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Syama Sastri

syama-sastri
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Syama Sastri (Sanskrit: श्याम शास्त्री , Telugu: శ్యామశాస్త్రి) (26 April, 1762 – 6 February, 1827) is one of the most renowned Carnatic music composers and is considered Trinity of Carnatic music besides Tyagaraja and Muthuswami Dikshitar.

Early life

Syama Sastri was born to Vengalakshmi (mother) and Viswanatha Iyer (father) a priestly scholarly and tamil speaking telugu vadama brahmin family in Tiruvarur village, Thiruvarur district, Tamil Nadu. He was a Tamil – speaking brahmin known as auttara vadama. His father Visvanatha Iyer and his forefathers were archakas in the temple of goddess Bangaru Kamakshi in Thanjavur.

Syama Sastri’s birth name was Venkata Subrahmanya but he was affectionately called Syama Krishna. At the age of seven, his Upanayanam was performed. He was taught devotional songs, given sound education in Sanskrit and Telugu. He used to accompany his father to the temple. Gradually his faith in the Goddess grew. Finding his aptitude for music, his mother requested her cousins to teach him the fundamentals of music. Within a short period, the boy became proficient in it.

When Syama Sastri was 18, a sanyasi, Sangita Swami came to their house from Banares. Pleased with the talents of Syama Sastri , he offered to be his guru and tought him mysteries underlying the raga and tala prastaras. He directed Syama Sastri to go to Paccimiriyam Adiyappayya. As per Swamiji’s advice, Syama Sastri approached Adiyappayya and the influence of Adiyappayya is reflected in his svarajati -kamakshi’ in Bhairavi raga.

Once, Kesavayya, a great musician from Bobbili, came to Thanjavur and challenged the court musicians in handling intricate talas. Syama Sastri had to face him. He entered the temple and stood in deep meditation. He sang “Devi brova samayamide’ meaning “Devi! now it is the time for you to protect me”. Later he gained confidence and went to the court to face the contest and defeated the challenger.

Muthuuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri were good friends. They often met and spent hours together singing. Syama Sastri had deep regard for Tyagaraja.

Once Syama Sastri was singing Brhadamba in Pudukottai, an elderly saint was pleased and directed him to go to Madurai and sing in praise of Meenaksi Amman and receive her blessings. Syama Sastri decided to do so and composed “navaratnamalika’ (nine kritis). Once at Nagapattinam, Syama Sastri defeated in a contest Appukutti Nattuvanar who was proficient in music. Consequently Appukutti forfeited his tambura and tala for ever.

Most of Syama Sastri’s compositions are in praise of  godess Devi. He composed about 300 songs. Though he was a Tamil he had chosen Telugu as the medium of expression for his songs because of the inherent beauty of that language. There are a few Sanskrit and Tamil songs also.

His style is neither simple as that of Tyagaraja nor difficult as that of Muthuswami Dikshitar. He signed his songs as Syama Krsna. He died on February 6, 1827, at the age of 65.

Serial No.KeerthanaraagamTaalam
1Adinamuninchi pogadi
AnandabhairaviTriputa
2Akhilandeshvari durusuga
Karnataka KapiAdi
3Birana varalichi
KalyaniTishra nadai Adi
4Brihannayaki nannu
MadhyamavatiTishra Mathya
5Brova samayamide devi
PunnagavaraliAdi
6Brova vamma bangaru
NilambariMishra Chapu
7Brovavamma tamasamelebiranabrovavamma
ManjiMishra Chapu
8Dayajuda manchi
JaganmohiniMishra Chapu
9Dayanidhe mamava (varnam)
BegadaAdi
10Devi brova samayamide
ChintamaniAdi
11Devi mina netri
ShankarabharanaAdi
12Devi nannu brovavamma
KalyaniJhampa
13Devi ni padasarasamule
KambhojiAdi
14Durusuga kripajuchi
SaveriAdi
15Emani migula
TodiAdi
16Enneramum un namam
PurvikalyaniMishra Chapu
17Enneramum un padakamaladhyanam
PunnagavaraliTriputa
18Himachalatanaya brochutakidi
AnandabhairaviViloma Chapu
19Himadrisute pahimam
KalyaniTishra nadai Adi
20Janani natajanaparipalini
SaveriAdi
21Kamakshi anudinamu (svarajati)
BhairaviMishra Chapu
22Kamakshi bangaru
VaraliMishra Chapu
23Kamakshi karunakatakshi (gitam)
PharajTriputa
24Kamakshi lokasakshini (gitam)
MadhyamavatiTriputa
25Kamakshi nato vada
BegadaAdi
26Kamakshi ni padayugamu (svarajati)
YadukulakambhojiMishra Chapu
27Kanakashaila viharini
PunnagavaraliAdi
28Karunajuda ninnunammina
SriMishra Chapu
29Karunajudavamma vinamma
VaraliMishra Chapu
30Karunanidhi ilalo
TodiTishra gati Adi
31Mahilo amba
AnandabhairaviAdi
32Mari ve re gati
AnandabhairaviMishra Chapu
33Mayamma nannubrovavamma
NatakuranjiAdi
34Mayamma yani ne
AhiriAdi
35Minalochana brovayochana
DhanyasiMishra Chapu
36Namanavini vinu (varnam)
SaurashtraChaturashra Ata
37Nannu brovarada o jagadamba
JanarahnjaniTriputa
38Nannu brovarada vegame nivu
GaulipantuMishra Chapu
39Nannu brovu lalita
LalitaMishra (Viloma) Chapu
40nannukaruninci
ShankarabharanaRupaka
41Nilayatakshi nive
PharajTriputa
42Ninne namminanu
TodiMishra Chapu
43Ninne nammiti
KedaragaulaAdi
44Ninnuvina marigalada
AbheriRupaka (Tishra nadai Adi)
45Ninnuvinaga mari
PurvikalyaniDesadi, Mishra nadai
46Nive gatiyani (varnam)
KalyaniTishra Mathya
47O jagadamba nanu
AnandabhairaviAdi
48Pahi mam shri rajarajeshvari
NataRupaka
49Pahi shri girarajasute
AnandabhairaviRupaka
50Palayashu mam paradevate
ArabhiTriputa
51Palimpavamma paramapavani
MukhariAdi
52Palinchu kamakshi pavani
MadhyamavatiAdi
53Parakela nannu
KedaragaulaAdi
54Paramukhamenamma parvatiyamma
KalyaniTriputa
55Parvati janani (gitam)
BhairaviKhanda Mathya
56Parvati ninnu ne
KalgadaTishra gati Adi
57Puraharajaye palaya mam
GaulipantuMishra Chapu
58Rave himagirikumari (svarajati)
TodiAdi
59Rave parvatarajakumari
KalyaniJhampa
60Sami ninne nammitirara
BegadaAdi
61Samini rammanave (varnam)AnandabhairaviAta
62Santatam ennai rakshippai (gitam)
PharajAdi
63Sarasakshi sada (gitam)
SaveriTriputa
64Sari yevaramma
BhairaviKhanda Jhampa
65Sarojadalanetri himagiriputri
ShankarabharanamAdi
66Shankari shamkaru chandramukhi
SaveriTishra gati Adi
67Shankari shankari
KalyaniAta
68Shri kamakshi kavave
KalyaniAdi
69Shripatimukha virachita
SaveriAdi
70Talli ninnu nera
KalyaniMishra Chapu
71Tarunamidamma ennai rakshikka
GaulipantuChapu
72Trilokamata nannubrovu
PharajMishra Chapu
73Nannu KaruninchiShankarabharanamRupaka
74Swara SiddhiYadukulakambhojiN/A
75Vanita ine BhairaviN/A

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