Pingali Suranna

(16th century / Pingali, Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh / India)

Biography of Pingali Suranna

Pingali Suranna poet

Pingali Surana (Telugu: పింగళి సూరన) was a Telugu poet and was one of the Astadiggajas.(asta-dik-gajas) (literally "eight great elephant (Gaja)s which balance the earth on eight directions"-likewise it means that these poets are enough to conquer the poets of world in eight directions with their poetry and knowledge of scriptures) in the court of the king Krishnadevaraya.

Early Life

His exact birthplace is uncertain. He lived in Kanala village near to Nandyal. It is believed that his ancestors were from Pingali village in the Krishna District. According to his works, he is believed to be from a village called Nidumanuri Krishnaraya Samudramu, somewhere in the Kurnool or Nellore districts.

Surana's parents were Abbamamba (mother) and Amarana (father), scholars themselves. Surana dedicated a work to Nandyala Krishna Raju, a subject of the Vijayanagara Empire in Krishna District. It is now settled that he was from Kanala villae, near Nandyala, on Nandyala and Koilakuntla Road. There is his samadhi and also the potter community celebrates his Jayanthi year after year. There is an old oriental High School in Kanala, which is said to be a legacy from Pingali Surana. Surana Saraswatha Sangham, Nandyal is a literary organisation in existence for more than 25 years. Dr. G.Sahadevudu, a practicing doctor, Gottimukkala Subrahmanya Sastri, a retired teacher and Koduri Seshapani Sarma, a retired teacher are the president, the secretary and the joint secretary of the organization respectively.

Literary Works

Surana wrote Garuda Puranam, Prabhavatee Pradyumnamu, Raghava Pandaveeyam and Kalapurnodayamu in 1500 CE. He dedicated Garuda Puranam to his father and Kalapurnodayam to the Nandyal King.

Prabhavati Pradyumnamu has been translated into English as The Demon's Daughter: A Love Story from South India by Velcheru Narayana Rao and David Shulman, and published by SUNY Press in 2006.

Style

Two of his works were revolutionary in Telugu and the first of their kind. Kalapurnodayam is more of a novel than poetry and Raghava Pandaveeyam is in dvayarthi (double meaning) style.

Kalapurnodayamu means full bloom of art. Surana used advanced literary techniques in Indian literature such as flashbacks and character transformation. Coincidentally it was produced around the same time as Shakespeare's As You Like It which contained many of the same literary techniques.

Each poem of Raghava Pandaveeyam references to the stories of Ramayanam or Mahabharatam simultaneously. The entire work is double entendre. His first work Garuda Puranam is in Prabandha style, popular for romantic poems.

Awards and Titles

The critic Cattamanchi Ramalinga Reddy praised Kalapunodayam as the best original book ever written in Telugu.

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