Nannaya BhaTTu

By the year 955 AD, the Andhra kingdom with the capital city as ‘Vengi’ was being ruled by a king named Ammaraja (the Second), who belonged to the Chalukya lineage of kings. This king Ammaraja (the second) had one stepbrother by name daanaarnava, who was always trying to overthrow him and occupy the throne, with the help of the RaashTrakuuTa kings, with whom he had been in good terms. In the year 973 AD, this daanaarnava was killed by the Chola king JaTaachoeDa Bhiima, an enemy to RaashTrakuuTa kings.

King daanaarnava had two sons – Shaktivarman and Vimalaaditya.  After the death of daanaarnava and occupation of Vengi throne by the Chola king JaTaachoeDa Bhiima, they temporarily leave the Vengi kingdom for a brief period and might have spent their lives in hiding or under the protection of the neighboring Kalinga kings.

By the year 985 AD, Chola king Raaja Raaja Chola came to power. He was a kind hearted, virtuous man that he gave back the Vengi kingdom to Shaktivarman and Vimalaaditya.  Not only that, he even got his daughter married to Vimalaaditya. By the year 1002 AD, the Vengi kingdom came completely under the sway and power of these two Chalukya kings, Shaktivarman and Vimalaaditya. Shaktivarman ruled up to the year 1010 AD. The coronation of the king Vimalaaditya to the Vengi throne was held in the year 1011 AD.

King Vimalaaditya ruled up to the year 1019 AD.  He had to sons; one from the daughter of the Chola King Raaja Raaja chola and the other from his second wife (who belonged to the RaashTrakuuTa lineage) by name Raaja Raaja Narendra and Vijayaaditya, respectively.

After the death of king Vimalaaditya, Raaja Raaja Narendra became the king to Vengi kingdom.  But he was never allowed to settle peacefully nor rule comfortably, by his step brother, Vijayaaditya as a result of which Raaja Raaja Narendra used to constantly request and get help from the Chola kings in protecting his authority on Vengi kingdom.  As Raaja Raaja Narendra happened to be his sister’s son, the Chola king Rajendra Chola also took it upon himself to always help his nephew Raaja Raaja Narendra in defending  and ascertaining the latter’s authority on Vengi.  The coronation ceremony of King Raaja Raaja Narendra to the kingdom of Vengi was held on 22nd August of  1022 AD.

During most part of the Raaja Raaja Narendra’s rule, the place known as BejawaDa used to be the capital city for the Vengi kingdom. Because of its geographical nearness to the KarnaTaka kingdom, it was time and again came into attack by the army of the KarnaTaka king, none other than his step-brother, King Vijayaaditya. This made Raaja Raaja Narendra to think prudently and change his capital city to a new place, by constructing a new city on the northern bank of river Godavari, with name Rajamahendravaram.  He shifted to the new city in the year 1951 AD

Thus, a somewhat, peaceful period in Raaja Raaja Narendra’s life began from the year 1951 AD only and probably this was the year in which Raaja Raaja Narendra might have requested his friend, philosopher and guide, Nannaya BhaTTu, to write the Sanskrit MahaabhaarataM in Telugu.  This peaceful period lasted up to the year 1063 AD.

This is the brief history that preceded the birth of MahaabhaarataM in Telugu language in the able authorship of Nannaya BhaaTTu.

***

Nothing much is known about Nannaya BhaTTu  But by the way he described himself in the famous poem ‘tana kulabraahmaNu nanuraktu….’, Nannaya was the resident priest who advised Raaja Raaja Narendra in conducting auspicious ceremonies, he was a traditionally devout person who always followed the accepted and decided ways of prayer systems, he was expert in linguistics, he was well read in the BramhaaMDa etc., puraaNa-s , he followed the methods laid down by the Rishi aapastambha, he belonged to the mudgaLa gotra (‘gotra’ a group of household – in a particular caste – amongst which marriage is prohibited since by relation they become brothers and sisters to each other), he was the one who knew all the intricacies of way of life on this earth, he was expert in both the languages ie., Sanskrit and Telugu, he was the one who always talked truth, he was the one who tutored by Amaraadhipa aachaarya.

This apart, Nannaya BhaTTu had a child-hood friend by name NaaraayaNa BhaTTu. This NaaraayaNa BhaTTu was expert in Sanskrit, Prakrit, KarnaaTaka, PaiSaachi (a variant of Prakrit language) and Andhra was capable of writing great poetic works in all these five languages.  Apart from this he was a relative of one vaaNasa madhusuudhanayya who was the principle Minister to the ChaLukya kings, who ruled from the adjoining KarnaaTaka land, and because of this was in a position to wield sufficient influence with the kings of KarnaTaka of that period.

(under updation)

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