(Last Updated on : 19/01/2011)
Nayaka Gopala II was a Dhrupad
singer belonging to the 15th-16th century. He is believed to be a contemporary of another famous Dhrupad musician, Baiju Bawra. It is held that while he was just and infant, Gopala's mother passed away and he was brought up and initiated into the art of music by Baiju Bawra and Svami Haridasa. When Gopala Lala came of age he was married to the daughter of a painter. Her name was Prabha. She bore him a daughter who was named Mira.
As time went on, Gopala became very deeply involved in his music and went away to Delhi
and later to Kashmir without the permission of his teacher. In Kashmir he quickly attracted the attention of the Maharaja of Kashmir and was appointed musician in the Royal court. A story goes that the Mahraja repeatedly asked Gopala as to who was his master but Gopala concealed the name of his Guru and asserted that his art was a 'divine gift' to him and that he had no Guru.
When Baiju came to know that Gopala had run away to Kashmir and was one of the musicians in the Royal court, he set out for Kashmir in order to meet him, his wife, and daughter with all of whom he was greatly attached. When Baiju reached Kashmir, the news of his musical prowess spread like a wild fire and the Maharaja ordered a musical competition. In this Baiju began his singing with a Dhrupad which was in Raaga Bhimapalasi. It dealt with the vanity of Gopala. Baiju's singing was so moving and effective that the whole audience was overwhelmed with emotion. Gopala Lala became so filled with shame and remorse that he fell on the feet of his guru asking for an apology, and just at this moment his heart failed and he died.'
In the absence of any solid historical statement it is rather difficult to make any kind of definite statement about the life and time of Gopala Nayaka II.
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