Kumaragiri Vema Reddy popularly known as Vemana (Telugu: వేమన) was a great Teluguphilosopher and poet. His poems were written in the popular vernacular of Telugu, and are known for their use of simple language and native idioms. His poems discuss the subjects of Yoga, wisdom and morality. He is popularly called Yogi Vemana, in recognition of his success in the path of Yoga.
There is no consensus among scholars about the period in which Vemana lived. C.P. Brown, known for his research on Vemana, estimates his year of birth to be 1652 based on some of his verses. According to C.P. Brown and Rallapalli Anantha Krishna Sarma, Vemana belonged to the Kapu (Reddy) caste. Various sources say he was born in the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 
Vemana was the third and youngest son of Gaddam Vema, then the king of Kondaveedu in present-day Andhra Pradesh. He was named Vema after his father.
Vemana came into contact with Lambika siva yogi in Kondaveedu, who initiated him into the path of Yoga. After this, Vemana travelled across the state, composing poetry and attaining success in yoga.
Poetry and fame
Vemana composed numerous poems in the vernacular of Telugu. His poems are four lines in length. The fourth line is, in majority of the cases, the chorus Viswadabhirama Vinura Vema - he thus conveyed his message with three small lines written in a simple vernacular. He traveled widely across south India, acquiring popularity as a poet and Yogi. People really took to Vemana's poems owing to their simple language and sweet message. So high was the regard for Vemana that a popular Telugu saying goes 'Vemana's word is the word of the Vedas. He is celebrated for his style of Chaatu padyam, a poem with a hidden meaning.
C.P. Brown translated most of Vemana's poems into English, during the British occupation of India. A large selection of his poems are a part of the present High School curriculum of Telugu in Andhra Pradesh. In his honor, The Andhra Pradesh government named a University in Kadapa the Yogi Vemana University in 2006. Vemana was believed to have lived for some time in the Gandikota area of Kadapa.
There is a headstone marking the grave of Yogi Vemana in kataru palli (Kadiri Town), a village in Kadiri Taluk, Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh. It is believed widely that Vemana died in this village. Being a Yogi, he was buried and not cremated.
Many lines of Vemana's poems are now colloquial phrases of the Telugu language. They end with the signature line Viswadhaabhi Raama, Vinura Vema, literally Beloved of Vishwadha, listen Vema. There are many interpretations of what the last line signifies.
Vemana's poems were collected and published by C.P.Brown in the 19th century. His poems are of many kinds, social, moral, satirical and mystic nature. Most of them are in Ataveladi (dancing lady) meter.
Uppu Kappurambu nokka polika nundu ........... ఉప్పు కప్పురంబు నొక్క పోలిక నుండు
Chooda chooda ruchulu jaada veru .................. చూడ చూడ రుచుల జాడ వేరు
Purushulandu Punya purushulu veraya ............. ఫురుషులందు ఫుణ్య పురుషులు వేరయ