Last updated

Sadananda Sagar

(1944-05-11)11 May 1944
Died5 January 2006(2006-01-05) (aged 61)
Bangalore, India
(m. 1967)
Children3 [2]

Sadananda Sagar (11 May 1944 – 5 January 2006), better known by his stage name Vajramuni, was an Indian actor who appeared in Kannada films. [3] [4] He portrayed negative characters during most of his career and was considered one of Kannada cinema's finest actors. [5] Over his career, he came to be known for his "thundering voice and sterling performance[s]" that earned him the epithets, Nata Bhairava and Nata Bhayankara. [6]


Vajramuni began his career as a stage actor and gained popularity with his portrayal of Ravana in Kanagal Prabhakar Shastri's play Prachanda Ravana. He made his film debut in 1969 with Puttanna Kanagal's Mallammana Pavada . His pairing with Rajkumar, with the latter as the lead, in the 1970s came to be widely appreciated, with films such as Sipayi Ramu (1972), Sampathige Savaal (1974), Premada Kanike (1976), Bahaddur Gandu (1976), Giri Kanye (1977) and Shankar Guru (1978). [6] Recognizing his contribution to Kannada cinema, he was awarded the Lifetime Contribution to Kannada Cinema Award in 2006.

Early life

Vajramuni was born as Sadananda Sagar on 11 May 1944 in the Kanakanapalya, a locality in the Jayanagar neighbourhood of Bangalore, into a Vokkaliga family. He was named after the Hindu deity Vajramuneshwara, that members of his family were devotees of. [7] They belonged to the cattle-rearing Hallikar community. [8] Vajramuni's ancestors were given land grants and made custodians of the village of Anjanapura (in present-day Bangalore Urban district) by the then Maharaja of Mysore, and the family had settled there since. [9] Vajramuni was the eldest of seven children. [1] His father R. Vajrappa (d. 1986) was a politician and served as a corporator in Bangalore for four terms between 1958 and 1968. [8] Politician and educationist Dayananda Sagar (1922–1982) [10] was his uncle. [11]


Vajramuni was a college dropout and held a degree in cinematography. A product of the Kannada amateur theatre, he performed regularly in the mid-1960s for Gubbi Veeranna's theatre company among others. He impressed Puttanna Kanagal with his performance as Ravana in Kanagal Prabhakar Shastri's play Prachanda Ravana who offered Vajramuni a role in the film Saavira Mettilu. The film however got shelved, but was completed by K. S. L. Swamy and released in 2006. Kanagal eventually cast him in Mallammana Pavada (1969), which would become Vajramuni's first release. Producers insisted that Udaykumar would be a better choice to match to Shivaji Ganeshan who played the role in the Tamil version, but Puttanna insisted that it had to be Vajramuni. [12] He went on to cast Vajramuni again in Gejje Pooje (1969). Impressed by his performances in these two films, director S. Siddalingaiah cast him in his 1971 film, Thayi Devaru . [13]

Vajramuni acted in a number of films such as Mayura , Sampathige Saval , Daari Tappida Maga , Premada Kanike , Giri Kanye , Shankar Guru and Aakasmika with Rajkumar. [14]

Personal life

Vajramuni was married to Lakshmi, daughter of a family friend, on 28 May 1967. During the time, he worked as a caretaker of the family's sawmill while also performing on stage. They had three sons together. [1]

Vajramuni's health condition worsened starting 1998 when he began suffering from kidney-related illness. Deteriorating health due multiple diseases including chronic diabetes led to his death at 5:30 a.m. (IST) on 5 January 2006, at a private hospital in Bangalore. [5] [15] His grandson is a child actor and has appeared in the television series, Uge Uge Maadeshwara. [9]

Partial filmography


Karnataka State Film Awards


  1. He played one character with two names.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Puttanna Kanagal</span> Indian filmmaker

Shubraveshti Ramaswamiah Seetharama Sharma, known popularly as S. R. Puttanna Kanagal, was an Indian filmmaker known for his work in Kannada cinema. He is often considered one of Kannada cinema's most influential filmmakers.

Bungle Shama Rao Dwarakanath, known by stage name Dwarakish, was an Indian actor, comedian, director and producer who predominantly worked in Kannada cinema in addition to few Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films. Starting his career as a supporting actor in Veera Sankalpa (1964) and co-producer for the film Mamatheya Madilu in 1966, Dwarakish went on to work over five decades in cinema. He debuted as a director with the film Nee Bareda Kadambari (1985).

<i>Mallammana Pavaada</i> 1969 Indian film

Mallammana Pavaada is a 1969 Kannada film, directed by Puttanna Kanagal. This was the debut movie of actor Vajramuni. This was Puttana's first collaboration with Dr. Rajkumar as independent director.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tiger Prabhakar</span> Indian Kannada film actor

Tiger Prabhakar was an Indian actor who predominantly worked in Kannada and Telugu cinema. He has also acted in a few Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi films (Bollywood). He was also known as Kannada Prabhakar,

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vijaya Bhaskar</span> Indian music composer

Vijaya Bhaskar was an Indian music director and composer who composed music for several mainstream and experimental feature films in the Kannada film industry. Scoring music for over 720 films, Bhaskar worked in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi, Tulu and Konkani language films as well. He was a part of all films of director KSL Swamy (Ravi) and also shared a great association with acclaimed directors Puttanna Kanagal and Adoor Gopalakrishnan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">K. S. Ashwath</span> Indian Kannada actor

Karaganahalli Subbaraya Ashwathanarayana was an Indian veteran actor who appeared in Kannada films He appeared in over 370 films during his five-decade-long career. His only memorial in the whole of Karnataka, India is in the Kengeri satellite town, Bengaluru. Memorial name - "K. S. Ashwath Memorial Children's Park".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vijaya Naarasimha</span> Indian Kannada lyricist

Vijaya Naarasimha was an Indian lyricist who worked in Kannada cinema.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thoogudeepa Srinivas</span> Indian actor

Mysore Srinivas, known by his stage name Thoogudeepa Srinivas was an Indian actor who appeared in Kannada films and is remembered for his portrayal of negative-shaded characters. He is the father of actor, Darshan and film director Dinakar.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shakti Prasad</span> Indian actor (1928-1986)

J. C. Ramaswamy, known by his screen name Shakti Prasad, was an Indian actor who appeared in Kannada films in mostly villainous roles. In a career spanning close to 20 years, he appeared in over 200 films including landmark films such as Immadi Pulikeshi (1967) and Antha (1981).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">V. Somashekhar</span>

Venkatappa Somashekhar was an Indian film director, producer and screenwriter in Kannada and Malayalam cinema. In 40 years of his career as a director, he directed 49 films, including commercial successes such as Premada Kanike (1976), Shankar Guru (1978), Seetharamu (1979) and Chakravyuha (1983). Widely known for action-oriented movies, he was much sought as a hit-machine.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">B. Jaya (actress)</span> Indian Kannada actress (1944–2021)

Basappa Jaya, commonly known as B. Jaya, was an Indian actress, known for her work in Kannada cinema. She acted in over 200 films. For her performance in the movie Gowdru, Jaya won the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2004-05.

S. Shivaram, popularly known simply as Shivaram or Shivaramanna, was an Indian actor, producer and director whose Kannada cinema career has spanned six decades. He has played roles including lead hero performances, character roles, comedic roles, as well as supporting parts. He teamed up with his elder brother, S. Ramanathan and produced several films under the name Rashi Brothers apart from directing Hrudaya Sangama in 1972. They together produced movies directed by Puttanna Kanagal like Gejje Pooje and Upasane. They also produced Dr. Rajkumar 's 175th movie Nanobba Kalla and the Tamil movie Dharma Durai starring Rajinikanth which was a remake of the 1989 Kannada movie Deva. The brothers together produced few Bollywood films as well including the 1985 movie Geraftaar which is known to be the only Indian movie to star three stalwarts - Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth - in a single movie. As an actor, Shivaram has the distinction of working with many stalwart directors out of which his association with Puttanna Kanagal is much remembered. He has acted in all the seven Kannada movies directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao starring Rajkumar.

Mysore Srikantayya Umesh, popularly known as M. S. Umesh or simply Umesh, is an Indian Kannada cinema actor who has a career spanning over six decades. After having featured in several stage shows as an actor in his childhood, he was hired for the lead character in the film Makkala Rajya (1960). Since then, he has acted in over 350 feature films renowned for his unique dialogue delivery, facial expressions and comedy timing.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mysore Lokesh</span> Indian Kannada actor (1947-1994)

Mysore Lokesh was an Indian actor in the Kannada film industry. His films include Bandhana (1984), Gajapathi Garvabhanga (1989), S. P. Sangliyana Part 2 (1990), Mathe Haditu Kogile (1990). He did comedic and villainous roles in most films.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sampath (actor)</span> Indian film actor

Mavinakere Srinivasayyangar Cheluvayyangar, better known by his stage name Sampath, was an Indian actor known for his work in Kannada cinema as a character actor. After beginning his career with a Tamil film Rajalakshmi in the 1930s, Sampath took a break, before working in Kannada and English plays for a major part of 1940s. His Kannada film debut with Bharathi (1949). Some of his notable films include Gandhada Gudi (1973), Sri Srinivasa Kalyana (1974), Bhakta Kumbara (1974), Eradu Kanasu (1974) and Badavara Bandhu (1976).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Raja Shankar</span> Indian film director

Raja Shankar or Rajashankar was an Indian actor in Kannada cinema. His films include Bhakta Kumbara (1974), Sampathige Saval (1974) and Sri Srinivasa Kalyana (1974). He also co-produced the 1974 Kannada movie Bangaarada Panjara starring Dr. Rajkumar and the 1976 Kannada movie Vijaya Vani.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">M. Jayashree</span> Indian actress

M. Jayashree, was an Indian actress who worked mainly in Kannada films. She is known for her supporting roles in such movies including Rayara Sose (1957), Naagarahaavu (1972), Eradu Kanasu and Sri Srinivasa Kalyana.

Udupi Jayaram was an Indian choreographer known for his work in Kannada cinema. He choreographed in dance sequences for over 500 films which included Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Tulu films.

Guttigeri Manappa, known mononymously as Maanu, was an Indian actor, television director and author. He was most noted for his work in Kannada cinema. For his performance in Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane (1977), he received the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Kannada at the 25th Filmfare Awards South.


  1. 1 2 3 ""ನನ್ನ ಗಂಡ ವಜ್ರಮುನಿ ಪರಿಚಯ ಆಗಿದ್ದು ಒಂದು ಮದುವೆ ಮನೇಲಿ"-Ep01-Vajramuni LIFE-Kalamadhyama-#param". Kalamadhyama. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  2. ಶೂಟಿಂಗ್‍ ಮುನ್ನ ವಜ್ರಮುನಿ ಸಿಗರೇಟಿನ ಹೊಗೆ ಕಣ್ಣಿಗೆ ಬಿಟ್ಟುಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತಿದ್ದುದೇಕೇ? | Cinema Swarasyagalu Ep-31. Total Kannada. 29 May 2021. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  3. "Vajramuni dead". The Hindu . 6 January 2006. Archived from the original on 8 November 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  4. "This 'despicable villain' was a much loved star". The Hindu. 6 January 2006. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  5. 1 2 "Vajramuni bio". Vokkaligara Sangha. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  6. 1 2 "Tears for the villain". Deccan Herald. 15 January 2006. Archived from the original on 22 April 2017. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  7. Vajramuni. ಪ್ರಜಾ ಟಿವಿ ಮೃತ್ಯು ಮರ್ಮ -ಖ್ಯಾತ ಖಳನಟ ವಜ್ರಮುನಿ Sandalwood yesteryear infamous Villain actor Vajramuni (in Kannada). Prajaa TV. Event occurs at 18:00. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  8. 1 2 ""ನಮ್ಮಣ್ಣ ವಜ್ರಮುನಿಗೆ ಚಿತ್ರರಂಗದ ಆ ಜನ ಮೋಸ ಮಾಡಿಬಿಟ್ಟರು"-Ep04- Vajramuni Brother Dayanand-Kalamadhyama". Kalamadhyama. 5 August 2021. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  9. 1 2 "ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ವಜ್ರಮುನಿ ಅವರ ಒಟ್ಟು ಜಮೀನು, ಆಸ್ತಿ ಎಷ್ಟು?"-Ep03-Lakshmi Vajramuni-Vajramuni LIFE-#param. Kalamadhyama. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  10. "Dayananda Sagar R". Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  11. "Vajramuni Dead". Chitraloka. Archived from the original on 16 July 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  12. "This diamond is forever". The Hindu. 20 January 2006. Archived from the original on 23 November 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  13. ವಜ್ರಮುನಿ ನಟಿಸಿದ ಮೊದಲ ಚಿತ್ರ ಅರ್ಧ ಬ್ಲಾಕ್ & ವೈಟ್.. ಅರ್ಧ ಕಲರ್‌..!! Cinema Swarasyagalu Part 30. Total Kannada. 25 May 2021. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  14. "Dr. Raj pays last tribute to Vajramuni". indiaglitz. 6 January 2006. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  15. "Vajramuni is no more". Deccan Herald. 6 January 2006. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  16. "Geluvu Nannade (1983) Kannada movie: Cast & Crew". Retrieved 21 August 2023.
  17. "Vigneshwarana Vahana". Retrieved 8 January 2024.