Biographical Sketches of Dekkan Poets/Potiah


This poet was a bramin, and a native of Kakambari, which is an Agrahar, situated on the banks of the Godaveri, and which was granted to certain bramins, by Mukanti; the place was in the district of Rajamahendri, in the Telugu country. Potiah was the son of Singiah, and had three brothers, whose names are Singiah, Komaraswami, aod Anamiah. He studied the Telugu language in his infancy, and as at the age of eighteen, he was a perfect master of the dialect; he learnt Sanscrit and read through several poems, such as Magha, Bohoja, Champu,and many others. In due time, he obtained a complete knowledge of Sanscrit, and in the year of Salivahana, 1388, he composed a voluminous work, which he entitled "Prasunga Ratna Vali" which being interpreted means,"a necklace of the gems of discourse." The subjects were taken from different ancient texts, which he embodied and treated after his own manner. This work comprised eighty three books, which were placed in the following order. 1. On Elocution. 2. Praise of different Gods. 3. On the ten Incarnation. 4. On the holy city Kasi. 5. Dialogue between Uma and Maheswar. 6. Domestic Matters. 7. On the four Ages. 8. On the Vipras or hermits. 9. On language. 10. On Prosody. 11. On Friendship. 12. On fortune. 13. On the Well disposed. 14. On the wicked. 15. On people of evil propensities. 16. On useful animals, 17. On Ethics. 18. On rejected phrases. 19. Rules for moral conduct. 20. On Love. 21. On Mendicity. 22. On Envy. 23. On Luxury. 24. On the different modes of genuflexion and prostration 35. On the means of acquiring riches. 36. How to obtain good sons. 27. Description of an ignorant and profligate son. 28. On wealth. 29. On indigence. 30. On alms, deeds. 31. On Justice. 32. On Gratitude. 33. On the choice of places. 34. On the choice of time and persons. 35. On the treatment of guests and hospitality 36. Description of inspired maniaca 37. On future regards and punishments. 38. On Infidelity. 39. On Covetousness. 40. On morality. 41. On twenty different prime qualities. 43. On resignation from Secular affairs 43. On resuming donations. 44. On the three praise-worthy actions of a king. 45. On History and other texts. 46. On Eighteen books of the Mahabarat 47. On the fifty-six Dasums. 48. On the Seventy two influences. 49. On the Sixty-four Sciences. 50. On the five attributes of Sovereigns. 61. On the duties of a King's prime-minister. 53. On the uses of the areca nut. 54. On Vegetables. 55. On truth. 56. On the qualities and propensities, of females. 57. On Chastity. 58. On the concremation of Widows. 59. On Benevolence. 60. On Hypocrisy. 61. On Salutations at the courts of monarchs. 62. On Manuel Labor. 63. On the anatomy of the female body. 64. On the Limbs of women and their ornaments. 65. On the breasts of females. 66. On the Passions of Women. 67. On Sexual intercourse, 68. On the performance of ablution after menses. 69. On Adultery. 70. On Polite conversation. 71. On Casts. 72. Description of the Morning and Evening. 73. Description of the rising Moon. 74. On the defects of the Moon. 75. On the valor and fame of different celebrated Kings. 76. On Polished versification. 77. Description of the Six Seasons. 78. On verses of Occult Signification. 79. On verses of plain and evident interpretation. 80. Description of the Sixteen degrees of the light of the moon. 81. On the Classifications of the female Sex. 82. On the duties of a Writer.

Potiah dedicated this laborious work to the God Iswar, after this, the poet established a school, where the Sanscrit and vernacular dialects were taught to numerous students. His leisure hours this poet devoted to reading and the composition of didactic pieces, which being circulated among the literati of the Telugu country, were very highly extolled for their harmony and moral tendency. Potiah derived but little increase of fortune from his works, although they were much esteemed at the Courts of different Kings and Princes. He died at the age of sixty-five, leaving behind him several children to perpetuate his name.