In the world of Telugu ‘chaaTu’ poetry, VemulavaaDa Bhimakavi’s is a very big name. He belonged to the 11th century AD. As the belief and legend goes, he was blessed with the incredible power of the phenomenon called ‘Saapaanugraha paTuvu’ , which means he was capable of cursing or praising with the power of his words i.e., the words when spoken in extreme emotions of hurt or pleasing happiness, the meaning of the words always came physically true and could be seen happening before the mortal eye. He was, therefore, always feared, respected by even the kings of his time, whose royal courts he visited during his lifetime.
In one of his ‘chaaTu’ poems, he even clearly mentioned this ‘gift of God’ to him which can well make an interesting introductory poem which says much about his capabilities as the one poet of ‘Saapaanugraha paTuvu’ . The poem reads as under –
raapaaDeDi kavula netti raMpaM banagaa
bhuupaala sabhala puujyuDa
naa pearea bhiimuDaMDru naravara vinumaa!
రాపాడెడి కవుల నెత్తి రంపం బనగా
భూపాల సభల పూజ్యుడ
నా పేరే భీముడండ్రు నరవర వినుమా!
Being capable of showering glories and curses alike
Known for being like a saw on the heads of bad poets
I am well honored by all kings in their royal courts
My name is Bhima, Oh blessed of men, listen well now!
This ‘chaaTu’ poem proves that during his lifetime he was used to visit the royal courts of kings of neighboring lands and used to participate in the highly specialized arguments on topics concerning poetic art of his time, which he nevertheless used to win at the end. His limitless knowledge in this area, his capabilities as a great poet always made him a tormentor for the opponent poets due to which they shivered at the mere mention of his name.
The above ‘chaaTu’ poem also suggests that during his lifetime he traveled wide and visited many a royal court. Evidence in the other ‘chaaTu’ poems he told also suggest that he visited the royal courts of ChaaLukya Chokka Bhuupati, Saagi Poetaraaju, TeluMgaadhiiSuDu, Mailama BhiimuDu and Nalla siddiraaju and got well honored by them.