There were countless Sujeevis who were blessed by Shree VijayaDasaru and his disciples. One such great soul is Shree ShreedhaVittala Dasaru (1741-1820), who was also very well known as Karjagi Dasaru.
Born to a rich family at a place called Karjagi, situated in today’s Haveri district, he was known as Dasappa in childhood. Being the only son of a wealthy landlord, he lost parents at a tender age, and grew up in a lavish manner. He took up bad deeds such as consuming alcohol, playing cards, smoking, and visiting prostitutes. This continued until he grew up as a smart and handsome young man.
However, unable to tolerate this, his relatives got him married to a lady called Gundamma, who was a SaadhviShiromani. Even after his marriage, he continued his bad practices, but god had his own intentions which he indicated by prompting Shree Jagannatha Dasaru and Shree Pranesha Dasaru to visit Karjagi.
Both, being AparokshaGnanigalu, entered the Karjagi village with a predetermined notion to do the Uddhara of Dasappa. They entered Dasappa’s house to get worshipped by Gundamma. When Dasappa entered the house, he saw a group of Dasaru sitting inside, bowed to them, but went away to pursue his bad deeds. However, Shree Jagannatha Dasaru ordered Gundamma to bring Dasappa to the nearby PanduRanga Vittala temple for that day evening’s DaasaKoota.
As always, Dasappa went away in the evening to the prostitute’s house which left Gundamma in tears. However, the latter who never had crossed her doorsteps, barged into the prostitute’s house to amuse Dasappa. He felt ashamed, followed her to his house, took bath, applied Angara-Akshate, and went to the Vittala temple. That is when Shree Jagannatha Dasaru ordered Shree Pranesha Dasaru to sing a song in favor of Dasappa. The latter then sungಆದದ್ದಾಯಿತು ಇನ್ನಾದರು ಒಳ್ಳೆ ಹಾದಿ ಹಿಡಿಯೊ ಪ್ರಾಣಿ| . This left Dasappa in tears, which in turn, flushed out all his sins.
At the same minute, Shree Jagannatha Dasaru gave Dasappa an ankitha called ShreedhaVittala Dasaru, who then went on to become a famous Haridasa on his generation. A few from the famous compositions of ShreedhaVittala Dasaru are:
It is said the Asthika devotees that ShreedaVittala dasaru took rebirth as Kouthala GuruJagannathaVittala dasaru because the latter once went to Karjagi and unearthed the idols of lord Seetha-Rama-Krishna that were hidden inside the walls. Those idols are still worshipped in the house of GuruJagannatha Dasaru in Kouthala.
Some of the contemporary and great Haridasas of his age are—Shree ShreeshaVittalaDasaru (HundeKara Dasdaru), Shree PraneshaVittalaDasaru, Shree VenkataVittalaDasaru, Shree PrasannaVittalaDasaru, Shree GopathiVittalaDasaru, Shree GnaanamayaVittalaDasaru, Shree AnandamayaVittalaDasaru, Shree Badarayana, Shree SiriVathsankithaVittalaDasaru, Shree TandeJagannathaVittalaDasaru, and the younger brothers of GopalaVittalaDasaru and their massive troop of disciples.
Having done the Uddhara of Sajjanaru, Shree ShreedhaVittalaDasaru, left deha on the Aashada Pratha Ekadashi, in the year 1820AD.
Some of the idols that he worshipped are still available for darshana in Karjagi and Kouthaala. The Vittala temple is still there in Karjagi, 12km from Haveri bus stop in Karnataka. 320km from Bengaluru.