Purandara Dāsa (Kannada: ಪುರಂದರ ದಾಸ) (1484–1564) is a prominent composer of Dasa Sahithya, a poetic form of the Madhwa philosophy and one of the chief proponents of the South Indian system of music called the Carnatic Music. In honor of his significant and legendary contributions to Carnatic Music, he is widely referred to as the Pitamaha (lit, “father” or the “grandfather”) of Carnatic Music. He formulated the basic lessons of teaching Carnatic music by structuring graded exercises known as Swaravalis and Alankaras, and at the same time, he introduced the Raga Mayamalavagowla as the first scale to be learnt by beginners in the field – a practice that is being followed till date. He also composed Gitas (simple songs) for novice students.
Purandara Dasa addressed social issues in addition to worship in his compositions, a practice emulated by his younger contemporary, Kanakadasa. Purandara Dasa’s Carnatic music compositions are mostly in Kannada; some are in Sanskrit. He signed his compositions with the ankita (pen name), “Purandara Vittala” (Vittala is one of the incarnations of the Hindu god, Vishnu