Annamayya Samkeertana

Coverage by Bhat Dittakavi on  “Annamacharya Sankeertana” at BVBARR on 26th July 2017
Chief Guest Dr. Sobha Raju arrived in time. The program has started with Deepa prajwalana by chief guest and the dignitaries. The evening started first thing with prayer “Devendra mouli mandara makaranda” to Lord Ganesha in Hansa Dhwani. Then prayers are offered to guru Annamacharya with “Sreematvadeeya charitaamruthamannayaaryaa”. They say Lord Vishnu’s instrument Nandakam took the form of Annamayya. 
Beauty and charm of Lord Venkateswara is praised by Annamayya in the next song Okaparikokapari. Annamayya described the virtues of the Lord through this song Vedukondaama. Next kids sang “Erukula vaniki”. Then comes the most poupular one that says all are equal in front of the GOD: “Tandanaana ahi”. 
Lord Venkata Ramana, also Krishna, is the son of two mothers Devaki and Yasoda. Maya of Krishna is compared with nine jewels in this next song “Muddu gaare yasodaa“. 
Then children sang praises on the hand of Lord that blessed all: “Indarikee abhayambulichchu  cheyi.
After Lord Venkateswara, it is Narasimha that Annamayya sang songs for. Hence children sang “Jaya jaya Nrisimha sarvesa“. Lord isomnipresent and ever smiling as Ahobaleswara of Tirumala. Then they sang one more on Lord Narasimha. “Prahlaada varada narasimha“. 
The next one is about Greatness of Lord’s lotus feet: “Brahma kadigini padamu”.
The next samkeertana is about all these decorations of the outer world are not the real. While sins of past life are paining me, I have to bear the sins of current life too. A beautiful samkeertana “Nagavulu nijamani namedaa“. Then children sang a samkeertana that praised Lord Venkateswara as  the one who blesses us with the boons we seek: “Kondalalo nelakonna”.
School has made sure students sang the songs of Annamacharya in groups and thereby establishing the spirit of team work ahead of solo performances. In the end, it is the devotion towards the GOD that matters.
Principal Dr. Raani madam
Good evening to all and warm welcome to each and every one. We are blessed to be with Dr. Shobha Raju. We are blessed as if Lord Venkateswara is with us. We need your blessings. 
No need to introduce our beloved chairman without whose blessings we can’t move a single step forward. Hearty welcome to Saroja madam. Let us enjoy and congratulate the students of our school who are in front of us to sing within short time of preparation.
If our acts are to inspire more to love, dream and do more, that is because we are always guided and motivated by our respected chairman of school management committee. We request him to address us.
Chairman Gopalakrishnan ji
Happy to be here in the presence of Dr. Shobha Raju gaaru. I was really surprised that we succeeded in having her for our function. Education is not just teaching in the classroom but taking them go beyond the classroom and engaging them in activities that teach values. Life without values is like flowers without fragrance. I congratulate all of you. We enjoyed the visual presentation. We are happy to have the saint of this century. We succeed in the life mainly because of the dignity of the people around us.
Lord Venkateswara came in Annamayya dream and he sang 33000 songs. Our chief guest stared at age of 4 and even composed kritis of her own. At the age 14 she became the AIR artist. She has established a centre for music and has almost become an university. She has engaged herself and established the centre for eradication of thought pollution. It is therapeutic way of music. She believes in serving the humanity through music. When she sits here and listen to the music of children we believe we have established a milestone for the school. We believe that value can’t be taught but only perceived. 
There has been a tremendous effort in the school for value education. We congratulate the teachers, parents and students. 
When we started from house, I was concerned that it was raining. I hope we go home with Lord’s blessing through a personification of values and the sacrifice of life through her heavenly divine music. All the students and teachers need your blessings. They should remember that they are able to inculcate values in students. Today is an important milestones as we have done something. 
Yes, we are fortunate and we pray that you continue to do this service for long time and your blessings will be always with us.
Dr. Shobharaju gaaru, acclaimed singer and writer, was invited into the dias. Rains showered just before she hoisted the dias. Magically the rains have stopped once she settled on the dias. 
Speech by Dr. Shobha Raju
My heartiest wishes to respected Mr and Mrs chairman, Principal Rani Annamalai ji. Smt Sesikalaji Vice Principal, Dr. NGG Naidu gaaru. My heartiest appreciation to Vasumati and Balabharati for training these young kids so wonderfully well. Lots of love and wishes to all the kids who sang wonderfully well. I just came here to listen to the budding artists and I was in ecstasy while listening to you all. 
It was my dream once upon a time when I was 18 when this divine task was entrusted to me by Lord through TTD. I started off singing these songs and lots of books I used to carry onto the dias. The first page always read a quote by Vivekananda: “at my will mountains will crumble”. May the whole world sing the song of Annamayya. 
Those were the days when people haven’t heard the name of Annamayya. When I sang, many questioned what is this song. I used to bluff to them that they are from new films yet to be released. In those days I used to sing movie songs so I inserted these devotional songs by bluffing that they were from new movies. These are excellent Annamacharya compositions. My dream was that whole world should swing in the songs of Annamacharya. Every singer wants to sing these songs now. If someone says he doesn’t not know he is not rated as professional singer. 
I ask the kids on dias this question. 
Why do you love Annamacharya Keerthana?
BVB Kid: They are rhythmic. 
An incident in USA: This reminded me of my past trip in USA. A host introduced me to her 6 year old son. That boy said why do you call her musician? She is in a saree. Then she said singer. He couldn’t connect me with singer. Then she said in her ultimate effort to make him understand, she told him she is like Michael Jackson. I am a fan of Michael Jackson in his genre. I got to be introduced in the name of Michael and it was big pity. 
Discovery of Kritis: This tandanaana Hari song is very rhythmic. Annamayya belongs to 15 th century. We only got the lyrics. We thank his son and grandson for engraving his songs on copper plates. Those were the days they didn’t have paper or press. They engraved the songs originally on palm leaves and then on copper plates. These are preserved in “sankeertana bhandagaram” right opposite to the Hundi in Tirumala. You notice Annamacharya and peda tirumalacharya to either  side there. Please make sure you touch the holy feet of both when you go there. Around 70 years ago late Sri Sadhu Subramani Sastri and Udayagiri Srinivasacharyulu his disciple found these plates. When Sadhu asked Uday, he went inside and found them. He went through the lyrics and wondered such a great literature was hidden here.
His blessings: 38 years ago when TTD wanted to propogate these songs in devotional movement, I was blessed by Lord the first time to take up this project. I started singing these songs in every village, city and so on. I did 21 programs a month on an average. Apart from that I used to write and teach notations and also publish the same. So much service went into this. Unless there was blessings and guidance and His blessings and guru’s grace, I wouldn’t have moved an inch. I wouldn’t have the privilege of listening to you all otherwise. What you earn is not money not name but it is guru’s grace and Lord’s grace through right conduct and devotion at heart. 
Rhythm is there even in cinematic songs too. Musically rhythm gives tick to the listener. Tandanaana gives kick of rhythm. 
If music is not that of Annamacharya’s anyhow, what is great in his songs? 
Another BVB kid) He praises the lord wonderfully. 
Yes. Give her an applause. He praises and communicates to lord and gets closer to lord. So many saints in India. There so many renowned saints have communicated God through music that is divine. Music takes you naturally closer to GOD but you have to apply concentration, devotion and discipline. If you apply them, you get closer to GOD. 
Annamayya has given wonderful message to society through his songs. This is why his songs are great. 
Hunter and singing parrots: “Parrots parrots listen to me, the hunter will spread the net and you will not get into it” is the song I sang in my early days. 
Looks like a saint was passing through a forest and he saw these parrots eating grains on the ground. He felt pity for them as hunter will come and spread the nets and they will get succumbed. He thought he must give them a message. How could he give the message of you say in English like earlier? When music is added, the message is more powerful. This is what happens in the ads. The saint thought he must teach these parrots through music. Parrots learnt and started things beautifully the same song. Now they will be wise enough not to get into the nets is what the saint thought. The hunter came and spread the net and the parrots went and got stuck in the net despite the song and music. Still in the net they still sung the same song. 
Tuning the life: Similarly, there is no fun just by singing the songs. These songs of Annamacharya are capsules for the disease of the world. Each one of us have different problems and Annamacharya gave solutions through capsules of these samkeertanas that remind ourselves of the therapeutic use. I will be the most happiest when I see you say that these songs have helped us tune to life. 
What is real: When my brother was young, he told me he was making a greeting card for a famous heroine in his time. I asked him why do you like her? He said her smile was very nice. Annamayya said “are those smiles real?” Don’t be attracted to outward glamour. Glamour is necessary to decorate the stage and making the performers look good. It is good to look good and sound good. More important thing is to have inside beauty. If you have diamond inside you can package it in a nice box. First look beautifully inside. Bhaavamulona and baahyamunandanaa. Finding the God inside is the beauty. If you have to naturally go to meditation, song of devotion to lord naturally leads you to meditation. Meditation happens through a song of devotion. People would be able to see divinity in you when you are clean at heart. Nothing wrong in doing small mischiefs and getting scolding by teachers. 
I invite you all: Lord Venkateswara and Annamayya have come by walk to annamayyapuram. I only have devotion  and I asked them to come. They accepted my invitation and they are in our temple. Please visit and take his blessings from annamayyapuram. 
Closing message: Sing for the God inside and to the divinity in everyone. 
Mrs. Gopalakrishnan felicitated the chief guest Shobha Raju with a saree.
Then children sang “Deva devam bhaje” on Lord Rama. Then followed “Govindaasrita Gokula Brindaa”25+ teachers joined in the dias to sing “Guruterigina donga“. 
The next one is about how Lord appears to different devotees in different forms and size: “Enta maatramuna”. Finally a nice samkeertana on Amma, Lord’s wife: “Ammammmaa emammaaa alaarmelmangaa.”
The samkeertanas have concluded with a Mangalam: “Ksheerabdi kanyakaku”.
Vote of thanks by Chairman
It turned out to be extraordinarily excellent evening. The function is well organised. The groups may not be the master of music, they are blessed to receive an appreciation from Dr Shobha Raju. Thank the parents who took trouble to let their kids participate. Both the music teachers Vasumati and Balabharathi have done extraordinarily well. 35 teachers participated to sing too. I am impressed with visual presentation that is relevant with the content of the songs. Appreciate Bhanumati and Srrelalitha for visuals. 
Look hear, it is not enough to read. You have to see that it transforms to wisdom and character. She said to tune your life. She said money is not important but developing values. Develop yourself  through developed external world to identify the GOD within you. 
It is about value based Quality education. This is what this school stands on. This helps your kids come out as Quality citizens. Lord Venkateswara came in the form of showers and he is here.
A parent: Today is birth day of Andal. What a coincidence. The way the program has been done is very fantastic. Many years ago when we met the chairman, we were particular that our kids go to school that teaches values. The culture of adding values is going up day by day at this school.

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