Thyagaraja is one of the most popular among the composers of Carnatic music. He was born on 4 May 1767 at Tiruvaiyarur, Tamil Nadu. Thyagaraja was one of those precious gems who gave a new direction to Indian music. He was a profound scholar and poet and also known as 'Sangeet-Guru'. The music compositions, 'Tyagaraja Gana', 'Valmikiya Kavana' and 'Agumbeya Astamaya' are said to be unique for enrapturing the human heart.
Thyagaraja composed devotional verses and set them to music. He popularised music in the form of Kirtans. His immortal 'Pancharatna Kritis' (the five gems) reveal the mastery of his genius. He was of the view that art cannot be weighed in money, nor can it be compensated by it. He composed 700 verses and set them to music in 500 different ragas.
Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries are significant in the annals of Indian music because of Thyagaraja. His special sound effect which revolutionised Carnatic music distinguished Thyagaraja in the field of poetry. He also created two operas: 'Prahlada Bhakti Vijayam' and 'Nauka charitam'. Majority of his songs are in Telugu while a number of them are in Sanskrit. He was renowned as one among the trinities of Carnatic music.
Spiritually he was one of the rare souls who gave up everything and cared for nothing else beyond the grace of God. The only things that mattered to him was his music and faith. He was a great devotee of Lord Rama. Thyagaraja passed away on 6th January 1847.