Narration of Annamayya and Keerthanas
Tallapaka Sri Annamacharya (1408-1503) the mystic saint composer of the Fifteenth century is the first famous musician of South India to compose songs called “Sankirtana” in praise of Lord Venkateswara, the deity of Seven Hills of Tirumala, on the India, where worship is offered continuously for more than 12 centuries. Annamcharya is considered the incarnation of Lord Venkateswara. Nandaka(Sword).
A rhyming couplet of poems called “Dwipada” written by Tallapaka Chinnanna, grandson of Annamacharya, enabled us to study more about Saint Annamacharya, his life and work. Vaisakhapoornima Annamacharya was born in the year (May 9th, 1408) Tallapaka Sarwadhari in a remote village in Andhra Pradesh State, and lived for 95 years untill Phalguna Bahula Dwadasi (12th day after full moon) in Dhundhubhi years (February 23rd, 1503.)
Annamacharya is considered the incarnation of Lord Venkateswara or Nandaka Sword. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) devoted Annamacharya two locations, one in Annamacharya Mandiram located on the premises to Tiruapati Annamacharya Project Office and the other in the Annamacharya temple at the birthplace of Tallapka Annamcharya. The evidence to support that Annamacharya is the incarnation of the Lord in Dwipada Chinnanna.
It is believed that in the 10th century a famine broke out in Varanasi and scores of researchers have migrated to the southern part of India for their livelihood. Some of them concentrated in a town called “Nandavaram” in Andhra Pradesh were ruled by king Nanda.
These immigrants were called “Nandavarikas” and ancestors were called Annamacharya Nandavarikas and therefore Annamacharya. Dwipada In Annamacharya history goes back three generations to his grandfather Narayanayya. Narayanayya as a boy did not study and it was customary at the time of the gurus to submit students to various forms of torture methods, such as to put an emphasis on investigations. When nothing worked for the boy, he decided that death would be preferable to life filled with Torture, humiliation and shame.
He heard about the venomous cobra snake in the hole to the goddess of the village temple Chinthalamma. In an attempt to take his life, Narayanayya put his hand in the tube hole in the temple. To his surprise, the village goddess appeared before him and advised him not to take his life as a boy with an element of Hari or Vishnu would be born to the third generation of Narayanayya. Narayana Suri son of Narayanayya who has no children for a long period. Narayana Suri and his wife visited the Tirumala temple Lakkamamba, and while they were paralyzed in front of the holy Mast (Dhwaja Sthambha) a dazzling brilliance of Lord Venkateshwara sword struck them as a lightening.
Finally, a boy was born to them, and they called Annamayya. Annamayya was Annamacharya when Ghana wise Vishnu Tirumala has turned into Vaishnavaite at the age of 8 years during his long and prolific career, Annamacharya composed and sang 32,000 Sankirtana, 12 Satake(sets hundred verses), Ramayana in the as Dwipada, SsankIrtana Lakshanam (Characteristics of Sankirtana) Sringaara Manjari and Venkatachala Mahatmamyam. His works were in Telugu, Sanskrit and some other Indian languages. Chinnanna called the 32,000 32,000 Sankirtana as mantras or hymns. It was also recorded in Dwipada Chinnanna to Purandare Dasa, who was 70 years younger to Annamacharya, heard about the miracles of Annamacharya and visited him. Purandare Dasa has praised by calling Annamacharya incarnation of Lord Venkateswara and his Sankirtana as sacred hymns.
Annamacharya wrote sankirtanas palm leaves and later his son Tirumalacharya but were carved on copper plates.
But for reasons not known, most of these copper plates lay hidden in a cell built of stone in front of the Tirumala temple hundi unnoticed for over 400 years. In 1922, twenty five hundred copper plates, which consist of about 14000 sankIrtanas and some other works, was found in a rock built cell, which was later renamed Sankirtana Bhandagaram opposite hundi.