(Last Updated on : 16-02-2013)
Srinatha was a great Telugu poet, who is regarded as one of the most dominant figures of Telugu literature. Srinatha lived from 1365-1440 A.D and popularised the 'Prabandha' style of composition. He was addressed as 'Kavi Sarvabhouma' in Telugu and many kings patronised him. Few of his patron kings are the Kondavidu Reddys, Velamas of Rachakonda and the Deva Raya II of Vijayanagara Empire.
Srinatha was the court poet of the Reddi kings of Kondavidu and was also appointed as the educational Minister in the court of Pedakomati Vemareddy of Kondaveedu. He released his king from the captivity of the Lingamaneni rulers of Devarakanda in return for his literary prowess. Srinatha enjoyed a luxurious life as he composed and dedicated a lot of books to the kings and got their favour. But he lived a very poor life at the end of his life. He was the brother-in-law of another famous Telugu poet Pothana.
Srinatha was also expert in Sanskrit literature along with Telugu. He started writing poetry at an early age. As the Kondavidu kingdom collapsed, he started traveling and visiting the courts of many rulers and participated in numerous poetry contests. He was honoured with 'Kanakabhishekha', which means being bathed with gold coins by Deva Raya II, the Vijayanagar emperor (1422-1446 A.D.). This particular honour is conferred only on scholars and poets of very high caliber.
The 'Salivahana Saptasati' was one of the earliest works of Srinatha, which was a translation from Prakrit to Telugu. But, unfortunately this work is not available now. 'Naishadba Cbaritam, one of the works of Sriharsha'at a later stage was translated by Srinatha. It is a famous and difficult Sanskrit works in Telugu known as ' Sringara Naisadham'. He had a good knowledge on 'Saivism' and it is evident from his translations of Bhimeshvara Puranam and Kashi Kandam, which are all about the sacred places of worship of Siva. Another composition of Srinatha is 'Hara-Vilasamu' which deals with the different stories connected with this deity.
The writings of Srinatha reflect his love for the Andhra country. Few other writings of Srinatha on the subjects of history and mythology include Marutratcharitra, Salivahana Saptasati, Panditaaradhyacharita, Sivaratri Mahatyam, Harivilasa, Bhimakanda, Kashikhandam, Shringara Naishadham, Palanati Veeracharitra, Sringaradipika and Kridabhiramam. He has also written many extempore poems known as the 'Chatuvulu' in Telugu. It is said that Srinatha had broken the drum of Gouda Dimdimabhattu by his conversation. The well-known filmmaker NT Rama Rao has made a bioscope movie on Srinatha.