పంచతంత్రం STORIES OF PANCHATANTRA—Mitra Labhamu (Gaining Friends) Ch.5

panchatantramitra

పంచతంత్రం

STORIES OF PANCHATANTRA

IN SIMPLE TELUGU POEMS — TRANSLATION INTO ENGLISH

MITRA LABHAMU- GAINING FRIENDS-Chapter 5

§

[Continuing the Series of Original Poems on the Panchatantra by Chandra gaaru, is Chapter 5 of Mitra Labhamu. Chapters 1 & 2 can be found here, Chapter 3 here, and Chapter 4 here ]

54.
కఛ్ఛపమ్ము బలికె కాకరాజుతొ నిటుల
చూడ మూషికమును చింత తోచు
కారణమ్ము లేక కలత యెటుల యుండు
యనగ కాకి పలికె యౌననుచును! 54
తాత్పర్యము

English: The turtle further said to the crow. “The Mouse King seems to be very unhappy. There must be a reason for his sadness.” The crow agreed it was so and said thus.

55.
యెన్నొ సార్లు నేను యడిగితి యీ ప్రశ్న
విటము చెప్పదాయె విషయ మెపుడు
యనగ విన్న యెలుక యిటుల బలికె సఖ
గాధ చెప్పగాను ఘనము కాదు! 55
తాత్పర్యము

English: The crow said,” I asked this question many a time. But the mouse king never gave an answer about his sorrow.” Hearing this the mouse replied” Oh! Friend! Mine is not such a great story to tell. Anyhow, since you asked again please hear”

56.
మహిలరోప్య మనెడి మండలపు నగరి
తపసి యుండె తారచూడు డంచు
శివుని మందిరము స్థిరనివాసముగ చేసి
బిక్షు వతడు రోజు బిచ్చ మెత్తి
తాను తినుచు తన తోడు నలుగురికి
తినిపించు మిగిలిన తిండి బ్రేమ
చిక్కము పైదాచును చివరకు మిగిలింది
శయనించు హాయిగ శ్రమను మరచి
వాస మచటె యుండు మూషిక మిత్త్రులు
నన్ను చేరి పడిరి నిటుల చింత
తపసి దాచు తిండి తారల నడుమన
తింద మన్న మాకు దొరక దాయె! 56
తాత్పర్యము

English: The King of Mouses further said thus. “There used to live a hermit by name Tara Chaud in a distant town called Mahilaropya. He used to stay in Temple of Lord Shiva and was daily begging for alms. He used to eat a little and donate some to the poor guys who used to keep the Temple clean. The remainder of the food he used to save the remainder of the food in a peg that hanged high.

Some of my relations staying there came to me in sadness and lamented thus. Oh! Lord! The hermit is saving his food high in the air (reaching stars). We are not able to steal the food and eat as we cant reach such heights.”

57.
మరియు యిటుల బలికె మూషిక మిత్రులు
ఎవరి చేత కాదు ఎత్తు ఎగుర
ఎచట కైన నీవు ఎగిరి చేర గలవు
కూడ వచ్చి మాకు కడుపు నింపు! 57
తాత్పర్యము

English: Hiranyaka further told his story thus. “My friends and relations further told me that they were incapacitated to jump such heights and that I was the only one who could reach the food. They urged me to go with them and feed them”

58.
మిత్రు లందరి కూడి ముదమున నే బోతి
యెగిరి యందు కుంటి యతిది పాత్ర
తపసి దాచిన తిండి తృప్తిగ తినుచును
యచటె వాస ముంటి యెన్నియొ దినములు! 58

English: Hiranyaka continued. ” I went to the Hermit’s place accompanied by my friends and relations. At once, I jumped on the vessel containing food and we enjoyed the food that night and many more days to come and we stayed put there permanently.

panchatantramumitra

59.
దాచి నట్టి తిండి తరుగుట కనుగొని
తపసి చీల్చి నట్టి దండము గొని
పాత్ర పైన కొట్టె పలుమారు భయపెట్ట
దండ నీతి మమ్ము తరుము చుండె! 59
తాత్పర్యము

English:

the Hermit one day found that the food he is storing is vanishing on regular basis and kept a watch. Finding us stealing the food, he to took a slit stick and started hitting at the bottom of the vessel making huge noise to scare us away. Scared truly, we did not dare approach the food vessel again.

60.
విడువ డొక్క క్షణము వీక్షించ పాత్రను
సద్దు సేయు చుండె సాధు వెపుడు
వేచి యుంటి మేము వారము మాసము
తపసి విడువ డాయె తొలగ డాయె! 60
తాత్పర్యము

English:

The Hermit never stopped making sound with the stick and never removed his searching eye from the food. We waited for weeks and months but the Hermit was persistent.

61.
గడచి పోవ నిటులె కతిపయ దినములు
యొక్క మిత్రు డొచ్చె యతిని కలువ
సంజె వేళ యతడు చెప్పుచుండె కధలు
తిరిగి వస్తి ననుచు దేశములను! 61
తాత్పర్యము

English:

After passage of few weeks like this, one day one of his friends came to visit him and during the night of his arrival he started narrating the stories of his travels to various nations and places.

62.
మిత్రుడు యాడెడి మాటలు వినకనె
తపసి తట్టుచునుండె తిండి పాత్ర
చెప్పు మాటలు పెడ చెవిన బెట్టెడి నేస్తి
తపసి పోకడ గాంచి తామసమున
యిటుల బలికె కింక యతిధి తపసి జూసి
మిత్రుడనుచు వస్తి మోస కాడ
మోటు తనము తోడ మాట వినవ యేమి
వెడలి పోయెద నేడె వేరె దిక్కు
అతిధి వచ్చు వేళ యాదరముగ పిల్చి
పలుకరించి తగిన పీఠ మీని
మిత్రు విడువ ఎంతొ మేలని పెద్దలు
నీతి చెప్ప నేను నమ్మ నైతి! 62
తాత్పర్యము

English:

Even as the guest was talking the hermit was busily engaged in making sounds with his stick near the food store turning a deaf ear to his friend, The guest, angry at the attitude of the hermit said thus.” You are haughty. You are not at all hearing what I have to say. I will leave today and take shelter somewhere else. I came here thinking you were my friend. But you turned to be a cheat. It was my fault not to have heard the elders say not to enter the place of a host who does not invite you, offer a seat and inquire about your well being.”

63.
మరియు నిటుల బలికె మిత్రుడు కినుకతొ
ధనము మదము నీకు తలకు యెక్కె
నరక మగును నీకు నిశ్చయముగ తెలియు
యెంత తొరగ బోవ యంత మేలు! 63
తాత్పర్యము

English:

The guest further said angrily, ” The possession of wealth has gone to your head. Know that there is hell and you are certain to go there. I am leaving this place immediately for my own good.:

64.
కలత చెంది తపసి కఠిన పలుకులను
చెలుడు పలుక విని చెంత చేరి
చెప్పె యసలు కధ చెలునికి విశదము
నిజము విన్న చెలుడు నెమ్మదించె
యెలుక యుండు నెచటొ యెరుకనె నీకని
యడుగ తపసి చెప్పె యెరుక లేదు
మిత్రు డనియె నంత మూషికు డెంతయొ
దాచి యుండును తిండి దొంగ వోలె
యెంత ధనము యున్న యంత బలము యుండు
యెలుక ఎత్తు ఎగిరె యందు వలనె
జగతి నడుచు రీతి జనమును దోచియె
వినుము గాధ యొకటి వివరముగను! 64
తాత్పర్యము

English:

Hearing his guest speak harsh words, the hermit felt sad and moved closer to him. He told him the entire story of food and the mouse. Hearing this the guest cooled down and asked the hermit if he knew the place where the mouse stayed. the hermit replied in the negative. Then the guest said that the mouse must have accumulated lots of food. that is giving him the energy to jump so high. The ways of world are such that the persons who loot and accumulate wealth are the strongest. The guest then offered to tell a story with this moral.

65.
ఉ: నేనొక విప్రునింటి కడ నిల్చి యభ్యాగతుండనై
పానము యన్నమున్ యడుగ బాపని భార్య మక్కువన్
విప్రవరేణ్య మా కిలలొ వేలుపు మాదిరి వస్తిరీరు మా
యింటనె యన్నపానములు యాదర ముంచియు స్వీకరించుడీ! 65
తాత్పర్యము

English:

I once stood in front of the house of a Brahman and begged for alms. The wife of the Brahman invited me with pleasure and said I came like a God and requested me to stay with them and receive their hospitality.

66.
ఉ: నావుడు బ్రాహ్మణుండటులె నన్ను తనింటి లోపలన్
బూవులు తేవగన్ శివుని పూజలు సేయగ వారికిన్ తగున్
సేవలు సేయగన్ యచటె సమ్మతి సమ్మద ముండిపొమ్మనన్
యావిధి సర్వదా సనువు యాగము సక్రియ సేయుచుండగన్! 66
తాత్పర్యము

English:

Hearing this the Brahman too invited me into his abode and requested me to help in his daily prayers by bringing flowers and other requirements for his daily Yaga and prayers and so I was doing this with pleasure and enjoying their hospitality.

67.
అంత యొక్క దినము యార్యుడు పత్నితొ
యిటుల బలికె నేడు యినుడు దిశను
మార్చి యుత్తర దిశగ మరలుటన్ ధనికులు
దాన మిత్తు రెంతొ తనివి తోడ! 67
తాత్పర్యము

(తనివి= తృప్తి)

English:

One fine morning, the Brahman called his wife and told her that the pious Uttarayana started and that the rich donate alms and gifts to Brahmans and so he is going to the next village to receive such gifts.

68.
పోయి వత్తు నేను పక్క గ్రామము దమకను
తెచ్చు కొనెద వారు ఇచ్చు ధనము
బ్రాహ్మణుడను బిలిచి భోక్తవ్యము నిడుము
కమల ధరుని తలచి కాలు మొక్కు! 68
తాత్పర్యము

English:

“I will go to the next village and come back. In the meantime please call a Brahman and feed him in the name of Sun God.” said the Brahman.

panchatantramu

69.
పడతి చెంత లేవు బియ్యము దినుసులు
కోపమొచ్చి పడతి కస్సు మనెను
కుండ నిండు కొనెను వండెద యే రీతి
కర్మ నాది మిమ్ము కట్టు కొంటి! 69
తాత్పర్యము

English:

As the Brahman Lady had no rice or other items to cook, she became angry and lamented that she did a mistake marrying the poor Brahman.

70.
నొచ్చు కొన్న బాప నెమ్మది బలికెను
అటుల యాడ తగదు మాట మీరి
దేవుడిచ్చి నంతె దక్కును మనలకు
సగము పంచు కున్న సుఖము కలదు! 70
తాత్పర్యము

English:

The Brahman was sad too at his plight and was hurt at his wife’s words but recovered fast and said thus. ” You should not talk in such a harsh tone. Whatever God gives only will remain with us. If we share half of it we shall be blessed”.

71.
ఫలము దక్కు సగము భాగము బంచగ
ధనికు డేమి పొందొ దాన మిచ్చి
పేద వాడు పొందు పంచగ సగ పాలు
పేద ఇంటి గంజి పాయసమ్ము! 71
తాత్పర్యము

English:

If we share half of whatever little we have we will get the God’s blessings. If the rich gives a lot too, such blessing is not available. The poor gets back in kind if he gives half of what he has. The gruel in a poor man’s house is like Nectar.

72.
ఇచ్చు వాని కెపుడు ఇచ్చుట ధర్మము
పిసిని ధనికు జనులు యీస డింత్రు
సంద్ర మందు నీరు సంగ్రహించ రెవరు
బావి నీరు తాగ బ్రీతి మెండు! 72
తాత్పర్యము

English: The man who gives in charity should be helped in need. The miserly rich are shunned by the public. Water in the ocean is never taken by people to drink. But water from well is taken,

73.
అర్హ తెరిగి ఇవ్వ వ్యర్ధ మవదు యేది
ఆశ యెక్కుడైన నాశ మగును
యనగ భార్య యడుగ యది యెటు లనుచును
స్వామి చెప్పె సతికి శాండిలికి కధను! 73

English: If we give to the deserving, it will not be wasted. If a man develops greed he will perish. When the Brahman said so, “How is it so?”. Then the Brahman told her a story in reply.

74.
అడవి పంది పయిన యస్త్రము విసిరెను
విల్లెక్కు బెట్టిన వేట గాడు
గాయ పడిన పంది గర్జించి యురికెను
బోయ ప్రాణము పోయె పంది చేత
పంది కూడ తనదు ప్రాణము వదిలెను
బోయ చేసిన పెను గాయములతొ
జంబుకమ్మొక్కటి జనుచును యాదారి
క్షుద్భాధ పెక్కుడు క్షోభ పెట్ట
బోయ పంది జూసె బాయగ యసువులు
భాగ్యమన్న నాది బాగు బాగు
దొరికె యాహారమ్ము దండిగ యీనాడు
యనుచు తలచి నక్క యాశ చూసె! 74
తాత్పర్యము

A hunter shot his arrow at a boar which was injured. The boar, though injured, jumped on the hunter and killed him on the spot. It too died of the wounds inflicted by the hunter. A fox going that way very hungry and in search of food saw the bodies of the hunter and the boar. It thought in greed that it got plenty of food that day.

75.
దైవ బలము నాకు తోడయె యీనాడు
తృప్తి తీర తినగ దొరికె తిండి
పూర్వ జనమ మందు పరులను సేవించ
ఫలము దక్కు నంద్రు మరు జనమ! 75

English: It said to itself that it was God’s grace that she got plenty of food. Learned say that if one has done all good deeds in the previous births, they will be rewarded in the future births.

76.
వెదుక కుండ దొరికె వెనుక జన్మ ఫలమె
చేయు పుణ్య మొచ్చు జీవి వెంటె
చేసి యుండ నోపు చాల పుణ్యము నేను
విందు దొరికె నేడు వింత కాదె! 76

English: I came across so much of food without any effort. I must have done a lot of good in my previous births, I got a feast now. The good one does follows him for many births.

77.
కొలది కొలది దినెద కూడ బెట్టెద నంత
ధనము యున్న నాడె దాచ నోపు
యనుచు పెద్ద లనిరి యెంతొ ఙ్ఞానులు వారు
వింటి నారి తినెద పంట కొరికి! 77
తాత్పర్యము

English: It again thought that the leaned said that one should save money when it was plenty. I will also eat this food in small quantities daily. For today I will satisfy my hunger with this gut of the bow.

78.
యనుచు జంబుకమ్ము యానందముగ పోయి
వింటి నారి కొరికె పంటి బిగువు తోడ
బిగిసి యున్న నారి తెగివచ్చె వేగమ
నారి ద్దెబ్బ తగిలి నక్క చచ్చె! 78
తాత్పర్యము

English: So thinking the fox tries to snap the gut of the bow with his teeth using all the strength. The gut which was fixed to the bow very tightly snapped with such a speed that it hit the fox on the head and it died instantly.

79.
విప్రు డిట్లు యనియె వింటివ గాధను
యెన్ని దినము లుండు యెపుడు బోవు
ధనము, ఙ్ఞాన మెంత తనవిధి యెటులుండు
కర్త నిర్ణయించు కర్మ ఫలము! 79
తాత్పర్యము

English: The Brahman said. “Did you hear the story?” When does money come and where does it go? Who can predict the fate of his life? Only Lord Brahma decides the Karma and its effects”

80.
నక్క కధను విన్న నాతి యిటుల బల్కె
అర్ధ మయ్యె నాకు యాశ యనగ
యెంత చేటు దెచ్చొ యిచ్చి పుచ్చు కొనుట
భాగ్య మెంత యనగ బోధ పడెను! 80
తాత్పర్యము

English: Hearing the story of the greedy fox the wife of the Brahman said she understood the ill-effects of greed and the pleasure in giving and taking.”

81.
నువ్వు లుండె కొన్ని నాకడ పాతవి
పొట్టు తీసి వాటి రొట్టె సేతు
బ్రాహ్మణుడను బిలిచి భోజనము పెడుదు
బాపడేగె ముదము ప్రక్క గ్రామమునకు! 81

English: “I have with me un-husked sesame seeds with me in the house. I will remove the husk, make a roti and feed a Brahman” said the lady. Hearing this Brahman left to the next village.

82.
పొట్టు తిలలు నాన బెట్టి పొట్టును తీసి
పెట్టె యెండ యందు పడతి బాప
నాయి యొక్క టొచ్చి నాకి పోయె తిలలు
పడతి ఇంట వేరె పనిలొ యుండ! 82
తాత్పర్యము

English: the lady soaked the sesame seeds in water, removed the husk and kept them outside for drying. As she was engaged in household chores, a dog came and licked the seeds.

82.
ఇంతి చింత చెంది ఇటులను యోచించె
కుక్క ముట్టె నువ్వు కార్య మేమి
నువ్వు పప్పు ఇచ్చి నువ్వులు యడిగెద
పప్పు సాటి రాదు పొట్టు నువ్వు! 82

English: seeing what happened, the lady lamented how she could feed the sesame seeds touched by the dog and decided to exchange the husked seeds for un-husked from some one. she thought anyone would be willing to exchange husked seeds for the un-husked ones.

83.
పడతి పోయె పక్క బాపని యింటికి
పప్పు నిత్తు బదులు పొట్టు నువ్వు
నిత్తు రేని యనగ నటులనె బాపత
మగడు వచ్చి వలదు మోస మనియె! 83
తాత్పర్యము

English: The lady went to a neighbor’s house and offered to exchange the husked sesame seeds for un-husked one and the lady of the house gladly accepted the exchange. But her husband, who overheard, prevented her to do so as there must have been some cheating involved.

84.
పప్పు ఇత్తు రెవరు పొట్టు నువ్వు బదులు
మర్మ మెరుగ కుండ మారకమ్మ
విన్న విప్ర వనిత వల్లె యనుచు చెప్పె
కారణమ్ము లేక కదల దేది! 84

English: “Who will give husked seeds for raw seeds unless there is some hidden secret in the exchange? ” said the husband. So, the lady of the house declined the exchange. Without reason, nothing happens nor moves.

85.
అతిధి కధను చెప్పి యతి తోడ ఇంటులనె
మూషికమ్ము ఎగుర మర్మ మెరుగు
దాని కొచ్చె బలము దాచిన తిండితొ
అర్ధ బలము మిన్న యంగ బలము కంటె! 85
తాత్పర్యము

English: The guest told the story to the hermit and said thus. “You should know the hidden reason how the mouse was able to jump so high. It is because of the huge pile of food it saved. Always know that the strength from hidden treasure is greater than strength of one’s limbs.

§

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न कोई किसी का मित्र है और न ही शत्रु, कार्यवश ही लोग मित्र और शत्रु बनते हैं॥

Happy Ugadi (2017)

Happy-Ugadi-2017

From all of us at ACP, in this Hevilambi Nama Samvatsara we wish you a happy and prosperous (Telugu) New Year.  Ugadi Subhakaankshalu!

Ugadi comes from the Sanskrit term Yuga Adi, or new era.

Typical greetings include: Nutana Samvatsara Subhakaankshalu or Ugadi Subhakaankshalu.

Today we celebrate the arrival of the year 5119 (Kali Yuga reckoning), which is named  Hevilambi (last year was Durmukhi), in this 28th Chaturyuga of the 7th Manvantara (Vaivasvata) in Sveta Varaha Kalpa.

Here is our Post from 2014 explaining the Festival and its Traditions in detail.

Ugadi-2017-Pictures

Normally, Ugadi naturally coincides with the Pan-India Yugadi, and notably Gudi Padwa—united Andhra Pradesh’s neighbour to the west, Maharashtra. This year, there was a mild controversy over calendrical dates and the was a 1 day divergence. Here is the explanation.

So whether you celebrated yesterday (along with the rest) or you are enjoying the Utsav today, we wish a happy Hevilambi Samvatsara.

Per tradition, here is the 2017-2017 Hevilambi Samvatsara Panchanga Sravanam.

Thanks to all our loyal and regular readers for your interest, comments, and support. We look forward to another great year of Preserving and Passing on our wonderful common Culture and Tradition.దుర్ముఖి నామ సంవత్సర శుభాకాంకషాలు! Happy Ugadi!

Personalities: Vasantaraya

lakumadevi1
Source: Vasantarajeeya book, via Spandana

Those of you following us on our All-India site, Indic Civilizational Portal, would have seen our article on Vasant Utsav. Well, it just so happens that Andhra had a king who became so identified with the festival, he took his name after it.

The next installment in our Continuing Series on Andhra Personalities is none other than King Kumaragiri Reddi, better known as:  Vasantaraya.

Background

Kumaragiri Reddi (1386-1403 CE) was the son of Anavota I. He succeeded his uncle Anavema after the latter’s highly successful reign as the greatest king of the dynasty. “The Anaparti grant, his earliest extant record, dated in S.1312/1390 A.D., says that he had, by that year, friendly relations with the kings of the north, east, south and west. ” [1, 122] His reign is generally considered to have run from 1386 to 1403,

The family tree of the Reddi dynasty also plays an important part in the fate of the Kingdom. As previously discussed, there were 3 main families that decided its fate: the descendants of Prolaya Vema Reddi, Maacha I, and Kataya Reddi.  Thus we see that “Kumaaragiri’s succession to the throne was not a smooth and peaceful one and that he had to fight for it.” [1,122]

ReddiRajyamGenealogy

The “rival claimants to the throne might have been his cousins, Vema and Maaca, sons of Peda Komati, and grandsons of Maaca I, brother of Prolaya Vema.”[1,123]

Despite being known more as a man of culture and less as a warrior-general, it is said that…

Kumaaragiri fought successful wars with the kings of the west, north and east, that is, probably with Vijayanagar, Raajakonda and Kalinga respectively. [1, 126]

Either way, the meteoric expansion of the Reddi dynasty that occurred under Kataya Vema’s generalship, also led to its later contraction and final division and downfall. The campaigns of this era, therefore, are better attributed to Kataya than Kumaragiri, and should be described under his account, focusing on Vasantaraya today.

Vasantaraya

A man of pleasure, learning, and celebration, Kumaragiri revived the ancient Vasantha Utsavam (spring festival).

There was a great carnival and the King would go to a park specially decorated for Vasant. There would be a pandal for Kama and Rati, Vishnu and Lakshmi, Siva and Sakti, and Sachi and Indra. Perfumes such as camphor, musk, civet, saffron, sandal were used, rosewater was freely sprinkled on people along with water mixed with turmeric. A bamboo water soaker was used (like pichkaris in holi). “The sport included sprinkling and scattering of various powders, coloured and un-coloured, perfumed and non-perfumed, and sandal paste. Camphor pieces and powder were showered on the crowds” [1, 358] People mixed freely and the Reddi kings, especially Karpoora-Vasantharaya, gave it royal grandeur.

He generally left administration to his brother-in-law, Kataya Vema Reddi, to pursue artistic and literary interests.

He was a great lover of music and dance and studied all the old works on dance written by Bharataacaaryas and dance-experts and produced a comprehensive work on that art called Vasantaraajeeya after his own name.  [1,145]

The sanskrit treatise on dance was called Vasantarajeeya as he was called Vasantaraya. A man of art and aesthetics was naturally a great lover of loveliness. He was said to have been enamoured by the narthaki Lakumadevi, who was a stunning beauty. The love story between the two is a touching tragedy, as recounted here, but is nevertheless symbolic of the sacrifice and burdens of ruling a kingdom.

Due to varied attacks from the Bahmanis, Recherlas, and Vijayanagara Emperors, Kumaragiri had many threats to face.  Kumaragiri eventually elevated Kataya Vema to generalissimo.

They were simultaneously attacked by the Gajapatis who were defeated outside of Viharanagari or Kridaad. Vijayanagara also attacked and occupied a portion of the south. Kumaragiri also had to face a rebellion by the Kandukuru branch, and prince Komati Reddi, son of Maacha I occupied territories as far as Tenali in Guntur district. [1, 148]

An invasion by the Bahmanis, under Firuz Shah, threatened the Reddi kingdom in 1398 C.E. “Gajaraavu Tippaa Naayaka, a distinguished noble of the kingdom, appears to have defeated the muslims on the plain outside the town of Kambamumetta and driven them back.” [1,147]

A matrimonial alliance was concluded with Vijayanagara, and Kataya Vema was given Harihara Raya’s daughter (Hariharamba) in marriage. This would have ramifications on the Reddi Kingdom in a few years. Kataya Vema would go on to make conquests in the East and expand the dynasty’s direct rule to Rajamahendri.

As mentioned previously, the campaigns to Bengal are better discussed in future articles. Nevertheless, Kumaragiri’s military commanders such as Kataya Vema and Allaya Reddi are said to have taken Vasantaraya’s banner to central and eastern India. Another name that bears mention is Ariyeti Annamantri (from the family of Musunuri fame). He was appointed governor of the fort of Bendapudi.

Kumaragiri’s only son and viceroy at Rajamahendravaram, Anavota II, died prematurely, some time around the year 1395. He therefore appointed his brother-in-law and prime minister Kaataya Vema the Raajamendri Rajya ruler, out of gratitude for recovering southern territories from Vijayanagara. “This step caused considerable discontent in the country and we cannot call Kumaaragiri’s action exactly wise. Kaataya Vema, always had many bitter opponents in the court. Peda Komati Vema and his supporters had always looked askance at his achievements; and their jealousy and resentment at this signal recognition by their king, of this daring rival of theirs must have been impossible to bear.” [1,146]

This led to an internecine dispute within the dynasty, and Pedda Komati Vema took back the throne for the main line of Reddis and drove away Kumaragiri, who took refuge in Kataya Vema’s court at Rajamahendri. This also led to division of the Reddi kingdom, and courts at Rajamahendravaram and Kondaveedu warred with each other. Kumaragiri Vijayam, rather ironically, marks his reign.

Vasantaraya’s rule ended under his viceroy’s protective care. King Kumaragiri passed away in 1402 C.E., with no heirs.

Achievements

HoliHai

While the Reddi Kings traditionally had reputations as warrior-generals and as defenders of Dharma, King Kumaragiri demonstrated the softer power of culture that they also wielded. If Kataya Vema represented the Vaana (bow) of his reign, Kumaragiri represented the Veena (lute).

Perhaps nothing showed this more than the Vasanta Utsava from which Vasantaraya takes his name. Although this title was also attributed to his predecessor, it is Kumaragiri who truly owned it. The enthusiasm with which he celebrated that festival, rightly earned him the title of Vasantaraaya, which was later embellished to Karpoora-Vasantaraaya by the generous quantities of camphor he scattered among people during this festival. [1, 145]

  • Celebrated and Revived the ancient Spring Festival known as Vasant Utsav
  • Well-read Sanskrit scholar and authority on dance and music
  • Composed a respected Sanskrit text on Dance called Vasantarajeeya (now lost).
  • Brought the Reddi Dynasty to new cultural heights, with not only learned Brahmanas but the Aristocracy and the King himself actively leading literary and musical accomplishment
  • Gave patronage to a large circle of cultural exemplars, such as poet Annaya, son of Pinnaya, son of Manuma Durgasuddhi.
  • Presided over the most widespread, successful campaigning of the Reddi Kingdom, with commanders such as Kataya Vema and Allaya Reddi. Under him, Coastal Andhra arms reached as far as Odisha, Bengal and Jharkhand.
  • Led a building programme which beautified Kondaveedu and constructed many structures such as the grha-raja samjhanam, dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi.

Legacy

Image result for kumaragiri reddy

Kumaragiri’s rule is recorded in the work Kumaragiri Vijayam. From his brave biruda-rahatta (knights-cavaliers) to his love for Lakumadevi to his Vasantarajeeya to his revival of the Vasant Utsava, Vasantaraya’s reign truly represented the noon-tide of the Reddi Rajyam: Romantic Age of Andhra.

King Kumaragiri was freed from burden of ruling & became a lover of music & arts. He was an artist (kalaavan) in every sense. “Vasantaraaya (another name of Kumaaragiri) constructed many pleasure houses (leelagrhaan) with gold and precious stones, a lofty palatial mansion, termed grharaaja-prasada with pinnacles (prasaadam-unnata-sikha griharaaja-samjnam), pleasure-ponds (kreedaasaraamsi) and pleasure-chariots (keli-radhaan), and sported with his beloved women (priyaabhih).” [1,449]

Despite the cultural accomplishment of Vasantaraya, his reign shows the dangers of a king completely outsourcing administrative responsibility to his Prime Minister and other officials. Kataya Vema was a skilled general and brave warrior, but his own ambition for power led to the break up of the Reddi kingdom. The Antar-yuddham or Civil War in which it was plunged in the later part of King Kumaragiri’s reign demonstrated this danger.

The Reddi kingdom split up in 1402 CE, with Pedda Komati Vema taking the throne of Kondaveedu from Kumaragiri, who fled to Rajamahendri. While Kumaragiri nominally ruled, it was Kataya Vema who was the real power behind the throne. It was thus natural that after Kumaragiri’s passing, that Kataya Vema would formalise his bid for power. Despite his loyalty to Kumaragiri, once the way was clear, he would make his own claim to the throne, and the warring of the Reddi kingdoms made the downfall of both inevitable.

In the succeeding decades, Vijayanagara would swallow up Kondaveedu and the Gangas of Odisha would take over Rajamahendravaram. Kumaragiri may not be directly to blame for this outcome, but his reign shows the danger of a king retiring completely from administration and becoming too dependent on ministers, and especially, prime ministers.

Nevertheless, Kumaragiri will remain Vasantaraya in the hearts of Andhras, not only for reviving this great festival, with which he is identified, but for truly making the Reddi Rajyam the Romantic Age of Andhra.

References:

  1. M.Somasekhara Sarma. History of the Reddi Kingdoms.Delhi:Facsimile Publ. 2015.
  2. Rao, P.R. History and Culture of Andhra Pradesh: From the earliest times to 1991. Delhi: Sterling. 1994
  3. http://gloriousindianpast.blogspot.com/2016/01/lakuma-devi.html
  4. Prasad, Durga. History of the Andhras. P.G. Publishers. 1988

Personalities: Anavema Reddi

Diviseema

The next great King of the Reddi Kingdom was in fact the greatest King of the Dynasty. Though most people don’t know much about him today, likely due to the reputation of the royal founder, this Reddi ruler revived the reputation of the Rajyam and greatly expanded it.  The next great Andhra Personality in our Continuing Series is Anavema Reddi.

Before we review his biography, however, it is important to understand the context of his reign.

Background

Anavota (Cir.1353 CE to Cir.1364 CE)

The next ruler after Prolaya Vema was Anavota Reddi —sometimes written as ‘Anapotha’, who ruled from 1353 to 1364. After succeeding his father as King, he shifted the capital from Addanki to Kondaveedu, the city which later became legendary for its “Kondaveeti Raja”. He did this to  protect the kingdom from Vijayanagara expansion. Attacked on all sides (Gangas from the North, Recharlas & Bahmani Alliance from the West, and Vijayanagara from the South, Anavota’s main achievement was keeping the Reddi kingdom together. His minister Mallaya Vema inflicted a crushing defeat on the Bahmanis, who had desecrated the temple of Dhanyavati (after they did the same at Pillalamarri in Telangana). After the victory, Reddi reconsecrated Lord Amaresvara at the Amaravati.

Anavota was highly successful in his Kalinga campaign, and is thought to have gone to the heart of Odisha (it is not known how strong his sway was, but it likely did not last long). On his return he gave a gift of bells to Lord Bhimesvara of Daakshaaram. He was called Veer-Anavota and also improved the port facilities at Motupalli. He gave many agraharas to Brahmanas, and much charity to the populace in general, and established feeding houses and other measures for the welfare of the people. “He strove hard to establish order in the country and to revive the dharma of the land“.[3, 105]

Nevertheless, because Anavota’s son Kumaragiri was still a minor, the latter’s uncle Anavema Reddi, succeeded to the throne. He is considered the greatest King of the Reddi Rajyam.

Anavema (Cir. 1364 CE to Cir.1386 CE)

ReddiRajyamGenealogy

 

Anavema Reddi was the third son of Prolaya Vema. The middle son was Anamacha (who is said to have died young). As such, Anavota’s brother took the throne and revived Reddi Rajyam’s fortunes.

The first thing Anavema did was consolidate his alliances. His brother-in-law Bhimadeva Choda was locked in fratricidal conflict with Choda brother Annadeva. The Reddi king’s first aim was to restore Bhimadeva to Nidadavolu. The need for this was further compounded by pressure in the south from Vijayanagara, so Anavema turned north. He first invested and took the island fortress of Divi. He then followed this up by conquering Niravadyapuri (Nidadavolu), Rajamahendri (Rajahmundry), Pithapuram, and Simhachalam from the Gangas of Odisha. He fought many battles with the Recherla Rachakonda Rajas.

The Wazirabad (Vadapalli) inscription dated to Saka 1299 records one battle in particular between the Recerlas and the Reddis. “This record proves that Anavema scored a decisive victory over the Recerla chiefs, and annexed to the Kondaveedu kingdom, at least a portion of the dominion lying to the north of the Krsna.” [3, 119]. The Boorugugadda inscription in Nalgonda provides further evidence.

Despite his military exploits and strategic acumen, Anavema was also a man of culture. He would be gifted many titles, including one that would later become synonymous with his successor.

Achievements

300px-Krishna_River_Boat_travel_map
The Breaker of Divi

Of all the titles of Anavema in this record, the first that claims our attention is Deevi-durga-vibhaala, the breaker of the fort of Deevi, or Dveepa.”[3, 113]

Anavema was first and foremost a conqueror. His achievements in not only consolidating but expanding the kingdom extended the dynasty’s glory for several generations.

He was called Raajya-ramaaramanee-svarayamvara-labdha-naayaka-saubhaagya, which means one who had the good fortune to be chosen king by the sweet goddess of the state. Thus, he likely was the popular choice of the nobles of the kingdom to restore the fortunes of the Reddi Rajyam. [3, 110]

He protected the Reddi kingdom and re-established its power at a critical juncture. In his Srisailam record, he was referred to as “Saagara-Gautamee-salila-sangama-sakala-jaladurga-saadhana-Raghuraama (a Raghuraama in subduing all the jaladurgas situated at the confluence of the sea and the waters of the Gautamee). Anavema was thus a successull besieger having taken all these water-forts. [3,112]

He was a skilled diplomat, as “Anavema secured, in this campaign, the co-operation of some of the Reddi nobles like Kaataya Reddi II and Maaraya Reddi II, sons of Maaraya I and grandsons of Kaataya I, and Doddaa Reddi and his brothers of the Duvuri family, some of whom were his close relatives. Of these Kaataya Reddi II had the significant title of jaladurgamalla because of his special skill in reducing the jaladurgas.”[3,116] This facilitated Anavema’s conquest of Rajamahendravaram.

Anavema defeated the pillaging and fierce Manne tribal chiefs who made predatory raids on their frontiers. He put and end to their expeditions.

His eastern campaign ended in 1375, and he took the title Simhaachalaadi-Vindhyapaada-pratishtaapita-keerti-stambha, which means one who planted pillars of fame at Simhachalam and other places at the foot of the Vindhyas. [3, 117]

The Borrugugadda inscription marks the western limits of the Reddi kingdom, and signifies the conquests Anavema made in the Recherla territory in Telangana. He is said to have avenged his brother and defeated them. Thus, the Reddi kingdom was enhanced during his reign.

Anavema is said to have taken delight in the company of great poets, and revived many cultural celebrations (later taken to their peak by his successors).

He gave patronage to many learned men and is praised by Vennelakanti Surana (author of Vishnu Puranam) for his generosity and cultivation of learning. His Birudas (cavaliers/knights) protected the nobles of the Panta Reddi clan, and his Naya (political wisdom) protected his people.

Finally, he like his brother Anavota, granted a gift of bells. These gaja-ghantaa were given to the five holy kshetras (panchaaraamas), which are Amaraamaa (Amaravati), Daakshaarama, Ksheeraaraama (Palakol), Kumaaraama (Saamalkot, and Bheemaraama (Gudipudi).

He realised the dreams of his father to bring all of coastal Andhra under one sceptre. His accomplishments are found in the Catu Sanskrit verse which states that:

people got good food, fine clothes, musk, gold & chowries while he was the king of the land“. [3,121]

Legacy

King Anavema was the greatest of the Reddi rulers of Kondaveedu. He came to the throne by the choice of the ministers and nobles of the state at a time when its fortune was at a low ebb. He assumed the title mahaneeya-andhra-desa-pattaabhiseka-samvrta-mahaabhaagya, he who had the great good fortune of being crowned king of the glorious Andhra country‘”.[3,120] He repaired the loss sustained by the kingdom prior to his coronation, and enhanced its glory by his conquests. In his time, the power of Kondaveedu reached its zenith. It extended from Sreesailam to the sea, and from Kandakur to Simhaachalam”[3,120]

The importance of King Anavema, therefore, cannot be minimised.

Anavema was a just and righteous ruler…He was famed for his liberality and munificence. He devoted his wealth chiefly for the encouragement of learned men and gloried in their eloquence and scholarship. [3, 121]

The real pity, of course, is that our artists (amateur and professional alike) have no time to celebrate such great historical figures. Anavema and Prolaya Reddi and Prolaya & Kapaya Musunuri before them, deserve to be memorialised in paintings and sculptures (or at the very least sketches). When you forever take inspiration from the foreign, you forget the importance of remembering the native.

Great men, great kings, and great Andhras like Anavema deserved to be remembered, not only for their military and political achievements, but for the culture and language they helped defend and nourish.

References:

  1. P. Ragunadha Rao. History and Culture of Andhra Pradesh.Sterling: Delhi.18
  2. Prasad, Durga. History of the Andhras. Don Bosco Press: Guntur. 1988
  3. Malampalli, Somasekhara Sarma. History of the Reddi Kingdoms.Delhi:Facsimile Publ. 2015

Personalities: Prolaya Vema Reddi

ProlyaVemaReddi

Those of you following us on twitter would have read our tweets on the Reddi Kings (storified for you here: Reddi Rajyam — Romantic Age of Andhra). This dynasty of rulers has a special place in the heart of Telugus. It was an era of romance, of great kings feuding, and chivalrous knights clashing, and it truly was an age of romantic poetry.

It was the mighty personality of Prolaya Vema Reddi who made this all possible. The title he took is emblematic of the spirit of Andhra he embodied ‘Mlechchhabdi Kumbhodbhava’ (Agastya to the Ocean of the Mlechchhas)“. He proved a successful successor to the Legacy of Saka-pallava-yavana-nisudhana.

Gautamiputra Satakarni of the Satavahana dynasty would similarly defend Andhra when faced with foreign invasions. Both the rulers of Amaravati and Addanki respectively would preside over a cultural flowering as well. While the Satavahanas would become veritable all-India emperors, the Reddi kings of the coast are notable for a different type of emperor they produced—a Kavi Sarvabhauma named Srinatha. And it all began with Prolaya Vema Reddi, one of our Great Andhra Personalities.

Background

Malampalli Somesekhara Sarma garu provides the following etymology for the Reddis. Noting their erstwhile connection with the Rashtrakutas or Rattas, he writes that the term Desati was a form of Desarattodi. This word is found in the copper grants of the Eastern Chalukya king Ammaraja Vijayaditya VI. Rattodi then became Rattadi, Ratti and Raddi. Desarattodi in turn transformed to Desarattadi, Desaratti and Desatti. [3, 56] Reddi nobles are considered to have come from towns like Simhavikramapuri (Nellore), Duvooru, and Gandavaram.

During the rule of the Kakatiya dynasty, Reddis became administrators and even mahasamantas, governing tracts of the Telugu desa. The Kondaveeti Dandakavile and the kaifiyat intimate that Donti was the family name of this particular clan of Reddis, or atleast one of its affiliate branches. They are said to have found a treasure and then migrated to Hanumakonda, the preceding capital of the Kakatiyas.[3, 53] Elsewhere, specifically in the Kasikhandam and Bhimesvara Puranam of Srinatha, we find the surname Desati attached to them. Nevertheless, this family  became influential in the united Andhra desa.

One of the 77 Nayaks of Mahamandalesvara Prataparudra Kakatiya II was Prolaya Reddi (his wife was Annemamba). Prolaya’s father Vema was the Vamsakarta and his grandfather was Kaamabhupa. [3, 48 ] Members of this clan were also noted for their service under the Telugu Chodas of Nellore. This connection would become important when the dynasty rose to power. But it is his son who would become the most famous of the dynasty: Prolaya Vema Reddi, whose leadership ran from 1325-1353.

ReddiRajyamGenealogy
[4, 215]
The Fall of Warangal in 1323 led to terrible consequences. Not only did the Kakatiya dynasty end, but all of united Andhra desa, from Telangana to Rayalaseema to Kosta suffered under the depredations of the Delhi Turks. The Tughluqs committed terrible atrocities, creating the conditions for the successful Andhra Liberation War. While Prolaya Vema Reddi may have revolted as early as 1325, in 1326, a council of Nayaks was convened, and Musunuri Prola Nayaka led the cause, with his cousin Kapaya successfully retaking Warangal just a few short years following its fall. After Andhradesadeesvara, Musunuri Kapaneedu, died in battle at Bhimesvaram, Reddi asserted independence and established his rule in Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore, and Kurnool. Addanki (Ongole District) became his capital, and his kingdom soon stretched from Srisailam and Ahobilam to the borders of Tirupati.

It came into existence as the custodian of Hindu dharma and culture, and to revive the old Vedic traditions and ritual which suffered a death blow and became almost extinct under an alien rule. [3]

Prolaya Vema was the son of Prolaya Reddi, and was among the 75 subordinates of Musunuri Prola and Kapaneedu (Krishna), who successively served as Overlords of the Andhra Nayak Confederacy. Prolaya Vema as the middle of five brothers. His younger brother Malla became ruler of the subordinate branch at Kandakooru. This branch would successfully face off against Alauddin Bahman Shah, who invaded shortly after his reign began. [3, 77]

Malla Reddi, the commander of the Reddi forces drove them away after inflicting a severe defeat on the Bahmani Sultan, Ala-ud-din, and protected the Reddi kingdom. [3, 78]

Malla would go on to conquer the great Kakatiya Port of Motupalli. Prolaya Vema would strengthen his position by giving his daughter in marriage to Choda Bhima (son of Bhaktiraja.”The Reddis regarded themselves as masters of the south-eastern portion of the Kakatiya dominion extending from Srisailam in the Nandikotkur taluk of Kurnool district to the east coast.” [3, 78]This dynasty controlled 84 forts, including the legendary Kondaveedu, along with Vinukonda, Kondapalli, Bellamkonda, and Dharanikota. They also had a famous rivalry with the Recharlas of Rachakonda, traitors of Andhra who betrayed the Musunuri Nayaks and allied with the Bahmanis. While some claim the fall of Krishna Nayak’s prestige led to the Nayaks of Korukonda and the Reddis to declare sovereignty, records from the Reddi kingdom itself tell a different story.

The Kaluvaceru grant of Anitalli, dated Saka 1345 (1423 A.D.) gives a different account of Vema’s assumption of independent rule. It says that Vema, originally one of the seventy five subordinate chiefs of Kapaya Nayaka, began to rule the territory independently only after the death of his overlord. [3, 80]

In any event, the leader of the Panta Reddi clan would thus go on to establish a powerful kingdom that would culturally revive the Andhras of the Coast, and protect them from Turk depredations for a century.

Achievements

A staunch Hindu devoted to Dharma, Prolaya Vema patronised the Hindu religion as well as the Telugu language. After liberating coastal Andhra from the criminal regime of the Tughluq Turks, he restored Agraharas to Brahmanas and re-consecrated Temples desecrated by the Delhi sultans. Prolaya’s patronage extended to the famous Errana (Erra Pragada) who finally completed that masterpiece of Telugu literature, Andhra Mahabharatamu.

A dutiful and considerate ruler, Prolaya was also known for planting trees on the edges of roads and digging wells for the benefit of journeymen.

Kondaveedu

  • Revolted against Delhi Turks. Became one of the Commanders who liberated Andhra
  • Founded the Reddi Kingdom
  • Built or renovated 84 forts according to tradition
  • Constructed the great Fortress of Kondaveedu, which would later serve as capital
  • Gave 44 Agraharas to Brahmins who had been dispossessed by Tughluq Turks
  • Built temples and constructed tanks and replenished treasuries
  • Set up feeding houses and drinking water sheds.
  • He also planted numerous flower and fruit gardens for the public.

Legacy

ReddyRajyam

The Panta clan of Reddis would set up and rule three different kingdoms at Kondaveedu, Rajamahendravaram, and Kandookuru. There were three main families, with Prolaya Vema’s being the senior one, but Allaya Reddi’s (Donti family) and Kataya Vema Reddi‘s also being influential. These would all inter-marry, along with the Suryavamsa Kshatriya family of Choda Bhaktiraja (relations of the once Telugu Choda Kings of Nellore).

Vema ruled his new principality very ably and justly. He strove hard to relieve the brahman and the peasant from their miserable plight and to give them protection and every facility to follow their own pursuits and professions, unmolested by foreign aggression and internal disorders. He thereby rightly earned the title dharmapratishtanaguru, the revered that established the dharma. [3, 87]

He generously spent his resources to give patronage to brahmanas, as they were repositories of knowledge and custodians of Vedic rites and rituals. He is said to have given as many as 44 agraharas during his reign. Such a notable yajamana was he that he was called anavarata-purohita-krta-somapana, one who cause the purohits to take the Soma juice incessantly. [3, 88]

Interestingly, neither he nor his overlord Musunuri Kapaneedu took the traditional Royal title Mahamandalesvara, as the Kakatiyas Kings did, and as the Vijayanagara Emperors did from the beginning. Prolaya Vema Reddi contented himself with the title Srimathu.

Prolaya Vema I had three sons, Anavota I, Anamaacha, and Anavema and two daughters.  One daughter Doddamba, who married Kata Reddi II, and the other daughter married Choda Bhima, who was the son of Bhaktiraja. Anamaacha appears to have died young.

The celebrated poet Erra Pragada himself sketches an image of his patron, Prolaya Vema. The Court Poet of the first Reddi King wrote in his Harivamsam that the ruler was an expert bow-man and a great warrior. Prolaya Vema was humble and god-fearing, and a disciple of Ghodeyaraya Gangeyadeva.

Ghoderaya Gangayadeva

Members of the Ghoderaya family exercised over the Reddi kings much influence as their gurus throughout their political career.” [3, 65]

As spiritual guides and preceptors, the Ghoderayas  would have encouraged the commitment of the Reddi kings to traditional Hindu Dharma, and to the restoration of the ancient Vedic rites and rituals. Gangayadeva was considered an honest and able administrator, who himself undertook many charitable works. Nevertheless, Prolaya Vema Reddi was very much his own man.

Kondaveeti Kota Srimathu

Kondaveedu-Fort

Perhaps nothing embodied the contributions of Prolaya Vema Reddi more than the great fortress of Kondaveedu. Though Addanki was the first capital, Prolaya Vema showed great strategic foresight in recognising the need for strong fortifications from which to resist the murderous attacks of the cavalry archer Turks (Tughluq or Bahmani). Kondaveedu was the stone citadel that would be celebrated by later generations in both story and song. Truly, it was the home of the Kondaveeti Rajas.

Thus, his legacy extends from Addanki to Kondaveedu to Kandukooru to Rajamahendravaram. Coastal Andhra and even parts of Telangana and Rayalaseema saw the force of arms from this Reddi King and his successors. Some accounts assert he successfully campaigned as far as Odisha.

The valuable assistance rendered by his maternal uncles Potaya, Nagaya, and Chittaya, along with that of his brothers, showed the value of family and community unity in forging state unity. [3, 77] Each building block was a force-multiplier to the other (as Shivaji would later show in setting the stage for national unity).

Thus, the legacy of Prolaya Vema Reddi is one that extends from the great Andhra Liberation War, to the establishment of the 100 year Reddi Kingdom of Coastal Andhra, to the Cultural Revival of Andhra. Truly a great personality and a great king.

 

References:

  1. P. Ragunadha Rao. History and Culture of Andhra Pradesh.Sterling: Delhi.18
  2. Prasad, Durga. History of the Andhras. Don Bosco Press: Guntur. 1988
  3. Malampalli, Somasekhara Sarma. History of the Reddi Kingdoms.Delhi:Facsimile Publ. 2015
  4. Chitnis, Krishnaji Nageshrao. Medieval Indian History. New Delhi: Atlantic Publ. p.215