Biographical Sketches of Dekkan Poets/Paddibhat

PADDI BHAT.

This poet was by cast a bramin, of the Konicharla family, and native of a village called Parima, in the Ellore district, he flourished in the thirteenth century of Salivahana, during the Reign of Sarvagna Singama Naidu. This poet's life furnishes a striking example to shew, that the powers of the mind may lie dormant for many years, until by some fortuitous concurrence of circumstances their energies are brought into action, for in the earlier part of his life, Paddi Bhat was so dull at his learning, that he was universally thought to be a mere blockhead, and his memory was so bad, that he forgot in the evenings every syllable of what he had learnt in the morning. This state of stupidity in our poet continued, till he was thirty years of age, at which time (it is related of him that) he was one day sitting in his house, pouring over a Sanscrit book, and could not con his lesson for the life of him, notwithstanding all his endeavours; his sister-in-law, who was close to him pounding rice, burst out into a loud laugh at his vain labour, and looking archly at him, exclaimed in the Sanscrit dialect "Musalah Kesalayate," my pestle will bud," by which she implied, that the pestle she held in her hand, would blossom before her brother-in-law would be able to learn Sancrit. Stung to the quick at the reproach and mockery of a woman, Paddi Bhat hastened out of the house, and made the best of his way to a man in the neighbourhood, who was esteemed as a prophet, and to whom the poet's elder brother, by name Mallinath ministered: he took up bis abode with this holy man for some time, and it so happened, that one day Mallinath went home, and left his brother with the prophet before mentioned, who it is said, was taken suddenly ill, and found the pains of death coming on him. He anxiously called out for Mallinath, who being absent, his brother Paddi Bhat answered the sage, and came to his presence. The prophet vomited into his hands, and it is said, that Paddi Bhat by eating this vomit, became immediately inspired with a prophetic spirit, and possessed of scientific knowledge of every kind. Mallinath returned, and finding his master dead, and that his brother had received from the deceased sage, the gift of prophecy and knowledge, was quite inconsolable and uttered imprecations on his brother, because he bad forestalled him, and obtained a promise from him, that he would not compose any original work in his own name, but that he might write as many commentaries as he pleased. After this, Paddi Bhat wrote several commentaries, and five poems, entitled "Pancha Kavya, and Nishidham" a poetical history of Nala, and numerous comments on several difficult texts. He then made a tour to several holy places, and went to the Court of Sarvagna Singamaned, where he exhibited his poetical powers, and was dismissed from the Court of that monarch after receiving valuable presents.— Paddi Bhat constantly employed his pen in making commentaries on difficult works, but as no mention is made in any of his books o£ the number of expositions he wrote, no judgment can now be formed of the extent of them: those that have survived the destruction of time, are much esteemed by the learned. This poet died in. the sixty-second year of his age. His elder brother Mallinath composed a work entitled Mallinatheya, which consisted of one thousand verses that hear a double interpretation, and was much admired in all the Telugu provinces, the death of this, poet took place during the life time of his brother.


LAKSHMANA KAVI.

This poet was a Smarta Bramin of the Varanasi tribe, and a native of Bandar Sircar, he was the son of Venkatesa Kavi and lived in the fifteenth ceutury of Salivahana. In early life he