Born - 1767
Died - 1847
Achievements - Tyagaraja is considered the most legendary
Carnatic music composer of all time, who played a very significant role
in the development of this music genre. He saw music as a means to
experience the love of god and as such, his sole intention was purely
devotional while performing.
A discussion on Carnatic music, perhaps, can never be complete without
the mention of Tyagaraja, who along with his contemporaries Muthuswami
Dikshitar and Syama Sastri comprise the trinity of Carnatic music
composers. He is regarded as the most legendary among the Carnatic music
composers and is also said to have played a prominent role in the
development of this musical genre. Tyagaraja created numerous devotional
songs, most of which are devoted to the Hindu god Rama and are popular
this biography of Tyagaraja to learn more about his life history.
Whenever there's a programme in honor of Tyagaraja in present times,
five of his compositions called the 'five gems' or Pancharatna Krithis
are always sung. Tyagaraja received his musical training from Sonti
Venkataramanayya, who was himself a distinguished musician from a very
early age. The most unique feature about Tyagaraja was that he saw music
as a means to experience the love of god. As such, his sole objective
while performing music was purely devotional.
When Tyagaraja was merely 8 years old, he composed Namo Namo Raghavaya
Anisham in raga Desikathodi. Then a couple of years later Sonti
Venkataramanayya invited Tyagaraja to sing at his residence in Thanjavur
and Tyagaraja sang Endaro Mahaanubhavulu, which is the 5th of the
Pancharatna Krithis. His teacher was so impressed by Tyagaraja's song
that he informed the king of Thanajavur about his unmatched singing
ability. Following this, the king sent an invitation inviting Tyagaraja
to attend the royal court.
Tyagaraja was not a seeker of wealth and fame and so he declined the
offer to sing in the court of the Thanajavur king. He composed another
gem of a kriti called Nidhi Chala Sukhama. But the brother of Tyagaraja
was so irked due to his declining the king's offer that he threw all of
his idol statues in the river. Unable to sustain the separation with his
God, Tyagaraja set out on a pilgrimage of the important temples
throughout India and composed ample songs in their praise.