Udupi, Feb 23, 2018 : Well known historian A.V. Navada, a research scholar and an authority on Dasa Sahitya, has said that he has stumbled upon a document that would disprove the common belief that Kanakadasa was denied entry to the Krishna temple in Udupi.
This claim of Navada is based on an article published in German by Hermann Freidrich Mogling (1811-1881), a Christian missionary, in the 1860s.
“The article published by Mogling is a very rare documentary evidence that throws more light on the fact that Kanakadasa was allowed to enter the Krishna temple to have a darshan of Lord Krishna with the intervention of Sri Vadiraja Swamiji,” he told The Hindu.
A V Navada, everybody knew the story of Kanakadasa not being allowed to have a darshan of Krishna as he belonged to a lower caste. After perusing the article, which he got translated to Kannada, he said Mogling had given a detailed account of what had happened (up to the idol of Krishna turning towards west to give a darshan to Kanakadasa) and also further developments.
He states that Mogling has mentioned in detail that before becoming Kanakadasa, he was Veera Nayak, and after losing a battle he became a dasa and began singing hailing Krishna. Later, Lord Krishna’s idol turned because of his bhakti to give a darshan to his devotee. Yet Kanakadasa was not allowed inside the temple. Meanwhile, precious stones from a necklace on the idol began missing one by one much to the chagrin of those in the temple. On coming to know about the developments, Sri Vadiraja Swamiji came to Udupi and made enquiries with Veera Nayak who told him that Krishna himself had given him the precious stones to overcome his hunger.
The goldsmith also admits to having purchased the precious stones by giving Kanakadasa four-and-a-half varahas (gold coins).
“The same day, Sri Vadiraja Swamiji rechristened Veera Nayak as Kanakadasa and asked the archaks that tirtha (holy water) and prasad should be given first to Kanakadasa. When the archaks hesitated, Sri Vadiraja Swamy went inside thesanctum sanctorum and came out with his fists closed and asked the archaks what was there inside. Nobody could guess.
When he asked Kanakadasa, he started singing the song “Eetaneega Vasudevano” (God) and when the swamiji opened his palm, there was Saligrama. After all that, the archaks and Brahmins admitted their guilt and followed the orders of Sri Vadiraja Swamiji,” he said.
“What is pertinent to note is about Mogling’s unbiased documentation of his collection of oral history. Another important aspect was about Sri Vadiraja Swamiji, who had revolutionary vision and magnanimity in ensuring equality,” he points out.