The Great Integrators (The Saint Singers of India)

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Item Code: NAR853
Author: Dr. V. Raghavan
Publisher: DR.V RAGHAVAN CENTRE FOR PERFORMING ARTS
Language: English
Edition: 2017
Pages: 184
Cover: PAPERBACK
Other Details 7.00 X 5.00 inch
Weight 160 gm
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Preface

The theme enlarged upon in these lectures is one which took root in my mind when I was quite a boy. When at school in my native place Tiruvarur-an ancient centre famed in the annals of South Indian history, devotion and the arts of music and dance-I was drawn into the bhajana-goshthis which went round the town, particularly in Margas In the course of my literary and academic activities, the subject grew upon me, with widening background and increasing awareness of its ancient roots and historical role. The spirit and approach deepened with the Bhagavara and the Prayers, Praises and Psalms, two of my earliest works; I wrote on several of the later South Indian Saints, which work culminated in The Spiritual Heritage of Tyagaraja. brought out in The Indian Heritage and in my contributions to Sources of Indian Tradition how the mission of these later saint-singers was but a continuation of the work of the rishis and acharyas and how the contribution of the two bore an ekavakyata

The historical continuity and the country-wide sweep seen in the activities of these saints of the regional languages underline the great role of consolidation that they played, leading to renewals and re-affirmations, from time to time, of the moral, religious and spiritual values of the people. This integration, which we are endeavouring to achieve today and which the saint-singers, who had a total concept of it, achieved in their unique way, was, I thought, a subject appropriate to the present times and to the distinguished name with which these lectures are associated. When I was invited by Mrs Indira Gandhi, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, to deliver the Patel Memorial Lectures for 1964, I chose accordingly the subject "The Great Integrators : The Saint-Singers of India".

The material of this theme comprises two parts, the thesis and an anthology of selections from the songs of the saints. All this material is presented here, although at the time of delivery of the actual lectures, owing to exigencies of time, only the thesis, with some omissions, could be read. I wish to thank Mrs Indira Gandhi for her invitation and the authorities of All India Radio for the arrangements made for my delivering the lectures and for their broadcast as a national programme. I must thank my friend Dr K. M. Munshi for presiding over the lectures and introducing me, and Shri C. R. Pattabhiraman, Deputy Minister, Information and Broadcasting, for having been present at the lectures and for his words of appreciation at the conclusion_ My thanks are due to the Publications Division of the Government of India for publishing the Lectures.

Sri Manjeri S. Isvaran, formerly Secretary, National Book Trust, kindly helped me in reading the proofs.

Sri C. S. Sundaram of my Department, the University-of Madras, assisted me in the compilation of the biblio-graphy, and he and Dr Kumari S. S. Janaki have also read the proofs with me,

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