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Uddanda Sastri – Author Of Kokila Sandesa

Uddanda Sastri was one of the eminent poets in the court of King Manavikrama of Kozhikode in North Kerala during the 15th century CE. He is the author of the famous literary work known as Kokila Sandesa. Uddanda Sastri was held in high esteem by the scholarly world of Kerala of his time.

The original name of Uddanda Sastri was Irugapanatha. Uddanda was a title bestowed on him later. He hailed from Latapura, a well known village then in present day Tamil Nadu. Highly enterprising and versatile as a youth, Uddanda traveled extensively, seeking literary patronage. King Manavikrama of Kozhikode received him cordially and retained him for several years as an honored member of his court. He travelled all over Kerala, visiting temples and making scholarly contacts

The famous literary works of Uddanda Sastri are Kokila Sandesha, a high-flown lyrical poem, and the drama Mallika Marutam in ten acts. A third work, Swatimuktam, in fifty verses, eulogizes Princes Swati of the kingdom of Purali in central Kerala. A number of stray verses are also attributed to him.

A story stating the defeat of Uddanda at the hands of a boy is widespread. In the disputations at the court of the king, Uddanda, the master of several philosophical disciplines, used to win more honors than the local Nampoothiri scholars, who were general y mono-disciplined. In order to defeat Uddanda Sastri, the Nambudiris contrived to give food consecrated with Vedic mantras to a pregnant lady, who as a result, gave birth to a precious child endowed with a sharp intellect and a prodigious memory. The boy was named Damodara Bhatta and the Nambudiris instructed the boy in all disciplines. As a result, by the age of 12, the boy became a skilled debater. At an annual debated he defeated Uddanda Sastri, thus fulfilling the expectations of the local Nambudiris.

Source – notes taken from Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume XI page 12 - IHRF








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