Tenali Ramakrishna, The Humorous Poet

Tenali Ramakrishna, The Humorous Poet:

tenali ramakrishna

Tenali Ramakrishna is popularly known as Tenali Rama and Vikata Kavi. He was a court poet of the Vijaya Nagar Empire in the 16th century CE during the Krishnadevaraya period. The Vijaya Nagar Empire has a prominent place in Indian History and flourished India’s culture and heritage. Sri Krishna Deva Rayalu, the great ruler of the Vijaya Nagar Kingdom, has transformed his regime into a Golden Era in Indian History. Tenali Ramakrishna was one of the Ashtadiggajas patrons of Krishna Deva Raya. The Historians believe there is a lot of similarity between Akbar – Birbal and Krishnadeva Rayalu – Ramalinga.

The Ashtadiggajas in Krishnadevaraya Court:

Astadiggajas is the collective title given to the eight Telugu poets in the court of the emperor Sri Krishnadevaraya. During his reign, Telugu literature and culture peaked in Telugu literature history. The age of Astadiggajas, also called Prabhanda Age (1540 AD to 1600). All of the Astadiggajalu had composed at least one Prabandha Kavyamu. The Astadiggajas were (1) Allasani Peddana, (2) Nandi Thimmana, (3) Madayyagari Mallana, (4) Dhurjati, (5) Ayyalaraju Ramambhadrudu, (6) Pingali Surana, (7) Ramarajabhushanudu, and (8) Tenali Ramakrishnudu.
Differences in research

tenali ramakrishna

Though the above list of eight poets is widely regarded as the Ashtadiggajas, there are some differences of opinion as to who exactly constituted the Ashtadiggajas and if the composition of this body changed over time. Some literary works mention the name of BhattuMurthi in place of Ramarajabhushanudu, and some accounts say Pingali Surana and Tenali Ramakrishna as members of the later kings. From the stone inscriptions of that time, it has been inferred that the village of Thippalur in the present-day Cuddapah district has been gifted to the Ashtadiggajas by the king.

Biography of Tenali Ramakrishna:

Tenali Ramakrishna born in Tumuluru near Tenali in Guntur District. Tenali is an essential town in coastal Andhra Pradesh, famous as ‘Andhra Paris’. He also called in Vijayanagara Court Tenali Ramalinga because he came from Tenali. Ramalinga is a Shaiva name; some believe he later converted to Vaishnavism.
Some Scholars and Historians dispute that he was a contemporary of Krishna Deva Rayalu because Tenali Ramakrishna dedicated his most famous work, Panduranga Mahatyam, to Krishna Deva Rayalu’s grandson. He is known for his wit and a large volume of poetry written in the Telugu language.

Tenali Ramakrishna works:

Tenali Ramakrishna wrote many books among Panduranga Mahatyam as one among the Pancha Kavyas, the five great books of Telugu Literature. He had dedicated Panduranga Mahatyam to Viruri Vedadri. The book’s theme concerns the Pundarika Kshetram on river Bhaimi and its legend. His other book Udbhataradhya Charitram on the story of Udbhata, the story of a monk. Another one, Ghatikachala Mahatyam, is about the History and glory of Ghatikachalam, a place of worship for God Narasimha near Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.

Writing Skills of Tenali Ramakrishna:

tenali ramakrishna

He wrote his books in Prabhanda style. He adopted the theme for Panduranga Mahatyam from the Skanda Purana and elaborated it with many stories about the devotees of God Vittala. His style and performance were brilliant, and his wit made the other poets and personalities admire him. His other creative work concerns a famous character called Nigama Sarma akka and a story revolving around her without giving her a name. He is also renowned for ‘kata kavi’, which means clown-jester-poet.

Ramalinga wrote books, impressed the king with his wit activities, and protected the Kingdom; according to some records of History, according to one famous story, Ramalinga saved the Vijaya Nagar Empire from getting into the clutches of Delhi Sultans through his timely wit interlaced with a perfect strategy.
There are many famous stories between Krishnadevarayalu and Tenali Ramakrishna. These spread the message of intellect, time tuning, and strategic stroking besides lively wit and humour.