RLN Raju, born in Tallapaka, Kadapa Dt. Andhra Pradesh, did his post graduation in English Literature from S.V. University, Tirupathi. He is currently working
as Assistant Professor of English and Head, Dept of Humanities and Sciences in the Annamacharya Institute of Tech& sciences, Rajampet Kadapa Dt. He is
pursing research for doctoral degree from Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University Hyderabad, under the guidance of the renowned scholar and literary critic Dr C.
He shows keen interest in Telugu Literature, though by profession he is teacher of English. His fascination for the saint poet has, obviously stemmed from his
being born in Tallapaka, which also made him an ardent follower of the vaggeyakar’s life and works. By writing in English, his intention is to spread the message
ad greatness of Tallapaka Annamacharya to the world.
The reading of the novel ‘The Singing Saint’ written by Sri RLN Raju depicting the saintly life of Annamacharya has really left a memorable and refreshing
experience in my mind. It is a commendable venture to bring to light the real life sequences and the characters related to the life of the saint poet, and deserves
Annamacharya is the first poet in Telugu Literature who had brought the ‘pada kavita’ into fore and earned distinction as Padakavita Pitamaha (Father of prose
verse) and Dravidagama Saarvabhouma. Annamacharya took all the essence from Vedas, Aagamas, Upanishads, Itihasas, Puranas and all other related kaavyas,
which are the roots of Indian philosophical and academic heritage and composed thousands of songs, popularly known as Sankeerthanams, to glorify the deeds of
his Isthadaiva ‘Venkateswara’. Annamaiah is not only a great devotee but also a saint born with a mission. He composed sankeerthanams in simple and lucid
languages mainly to cater to the needs of commoners and of course, of he learned men. These sankeerthanams with a style, most lucid and simple, suited to all
and can be sung by all. The three qualities, that influence human life towards super human stature; philosophical attitude, cultural heritage and social
reformation, are the basic and high lighting qualities in the sankeerthanams of Annamacharya. It is the earnest duty of all of us to know about the life of such a
Sri RLN Raju has penned this novel, which contains the real life situations of Annamacharya with remarkable style and precision. This book contains dramatic
and heart moving scenes and relevant and simple dialogues suited perfectly to the situations which are sure to captivate the minds of the readers. The pertinent
usage of, some of the sankeerthanams like,
“Podagantimayya mimmu purushottama...”And another sankeerthana
“Brahmamokkate Parabrahmamokkate...”and many more, is really noteworthy.
The characterization and situational dialogues are the assets of this novel. The mother-son bond between Annamaiah and Lakkamamba and the motherly affection
of Matamma (a remarkable fictitious character) towards Annamaiah depict the noble human relations and bonds. Also the scene in which Alamelu Manga, the
mother of the universe and ever generous, feeds the prasadam to the hungry and completely exhausted Annamaiah is heart-moving and sure to cherish our
mothers of the society. The affection of Kaliyuga Prathyaksha Daiva and Saviour of all, Sri Venkateswara towards Annamacharya is portrayed with remarkable
literary talent by the author.
This is a historical novel of the singing saint judiciously coupled with innovative ideas and fiction. It needs substantial ability to excel and Sri Raju has done his
best to keep the tempo and interest up to the end of the novel. This novel depicts not merely a profile but brings forth the greater, nobler and reformative ideas of
Another note worthy aspect of this novel is the description of nature. The pilgrimage of young Annamaiah to the Seven Hills and the scenes and situations are so
vivid and perfectly narrated that the readers are taken for a yatra on foot at least in their dreams. The readers are sure to have a virtual experience of memorable
journey to the Heavenly Abode through woods.
Annamacharya hails from Tallapaka and the writer showed more anxiety to bring eternity to this village through this novel along with its illustrious son
Annamacharya. Sri Raju’s eagerness is understandable and justified also as he too hails from the same village.
I also sincerely believe that the writer has fully utilized the description of Tallapaka Chinna Tirumalaiah’s ‘Annamacharya Charitamu’ where in the greatness and
prosperity of Tallapaka of the day were described.
There are many such descriptions and situations and it is now for the readers who are eager to read ‘The Singing Saint’ and are sure to read it again and again and
cherish the literary exploitations of the author in their hearts and keep it as a good literary possession in their personal library.
I sincerely wish Sri RLN Raju to bring out many such good works to glorify the rich cultural and literary heritage of Telugu and wish him to achieve laurels in
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