[GHHF] Bala Samskar Kendras – Students learned about Annamayya, Composer of 32,000 songs on Lord Venkateshwara of Tirupati

20 Mar 2023 256 Views

Linda Johnsen

"Hinduism is the one world religion that reaches out to embrace other faiths with respect, a welcome change from groups who expend enormous amounts of energy condemning the sincere beliefs of others. There is no eternal damnation in Hinduism because Hindus believe absolutely no one is excluded from divine grace.

Global Hindu Heritage Foundation is very happy to inform you that we have started Bala Samskar Kendras (Schools for children and youth) to enrich them with the greatness of Hindu Dharma and appreciate the sacrifices many leaders have done to protect Bharat. There are many kings who have achieved new heights in their skills, talents, and strength. Unfortunately, Bharath denies its history to its own children and glorified the most undeserving rulers. The government has corrupted the minds of young students since Independence from 1947. It is our effort to teach them the greatness of our scriptures, enrich their minds with timeless wisdom, create a sense of pride through time-tested moral and ethical compass, and make them proud of the science behind all our customs and traditions.

Learned about Annamacharya

Tallapaka Annamacharya (1408-1503), popularly known as Annamayya, was a 15th-century Hindu saint and the earliest known Indian musician to compose songs called sankirtanas in praise of the Venkateshwara, a form of Lord Vishnu. The musical form of the keertana songs that he composed, which are still popular among Carnatic music concert artists, have strongly influenced the structure of Carnatic music compositions. Annamacharya is remembered for his saintly life and is honored as a great devotee of Shree Vishnu by devotees and saintly singers.

He is believed to have been the avatar of Nandaka, the sword of Shree Hari Vishnu. He is widely regarded as the Andhra Pada kavitā Pitāmaha (Grandfather of Telugu song-writing).

Annamayya is said to have composed as many as 32,000 sankeertanas (songs) on the praise of lord Venkateshwara of which only about 12,000 are available today. He is also the author of musical treatise called "Sankirthana lakshanamu"

In his later keertanas, he espouses subjects such as morality, dharma and righteousness. He was one of the first few who opposed the social stigma towards the untouchable castes in his era,[9] with his sankeertanas explaining that the relationship between God and humans is the same irrespective of the latter's color, caste, and financial status, in his songs "Brahmaṃ Okkatē Paraḥbrahmamokkatē" and "ē kulajuḍainanēmi evvaḍainanēmi". His prodigious literary career earned him a place among the all-time greats of Telugu literature.

A Telugu film named Annamayya was made on him by K. Raghavendra Rao in 1997. It starred Nagarjuna in the lead role as Annamacharya and also featured Suman as Lord Venkateshwara and Bhanupriya as Goddess Padmavathi Devi in important roles. The film became a huge blockbuster and was the highest-grosser of the year in Telugu cinema.

While he enjoyed popularity in his days, his compositions were forgotten for over three centuries. Mentioned in 1849, they were later found engraved on copper plates, hidden for centuries inside the Sri Venkateshwara temple at Tirumala, just opposite the Hundi, concealed in a very small room. An English translation of 150 of these verses was published in 2005.

Annamacharya wrote the sankirtanas on palm leaves and later his son Tirumalacharya got them engraved on copper plates. But for reasons not known, most of these copper plates lay hidden in a rock-built cell opposite Hundi in the Tirumala temple unnoticed for over 400 years.

In 1922, twenty-five hundred copper plates, comprising about 14,000 sankIrtanas and a few other works, were found in a rock-built cell, later named Sankirtana Bhandagaram, opposite to the Hundi (donation box).

Ever since the discovery of this lost treasure, Tirumala Tirupati Devastanams (TTD) and other organizations in India are working hard to promote the music and literature of Annamacharya. SVASA based in Riverside honors Annamacharya  by organizing both the jayanti (birth anniversary)  and the vardhanti commemorations annually

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, also known as TTD, has been endeavoring to preserve the rich heritage of his compositions. In the year 1950, The State Government of Andhra Pradesh created a committee and appointed the legendary musician late Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna as its head. He set music to over 800 compositions of Annamacharya and is still popular among the devotees. He was the Āsthāna Gāyaka of the Tirumala temple at Tirupati for two decades. He is regarded as a legend for rendering devotional music in classical style, especially the Annamacharya Sankirtanas. He was also an acclaimed poet, singer, and musicologist. In 1979, the legendary singer Smt. M. S. Subbulakshmi's album Balaji Pancharatna Mala came up with Annamacharya keerthanas like Vande Vasudevam, Bhavamulona, Sriman Narayana, and many more. This became a hit and took the compositions of Annamacharya to every nook and corner of the country.

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