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Famous Carnatic Composers - VY


Vyaasaraaya - Sri Vyasaraja Tirtha, follower of Sri Madwa's Dvaita School of philosophy, was born around the year 1460 A.D. He was born of Sri Rallanna sumati of Strotriya, Kashyapa gothra family and Akkamma at Bannur, a village north of Sosale in Mysore District of Karnataka with the blessings of Sri Brahmanya Tirtha the pontiff of Sri Purvadi mutt. The father gave him the name Yatiraja. The young Yatiraja was left under the care of Sri Brahmanya Tirtha. He was performed upanayana at the age of seven and was being taught all aspects of vedanta at the Purvadi mutt. Sri Brahmanya Tirtha was contemplating to initiate Sri Yatiraja into sanyasa impressed by his attainments. At the same time under the divine direction Sri Yatiraja offered to become an ascetic. Thereafter Sri Brahmanya Tirtha gave him sanyasa and named him Vyasa Tirtha. Sri Vyasa Tirtha should have been around sixteen years of age then.

After Sri Brahmanaya Tirtha, Sri Vyasa Tirtha bacame the head of the Sri Purvadi mutt in the year 1476. Sri Vyasa Tirtha had his further studies in philosophy at Kanchi and also under Sri Sripadaraja Tirtha at Mulabagal. Under the direction of Sri Sripadaraja Tirtha, the Saluva king Narasimha honored Sri Vyasa Tirtha and made him Rajaguru. Thereafter he came to be known as Sri Vyasaraja Tirtha. He went to Tirupathi in 1486, after being requested by the king Sri Saluva Narasimha to become the custodian of the Temple. He had performed puja to Lord Venkateshwara for about twelve years. There was change of guard in the Vijanagara Samrajya, but he remained the Rajaguru. Sri Krishnadevaja ascended the throne in 1509, who worshipped Sri Vyasaraja Tirtha.

Sri Krishnadevaraya came under the Kuhu Yoga, a combination of planets as per the astrology, which can kill the king. The Rajaguru had then taken over the reign of the Vijayanagara. On a particular day a serpent entered the court and Sri Vyasaraja Tirtha threw his saffron upper garment on it and it got burnt to ashes thereby saving the king from the clutches of death. He returned the reign back to Sri Krishnadevraja, after warding off the evil effect of the planets thus.

Sri Vyasaraja Tirtha had left behind a rich treasure of works on Sri Madhva Siddhantha. He had not only done scholarly works but also left many compositions, which are revered and rendered by the common people today. He is one of the eight saint-composers {Sri Sri Padharaja[Rangavittala], Sri Vyasaraja[Krishna Vittala], Sri Vathiraja[Hayavadana], Sri Purandaradasa, Sri Kanakadasa, Sri Nelayathi[Kasava], Sri Vijayadasa[Vijaya Vittala], Sri Gopaladasa, Sri Jaganathadasa}. Through his compositions (considered divine), which is full of love for the SriHari, he spread SriHari Bhakthi. Sri Purandaradasa and Sri Kanakadasa are disciples of Sri Vyasaraja Tirtha.

Sri Vyasaraja Tirtha had not only left behind the treasure of his work, he had given us illustrious saints like Sri Vijayindra Tirtha and great saint composers like Sri Purandaradasa, Sri Kanakadasa, and Sri Haridasa. Sri Vyasaraja Tirtha had also constructed several Temples, including 732 Hanuman temples spreading all over south.

Sri Vyasaraja Tirtha regarded as the incarnation of Baktha Prahlada, the honored Scholar, Rajaguru, Saint Composer, Bhakta of SriHari, Dasa of Mukhya prana(Sri Hanuman) died on the 8th of March 1539 and left for the heavenly abode only to re-incarnate as Sri Raghavendra Swamy. His Brindavana is at Navavrindavana on river Tungabhadra, very close to Hampi.

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updated on 12/27/2008