Tyāgarāja (1767–1847). Born Tyāgabrahmam, the primus inter pares of three S. Indian composers, the others being Muttusvami Dīkṣitar (1777–1835) and Śyāmā Śāstri (1762–1821). Tyāgarāja was a devotee of Rāma, who resisted invitations to become a court musician—many of his compositions were spontaneous reactions to places of pilgrimage. He believed profoundly that music rested in the primordial creativity of sound (see MANTRA), and that music combined with bhakti would lead more directly to mokṣa (release) than any other route, including yoga.
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