A Tribute to Sri Annamacharya !! Life of Sri Annamacharya (Annamayya)

Jai Sriman Narayana !!
Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya was born on 9th May, Vishakha Shuddha Pournami day in the year 1408 to Sri Narayana Suri and Lakkamamba a pious Telugu Brahmin couple lived in the village Tallapaka in Andhra Pradhesh, India.  There was a time an acute famine broke out in Varanasi, many of the people includes scholars and Vedic Brahmins were migrated to the southern parts of India seeking for livelihood.  The family of Annamayya was also one amongst them.   Some of the families were settled down in a town called Nandavaram ruled by the King Nanda.  These migrants were famously known as Nandavarikas, consequently Annamayya and his forefathers were belonged to this family. 


Sri, Narayanayya grandfather of Sri Annamayya was very weak in scholastic studies.  Those days it was essential to have knowledge in Vedas and Sastras.  Narayanayya was unsuccessful in learning, so he had to undergo severe punishments from the masters.  He was totally dejected and decided to take away his life.  He went to his village temple of Goddess Sri Chinthalamma and shoved his hands into a snake pit contain venomous cobra.  Soon, Goddess Sri Parvati appeared before him and discouraged from the very act to well serve the purpose of his life to have a grandchild, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu’s Panchayudha-Nandakam. 


Narayanayya’s son Narayanasuri was married to Lakkamamba, this couple had no offspring for a long time.  They visited Lord Venkateswara at Thirupati, while prostrating before the Dwjasthamba, a dazzling brilliance from the sword of Lord Venkateswara embraced the couple for a moment.  In due course of time, Lakkamamba conceived with a child and gave birth to a stunning boy child on a Vishakh Pournami day.  They named him Annamayya who was passionately devoted to Lord Vishnu, later he was famously known as Saint Annamacharya / Telugu Pada Kavita Pitamaha. It was believed that Sri Annamacharya was the reincarnation of one of the Panchayudham / Nandakam/Sword of Lord Vishnu.  At the age of 5 years, Annamayya was initiated to Brahmopadesha and studies on Veda and Sastras.   


Annamayya composed nearly 32000 Sankirtanas, 12 Satakas, Srungara Manjari, Venkatachala Mahathmyam, Srimad Ramayan in the form of Dwipadas and Sankirtana Lakshanam.  All those compositions were written on a palm leaves, later Tirumalacharya, son of Annamayya engraved them on a copper plates.  These copper plates were remained unidentified for more than 400 years; it was safely vested on the oldest cellar opposite to the donation box at the Tirumala Temple.  In the year 1922, there were 2500 copper plates comprises 14,000 Sankirtanas were recovered and brought to the attention of public.  Later, these gems like composition of Sri Annamacharya hold the attention of millions and millions of   musicians putting great efforts to publicize the amazing musical genre, astonishing literature work.


Sri Annamayya was married to Tirumalamma/Thimmakka, who was a renowned woman poet wrote Subhadra Kalyanam.  This couple had a son Pedda Tirumalacharya/Vageyakkara who was also a great composer and poet.  Their grandson Tallapaka Chinnaya inherited all that skills from his father and grandfather as well, who was the composer of ‘Annamacharya Charitham’.


Annamayya was a passionate devotee of Lord Vishnu from his childhood.  At the age of sixteen his devotion and dedication to Lord Venkateswara streamed out as flawless verses that had no boundaries.    His gems like composition were the reflections of various emotions include Bakthi & Srungara.  The Bakthi Sankirtana reveals the untainted devotion to Lord Venkateswara and the Srungara Sankirtana depicts the enthralling beauty of Lord Venkateswara and his triumphant on Goddess Sri Alarmel Mangai.


Sri Annamacharya visited many holy shrines and sung praising the glories of Lord Vishnu.  Later, under the supervision of his Guru Sadgopayathi of Ahobilam, he has attained profound knowledge in scriptures, Vedanta, Divyaprabandham and Saranagathi Sastra/Srimad Ramayanam.  The philosophical knowledge in Saranagathi Sastra provided inspiration for the composition of the same into Sankeertana format which gained wide popularity.   


Sri Narasingaraya,  chief of Kingdom of Vijayanagara reverentially invited Sri Annamacharya to his home; he was spell-bounded at the unblemished streams of poetry praising the glories of Lord Venkteswara and his consort Goddess Sri Alarmelmangai.  Sri Narasingaraya received his guest with great honor and requested to stay with him.  Surprisingly, Sri Narasingaraya was promoted to become the ruler of Penugonda state in Vijayanagara.  Sri Annamacharya embellished the court with his mellifluous compositions on Lord Venkateswara & Goddess Sri Alarmelmanga which was capable to melt the heart of listeners.    Once, Annamacharya marvelously sang with a unassailable rhythmical skill about the loveliness of Sri Alarmelmanga that was overflowing with Srungararasa, Goddess Sri Alarmelmanga was tantalizing by her associates after witnessing her gorgeously coming out of their private chamber after a pleasurable night with Lord Venkateswara.  Sri Narasingaraya was fascinated at the presentation of the wonderful rivulet of poetries of Sri Annamacharya, the ruler requested to compose a poem praising his glories as well.  Sri Annamacharya flatly refused to follow the orders of Sri Narasingaraya.  In a little while, the harsh sentence was followed; Sri Annamacharya was chained and locked in a prison.  Sri Annamacharya passionately sung praising Lord Venkateswara and earnestly prayed to Lord.  Soon, the chains were broken and released from the clutches.   The guards were mystified at this incident; eventually Sri Narasingaraya realized his folly and begged for forgiveness.


Later years, Sri Annamacharya spent rest of his life in active participation of organizing rituals and ceremonial festivities in the Tirumala Temple.  In the meantime he composed numerous poetries praising the Lord, as a result received abundance of wealth from his admirers in the form of land and financial aid those were lavishly spent for the interests of the temple festivities.  On one occasion, Sri Annamacharya marvelously performed Thirukalyanostavam of Lord Venkateswara & Goddess Sri Alarmelmanga assuming himself as the father of the bride.


In the year 1503 on Phalguna Bahula Dwadashi Day Sri Annamayya attained the lotus feet of Lord Venkateswara.
Jai Sriman Narayana !!