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Vaijayanti Vilasamu And Vipranarayana Chaitra

Vaijayanti Vilasamu and Vipranarayana Chaitra are biographies of an Andhra Vaishnava Saint, Vipranarayana. Vaijayanti Vilasamu was written by Sarangu Tammayya. He was the tax collector of Golkonda when Mohammed Qutub Shah was the emperor of Golkonda. As such, he belonged to the 16th century CE. His spiritual teacher was Kandala Appaliacharyulu. He was a Vaishnava poet.

Vaijayanti Vilasamu describes the story of Vipranarayana, better known as Thondaradippodi Alvar, one of the twelve Vaishnavite saints. Tammayya narrates the story of Alvar, basing on well known Vaishnava texts, Garuda Vahana Pandita’s Samskrita Divya Srucaritam and Anantacharya’s Prapannamrutham.

Vipranarayana was a devotee of Ranganatha of Srirangam. He used to worship Ranganatha by offering him flowers of his own garden. One day, Devadevi, a dancer, saw Vipranarayana and tried to attract his attention. But Vipranarayana was indifferent to her overtures. But Devadevi made a vow that she would make Vipranarayana surrender her charms. So, she dressed up as a Vaishnavite and introduced herself as a dancer who had changed her lifestyle after hearing Pingalopakhyana of Srimad Bhagavata.

Vipranarayana believed her. She helped him in looking after his garden and making garlands. One day, when it was raining heavily, Vipranarayana asked her to take shelter in his hut. Vipranarayana fell for her charms and fell in love with her. Once when he had gone to Devadevi’s house, the mother of Devadevi, in view of his poverty, abused him and asked him to quit. Later, on receiving a gold vessel which she presumed was from Vipranarayana, Devadevi’s mother relented.

The archakas (priests) of Sriranganatha’s temple noticed that a golden vessel was missing. They complained to the head priest and to the temple authorities. Meanwhile, the mother of Devadevi asked a goldsmith to test the gold content of the vessel. The goldsmith identified it as belonging to the temple and promptly informed the authorities concerned. Vipranarayana was ordered to leave Srirangam. But the deity himself appeared in the court and established Vipranarayana’s innocence.

Vaijayanti Vilasamu contains four ashvasas (parts). Sarangu Tammaya made some changes in the main story. The first one is a dream episode. A Vaishnavite saint who came to Vipranarayana’s house refused to take food from him because he was childless. But by the grace of Vishnu, who is said to have given him a garland, the wife of Vipranarayana, Lakshmi, became pregnant. The name of the garland was Vaijayanti. So, Tammayya named his book Vaijayanti Vilasamu. The second change is the episode of pingalopakhyana. The third change is Vipranarayana’s decision for dehatyaga (self sacrifice).

Though Sarangu Tammayya described bhakti of Vipranarayana in the first and last asvasas he imparted Sringara Rasa in the later two parts.

Besides Sarangu Tammayya, there were other writers also who wrote Vipranarayana Caritra. Among them are the poets Mallanna, Pidugu Ventakakari, Cakrapuri, Raghavacharya, Vijayaraghava, Uttara Rangakavi, Gaddam Ramadasu, Panuganti Lakshmi Narasimham and Tirupathi Venkatakavulu.