There is a popular story about the composition of Satakam. Annamayya while returning from Srisailam after darsan of Mallikarjuna and stayed at Jettipalem village in the shores of Krishna river. He started writing the Satakam on palm leaves and throws each one into the river. Only those returning to the shore are compiled into the bundle. With immense Shiva bhakti, he pledged to sacrifice his life if any one palm leaf fails to return to the shore. So each one of the palm leaf compositions came back to the shore except one. While he is attempting to sacrifice his life, Lord Shiva appeared in the form of herd keeper and handled that particular palm leaf, thereby saving the life of his Bhakta.
- Yathavakkula Annamayya's Sarveswara Satakam by P. Saraswathi in Sapthagiri Magazine, February 2009.