Kadapa, Rayalaseema,Andhra Pradesh
|Died||Katarupalli Village, Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh|
|Occupation||Achala Yogi, Poet, Social Reformer|
Pidepala Pulla, popularly known as Vemana, was born in Kadapa. He was a major Telugu philosopher and poet in Telugu. His poems are known for their use of simple language and native idioms. They discuss the subjects of yoga, wisdom and morality. He is popularly called Yogi Vemana, in recognition of his success in the path of Yoga.
Early life and background
There is no consensus among scholars about the period in which Vemana lived. C.P. Brown, known for his research on Vemana, estimates his year of birth to be 1652 based on some of his verses. Various sources say he was born in the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Vemana was from a peasant community. Brown says this was the Hindu Reddy community. Once they join the Jangam sect they give up their previous caste and family appellation and are usually called by the name of their sect alone.
Vemana was the third and youngest son of Gaddam Vema, then the king of Kondaveedu in present-day Andhra Pradesh. He was named Vema after his father. But some researchers suggest that this could be wrong.
There is a headstone marking the grave of Yogi Vemana in kataru palli (Kadiri Town), a village in Kadiri Taluk, Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh. It is believed widely that Vemana died in this village. Being a Yogi, he was buried and not cremated.
Many lines of yogi Vemana's poems are now colloquial phrases of the Telugu language. They end with the signature line Viswadaabhi Raama Vinura Vema, literally Beloved of Vishwada, listen Vema. There are many interpretations of what the last line signifies.
Vemana's poems were collected and published by Brown in the 19th century. His poems are of many kinds, social, moral, satirical and mystic nature. Most of them are in Ataveladi (dancing lady) meter.
- Yogi Vemana is a 1947 Telugu film directed by Kadiri Venkata Reddy and starring Chittor V. Nagaiah.
- Yogi Vemana is again made as Telugu film in 1988 directed by C. S. Rao and starring Vijayachander.
- Jackson, William Joseph (2004). Vijayanagara voices: exploring South Indian history and Hindu literature. Ashgate Publishing. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-7546-3950-3.
- Brown, C.P. (1829). Verse of Vemana: Translated from the Telugu.