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Pingali Surana

Pingali Surana is a poet of the age of Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagar (16th century CE). Pingali Surana belongs to a period called Prabhandha yuga in Telugu kavya literature. The first poem by Surana is Garuda puranam, a translation from Sanskrit, but this work is not extant. His second work was Raghava Pandaviyam (1550 CE). This is described as a dvyarthi kavyam, which indicates two meanings in a single compound. The two stories of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are combined in this single kavya, and each verse therein is capable of two interpretations, one relating to the Ramayana and the other to the Mahabharata. This type of work is possible only in Indian languages with their peculiar ways of agglutination and combination of words and the variety of meanings which many words possess.

Pingai Surana’s Kalapurnodayam (1555 CE) is an allegory. Kalapurna means “the one full of splendor (the full moon)” or “the one full of knowledge”. Surana is the first poet to describe sringara with a psychological basis. It has a deep spiritual purpose, the struggle of humanity towards salvation.

Surana was not only a poet but also a great sculptor and painter. He was also a great citrakavi. Poem 161 is written in Telugu but can also be treated as a Sanskrit shloka at the same time. Poem 172, which is also written in Telugu, resembles a Sanskrit poem if read from the reverse.

Pingali Surana was a poet with a modern outlook, whose dramatic style was unique and the characters lively.