Skip to main content

Kaivara Tatayya – About Kaivara Narayanappa - An Outstanding Saint-Poet of Karnataka


Kaivara Tatayya, also known as Kaivara Narayanappa, was an outstanding saint-poet of Karnataka in the 18th Century AD. His utterances known as kalajnana contain predictions on future. Kaivara Narayanappa was a rare yogi who attained self realization through the surrender to God. He followed the path of dharma and preached equality, compassion, kindness and spirituality.

Birth – Childhood – Life

  • Kaivara Narayanappa was born in Kaivara Village in Kollar District, Karnataka, in 1726 AD. His parents were Kondappa and Mudamma.
  • His hereditary vocation of was selling of bangles.
  • He deserted his home to lead and ascetic life.
  • He shunned all forms of publicity and led the life of an ideal recluse.
  • He became an adept in Yoga and lived to the age of 110.
  • He died in 1836.

Kaivara Tatayya Songs and Literary Works

  • He wrote hundreds of devotional songs and didactic verses in Telugu, Kannada and Sanskrit. But he rarely mentioned his name in his literary works.
  • His kritis or song composition too is equally famous. He composed songs on the pattern of the kritis of Saint Tyagaraja.
  • Kalajnana are his future predictions in an ambivalent language.
  • Majority of his literary works are anthologies in verses composed in meters like kanda and Sisa.
  • Most of the compositions are extempore.
  • The works are rich in Vedanta and are filled with popular idioms.
  • The language he used was of the common people.
  • He was also a vehement critic of caste system.
  • He awakened the masses through his social and intellectual ideas, which had a universal theme.
  • He was free of narrow dogma and never used his wisdom to glorify one system of belief over another.
  • He preached detachment, devotion and need to uphold moral values in society.
His important literary works include:
  • Narayana Kavi Shataka
  • Taraka Brahmanda Shataka
  • Nadabrahmananda Shataka
  • Vedanta Sharavali
  • Kalajnana Shataka
  • Brahmanandapuri

Kaivara Tatayya Miracles

  • Kaivara Narayanappa is believed to have performed numerous miracles during his time.
  • He used to amuse children by turning small stone pieces into sugar candies.
  • Small stone used to turn into candies in the mouth of children.
  • He used to make earthen toys fly in air.
  • He used to bring in heavy rains. 

Example of a few typical verses of  Kaivara Tatayya

What a crowd near a toddy pot!
Not a soul is there near the pot of curds
Lo, toddy is held greater than curds
Oh, Lord, Narayana, immersed in ecstasy!

All men are born through the same dirty hole
None there is of noble descent;
To talk of high caste is thus improper
Oh, Lord, Narayana, immersed in ecstasy!

Why do people talk of an outcaste?
In the heart of the outcaste resides
the shining Lord, sporting in one and all!
Oh, Lord, Narayana, immersed in ecstasy!