SAINT THYGARAJA AND THIRUVARUR
Tyagaraja (Telugu: త్యాగరాజ,
Tamil தியாகராஜா; May 4, 1767 - January 6, 1847)
was a composer of Carnatic music, who along with his contemporaries Muttusvami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri forms the Trinity
of Carnatic music composers. He was a prolific artist and highly influential in the development of the South Indian classical
music tradition. Tyagaraja composed hundreds of devotional songs, most of them in praise of the Hindu god Rama. His compositions
are very popular even today. Five of his compositions called the 'five gems' (Pancharatna Krithis), are often sung
in programs in honour of Tyagaraja.
At some stage in his early life, Tyagaraja came under
the influence of Rama yahna and what followed was a period of undivided devotion to Sri Rama, a movement of tidal proportions
in the field of music and spirituality that vies comparison with Ramadasa and Tulasidasa, especially the latter whose picturesque
depictions of Sri Rama on the Suvela mountain, Ehi Vidhikrpa Rupa Gunadhama Ram...(Lanka, Doha Ila, Ramacharita Manasa), according
to scholars, finds and echo in Tyagaraja's "Giripai Nelakonna" in Sahana and "Paritapamu" in Pratapa Varali, two of his last
pieces associated with salvation, where he narrates the experience of the divine presence.
Tyagaraja's fame and the popularity of his songs brought
him many disciples. Three branches of his Sishya parampara need specific mention, namely: Umayalpuram, Tillaisthanam
and Walajapet, headed by Sundara Bhagavatar and Krshna Bhagavatar, Rama Iyengar, and Valajapet Venkataramana Bhagavatar respectively,
who imbibed all that was Tyagaraja and, in turn, propagated his kritis.
In the final analysis, that music is divine,
serving not only as a means but as an end by itself has been the essence and the mission that was Tyagaraja.
The Sri Thyagaraja Aradhana is a solemn tribute of all
Carnatic artistes to one of the greatest composers ever. It's a unique festival.
Saint Thyagaraja lived with Raman every moment. The name
Thyaga-Raja means "Prince of Renunciation"
Such is the fame attached to this beautiful place
called "Tiruvarur" in Thanjavur ..!!