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[sv-poetry] Re: Tallapaakkam Annamacharya , the Divine Bard

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Sat Jun 08 2002 - 07:27:02 PDT

Dear BahkthAs:

I am so delighted to know about the monograph on Saint AnnamAchArya,
whose Jayanthi was celebrated recently at Sri RanganAthA temple, Pomona, NY.

Sriman Ananthapadmabhan (alias Sri Anand) has so kindly brought 
to the attention of the release of this monograph and has 
provided a very valuable review on the contents of
this book with excerpts. This posting appeared on
another list , where I am priveleged to be a member.

Inview of the wide interest in Saint Annamayyaa and
His devotion for His AchArya and Lord VenkatEsA of
Thirumalai, I am sharing this informative posting 
with You all .

DaasOham , SaThakOpan 

Date: Sat, 08 Jun 2002 16:34:53 +0530
Subject: Re: Tallapaakkam Annamacharya , the Divine Bard

SrI PadmAvati SamEta SrInivAsa ParabramhaNE namaH
SrImatE rAmAnujAya namaH
SrImatE nigamAnta mahAdESikAya namaH
SrI AadivaN SaThakOpa yatIndra mahAdESikAya namah
SrI nArAyaNa yatIndra mahAdESikAya namaH

 namO nArAyaNa!

 Dear all,

 Thanks to SrI Sadagopan for sharing the information.

 TTD ,Tirupati funded book "Spiritual Heritage of Annamacharya"
 by the authors Prof.Dr. M.Narasimhachary (ex- HOD, Dept of 
 Vaishnavism,University of Madras) and Dr.Miss. MS Ramesh (Retd IAS)
 is a good book to be read by those interested in the sankIrtanas
 of AnnamAchArya.

 Details : TTD Religious Publications Serial No.617; Pub: 2001.
 approx. 155 pages, size of magazines like Nrusimha priyA, 
 written in English.

 Ch One : Life History of AnnamAchArya ; pgs 1-21.

 Ch Two : Annamayya and the Alvars; pgs 22-57.

 Ch Three : Songs of AnnamAchArya (25 songs); pgs 58-152.

 Few excerpts :

 1. From the back-cover : 

    "....His adhyAtma SankIrtanas are an eloquent tribute to
     the concept of Prapatti emphasised by Sri Vedanta Desika 
     and Ramanuja."

    "The present book...make an indepth study of his adhyAtma 
     SankIrtanas with special reference to twenty-five select
     songs of the saint-poet."

  Note: AnnamAchArya's songs are classified into two varieties
        viz. Sri~ngAra (nAyikA bhAva) and adhyAtmika (other bhakti
        bhAvas + songs with philosophical bent).

 2. From Preface by Dr. NaramimhAchAry :

    " Presented in this volume is a collection of twenty-five 
      adhyAtma sankIrtanas of the nenowned "Padakavita-PitAmaH"
      SrI TAllapAka AnnamAchArya. This selection bears upon 
      concepts of the Supremacy of Lord VishNu (paratva), His  
      easy affability (saulabhya), His being inseparably associated
      with SrI who is the Mother of the creation and the mediator
      (purushakAra) between Him and the rest of creation, His 
      being the inner-controller of all the living beings 
      (antaryAmitva), His being the soul of the entire Universe and
      its being His body (SarIra-SarIrI bhAva), the efficacy of 
      Loving Devotion (Bhakti) and whole-hearted surrender 
      (Prapatti) as the means of liberation, the catholic outlook
      that all without the distinction of caste and community
      are the children of God, and the glorification of 'SankIrtana'
      Or Singing the holy names of the Lord as the easiest way of 
      crossing the ocean of worldly existence".  

    " AnnamAchArya, who was initiated into the Sri VaishNava 
      tradition by SrI AdivaN SaThakOpa JIyar, the founder of the
      Ahobila Matha (A.D.1398), naturally became an eloquent 
      advocate of the SrI VaishNava religion and the ViSishTAdvaita
      Philosophy propounded by Sri RAmAnuja."

    " We have also tried to compare wherever possible, some striking
      ideas and expressions of AnnamAchArya with those of the 
      scriptures like the Upanishads and the GItA, the SrI VaishNava
      mystics called AzhvArs and the celebrated AchAryas like YAmuna,
      RAmAnuja and VEdAnta DESika. We have also tried to highlight
      some similarities with other well-known Telugu poets like 
      Potana,Vemana and BhadrAchala RAmadAsa."

 3.  From Ch.1 : 

     "The SankItanas of AnnamAchArya are famous not only for the
      excellent, eloquent language but also for the soul stirring
      beauty of its music. It is no exaggeration if it is said that
      AnnamAchArya's SankIrtanas were the forerunner for the kritis
      of the great musical trinity, viz. TyhAgayya, MuthuswAmi 
      DIkshitha and ShyAma SAstry. The trinity also adopted in toto
      AnnamAchArya's format and style where the beginning two lines
      viz. Pallavi, the central theme of the song is enunciated. 
      This is followed in the subsequent verses with supporting 
      illustrations and elaborate analogies or telling homely 
      popular local sayings. This format became the familiar 
      structure of all Kritis composed by later musicians".

     "AnnamAchArya was also the pioneer in adopting the 'bhajana
      paddhati' in the songs. No wonder that many say that
      AnnamAchArya was in more ways than one a pace setter, nay a 
      trend setter in the realm of formalized music. Thus, his 
      service to Bhakti Sangeetha are unique and unparalleled.".

     " 'annam BramhEti VyajAnAt' is the Sruti. It means - 'He 
        realized that Food is God'. NArAyaNa SUri in keeping 
        with that Sruti named his son 'annamayya' ".     
 4. From Ch.2 :

    "....If we take into account only this one feature of 
     Madhurakavi's compositions, viz. that it expatiates and
     expresses the role of the Guru in granting realisation
     and liberation, he can be compared with AnnamAchArya who 
     also is known for having composed quite a few songs on his
     guru viz. Aadi VaN SaThakOpa. He acknowledged and proclaimed
     that it was AadivaN SaThakOpa the sage who founded the Ahobila
     Mutt, who initiated him into VaishNavism. 

     One of the songs composed by Annamayya singing the praise of
     his Guru runs as follows :

     'Look! He is easily approachable by all;
      He is the great muni who is close to and like a shadow to Hari;
      He is the one, this is the person who is the golden pathway
       to kaivalya (*);
      Who strikes terror among enemies;
      Who is the embodiment of all that is pure;
      Who is the boat to reach us to Viraja river;
      Here is the person who to save us acts as a lamp of true 
        knowledge for these worlds;
      He is the one who is the shining effulgent glory of this world;
      He is the one who is the support to get rid of sins;
      This is SaThakOpa Muni who is a great follower of the merciful
      Lord of SrIran~ngam, Lord Varada of KA~nchi and the Master of 
      VEn~kaTa Hill, as also Lord Narasimha of Ahobilam".

  (*) : Used in the sense of moksha here. 

 5. From Ch.3 {kindly bear with the transliteration} :

    " 'sahaja vaishNavAchAra varthanula sahavAsamE maa sandhyA
      athsayamagu SrIhari sankeertana Sathathambunu maa sandhyA
      mathi rAmAnuja mathamE maakunu chathuratha merasina sandhyA
      paramabhAgavata pada sEvanamE saravi nenna maa sabdhyA 
      sirivaru mahimalu cheluvondaga vesaraka vinutae maa sandhyA
      manthukekka thirumantrapatanamae santhathamunu maa sandhyA
      kanthugurudu Ve~nkaTagirirAyani santharpanamE maa sandhyA'
      Trans :
      Having as our companions, persons who follow the VaishNava
        code of conduct is our sandhyA (Twilight Prayer)!
      Rendering for ever, the excellent incomparable SrI Hari
        SankIrtana is our sandhyA!
      Following the religious philosophy of RAmAnuja, is our ideal
        knowledgeable intellectual sandhyA!
      On careful reflection, we realise, that rendering service
        (kai~nkarya) to the exclusively one-pointed devotees of 
        Lord (parama-bhAgavatas) is our beautiful way of doing 
      Listening tirelessly and carefully to the great glories of the
        Consort of SrI alone is our sandhyA!
      To chant forever, the well known famous Thirumantra, is our 
      To do those acts which please the father of Manmatha and the
        Master of VE~nkaTa Hill is our only sandhyA!"

   [[[ This doesn't mean that Annamayya didn't perform the 
       traditional sandhyAvandanam and chose to perform the
       above listed things instead. It is the poetic expression
       of the great importance attached to those activities ]]].

   << Similarly Annamayya has composed songs on what is "snAna"
      (bath), what is yajn~a etc. In the latter, the various
      accessories of normal yajn~a are mapped to "Yajn~a in the 
      mental plane" ie. "Jn~Ana Yajn~a" (Ex: Sacrificial Animal
      is "Desire to attain worldly pleasures"; Ghee for oblation
      is inner and external sense organs; Lord VE~nkaTESvara is 
      the Soma Juice - Meditation upon Him is the drinking of 
      Soma Juice; AvabhRuta snAna in hOly tIrtha is the snAna
      in the Ocean of Lord's DayA etc). >>
   Songs of Annamayya rendered into chaste music naturally
   yields great bhagavad anubhavam. Many thanks to my mother
   who forcefully made me learn violin (Carnatic style) during the 
   school days. It was left during my 10th std, but aDiyEn was
   able to give few very short programs during my college days 
   apart from being the key violinist for playing the 
   pan~charatra kIrtanas during the SrI ThyAgarAja ArAdhana 
   Celebrations at BITS,Pilani. That sa~ngeeta jn~Ana is of immense 
   value and aDiyEn cherishes it a lot. 

   The rAga HindOLam is my personal favourite, which in my opinion
   makes one float for ever in bhagavad anubhava Or rather suits 
   the way aDiyEn wishes to have the rasAnubhavam. The rAgas very 
   close to that of HindOLam like Suddha-DhanyAsi, BImblAs, AabEri
   (Or kartATaka DEvagAndhAri) are naturally my other top favourites.
   This is apart from my favourite rAgAs like Bhairavi, which are 
   of more gAmbheeryam.

   Luckily for me, many songs of Annamayya are rendered by musicians 
   in HindOlam and Suddha-Danyasi. Even great upanyAsakas in aastika
   world like SrI KrishNa PrEmi employ HindOLam to mesmerize the 
   audience through the musical rendition of Sanskrit verses, which 
   arises the spontaneous good enough devotional mood in everyone.
   Whether one has sa~ngeeta jn~Anam Or not, bhagavad anubhavam 
   arising out of listening to such musically rendered devotional 
   compositions is beyond all the words! In this context too, we 
   should be grateful to AnnamAchArya, the pioneer in such field.

 aDiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan,
 anantapadmanAbhan alias Anand.

> SrI Sadagopan wrote:

> Dear BhakthAs of Lord VenkatEsa:

> Last weekend , SrI Ranganatha Temple of Pomona KshEthram
> celebrated the Jayanthi of Saint AnnamachArya of TaLLapAkkam .

Srimate Sri Laksminrisimha Divya Paduka Sevaka
Srivan Satakopa Sri Narayana Yatindra Mahadesikaya Nama: 


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