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Sacred Songs of India

Item Code: NAV041
Author: V. K. Subramanian
Language: Various Language
Edition: 1996
ISBN: 8170173213
Pages: 320 (12 B/W Illustrations)
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 530 gm
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Book Description

About the Book

THE SACRED SONGS OF INDIA encom- passes selections from the lifework of ten mystic musician-saints of India, spanning twelve centuries. These poet sages came from different regions of India and sang in different languages, but the theme central to their songs is love and devotion towards their favourite Deity: Krishna, who is also Rama. The songs of Andal, the daughter of the south Indian temple priest who lived in the 7th century A.D. and of Meera, the Rajasthani princess who lived in the 16th century are both suffused with bridal mysti- cism. The songs of Vidyapati and Jayadeva are similar in their erotic imagery of the love of Radha and Krishna. Tulsidas, who sang in Varanasi in the north and Tyagaraja, who sang in Tiruvaiyar in deep south, in different languages and in different centuries were similar in their approach to their darling Deity, Rama. Surdas, Tukaram and Purandharadasa felt themselves to be the servants of their Master: Krishna. Kabir, while he sang of the glory of Rama, also philosophised about the transience of material life and the permanence of the Almighty. . 7 Andal sang in Tamil, Tyagaraja in Telugu, Purandharadasa in Kannada, Tukaram in Marathi, Jayadeva in Sanskrit and the others in various dialects of Hindi, but the thread of God-intoxicated devotion binds them all. The SACRED SONGS OF INDIA will be an inexhaustible repertoire for any musician, singer, choreographer, dancer or drama and ballet groups. It will also be a source of inspiration, spiritual and aesthetic, to all Indians, wher- ever they may be, in the continents of Euro-Asia, Africa or the continents across the Atlantic.

About the Author

Vadakaymadom Krishnaiyer Subramanian (b. 1930, Kerala) is an eminent Indian scholar, whose life mission is to present to the world the treasures of ancient Indian literature and cultural heritage. He has already translated several ancient texts into English. These include: Saundaryalahari, Sivanandalahart, Sri Rudraprasna, Maxims of Chanakya and Siva- Sakti.

Subramanian has a universalistic taste and is a prolific writer on a variety of subjects ranging from astrology to art. He has also written a few works of fiction.

A retired officer of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service (which he joined in 1953), Subramanian is also a reputed painter, who has held twenty-two one-man shows. His paintings have won wide acclaim from leading art critics of India.

Subramanian, who has travelled extensively in India, now lives in the United States of America.


The sacred songs of India, included in this book, are an arbitrary, incomplete, whimsical selection, spanning twelve centuries and covering various regions of India.

The only running thread in these songs is devotion to the chosen Deity: Krishna who is also Rama.

The saints who have composed these songs were all mystic poets who dreamed of their beloved deity in uninhibited imagery.

Both Andal—who was born in the South in the seventh century, the daughter of a temple priest—and Meera, the royal princess of Rajasthan who lived in the fifteenth-sixteenth centuries—desired union with Krishna and sang of Him as the Lover.

Jayadeva, the Orissan poet of the 12th century and Vidyapati, the Bihari saint of the 14th century, infused their songs with profuse eroticism about the love of Radha and Krishna—joy in union and sorrow in separation—Radha and Krishna being symbols of the individual soul and the Supreme Spirit.

Purandharadasa, Surdas and Tukaram treated themselves as the servants of the Lord and sang of the glories of their Master. Kabir’s songs are more philosophical in content, though rich in devotion.

Tulsidas and Tyagaraja blindly adored their Rama and sang of His glories with unparalleled intimacy. The beauty of these songs has transcended the barriers of language, region and time.

Andalsangin Tamil, Jayadevain Sanskrit, Purandharadasain Kannada, Tukaram in Marathi, Tyagaraja in Telugu and the others in various dialects of Hindi.

Jayadeva’s songs are sung in the temples of Kerala as also in the palace precincts of Rajasthan.

Meera’s bhajans and Tukaram’s abhangs are sung by Carnatic musicians of South India in their music concerts.

I consider these songs as great integrating factors and am proud to present them on a common platter to be read, sung and heard, and choreographed and danced by artistes and appreciated by people of all countries, whatever be their religion, race, language or nationality.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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