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|Syama Sastri (Tamil:சியாமா சாஸ்திரி)|
|Born||Venkata Subramania Sarma (Tamil:வேங்கட சுப்ரமணிய ஸர்மா)
Tiruvarur, Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu
|Indian classical music|
|Part of a series on|
|Music of India|
A Lady Playing the Tanpura, ca. 1735 (Rajasthan)
|Media and performance|
|Nationalistic and patriotic songs|
|National anthem||Jana Gana Mana|
Syama Sastri (Tamil:சியாமா சாஸ்திரி) (1762–1827) was a musician and composer of the Carnatic music tradition. He is the oldest among the Trinity of Carnatic music, Tyagaraja and Muthuswami Dikshitar being the other two.
Syama Sastri was born to Viswanatha Iyer and Vengalakshmi. He was born as a Venkata Subramania Sarma with a pet name of Syama Krishna on April 26th, 1762 (Kali 4683, Chitrabhanu year, 17th of Chithirai Month, Kartika Nakshatra, Monday, in a Tamil speaking Uttara Desa Vadama Brahmin family, belongs to Gautama gotra and Baudhayana sutra. Viswanatha Iyer and his forefather Venkatadri Iyer were originally from Kanchipuram serving the Goddess Kamakshi Devi as an archakas (appointed ritual priests) and later in 1566 due to political confusions and riots Syama Sastri's ancestors moved out of Kanchipuram, stayed in various places (Gingee, Tiruvarur, Anakkudi, Nagapattinam, Madapuram, Sikkil) and eventually settled in Thanjavur along with the golden procession deity of goddess Kamakshi Devi. The golden deity later being installed and worshipped in Thanjavur, with the of Thanjavur Telugu Nayaka kings a new temple was erected for the Golden procession deity hence known as Bangaru Kamaskhi in Telugu.
Although Śyāma Śastri did not compose as so many krithis as his two prolific contemporaries, his compositions are still well known due to the literary, melodic and rhythmic proficiency observed in them. It is said that he composed about three hundred pieces in all.
He did not have many disciples to propagate his compositions, nor was the printing press widely accessible during his time. More importantly, the scholarly nature of his compositions made them more appealing to the learned than to the lay. His compositions are far fewer in number than Tyagaraja or Dikshita. Additionally, they feature a more formal form of Telugu which borrows heavily from Sanskrit. In contrast, Tyagaraja composes in this form of Telugu but also resorts to a more colloquial dialect to which Syama Sastri does not.
He composed kritis, varṇa(s) and svarajati(s) with the ankita or mudra (signature) Śyāma Krishna. He was probably the first to compose in a new form of the svarajati musical genre, where the compositions could be rendered solely in a singing or instrumental manner. Prior to this, the svarajati was primarily a dance form, and was close in structure to the dance Varṇaṃ (padavarṇaṃ).
His set of three famous svarajati(s) are intended to be sung in concert rather than danced, and are sometimes referred to as "Ratnatrayam" (Three jewels). They are Kāmākṣhī Anudinamu, Kāmākṣhī Padayugamē, and Rāvē himagiri kumāri, composed in the ragas Bhairavi, Yadukula kambhoji and Todi respectively. The former two are set to Miśra Cāpu Tāḷa, while the third is set to Ādi Tāḷa.
He was known for his ability to compose in the most complex of Tāḷa(s). He was also widely revered for his voice and singing ability during his time.
Syama Sastri had two sons named Panju Sastri and Subbaraya Sastri (1803–1862), who reportedly learnt music under each of the Carnatic music Trinity; this was considered, a rare privilege. His kritis, with the signature 'Kumara', are treated as dispositive references for those ragas in which they were composed. Subbaraya Sastri adopted his elder brother Panju Sastri's second son Annasvami Shastri (1827–1900), was also a fine composer. Annaswami's son also being named as Syama Sastri.
The below sections mention some of his compositions.
|Kāmākṣhī anudinamu maruvakanē
కామాక్షీ అనుదినము మరువకనే
|Kāmākṣhī padayugame sthiramaninē
|Rāvē himagiri kumāri
రావే హిమగిరి కుమారీ
|Śaṅkari Śaṃkuru candra mukhī
Sanskrit: शङ्करि शंकुरु चन्द्र मुखी
Telugu Script: శఙ్కరి శంకురు చన్ద్ర ముఖీ
|Sāvēri||Ādi – Tiśra Gati||Sanskrit|
|pAlayAshu mAM paradEvatE||Arabhi||Sanskrit|
|kanaka śaila vihāriṇī
Sanskrit: कनक शैल विहारिणी
Telugu Script: కనక శైల విహారిణీ
|Birāna varālicci brōvave
బిరాన వరాలిచ్చి బ్రోవవె
|Kaḷyāṇi||Ādi – Tiśra Gati||Telugu|
|Dēvī brōva samayamu
దేవీ బ్రోవ సమయము
|kAmAkSi lOka sAkSiNi||madhyamAvati||Sanskrit|
|Himādri sutē pāhimāṃ
హిమాద్రి సుతే పాహిమాం
|Māyammā yani nē pilacite
మాయమ్మా యని నే పిలచితె
|Mari vērē gati evvarammā
మరి వేరే గతి ఎవరమ్మా
|Nannu brōvu lalitā
నన్ను బ్రోవు లలితా
|O jagadambā nannu
ఓ జగదమ్బా నన్ను
|Pārvati ninu nē nera nammiti
పార్వతీ నిను నే నెర నమ్మితి
|Sarōja daḷa nētri himagiri putrī
సరోజ దళ నేత్రి హిమగిరి పుత్రీ
|Tallī ninnu nera namminānu vinavē
తల్లీ నిన్ను నెర నమ్మినాను వినవే
|pāhi śrī girirājasutē karuṇākalitē||ānandabhairavī||rūpakaṃ||Telugu-sanskrit|
|devī nī mīna nētrī brōva||shankarabharanam||adi||telugu|
|Ennēramum un nāmam
என்னேரமும் உன் நாமம்
|Ennēramum un pāda kamalam
என்னேரமும் உன் பாத கமலம்