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Year end Observation: Final for 1995

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Fri Dec 29 1995 - 19:23:19 PST

Dear memebrs of the Prapatti Group: I have the feeling
that number of you are not only interested in the Sri Samprahadhayam ,
but also in the Nada Upasana tradition of Natha Muni, who set our 
Azhwars pasurams to Ragam and Taalam. 

I want to conclude this year  with a final posting on this subject. I was always

intrigued by the extraordinary times through which the Vaishnava saints lived 
and survived. From Swami Desikan's times, when the invasion by Muslims 
led to the plundering of the temples and the raising of  stone walls for the
at Srirangam and the flight of the Bhattars with Sri Ranganatha's Utsava moorthy
there have  been turbulent events .

 I wanted to focus on the period from AD 1408 to 1847. 
The year 1408 is the year of birth of Padakavita Pitamaha  and  Sangitanaacharya
Talapakkam Annamacharya , whose lyrical contributions to Telegu literature  has
assessed as immense through its inclusion of the "Adhyaatmika and Sringara
in praise of the Lord of Tirupati Hills. The Year 1847 AD was the year, when Sri
Swamigal reached the lotus feet of Sri Ramachandra on a Bagula Panchami day.

In between these 350 years, much happened in the Indian subcontinent and 
great Bhaktas like Purandars Dasa, Bhadrachala Ramadass, Ramaswami 
Dikshitar, Sangeetha Trimurthys of  Thiruvaroor,Swathi ThirunaaL  practised
their divine music 
amidst the swirling currents of politics and war. The Vijayanagara empire came
and went. 
The military thrusts  from the Delhi Sultanate, Mughul emperors, Bahmani kings
Deccan, the British and other  colonial rulers received counterthrusts  from the
Rajput chieftains, the Sikhs, and Mysore rulers ( Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan and
the Wodeyars).
That history formed the backdrop of the evolution of Carnatic music and the
 Bhakti movement all over India. The "sages and supermen " of Music and 
Acharyas ignored all calamities around them and pursued their divine mission
in life. Surdas (1483-1563) sang about Krishna on the banks of Yamuna at Agra.
Meera Bhai of Rajasthan (B 1550) lost herself in ecstasy singing about her 
Lord Giridhara. Tulsidas (AD 1532-1623) composed his master piece on Ramayana.
Eknath of Maharahtra (!548-1600 ) composed his moving Abangs . Haridas Swami of
taught Tansen music and propagated the Bhakti cult. Narasimha Mehta  (1414-1481)

defined as to who is a true Vaishnava thru his song Vaishnava Janatho. Sankara
Deva , the 
Pada Composer from Mithila and Chaitanya Prabhu made the directions rich with 
their Bhakti-laden songs and life.
 I put my thoughts together on this subject  in  a six page long article for the
Carnatic Music 
Association 's quarterly journal entitled "The Geo-Politics of Karnatic Music ".
That  article came out this week. Some of you are members of this 
association, which has done great service to Carnatic Music in North America
by sponsoring visits by eminent Musicians every year from India.
You might be interested to become members of this association, if you are 
not already a member. You can support a good cause and  also be in touch with 
Musical events. Vaishnava Sampradhayam has been blessed with Ragam and Taalam
from Natha muni's time until now. May that  tradition of the use of music for
Sankeerthanam of the Divya Damphathis continue and flourish!

With all the best wishes for a Happy new Year 1996 !
Subhamastu! Sarva Mangalaani Santhu !! Lokaa: Samasthaa: Sukhino Bhavanthu!!!