Krishnadevaraya’s Amuktamalyada is a very beautiful poem written in Telugu.
Included in the 5 best works in Telugu literature, Amyuktamalyada has great spiritual and lingual significance.
The literal translation of Amuktamalyada means ‘The Giver of the Worn Garlands’.
This book entirely features The Only Female Azhwar, Srimati Andal Devi.
It is said that Krishnadevraya the king of Vijaynagar wrote this book after getting a dream of Sri Andhra Maha Vishnu.
But before we discuss the story behind this great epic and put down some amazing facts, we should know more about Krishnadevraya’s s character and his great Rule in the kingdom of Vijaynagar.
The Great Rule of Krishnadevaraya
Krishnadevaraya was the king of the Vijaynagar empire.
He was from the Tuluva dynasty and his reign dated between 1509-1530.
He had defeated the Sultans of Bijapur, Golconda, the Bahmani Sultanate and the Gajapati Kingdom of Orissa.
Along with being a great warrior, Raya was also a great Sanskrit poet.
Due to his great valour and patriotism, all Kannada, Telugu and Sanskrit poets, hailed him in various works.
He was not only a valourous king, administrator or poet but his devotion was also divine.
Because of his piety, he got the inspiration to write great poetry like Madalasa Charita, Satyavedu Parinaya, Rasamanjari and Jambavati Kalyana.
He had got titles like Kannada Rajya Rama Ramana, Andhra Bhoja, and Mooru Rayara Ganda.
Also, Krishnadevaraya was known for his capabilities to choose right and patriotic men for his kingdom.
His decision-making capabilities were spotless.
Some of his trusted associates who were virtuous and contributed a whole lot ot the kingdom were titled Astadiggajalu
They are: Allasani Peddana, Nandi Thimmana, Madayyagari Mallana, Dhurjati, Ayyala-raju Rama-Bhadrudu, Pingali Surana, Ramaraja Bhushanudu and Tenali Rama Krishna.
How Krishnadevaraya wrote Amuktamalyada?
Once, Krishnadevaraya was travelling through Vijayawada during his Kalinga expedition.
He had just been successful in conquering Vijayawada, Kondapali and the surrounding places.
It is then when he hears about the holy temple of Andhra Viṣhṇu.
So, he decided to visit the Srikakulam village.
He performed an Ekadasi Vratam during that period.
Observing the fast of Vishnu’s Day, in the fourth and last watch of that God’s night, it is said that Krishnadevaraya got a dream of Sri Andhra Maha Vishnu on the banks of river Krishna.
Mystical Dream of Krishnadevaraya
In his dream, Krishndevraya describes the form of the Lord.
He says: “ The Lord’s body is far superior to the sheen of the black clouds.
His eyes can easily destroy the pride of the Lotus petals.
Moreover, His finely woven clothes are much superior to the golden glowing brightness of Garuda.
The great Lord bears the Kaustubha that shine brighter than thousands of suns put together.
A beautiful lotus in one hand and the other hand in a blessing posture, the Lord stands beside my Enchanting Mother Laxmi.
Now, the Lord instructs me with a delicate smile and a graceful voice.
The Lord of the 3 worlds says: “Compose a poem on My marriage with Andal at Srirangam. Compose a poem for Me, in the Telugu language.”
On hearing His words, a question cropped up in my mind.
So, I asked Him: “Why should I write the poem in Telugu.”
What the Lord replied next, is a matter of Pride for the Telugus.
The Lord Of Andhra Replied “Teluga dēla yenna dēśambu delugēnu telugu vallabhuṇḍa telugokaṇḍa yella nr̥pulu goluva nerugavē bāsāḍi dēśabhāṣalandu telugu les’sa”.
Meaning ” You ask, why Telugu?
It is because this is a Telugu country and I am a Telugu king (Andhara Vishnu).
Telugu is sweet.
After speaking with all the kings who serve you, didn’t you realize that amongst all the languages in the country, Telugu is the best! “.
People of South India call Krishnadevaraya a Telugu and Kannada King.
But Andhara Vishnu refers Himself as only a Telugu King.
He calls Himself Telugu Vallabhunḍ and addresses Krishnadevaraya as Kannaḍa Rāya or the Kannad king.
Why Krishnadevaraya wrote on Andal?
This Poem of Krishnadevaraya (Amuktamalyada) describes Andal as the wearer and giver of garlands.
He feels for Andal like a younger brother and describes her as his Akka (elder sister).
This poem highlights the Mood of Separation or Viraha from the beloved (Lord Sri Vishnu).
It represents the anguish experienced by Srimati Andal.
Amuktamalyada is special not just because Krishnadevaraya glorifies and describes Andal.
But, because he also teaches and gives us details on how an ideal king should follow dharma.
There is an emphasis given to the principles and duties of a king, towards the nation as well as towards his subjects.
He also shares views, thoughts and ideas on the description of villages, cities, towns, people, their lives, their dresses etc.
In short, it is extremely descriptive and engaging for devotees who do Manas Smaranam.
Contents of Amuktamalyada
The first chapter of this epic describes the father of Andal, Vishnuchitta (Periyalvar).
His mind always occupies the thought of Lord Sri Vishnu.
Periyalwar had the capability to bind the Lord in his mind, while his lips would continuously chant the holy name of Lord Sri Vishnu.
His attitude towards his wife is like that of a caring husband, who respects her household work.
He used to cook and lend a helping hand as he could never bear to see his wife’s dark eyes water, due to the kitchen smoke.
It also covers why Vishnuchitta went to Madurai, the identity of Goda Devi (Andal), and the beauty of Andal.
Now, the next chapter of Amuktamalyada talks about how Vishnuchitta received Mahavishnu’s gift in the form of Srimati Andal.
Finally, it ends with the chapter on marriage, the marriage of Andal and Andhara Maha Vishnu.
Interesting Facts about Andhra Maha Vishnu
Andhra Maha Vishnu temple is the abode of Sri Andhra Maha Vishnu.
He is even called Srikakula Andhra Maha Vishnu.
This deity holds the Shankha in the right hand and the Chakra on the Left.
Usually, Lord Vishnu’s Deity holds the Shankha on the Left and Chakra on the Right.
As mentioned before, Andhra Mahavishnu had a special place for King Krishnadevaraya in His heart.
So, in this temple you will find an altar dedicated to the idol of King Krishnadevaraya.
Thanks for reading!