From the Jacket:
THE SACRED SONGS OF INDIA VOLUME THREE, like the earlier volumes one and two, encompasses selections from the lifework of ten mystic poet-saint-musicians of India, spanning several centuries.
These poet-sages came from different regions of India, lived in different periods of India's chequered history, and sang in different languages. But they were all mystics, who sought and attained direct communication with God as the intangible, omniscient, omnipresent Power or in diverse manifestations of Divinity in personalized forms celebrated in the myths and legends of India and sanctified in the many temples located in various parts of India and which, as pilgrim centres, draw millions who throng to pray in love and devotion to God.
The mystic saints whose songs are included in this volume are: Namdev, Arunagirinathar, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Kanakadasa, Sant Raidas, Bhadrachala Ramadas, Sadasiva Brahmendra, Narayana Teertha, Gopalakrishna Bharati and Pattanam Subramania Iyer.
Namdev sang in Marathi, Chaitanya in Bengali, Kanakadasa in Kannada, Raidas in Hindi, Narayana Teertha and Sadasiva Brahmendra in Sanskrit, Bhadrachala Ramadas and Pattanam Subramania Iyer in Telugu, and Arunagirinathar and Gopalakrishna Bharati in Tamil. Their diverse God-oriented musical compositions in different languages and belonging to different periods of history are presented on a common platter, in a common language to be savoured and sung, choreographed and danced, and treasured as a precious spiritual legacy by people all over the world, irrespective of their religion, race, language or nationality.
The spiritual experience conveyed by these sacred songs of India merits admiration, appreciation and emulation.
The book, like the earlier two volumes, will be an invaluable repertoire for all performing artists in the fields of music, dance, drama and ballet.
Scholars of Indology will find it a precious reference source.
About the Author:
Vadakaymadom Krishnaiyer Subramanian (b. 1930, Kerala, India) is an eminent Indian scholar, whose life mission is to present to the world treasures of ancient Indian, in the fields of art, literature, philosophy and reiligion.
He has already translated several ancient texts into English.
These include: Saundaryalahari, Sivanandalahari, Sacred Songs of India, Maxims of Chanakya, Sri Rudraprasna.
As a consultant for holistic health and spiritual development, he has spelt out the Hindu regiments in this regard in his popular book: The Holistic way to Health, Happiness and Harmony.
Subramanian's prolific literary output covers a variety of subject ranging from astrology to art. He has been an astroplamic counsellor for over 35 years.
A retired officer of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service (Which he joined in 1953), Subramanian is also a reputed painter, who has held 22 one-man shows and whose paintings (some of them in the Chandigarh Museum) have won wide acclaim from leading art critics of India.
Subramanian, who has travelled extensively in Indian, now lives in the United States of America.
I am prompted to present this third volume of the SACRED SONGS OF INDIA, pressured by the favourable response received by the earlier two volumes and the feeling that what I am doing-presenting the devotional, God-oriented songs sung by mystic poet-saints of India in diverse languages on a common platter in a common language to be savoured by connoisseurs of music, poetry and devotion-is a good thing and needed continuance.
Like the earlier two volumes, the SACRED SONGS OF INDIA VOLUME THREE encompasses selections from ten mystic poet-music composers of India, from different regions of India, who lived in different centuries.
The selections of songs included in this volume span eight centuries and are as arbitrary, incomplete and whimsical as in the earlier two volumes.
They are all, however, God-oriented and express the intensity of love and devotion which each of the poet-saints had towards the chosen Deity or manifestation of the Divine.
The mystic saints whose songs are included in this volume are: Namdev, the famous saint from Maharashtra, who lived in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries (1270 AD.-1350 AD.).
Arunagirinathar, the Tamil saint who lived in the fifteenth century AD.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Vaishnavite saint from Bengal who lived in the fifteenth and sixteenth century (1486-1534 AD.).
Kanakadasa, the saint from Karnataka, who lived in the sixteenth century.
Sant Raidas, the saint from Varanasi (a contemporary of Meera, the Rajasthani princess), who also lived in the sixteenth century (1500-1576 AD.).
Bhadrachala Ramadas, the Telugu saint who lived in the seventeenth century.
Sadasiva Brahmendra, the recluse from Tamil Nadu who lived in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Narayana Teertha, the saint from Andhra Pradesh, who lived in the eighteenth century.
Gopalakrishna Bharati, the Tamil saint who lived in the nineteenth century (1810 AD.-1881 AD.).
Pattanam Subramania Iyer, a music composer in the mould of Tyagaraja, who lived in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (lS45 AD.-1902 AD.).
Namdev sang in Marathi, Chaitanya in Bengali, Kanakadasa in Kannada, Raidas in Hindi, Narayana Teertha and Sadasiva Brahmendra in Sanskrit, Bhadrachala Ramadas and Pattanam Subramania Iyer in Telugu, and Arunagirinathar and Gopalakrishna Bharati in Tamil.
These diverse God-oriented musical compositions in different languages and belonging to different periods of history are presented as a precious heritage to be treasured by all, irrespective of their religion, race, language or nationality.
These songs communicate a spiritual experience which needs to be admired and yearned for.
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