Dictionary Of Hindu Religion | Sketches
Kanak Daas : This story is about of a profound Krishn Bhakt Kanak Daas. Kanak Daas' given name was Thimmappaa Naayak. He was born in a very low caste called Krubaa whose job was to graze sheep, in a small village called Bodaa in Dhaarwaar District. He was the contemporary of Shri Vaadi Raja Teerth and another famous poet of Karnaatak Purandar Dasar. His father was Byrappa, although he was born as a shepherd but was one of the chiefs of a small group of soldiers of Krishn Dev Rayar and his mother's name was Buchammaa. Both of them were ardent devotees of Tirupati Thimmappaa called Venkateshwar Swamy, so they named their son as Thimmappaa.
From early age itself Thimmappaa had no interest in studies and wanted to become a soldier like his father. Unfortunately, he lost his parents when he was very young, and no one liked him in the village since he was an atheist, Thimmappa was very sad. One day Krishn came in his dream and said that He loved Thimmappaa very much and hence to become his devotee. Thimmappaa refused to obey Lord's words and was after material interests and hence joined the Army like his father. Here he had the opportunity to show his valor, but alas one day a soldier threw a sword at his back and Thimmappaa was in great pains. Again, Krishn appeared before him in dreams and asked him whether he was in pains for which Thimmappaa answered in an arrogant manner as to why He was pestering him again and again for which Lord told that in previous birth Thimmappaa was his ardent devotee and hence asked him to become his devotee again, for which Thimmappaa answered - "You relieve me from this pain and I would become your devotee". Next morning Thimmappaa found to his surprise that not only his pain was gone but even his wound had also disappeared.
This brought a great
change in Thimmappaa who was an atheist. He became a strong believer of Krishn.
Being an ardent devotee of Krishn, he started writing many songs on Krishn like
Purandar Daas. It is said that once Thimmappaa went to a Temple of Krishn and
saw the temple doors closed. He sang one such song: "Oh God! You saved the
Elephant from the crocodile even as you were enjoying the company of Shree Devee.
You saved Prahlaad from his father's attack by appearing from a pillar. When you
were so kind to your devotees, why are you so cruel to me? Why don't you open the
doors for me?" It is said that immediately the Temple door was opened for
the Darshan of Venkateshwar Swamy. Thus he became a wandering sage and wherever
he went, he wrote songs and sang before the deity. He also went to Uduppi to have
Darshan of Uduppi Krishn. This Temple was in the hands of
Madhwaa Brahman. Being born in a low caste he was forbidden to go inside the
Temple by the Head priest. However, he wanted to have Darshan of Uduppi Krishn
which was installed by HH Madhwaachaarya himself. Madhwaa's followers consider
him an Avataar of Bheem."
Madhwaachaarya gave the control of this Temple to 8 Math called "Asht Math" which are "Pejavara, Puttige, Palimaru, Adamaru, Sodhe, Kaniyooru, Shirur, and Krishnapur". Even today it is controlled by them only although the Government took over the control for name sake.
A few words about Uduppi Krishn -
As per folklore; once there was a storm in the sea at Malpe (it is seaport of Mangalore). Shree Madhwaachaarya was on the shore at the time and saw a ship which was in trouble. He helped the ship to reach the shore safely, by waving his Ang Vastra (worn cloth). The sailors were very grateful to him and were prepared to give him whatever he chose from the ship. Madhwaachaarya told the captain of the ship that he was a saint and did not want anything from them. However, when they insisted him to take some thing as a gift, Aachaarya took a mud roll as a gift. When the mud roll was opened, to his surprise, he saw two Vigraha (idols or Moorti) in it. The Vigraha were of the Krishn and Balaraam. He performed the installation ceremony of Balaraam's Vigraha near Malpe. This Temple is known as Vadabhandeshwar. He brought the other Vigraha - of Krishn, Uduppi and performed its installation there. This temple is known as Krishn Math or the Temple of Krishn of Uduppi. Here this deity is as powerful as the deity at Guruvaayur of Tirupati.
Although there is no clear proof as to how Thimmappaa's name changed to Kanak Daas; but as per one story he came to be called Kanak Nayak as he found a treasure-trove of gold, which he distributed among the poor. From that day he was called as Kanak Daas. Since he was forbidden to enter the Temple, he stood outside the Temple and started weeping . Immediately there was an earthquake and a crack appeared on the wall of the Temple .The idol of Krishn which was facing east till that time, turned to west where the crack appeared. This place, through which Kanak Daas viewed Krishn's image became famous as Kankan Kindee. Even now all pilgrims have Darshan of the Lord through this opening. Even the eight Mathaadhipati in turn go to this Temple to take charge at the time of Paryaaya, and go in procession to this window. It is only after looking at the icon through this window that they enter the shrine.
If we ask the Madhwa Braahman head priests they would say Lord facing west is not new. But the legends say for the sake of Bhakt Kanak Daas, the image turned to west which was facing initially the east.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 11/09/12