Sri Venkatswara is the God of the Kali yuga. It is to this God Sri Tallapaka poets surrendered themselves completely, sang praises of Him through thousands of sweet- nectar compositions and advocated to the world the concept of ‘Saranagati’ through their unfathomable devotion. These blessed saints had numerous sightings of the Lord of Seven Hills.
Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya composed and dedicated 32 thousand songs to Sri Venkateswara. Since 1922, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has taken up the task of publishing and bringing out the compositions of this saint composer.
The T.T.D has been aiding in publication of thousands of his compositions; encouraging artists to set tunes to these compositions and produce them in the form of hundreds of C.D.s; and, sponsoring artists to release albums of these compositions. On the whole, the T.T.D. has been\
][‘p;okujhactively campaigning the works of Sri. Annamacharya world-wide, and has been involved in spreading his philosophy globally. Specifically, it has been designing innovative methods to reach non-Telugu speaking audience in India and abroad by translating his compositions into English, and thereby enabling music lovers and dance choreographers to express his philosophy and devotion.
With an intention to spread Sri. Annamacharya’s compositions world wide, to provide word-to-word meanings of his compositions, and to provide cohesive summary of his songs, North America resident (San Diego, CA) Smt. Hymavathi Gollamudi has completed translation of 108 compositions into English, with great devotion towards Lord Sri Venkateswara and dedication towards Sri. Annamacharya. This book is a publication of those 108 songs.
T.T.D. is pleased to present this unique publication to all music lovers and devotees world wide. We are confident that this book will receive the compliments and commendation of one and all.
My heart-felt namaskarams to all devotees of Sri Venkataswara.
In one of his compositions, Annamayya says
“Akasa maddama avvalayu naddama
Sreekantu Bajayinchu Sevakulaku..”
(Is the sky an obstruction? Or anything beyond an obstruction?
For those serving and singing the glories of SriKanta...”)
No one can fathom His miracles. Indeed for those in His service, even gigantic obstacles wither away and pave the path towards the goal My service at Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) is one such example. Because of His grace, I have been able to .perform my duties at TTD on one hand, and learn Sri Annamacharya compositions and rendering Annually Sankeerthanas for his last 15 years. Popularizing his Sankeerthanas has enriched my life and has filled my heart with happiness.
Continuing our efforts to promulgate his works as widely as possible, has been seeking ways to reach non- Telugu speaking audience by publishing translations of his compositions. Smt. Gollamudi Hymavathi, in her book “Humble Offerings-A Translation of Sri Annamacharya’s Compositions”, has translated 108 songs word- by-word into English along with their summary while keeping the ‘bhava’ intact. This book is expected to transcend the language barrier; and touch every music and dance artist, and every devotee of Sri Venkateswara. We sincerely hope that this book will help you experience the blissful world of Annamayya’s bhakti and bhava.
We are confident that you will welcome this book wholeheartedly. May the Blessings of Sri Venkateswara always be with you.
In essence, these are the only words I know. The rest, including this humble offering, are His words. It is His plan and guidance, and Saint Annamacharya’s blessings that enabled this translation.
Sri Annamacharyas compositions are layered with deep meaning, and if understood properly can enlighten the listener with the highest levels of devotion, consciousness and spirituality. Currently this benefit is mostly limited to a small group of Telugu-speakers only because English translations of these compositions are limited. My inspiration in taking up this project (of translating Annamayya’s compositions into English) was to enable all non- Telugu speaking lovers of music, dance and art access to the rich meaning of these compositions and thereby enrich their spiritual and philosophical insights. It is hoped that Sri Annamacharya’s works will now reach a global audience and his philosophy and devotional songs can be understood and enjoyed world-wide. A guide to transliteration and pronunciation is also provided.
1 was very fortunate to meet Smt. Jayanthi Savathri, (Harikatha artist, Project Annamacharya, TTO) during her visit to California, and hear her render Sri Annamacharya songs. Our simple and impulsive conversation evolved into a continuous dialogue, and finally led to the publication of the translations under the TTD banner. I cannot thank Smt. Savitri enough for enabling this route for this publication.
I am Hymavathi. The force that enables me is Chandrasekhara. I have had the good fortune of this name come into my life in three forms: Chandrasekhar Gollamudi -my husband; His Holiness Sri. Sri. Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam; and, that Eternal Truth and Absolutely Blissful Lord of the Universe - Chandrasekhara.
I am forever indebted to my late parents, my mother Smt. G. Suseela, a musician herself, who fed me with bhakti and nurtured me with compassion; and my father, Sri. G. Subramanyam, who believed that music was the pole-vault to leap into jnana. ‘Sing your heart out with the bhava of the composer’ they always said. I also thank my brother Sri Raghuram Gotur, who regularly checked my progress. Tremendous thanks to my father-in-law, Dr. G. Satyanarayana Rao, for his strong love and support. I have always been a daughter to him, he is the only parent I have got. My two children Shreya-Saroj and Sagar-Kalyan helped me .stay on track.
Immense thanks to the TTD for publishing this book, and special thanks to the Executive Officer, Special Grade Dy.E.O.(Board Cell) and Director Ij C of Annamacharya Project Sri. Muniratnam Redddy. Sincere thanks to the reviewers and the entire staff of Annamacharya Project. These translations flowed from my heart and this book is an attempt to capture those expressions. Any errors arc solely mine.
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