In the 13th century there were many renowned poets like Tikkana and Palkuriki Somanatha. But little is known about the author of Sumathi Sathakam which became widely known in the current educational curriculum. The collection of poems comprised of verses that convey morals to lead a virtuous life. Some are simple, some are majestic and the others were from the poet’s personal wisdom. They were written in mostly understandable Telugu with less interference of Sanskrit terms that any common folk of that era could read.
Sumathi Shthakam was authored by Bhadra Bhupala, widely known as Baddena, a Chola king under the Kakatiya Empire during the wonderful reign of Empress Rudrama Devi. This fact came up due to recent historical studies that these poems attest to the glory of knowledge and how people acted during those days and the language spoken by common folk. With this, Sumathi Shatakam became one of the earliest surviving works of Telugu Language along with Palkuriki Somanatha’s Basava Puranam, Nannaya Bhagavathamu and Tikkana’s writings.
Baddena is a direct disciple of Tikkana in ancient philosophy and literature and well versed in all south Indian languages as well as Sanskrit. But he chose the common tongue of those times which can now be understood. The Poems were written in Kanda Padyam Meter and one of the earliest Telugu Literature to be translated in to European languages. Sir C.P Brown researched them along with Yogi Vemana’s poems that deals with both morality as well as living the God within.
-Viswanath Venkat Dasari.