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Kanakadasa Jayanti

Kanakadasa Jayanti 2018 and 2019

Kanakadasa Jayanti is a public holiday in the Indian state of Karnataka, where the poet-philosopher-musician Kanaka Dasa once lived and taught. 

YearDateDayHolidayStates
201826 NovMonKanakadasa Jayanti KA
201915 NovFriKanakadasa Jayanti KA
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Kanaka Dasa lived a long hundred-year life, from 1509 to 1609. He was very well educated, and was originally a soldier. But upon getting badly injured at war, he gave up that profession and took to the composition of literature and music. He wrote poetry at a very young age, and much of his work is still very popular today.

But it was Kanaka Dasa’s putting of popular philosophies into the “common man’s language” that gained him great notoriety. He promoted ideas like the ability of every man to “eliminate his ego” and thus attain “salvation”. And he is especially well known for his promotion of the idea of the “universal equality of all men”.

There are many stories about Kanaka Dasa. One relates how he camped outside a temple he was banned from entering based on his caste for weeks on end, composing songs and singing them and cooking his dinner right in front of the temple day after day.