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Shyam Sastri (1762-1827) was a Tamil-speaking Brahmin known as auttara vadama. His actual name was Venkata Subrahmanya but he was affectionately called Syama Sastri. He was the senior-most among the famous Trinity of the Carnatic music. Most of Syama Sastri's compositions are in praise of the Goddess Meenakshi Devi. Sastri is believed to have created about 300 pieces in all, 50 in Telugu, 15 in Sanskrit and 5 in Tamil, besides five geetams, four varnams and three swarajatis, in addition to a Navaratnamalika on Devi Meenakshi in nine ragas. Though he was a Tamilian, he had chosen Telugu as the medium of expression for his songs because of the inherent beauty of that language. Shyama Sastri's kritis are renowned for their dictional charm and structural beauty.