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Yadavabhyudayam – Epic Poem On Sri Krishna By Vedanta Desika

Yadavabhyudayam, an epic poem from South India by Vedanta Desika (1268 – 1369 CE), describes the life and activities of Sri Krishna against the background of the philosophy of Vishishtadvaita, following the general pattern of epic poems (Mahakavyas). The story for Yadavabhyudayam is taken from Vishnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana. 

Vedanta Desika, also known as Venkatanatha, was a great exponent of Visishtadvaita, the philosophical school of qualified monism. The poem, in twenty four cantos, consists of 2,643 verses in diverse meters.

Vedanta Desika takes up each episode in the life of Krishna and gives it a poetic touch with a philosophical interpretation. The sixth canto is devoted to the display of poetic embellishment through the sounds of words. He follows the style of Kalidasa. As the author has a very good command of the language, he is able to change his style to suit the sentiment.

The aerial view of the country is described in the eighteenth canto; the death of Narakasura at the hands of Krishna and His return to Dwaraka are also described in this canto.

Canot V describes the three seasons – summer, the rainy season and the autumnal season.

Canto VI takes up the description of the Govardhana Hill, followed by the lifting up of the hill by Krishna to protect His people in Gokula from torrential rains.

The poem contains stotras in praise of Vishnu and Krishna, about fourteen in number. Krishna slaying of seven bulls to win the hand of Nila is described, following the Tamil tradition found in the works of Alwars.

Radha has been referred to only once in the work.

Appayya Dikshita, the polymath and a votary of Advaita (Monism), has written a lucid commentary on the poem.