Errana was a great poet in the court of Prolaya Vemareddy (1325-1353), the founder of Reddy dynasty (1325-1424) of Kondaveedu, who ruled Guntur, Prakasam, Nellooru, and Kurnoolu districts of the state of Andhra Pradesh. Errana was also known as Yellapregada or Errapregada. He was honored with the title Prabandha Parameshwara (the supreme lord of Prabandha).

Errana was born in Gudluru village in Pakanadu and lived in Chadalawada.  He belonged to Srivatsa gotramu and Apastambha sutramu of the Brahmin tribe.  His father was Surana and mother was Potama.  His grandfather was Errapotana whose name was given to him and his grandmother was Perama.  His great-grandparents were Bolana and Polama and his great-great-grandfather was Bhimana.  His family religion was Aradhya Shaivism.  His teacher was Srisankaraswamy, an orthodox Shaiva. Although Errana was a devotee of Lord Shiva and his family was Shaiva family, he worshipped Lord Vishnu also.

The Sanskrit Mahabharatamu was translated into Telugu over a period of several centuries (11th to 14th centuries AD).  Errana was one of the kavitrayamu (the trinity of poets) who translated Mahabharatamu .  The other two poets were Nannaya and Tikkana.  Nannaya translated two and a half parvamulu (books) of Mahabharatamu.  Tikkana translated the remaining books starting from the 4th, leaving the half finished third book, Aranya Parvamu (the Book of Forest), for Errana. Tikkana did not touch this part because it was considered to be inauspicious to translate this book, which was left half-finished by Nannaya.  Errana started the remaining half of the Aranya book with the style of Nannaya and ended it with the style of Tikkana as a bridge between the parts translated by Nannaya and  Tikkana. Just like Nannaya and Tikkana, he used half Sanskrit and half Telugu in his so called Telugu translation of Sanskrit Mahabharatamu.  He translated Harivamsamu and Ramayanamu from Sannskrit and dedicated to king Prolaya Vemareddy.  Nrisimhapuranamu was his own independent work.  Errana got his inspiration for Nrisimhapuranam from his granfather Errapotana.  According to legend, one day when Errana was meditating, his grandfather appeared and advised him to write Nrisimhapuranamu.  This work was based on Brahmandapuranamu and Vishnupuranamu.  

According to Vishnupuranamu, Hiranyakasyapa was a powerful king of Bharatavarsha (the mythological country that encompassed the entire Indian Continet) and was a contemporary of Indra, the king of Ilavritavarsha, also known as Swarga, which was located in the North.  The subjects of Bharatavarsha were called Manavas (the decendants of Manu - humans).  The subjects of Indra were Devata s.  Hiranyakasyapa fought a war with Indra and occupied Ilavritavarsha.  Under the rule of Hiranyakasyapa, most of the Devatas either converted to or disguised as Manavas for the fear of Hiranyakasyapa.  Another contemporary of Hiranyakasyapa was Lord Vishnu, who ruled the land beyond Ilavritavarsha in the ksheerasagar (sea of milk).

Hiranyakasyapa had a son, Prahlada.  For some unknown reason father and son didn't get along very well.  Hiranyakasyapa tortured Prahlada for defying him.  Prahlada ran away and took refuge in the northern kingdom of Lord Vishnu in the Ksheersagar.  However, Hiranyakasyapa gave amnesty to Prahlada, later.  Prahlada returned to the Bharatavarsha and served his father with love and affection.  Soon after, Hiranyakasyapa was killed by a lion during a hunting expedition in the wild.  Prahlada took over as the king of Bharatavarsha.  Vishnupurana, the Sanskrit original, didn't describe how and why Lord Vishnu killed Hiranyakasyapa.  However, Errana introduced Narasimha (lion-man), an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, as the killer of Hiranyakasyapa.

"itani (errrana) soujanyamu muni mUrdhanyamu, ojjalakitaDadigrra, sachcharituDu, nityasoumyamati, dheerottamudu, dharmikatatparuDu, SivachittuDu...." -Sivaramasastri Veluri

Source: "Peethika" (Introduction) by Sivaramasastri Veluri in "Nrisimhapuranamu" by Errana.

(First published in July 2000 and revised in September 2002)

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