Poems from ‘Dasarathi Satakam’ – (1)

Srii raghuraama, chaaru tulasiidaLa daama, Samakshamaadi SRM
gaara guNaabhiraama, trijagannuta Souryaramaalalaama, du
rvaara kabaMdha raakshasa viraama, jagajjana kalmashaarNavoe
ttaaraka naama, bhadragiri daaSaradhii, karuNaa payoenidhii!

శ్రీ రఘురామ, చారు తులసీదళ దామ, శమక్షమాది శృం
గార గుణాభిరామ, త్రిజగన్నుత శౌర్యరమాలలామ, దు
ర్వార కబంధ రాక్షస విరామ, జగజ్జన కల్మషార్ణవో
త్తారక నామ, భద్రగిరి దాశరధీ, కరుణా పయోనిధీ! (In Telugu fonts)

Oh Lord Sriram, with the garland of pious tulasi leaves;
Glowing with forgiveness; possessor of bravery praised by
Three worlds; killer of kabandha; protector from evil wills;  
Son of Dasarath staying in Bhadragiri; an ocean of kindness!   
(salutations to You!).

This poem also used to be one of the first few poems that were taught to children of tender age, during the earliest days of their schooling.  This poem is from ‘Dasarathi Satakam’, in fact it is the first poem from that Satakam. This poem is regarded as one of the best of poems in Telugu language that are recited for offering salutations to Lord Sri Rama,  for showering His blessings and extending protection, ever always!

Dasarathi Satakam was composed by Kancharla Gopanna, who was latter came to be better known as Bhakta Ramadasu. He was a resident of a village near Bhadrachalam in Andhra Pradesh (India). This place is also known as Bhadradri and Bhadragiri. He lived during the years 1620 – 1680 and served as Tahasildar (a Revenue collector) for the region (appointed by Akkanna, his uncle who served as the administrative head in the royal court of one of Qutub shahi sultans, Tana-Shah). He was a great devotee of Lord Sri Ram and for constructing a temple for that God in Bhadrachalam, he expended great sums of royal money which was under his custody.  For this lapse, he was promptly punished by the king with imprisonment. Though imprisoned, he would not stop his devotion towards Lord Sri Rama; he praised him with Kirtanas, devotional lyrics of great literary value, which are came to be known as Bhadrachala Ramadasu kirtanalu,  in Telugu language.

In Dasarathi Satakam too, he praises the impeccable and divine personality and the lovable qualities, as an ideal man, of Lord Sri Rama, in poems composed in Prosody meters of easily understandable language, which can be effortlessly by-hearted by children  of 5 or 6 years old and brought to memory for recitation as and when required.

In addition to the meaning of the words in this poem and the feeling of devotion (Bhakti) that is intended in each word,  the flow of words and the repetition of the letter/sound ‘ma’ at certain intervals as per the requirements of the meter in this poem,  is like music  to the ears and hence pleasing to the minds of the listeners as well.

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