Thursday 11 August 2011

Annamaacharya (1408-1507 A.D.)

Annamaacharya (1408-1507 A.D.) was born in Taallapaaka (Andhra Pradesh) and later moved to Tirupati.  He was born in ‘Nandaka khada amsa’ of Sri Venkatachalapati of Tirumala.  His guru was Satagopa Yati.  During his time Muslim influence was gaining ground and Hinduism was losing its influence.  Annamacharya’s guru wanted him to uphold and propagate Bhakti maarga through Vaishnavism and Venkatachalapati’s praasastyam.

So Annamaacharya, though born as Neogi Brahmin, became a Vaishnavite. He was tired of the hard work he had to do in the house and left the home for Tirupati at the young age of 12.  while climbing the Tirumala hills he was tired and fell asleep. 
Sri Alimelu Manga came and put prasaadam in his mouth and since then his kavitha vaahini flowed incessantly from him.  He was always writing sankeertanas on swamy Kaimkaryas and on aadhyatmika values. 
To divert him from his spiritual pursuits and turn him towards wordly affairs, his parents got him married to two sisters.  His married life experiences made him write sringaara keerthanaas which he applied to Sri Balaji.  His keertanaas amounted to 32,000 in number and were called ‘Dravida Vedam’.
He praised Jayadeva in his Lakshana Grantham.  His padaas are manifold; sringara, vaiaragya, bhakti, utsava sampradayas, swamy sevas, bhajans, folk dance, morals and Vaishnavism.  His sankeertanas are always sung in Sri Balaji’s utsavas.  His family was devoted to Tirupati swami’s service for seven generations.  His padas were written on copper plates and preserved in Nela maaliga near the Garbha Gudi of Tirupatiswamy. They were brought to public notice during the 19th and 20th centuries.  He is a Padakavitha Maargadarshi and aptly called ‘Padakavitha Pitamaha’.  His padas have a permanent place in Andhra Pada saahithyam. 
Article by : S. K. Rajamanichari
Source: Bhavan's Journal 31 July 2006
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