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Haribhakti Sara Of Kanakadasa – A Devotional Composition

Haribhakti Sara of Kanakadasa contains 101 stanzas of Bhaminisapadi (six-lined verse). This work extols the greatness of devotion, self surrender and dedication to the supreme God Vishnu. Haribhakti sara means the crux of Krishna devotion. Haribhaktisara advocates the value of bhakti and vairagya – devotion and renunciation – in the spiritual path of a devotee. The poem contains splendid figures of speech, evoking spiritual thoughts and eternal values.

Kanakadasa belonged to the tradition of Haridasa (servant of God) literary movement in Karnataka. Written in simple and spoken Kannada, the composition had universal appeal.
In one of his poems in Haribhakti Sara, Kanakadasa prays: “I am a humble non-entity and you are the donor of the entire world. I am without  any wisdom and you are the all influential Lord, granting mukti (salvation) to the devotee.”

In another poem in Haribhakti Sara Kanakadasa says, “just as the learned ones bring up a young parrot, teach it and pleasingly listen to its gentle words, O Lord, kindly instruct me so that my tongue utters your string of names, and protect me forever.”

The poems in Haribhakti Sara reflect the devotee’s humility and attitude of surrender to the Lord.

Comparing worldly existence to a pantomime, he advises people not to be carried away by hollow honors and pleasures. Each poem of Haribhakti Sara carries a soul-saving message and concludes with a note: “Protect us, O Lord, forever.” It teaches complete surrender to God.