His earliest brush with the world of writing saw him write a few English poems, which drew due praise from the likes of B.M.Srikantaiah and later made their way into print in some local newspapers of his time. This was followed by some exhaustively researched essays written at the tender age of 18. These were the “Shivaganga Kshetra” and “Kannada Nayananda” which caught the attention of his professors-Dr A.Venkatasubbaiah,
Prof Hiriyanna and Prof S.V.Ranganna. In fact, one of his chief mentors Prof S.V.Venkateswara (department of history), one fine day entered the class room and asked-“…Is there a Srikanta Sastri here..? Who is he ..?” and when young Sastri stood up to identify himself, he was asked. “..Sastri,
I have read your writings. I believe it is my right to know you better.”..! Apparently Srikanta Sastri, while writing an article for the Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, had introduced himself as lecturer at department of history at University of Mysore. As he was still a student, Prof S.V.Venkateswara took exception to it and decided to question the young sastri personally! Incidentally, he was for quite some time known to his fellow students as “professor”..!
Vol I" was praised for its depth by Dr Barnett in the “Journal of Royal Asiatic Society”. Further it became the first work in the history of University of Mysore to be awarded a assistance fee during its preparation. How "Sources Of Karnataka History, Vol I" came to be, has an interesting story to it!
It was the year 1923 and
Dr S.S.Sastri was still a student pursuing his Master of Arts degree at University of Mysore. The then ruling monarch of the princely state of Mysore-Maharaja Nalvadi Krishna Raja Wodeyar had the insight to set the stage for the production of a
At age 22, Dr S.S.Sastri published his first article in the 1926, July edition of “Journal of Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland” titled “South India-Dakshinadalli Shiladityana Vistarana Kramagalu”. Following this, he published a piece on Vijayanagara’s Immadi Devaraya’s rule in ‘Indian Antiquary” and “Modern Review”. Always unbiased, faithful and truthful in his approach, he would never hesitate to state the facts as they were, irrespective of the subtle sensitivities involved, which in his perspective stood in the way of a genuine scholar’s quest for the truth. He was fluent in over 14 languages ranging from ancient ones such as Pali, Greek, Latin, Egyptian, Assyrian, Hittite, Sumerian, Ardhamagadhi to modern languages such as German, French, Russian, Chinese and Japanese. This would aid him greatly in researching works from different cultures and linguistic backgrounds. He would go on to author such hallmark works of history as "Bharathiya Samskruthi", "Purathatva Shodhane", "Sources of Karnataka History, Vol I" and many more. These find place in leading libraries and research institutes around the world and India.
work which would encompass the Karnataka State’s 1200 years of
history. With this tall aim in mind, the Maharaja requested the then
Vice-Chancellor Sri Brijendranath Seal to facilitate the publication of such
a comprehensive work. The Vice Chancellor approached the department
of History at University of Mysore, Prof S.V.Venkateshwara in particular with a request to give shape to such a dream. After some deliberation,
Prof S.V.Venkateshwara decided it best to appoint young Srikanta Sastri in charge of such an endeavour. Thus began in 1928 Dr S.Srikanta Sastri’s toil to produce a comprehensive work spanning 1200 years of Karnataka history.
The collected material for the book was in several languages ranging from Kannada, Sanskrit, Telugu, Marathi and even Greek. By the time the work took some form, tragedy struck in the form of the Vice Chancellor leaving Mysore. Successive Vice Chancellors did not evince keen interest in the publication of the work.
5 November, 1904
10 May 1974
University of Mysore
B.A., M.A., D.Litt
Sources of Karnataka History, Vol I
Geopolitics of India and Greater India
Early Gangas of Talakad
Kannada Sahitya Parishta Award, 1970
Mythic Society Diamond Jubilee Honour
Honour by Governor of Karnataka Mohanlal Sukadia