Govinda Dasu is a member of Dasu family, which is a well-known member of Telugu Niyogi community of coastal Andhra. The legendary patriarch of Dasu family is his great^3 grandfather Sreeramulu Dasu, a celebrated poet. Apparently the Dasu’s migrated to that Andhra region from Marathi speaking Dharwad region. Music is the essential spirit on which the Dasu family thrives. Here is Govinda Dasu’s story and profile.
Govinda Dasu wanted to honor his father, grandfather, and great^3 grandfather. To do this, he worked with his father Sridhara Dasu in creating the Sangeeta Sudha mobile app. The app accompanies the website created by his grandfather Damodara Rao Dasu. Sangeeta Sudha is a website that translates Carnatic music. The site provides thousands of translations and transliterations of musical lyrics from Telugu and Sanskrit, into English.
The website features a prologue from an ardent music lover, Damodara Dasu, to Carnatic music lovers and students. Its guestbook has hundreds of comments from admirers. His admirers talk about how useful the website is for Carnatic music students in India and abroad. Such students often struggle to understand the meaning of what they are singing. Santa Dasu, the aunt of Govinda Dasu, made the website and optimized it for best search presence. You can contact her via Damodara Dasu here. The site even includes a Telugu to English transliteration guide:
Govinda Dasu and his company’s engineers developed the Sangeeta Sudha iOS / iPhone app and Android app. The app features compositions of Sreeramulu Dasu, Tyagaraja, Annamacharya, Dikshitar and the legendary Purandara Dasa. The app features links to publicly available musical recordings on YouTube, featuring ragas such as mOhana, kalyAni, Anandabhairavi and yamunA KalyAni. Apparently they are very popular according to this Carnatic raga popularity histogram.
Govinda Dasu recommends Sangeeta Sudha search
Say you are searching for a ragam, song (Keertana, Kruti, Varnam, Javali, etc.). To find relevant content quickly, Govinda Dasu recommends using the Sangeeta Sudha search, and try searching for “Hindolam”. In the search results you will find the wonderful song Garuda Gamana by Annamacharya translated. Garuda is the bird vehicle of Vishnu.
A search for the name Govinda yields many compositions. Krishna, the cowherd is the 8th avatar of Vishnu and is known lovingly to his cowherd community as Govinda, the protector of cows. Govinda Dasu and Sridhara Dasu and their company designed the Sangeeta Sudha app Settings to be just like the website
Note that this is the same application as the one in this article: https://blog.learningdollars.com/2018/10/24/prof-sridhara-dasu-hires-ld-engineers-to-build-carnatic-music-app-achieves-500-installs-on-google-play/.
Govinda Dasu recommends Carnatic Use Cases
Sangeeta Sudha app can be useful when appreciating or learning Carnatic music.
For instance, Govinda Dasu, himself, uses it in the following scenarios. Say you are listening to a keertana or varnam, and you would like to know the raga. You can use the search feature to find it. Perhaps, try making a game out of it. For instance, you can take a guess at it first. You can then check if you were correct in the Sangeeta Sudha app.
In other cases, say you are trying to train your ear to recognize a specific raga. Govinda Dasu recommends that you look up the raga in the Sangeeta Sudha app. Look up each song on youtube and listen to it. Read the translation on Sangeeta Sudha. You can do the same for a particular tala.
In yet other cases, say you want to listen to all the songs of a particular maestro, say Tyagaraja. Govinda Dasu suggests that you can go through all their songs. Listen to them on youtube. And read their translations on Sangeeta Sudha.
One example could be that you, are trying to look for Javalis. You are aware that Dasu Sreeramulu was a prolific composer of Javalis. You can go to Dasu Sreeramulu’s page and look under the Javalis and Padams section, and you could look at the Javali, iddari pondElarA.
The tradition of the Dasu family is a fascinating one. It is entwined with Carnatic music and vegetarian Telugu food. Here is a teaser:
mOhana rAgam with mukkala pulusu
Adi talam with AvakAya annam
jAvali with jAma pandu
annamAcharya with annam paravAnnam
How is that for poetry! If you are not a fan of poetry, to explore the food side of the family, check out these family recipes https://govindadasu.com/category/family-recipes/ by Govinda Dasu.