God is seen facing the main door in any
temple. But in Udipi the temple is different. We see Lord Krishna not
through the main door, but through a window to the side. It is called
‘Kanakana Kindi’ even today. The window through which a Bhakta
called Kanakadas had the Darsan of God.
The guru Vyasarayalu distributed fruits to his disciples and asked them
to eat them secretly without being watched by any one. One covered himself
under a bed sheet and ate, one climbed up a tree, another hid under the
bed and so on. But one disciple came back with the fruit morosely. The
Guru was surprised and asked for the reason. He answered ‘Guruji’?
Please forgive me. I am a sinner. I disobeyed you. I tried my level best
to eat as per your orders, but wherever I went, God was watching me. The
Guru was taken aback by his innocent love for the Almighty. He was no
other than Kanakadas. Such undaunted faith in God made him give a special
darsan to him.
How did he become so great? Was he a devotee from childhood? No!
Let’s go back to the days of Sri Krishna Deva Raya’s times.
There was a chieftain of the soldiers in the king’s court. He was
a shepherd named Birappa. His wife was Buchchamma. They were an ideal
couple and were staunch devotees of Sri Venkateswara. They had no children
for quite sometime, but later were blessed with a male child due to their
continuous pleads to Lord Venkateswara. They named him Timmappa.
Timmappa showed no interest in studies. The father being a soldier himself
made him learn martial arts; he lost his parents at an early age and his
wife too, within a few years of marriage. He was left a lonely soul in
the vast world. People, people everywhere but not a single person to love
Timmappa need not have worried since the Lord himself came to him in his
dream and ordered him to become his disciple. We are pulled miles apart
from the Lord. So even when God comes down to bless us, we are not ready
to accept it. So was the case with Timmappa. He flatly refused to obey
the order. He expressed his desire to enjoy material comforts. Bhakti
and Mukti are not his cup of tea. Lord Adikesava repeatedly appeared before
him in his sleep, but he was adamant.
Once, the enemies attacked their Kingdom and Timmappa had to partake in
it. He displayed his valour well and shattered the soldiers of the opponent.
When he was thus like a lion in the fight, a soldier threw a knife at
him from behind. Timmappa fell down and became unconscious. Even after
he came back to his senses, he could not move due to severe pain. God
felt this as the opportune moment. He appeared before him and put in the
The words ‘Are you hurt Timmappa’ were more hurting than the
real hurt. He did not hesitate to shout at God. ‘Don’t you
have any other work? Why do you pester me like this? I hate Bhakti or
Mukti. When thousands of people are after you for your blessings to be
showered on them, why are you after me?
God explained the reason. Will God’s actions be unreasonable? ‘Timmappa,
you were my devotee in previous Janma. You were a great pundit who served
him wholeheartedly. Due to your ‘Karma Phala’ you weren’t
able to pray to me in this Janma. But now the time is ripe. You pray to
me sincerely and I will bless you.
Timmappa struck a bargain with him ‘OK fine! I will oblige you if
you oblige me. You first relieve me of this physical pain. Then I can
accept that you can relieve me of the physical world. Even as he uttered
the last words, Adikesava Swami relieved him of his pain with a gentle
touch across his body. The gentle touch also tickled the spiritual feeling
in him. Then God vanished.
There was a sea change in Timmappa. The one, who was against God, could
hardly bear his separation from God. He ran to the temple of Adi Kesava
Swami. The doors of the temple were closed. Timmappa wept bitterly. When
He could open the doors of Gnana in me, can’t He open the physical
doors of the temple?’ though Timmappa. His powerful feelings gave
Went to a prayer spontaneously.
Bagilanu tegedu sevenpanu koduhariye
Kugidarudwani kelalillave Narahariye
‘Oh God! You saved Gajaraju from the hands of the crocodile even
as you were in the pleasant company of Sri Devi. You saved Prahlad from
his father’s attack by appearing in a pillar. When you were so kind
to your devotees, why are you so cruel to me? Why don’t you open
the doors for me?’
He cried madly and hit his head against the doors of the temple. Blood
started oozing out but he didn’t stop. God was pleased at his earnestness
and fulfilled his request. The doors opened. The bells rang. Timmappa
had the wonderful Darsan of Lord Adikesava.
Yet another song poured out, this time out of his ecstasy.
‘Eesa ninna charana bhajane aaseeyinda maaduvena
Dosharasi nasagayyo Srisakesava Oh God! I am your slave. Let me breathe
my last breath chanting your name. Let me be born again and again to spread
your name far and wide. His golden faith for Kesava turned him into Kanakadas.
There was a drastic change in him ever since then. The original Timmappa
was mad after material comforts while this Kanakadas was mad after God.
His every thought was centered round God.
One day God told him in his dream to become a disciple of the Guru Vyasaraya
to seek Gnana. Accordingly he went to Hampi to learn from Vyasaraya. Vyasaraya,
though a Guru, was bound by the caste differences. He was not willing
to teach an untouchable, but Kanakadas was not ready to leave him. Unable
to avoid him the guru said ‘you just chant the name of buffalo.’
The disciple had so much faith in him that he was continuously chanting
the word buffalo, in a lonely place. Lord Yama was delighted at his faith
in his Vahana and so appeared before him as a buffalo. He was ready to
fulfill any desire of his, but Kanakadas humbly said, ‘I don’t
have any desire, but my guru may have.’ He took the buffalo to the
The guru was astonished at the situation, but all the same, he did not
want to miss a golden opportunity. So he asked the buffalo to remove a
boulder across the stream. The buffalo fulfilled it and disappeared. It
was named ‘Kanakatruma’. You can see it still near Madanapalli
village in Chittoor district. The guru realized the greatness of Kanakadas
and blessed him with his teachings.
One day Vyasaraya was doing Pooja in his Pooja Mandir. He was decking
God in his heart. He reached a stage where he was supposed to deck God
with a garland of flowers. He was toying with the idea of removing the
crown for garlanding God. Kanakadas as he happened to step in then said,
‘Guruji! The crown is big, whereas the garland is small. Why don’t
you keep it at the feet instead? The Guruji has realized that Kanakadas
has become a blessed soul.
Kanakadas wanted to go on a pilgrimage and have the Darsan of all Gods.
He had bath in many holy rivers. He visited many holy places. Then he
reached Tirumala. The Lord Venkateswara was pleased to see him in his
place. He appeared in the dream of Mahantu of the temple and ordered him
to honour Kanakadas as he was His staunch devotee. But Kanakadas looked
so inconspicuous that the Mahantu could not identify him. Kanakadas lingered
at the main door the whole day, but couldn’t have the Darsan of
As luck would have it, that day the jewelry of the Lord was stolen and
the suspicious eyes turned towards Kanakadas. They felt so because he
was seen loitering there all alone even at night. He was arrested and
was whipped. He fainted. Will God leave his disciple to his fate? He appeared
in the dream of Mahantu again and expressed his anger over him. The man
who was to be honoured was being whipped! Was there any justice? The Mahantu
rushed to Kanakadas, released him, fell before him and pleaded guilty.
He took him to the temple of God and the jewelry of God was very much
there! God was his usual self decked in all jewels! Kanakadas said, ‘Oh
God! Your Leela is unbelievable. I can understand that the episode of
the theft of your jewelry is created by you just to spread my name. He
was moved to tears for God’s concern for him.
Praying to God incessantly he finally reached Udipi to have Krishna’s
Darsan. Just as he was about to step in, the trustees of the temple forbade
his entry since he was an untouchable. He felt his life was a waste if
he couldn’t have the Darsan of the Lord. He pleaded to the trustees
but they fell into deaf ears. His tears only hardened their hearts.
Kanakadas went to the one side of the temple and wept bitterly. The human
beings were like stones but the God in the stone was melted by his tears.
The statue turned from its original place. The statue which was facing
east turned towards Kanakadas. In one word, God took a turn and he had
the Darsan of the disciple who was deprived of his Darsan. Kanakadas joy
knew no bounds. Today disciples see God through the window Kanakadas saw.
It is called ‘Kanakana Kindi’.
Kanakadas lived for 90 years and composed thousands of Keertanas. He constructed
many temples. He became a blessed soul by the blessing of God and he is
an inspiration to many more to lead a life of spirituality like him. God
who appeared before him in his dream turned towards him in his temple!
What other proof do we require for his faith in God or for the powers