Statue of Palkuriki Somanatha
|Born||Telangana or Karnataka, India|
|Notable works||Basava purana (Telugu), Silasampadane (Kannada), Somanathabhashya (Sanskrit)|
|Noted Kannada poets and writers in Hoysala Empire
|Kavi Kama||12th c.|
|Puligere Somanatha||13th c.|
|Kumara Padmarasa||13th c.|
|Noted Kannada poets and writers in the Seuna Yadava Kingdom
Palkuriki Somanatha was one of the most noted Telugu language writers of the 12th or 13th century. He was also an accomplished writer in the Kannada and Sanskrit languages and penned several classics in those languages. He was a Shaiva (devotee of the Hindu god Shiva) by faith and a follower of the 12th century social reformer Basava and his writings were primarily intended to propagate this faith. He was a well acclaimed Shaiva poet.
Indication that he was not a Shaiva by birth comes from the fact that he mentions the names of his parents in his very first work, Basava Purana, violating a general practice of Shaiva writers who do not mention their real parents but rather consider the god Shiva as the father and his concert Parvati as the mother. However, the scholar Bandaru Tammayya has argued that he was born a Jangama (devotee of the god Shiva). The scholar Seshayya places him in the late 13th to early 14th century and proposes that the writer lived during the reign of Kakatiya king Prataparudra II, whereas the Kannada scholar R. Narasimhacharya dates his writings to the 12th century and claims Somanatha was patronised by Kakatiya king Prataparudra I (1140–1196). His place of birth is uncertain because there is a village by the name Palkuriki in the Warangal district of the Telangana state as well as in the Kannada speaking region (Karnataka).
- Telugu language
Important among his Telugu language writings are the Basava Purana, Panditaradhya charitra, Malamadevipuranamu and Somanatha Stava–in dwipada metre ("couplets"); Anubhavasara, Chennamallu Sisamalu, Vrishadhipa Shataka and Cheturvedasara–in verses; Basavodharana in verses and ragale metre (rhymed couplets in blank verse); and the Basavaragada.
- Kannada language
His contributions to Kannada literature are, the Basavaragada, Basavadhyaragada, Sadgururagada, Silasampadane, Sahasragananama, Pancharantna. Several Vachana and ragale poems are also his contributions to Kannada literature. Somanatha's Telugu Basavapurana was the inspiration for Vijayanagara poet Bhimkavi (c. 1369) who wrote a Kannada book by the same name. Somanatha was the protagonist of a 16th-century Kannada purana ("epic religious text") written by the Vijayanagara poet Tontadarya.
- Sanskrit language
Important among his Sanskrit language writings are the Somanathabhashya, Rudrabhashya, Vrishabhastaka, Basavodharana, Basavashtaka, Basava panchaka, Ashtottara satanama gadya, Panchaprakara gadya and Asharanka gadya.
Works in translation
- Siva's Warriors: The Basava Purana of Palkuriki Somanatha, Tr. by Velcheru Narayana Rao. Princeton Univ Press, 1990. ISBN 0691055912.
- Sahitya Akademi (1992), p. 4133
- "T votaries cry foul over 'neglect' of T contribution to Telugu pride". The Times Of India. 13 March 2011.
- Bandaru Tammayya in Sahitya Akademi (1992), p. 4133
- Seshayya in Sahitya Akademi (1992), p. 4133
- Narasimhacharya (1988), p. 20, p. 68
- Shastri (1955), p. 362
- Shatiya Akademi (1992), p. 4133
- Shastri (1955), p. 362; Shatiya Akademi (1992), p. 4133
- Various (1992) . Encyclopaedia of Indian literature – vol 5. Sahitya Akademi. ISBN 81-260-1221-8.
- Sastri, Nilakanta K. A. (2002) . A history of South India from prehistoric times to the fall of Vijayanagar. New Delhi: Indian Branch, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-560686-8.
- Narasimhacharya, R (1988) . History of Kannada Literature. New Delhi, Madras: Asian Educational Services. ISBN 81-206-0303-6.