The book Annamayya Gitopadeshalu with commentary by Tadepalli Patanjali is a careful collection of 25 songs penned by saint-poet Annamacharya and throws light on a different aspect of this great composer, viz. the reflection of the Bhagawad Gita slokas in all these one score and five sankeertana. It is authenticated by a number of scholars/litterateurs in the very first pages of this collection. Little wonder though, that the Bhagawad Gita has its influence in our thought process even today though not in the order in which it is put. It is a part of the Indian psyche and would have been more so in those times especially with someone as devoted to vaishnavism as Annamacharya.
Despite this, the reference to the verse of the Gita vis-à-vis a sankeertana is a laudable effort on the part of the commentator. Songs like ‘Ihapara sadhana ee talapu’ which draws a parallel with Chapter 8 sloka 7 of the Gita; ‘…nirmaludai atma niyati galuguvaadu..’ (Gita 2-64); ‘okati sugnyanamu okati agnyanamu which corresponds with the 16th sloka of Gita chapter 5 (gyanethu tadagnyanam yeshaam); the popular ‘brahmam okkate parabrahmam okkate’ (Gita chap. 5-18); ‘nagavulu nijamani nammeda..’(karmanye vadhikarasya) and the very composite ‘Moode maatalu’ keertana which encapsulates nearly nine slokas of the Gita within just nine words penned by the poet, indeed delve deep into the vedantic realms giving us a glimpse of the real Annamacharya and his philosophy underlying the seemingly simple language of his poetry.
Brevity is the soul of wit, so is the explanation to each of the 25 songs with a parallel, relevant quote from the Gita in this compilation for those of us who have no clue to Indian spiritual thought. The book is a sort of a guide to musicians who are conversant in Telugu and can read and appreciate the language, as it infuses the right emotive element that ought to be borne in mind while singing so that the ‘bhava’ or innate meaning is not lost.
It is equally important for all those interested in the history of our Telugu culture and literature which inevitably mirror our mythology and sacred truths engraved within them. Published by Sujanaranjani, ‘Annamayya Gitopadeshalu’ is available at SRT 922, Sanathnagar or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact: 9849302342/040 23705440.