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Saturday, December 20, 2014

YOGI VEMANA - A TELUGU PHILOSOPHER AND POET

Yogi Vemana
Yogi Vemana
His small verses in vernacular Telugu are so popular in Andhra Pradesh, India.  They are simply not poems but are snippets of wisdom.

Being a proud Andhraite, it is my bounden duty to introduce great people of Andhra to my blogger world.  Though somebody might have written about him, the story from different minds come in different hues.

Being  spiritual means wake up to the reality of life.  For some people, it comes instantly and for some others, it is a treacherous path. There is an adage in Telugu that a 'bhogi is bound to become yogi'  in course of time.   Vemana's life is a journey from 'bhogi' to 'Yogi'.

Vemana originally known as Kumaragiri Vema Reddy was the third and youngest son of Gaddam Vema, the then king of Kondaveedu in present-day Andhra Pradesh.  Much of the credit for bringing  Vemana's literature to light goes to Britisher C.P. Brown who estimated the year of his birth as 1652 AD based on some of his verses.  Some other sources say, he was born in 15th or 16/17the centuries.

His poems contain four lines and the last line is his signature line ' Viswadhaabhi Raam, Vinura Vema.  A large section of his poems are part of present high school curriculum in Andhra Pradesh.   There is a University in his name in Kadapa city, Andhra Pradesh called 'Yogi Vemana University' established in 2006.

One website : telugubasha.net has thrown much light on Vemana stating that there is a headstone marking the grave of Yogi Vemana in Kataru Palli, a village in Kadiri Taluk, Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh.  It is further stated that Vemana died in this village.  Being a Yogi, he was buried and not cremated.

The popularity of Vemana in the cultural life of Andhra Pradesh can be emanated from the fact that two feature films were made on Vemana, one in 1947, directed by Kadiri Venkata Reddy and other in 1988, directed by C.S. Rao.

Those who want to read Indian Thought or cream of Vedas/ Upanishads, they could turn to C.P. Brown's translations of Vemana poems, as they are available as free resources at the given below link :
http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/vov/

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