

At least I had to admire the floral garland I tie for my hair, for as I was doing so, someone asked me to make a marigold maala for the gate.

“తెలిసేట్టు చెప్పేది సిద్దాంతం తెలియకపొతేనే వేదాంతం.. తెలిసి తెలియక పోతే రాద్ధాంతం..”

Tell as though you know, and it’s science. Tell as if you don’t know, and it’s philosophy. Tell between knowing and not knowing and it’s debate.” Traditional Saametha

మనం అన్ని చెబుతాము , కానీ మనకు అన్ని చెయ్యడం కష్టం కదా….!ఈ జనాలు అర్థం చేసుకోరు…! కొతలంటారూ..!

We say we’ll do everything, but following through on everything is hard. People won’t understand and they say you’re just bluffing.

ప్రపంచం మొత్తం నువ్వు మాత్రమే లేవు, కాని నీలాంటి వాడు ఇంకొకడు వుండడు

In the entire world you’re not the only person, but your type of man is not found anywhere else.

“ని నవ్వు పూలవనం తేనెల్లో తియ్యదనం ని నవ్వు బంగారం మెరిసేటి సింధూరం నను తాకి వెళ్తూంటె మరచాను ఈ లోకం అ నవ్వే సాగింది గోదారి లా కావేరిలా”

“Your laugh is a garden of flowers, it’s the sweetness in honey; your laugh is golden, and your shining vermillion when it touches me, makes me forget the world. Your laugh is like like the flow of the Godavari and Kaveri. ” — mitrudu Rajesh rachana 🙂

ఇ మంచు కురిసే వేళ లో, చెలిగాడి గుప్పిట్లో నేను, వెచ్చదనం కోసం నెనెక్కడకు వెళతా

In these snowy times, she is in her lover’s hand. Where else will she go for warmth…

ఏల ఇతగాడికి ఇంత తొందర… ఈ కన్నె పిల్ల మనసు ను, ఈ సంకోచాన్ని అర్థం చెసుకునేదెన్నడు…

Why is he so hasty? When will he understand my sentiment, and understand why this girl who has come-of-age, reciprocates yet hesitates.

విరిసిన పువ్వు ఎన్నటికి వాడిపోకూదగని అనుకుంటా కాని నలిగితే నెనేమి చెయ్యగలను అందుకే నలిగినపువ్వు వాడలెక దాని వంక చూడటమే మానెసా
కాని దాని పరిమళం ఎక్కడకేళ్లినా నన్ను వదలటంలేదు

We hope the blossoming flower never wilts, but if it wilts what can I do? That is why the wilted flower, which is no longer useful, I no longer even glance at from the corner of my eye.

And yet, the fragrance of this blossom still surrounds me…

ఈ ప్రేమ పెళ్లి విఫలం అయ్యిన ప్రతీ సారి ఒంటరిగా ఇంకొన్నాళ్లు బతుకూ అని అవకాశం ఇచ్చి నట్టు ఉంటుంది

Even if this marriage of love fails, every time I’m alone, I wonder at how it still gives me the opportunity for life.

నేను వెధవని అనుకున్నప్పుడు ఈ ప్రపంచాన్ని చాలా తిట్టుకున్నా, నేను ఒక మనిషిని అనుకున్నాప్పుడు ఈ ప్రపంచం లొ ప్రతిదీ అధ్భుతంగా ఉంది, మీరు కూడా

When I think of all the crude wretches in the world, I curse them terribly. When I think of how I’m a person, I think that everything in this world has a wondrous quality to it, even you…


ముందు క్షణం లో ఎమి అయ్యిందో తెలియాక నన్ను  నేను వెతుకుతున్న ఆ నింగిలో చూస్తే రంగులు కురుస్తున్నాయి

I don’t know what happened in the previous instance, I searched for myself. When I look at the sky, the colours shower themselves.

నేలపై ఉన్నవన్ని నేను గుర్తించని ఆనందంతొ నాట్యం చేస్తున్నాయి

What all there is on this Earth, they dance with happiness.

ఎవరు నన్ను గుర్తించలేదు అన్న భాద

I suffer in the pain of not being recognised by others

నేను ఈ ప్రకృతి లో కలిసి పోయాను అంటూ ఒ సముచిత స్థానం ఇచ్చింది

I have been immersed in this world. Nature has given me a place among its creations

అలా  నేను పయనం మొదలు పెట్టా వారి ఆనందం వినొదిస్థూ

Like so, I began above, and I enjoy their happiness for their own sake.


Disclaimer: This article represents the opinions of the Author, and should not be considered a reflection of the views of the Andhra Cultural Portal. The Author is responsible for ensuring the factual veracity of the content, herein.

Crafts: Kondapalli Toys

Continuing our Series on Arts & Crafts  is the native ancient style of wooden toys known to all Telugus. Appreciated by Andhraite and non-Andhraite , young and old alike is that iconic handicraft we all grew up with: Kondapalli Bommalu.


Kondapalli an important town near Vijayawada, in Krishna District. Meaning ‘village of hills’, it is also a village of toys. 16 kilometres from Bezawada, it is celebrated in story and song for its famous fort, immortalised during the reign of the Reddi Rajulu.

Around 500 years old, if not older, this art is credited to and preserved by a community known as nakarshalu (though by some they also called ‘Arya Kshatriyalu’).

There is reference to this group in the “Brahmanda Purana”. This community claims its origin to Muktharishi, who was endowed with skills in arts and crafts by Lord Shiva. These chitrakaras claim that it was their ancestors who sculpted the numerous sculptures like the garuda, nandi, simha and the vahanas in the many temples in Andhra Pradesh.[2]

 It is claimed that this art was brought by migrants from Rajasthan, though these claims still need to be verified by history. One account lends credence to the theory.

 In the 16th century, Anavema Reddy invited around 10-12 families, all wooden handicrafts specialists from Rajasthan, to his court, says Nageshwar Rao, 37, a toy-maker. “All these families from the Nakarshalu community migrated to Kondapalli.” The Reddy kings, impressed by their skill, patronised the artisans and asked them to stay there forever. [7]


Made primarily from a soft wood known as Tella Poniki, which is found in large numbers around Kondapalli itself, these toys have not only become characteristic of Andhra, but have a number of standout characteristics.

Distinct from their Telugu cousins, Etikoppaka Toys, these Kondapalli carvings carry with them a special significance during Sankranthi and Dasara.  They are displayed in bommalakolavu or kollu. Both vahanas and veritable vigrahas of pauranic figures are depicted and showcased during these festivals. They are used to enshrine and enact the various stories contained in our epics.

Prices of these toys range from Rs. 15 to Rs. 800 and the Corporation is offering 10 per cent discount on the purchase during the expo. [5]

At the high end, many toys even reach 5,000 rupees. Themes from Dasavatara and Hitopadesa are common. Nevertheless, the ambari elephant and the kuchipudi dancers remain the most iconic favourites. And the appeal is universal. These craftsmen have a unique place in the hearts and minds of Telugus, young and old alike.

Equipped with ‘bavudari’, ‘palapa chekka’ and ‘aakurai’, generations of these toymakers have managed to bring a smile on the faces of little kids across the world with their pieces of art. [3]


Unlike most modern toys, Kondapalli bommalu use almost all natural ingredients in the process. Tools come in various shapes and sizes and are developed by the craftsmen.

The wood is treated to a slow heating process to dry its moisture content. The limbs of the toys are carved separately and later joined to the body. The essential carving tools are axe, chisel, hammer and drill. [5]

Glue consisting of tamarind paste, lapum, and sawdust is used to assemble them.

This tamarind paste is called makh. Batana (cooked tamarind seed paste) is then rubbed on it along with resin from the tumma tree.Gold and silver foil used to be added for ornamentation. Although water colours, vegetable dyes, and oil paints are now used, traditional rangulu relied on stones, herbs, various gums and other bases. Even the paint brush comes from goat hairs, demonstrating the stress on organic materials.

Ladies are also an integral part of the process, much of the artistry of these dolls being attributed to their skill with a brush. Finished products are often given a coating of enamel paint to enhance their sheen.


Kondapalli Bomma retains an international reputation and is frequently purchased by tourists during their travels in our region. It received a Government sanctioned Geographical Indication in 2007-2008, thereby crediting this handicraft to Andhra. Despite this accreditation, the future of this iconic tradition remains in question.

Over the centuries, the skill moved beyond the Nakarshalu community, and it is no longer a caste-specific occupation. Members of various communities and castes, including Padmashali, Kamsali, Vishwabrahmin, now work in the Kondapalli toy industry. Records of the Mutually Aided Cooperative Society (MACS), established in 2002 by the artisans, show that in February 2017, of the 229 toy-makers in the village, 107 are men and 122 women. Of these, 53 are Dalits, 128 are from Other Backward Classes, 26 are Muslim, and 22 are from other, landed castes.”  [7]

As with many traditional Arts and Crafts of United Andhra, Kondapalli Toys are also on the brink. The community that preserves this ancient art is finding itself in difficult financial straits. 50 families live in Bommala Colony in Kondapalli, fulfilling large orders on the infrequent occasions they materialise. Dependent upon Lepakshi outlets and various art exhibitions, they require reliable and equitable distribution channels to maintain their livelihood and craft.

At the annual Lepakshi Expo, the turnover is around 3 Lakh rupees. While there are cooperatives supported by Lanco group and various efforts ( such as this and this and this and this) to market these products, society-at-large must come together to help these traditional workers compete with the global market of competitors with products sourced from China and elsewhere.

Though there have been some redesign drives to both update the toys and their relevance to the contemporary market, much more work needs to be done in this regard.

The nouveau riche of Andhra again have an opportunity to step and support these workers and protect our common heritage.

In the olden days, Kondapalli artists received patronage from the local rulers. But today these artisans are neglected due to the advent of mechanised toys. Many artisans have given up their profession and are seeking other lucrative jobs. Though the government is trying to rehabilitate this art form, it is up to us to encourage it. It is our duty to do so. [2]

Click here to Buy Kondapalli Toys Today!!!


  1. Gajrani, S. History, Religion, and Culture of India. Vol 2.Delhi: Isha Books. 2004
  4. 283_1_REGISTRATION_DETAILS_OF_GI_TILL_DATE_March_2012_Till_Date.pdf