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Asthan Vidwan Motaganahalli Ramashesha S

Asthan Vidwan Motaganahalli Ramashesha Sastri

Asthan Vidwan Motaganahalli Subramanya Sastri

Asthan Vidwan Motaganahalli Subramanya Sastri

S. Srikanta Sastri's Ancestral Family Tree

S. Srikanta Sastri's Ancestral Family Tree

 
 
S. Srikanta Sastri with his students at their Graduation Ceremony
 

S. Srikanta Sastri with his students at their Graduation Ceremony

 
 
Bharathiya Samskruthi (First Edition).jpg

Bharathiya Samskruthi
(First Edition)

 
 
 
 
Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri's wife Smt. Nagarathnamma
 

Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri's wife Smt. Nagarathnamma

Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri Family Tree.jpg

Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri's Family Chart

Sondekoppa Srikanta Sastri, 5 November 1904 (Shaka-1826, Krodhinama Samvathsara - Hindu Calendar)-10 May 1974, was an Indian historian, Indologist and teacher who lived in the city of Mysore, south India. He was born in the small town of Nanjanagud near Mysore on 5th of November, 1904 to parents Seshamma (mother) and Ramaswamy Sastri (father) of Mulukanadu origins.

ANCESTRY (back to top)

His ancestors migrated from Andhra Pradesh about 400 years ago to present day Nelamangala Taluk of Karnataka. First of the migrants to settle in Nelamangala was Mudduvenkateshwara Somayaji around 17th Century A. D. The earliest settlers were placed in and around this region at places like Sondekoppa, Motaganahalli, Magadi, Tirumalapura, Berike (Bairanahalli), Prasthapura (Ballapura), Kakudgiri, Shivaganga, Srirangapatna and Dharmapuri. An exhaustive attempt at outlining the family tree was first carried out by late Subba Narasimha Sastri.

The lineage into which Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri was born was a scholarly one. An ancestor on the father’s side - Yagnam Bhatta or Yagnapathi Bhatta, who was court poet in Immadi Kempegowda’s court, received a donation of few hundred acres of land at Sondekoppa village near Nelamangala taluk in the 17th century, wherein they settled afterwards. The title deed to the grant of land was till recently in the family’s possession in the form of a stone inscription. As years passed by, all that was left of the land was about 13 acres situated at the villages of Iragenahalli and Mantanakurchi. Dr S. Srikanta Sastri’s grandfather (father’s side) Sondekoppa Nanjunda Sastri’s brothers Narayana Sastri and Gangadhara Sastri were also great pundits. The ancestry on his mother’s side was equally illustrious. His mother hailed from the Vellala Motaganahalli family and was daughter of Sambasastri. An ancestor on the mother's side (name believed to be Umamaheshwara Sastri) was court poet in the court of King Devaraya of the Vijayanagara Empire  in the 15th century. This court poet's eminent work "Bhagavata Champu" got him the title of "Abhinava Kalidasa". Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri’s grandfather's (mother's side) younger brothers Motaganahalli Mahadeva Sastri, Vidwan Ramshesha Sastri and Vidwan Shankara Sastri were court poets in the  Mysore Palace.

Ramshesha Sastri was one of the first to translate Bhagavata from the original Sanskrit to Kannada language, an endeavour which took nearly 20 years in the making. Incidentally, Dr S. Srikanta Sastri would spend nearly three years (between 1932 - 1935) writing afterword to all the 12 volumes of the “Bhagavata”. Other works of Ramshesha Sastri include poetical Kannada masterpieces such as “Mudra Rakshaka” and “Mukundananda Bhana”. Vidwan Ramshesha Sastri had been blessed with a melodious voice and used to sing religious hymns at Chamarajpet’s Shri Rameshwara Devalaya during the year 1905. He even scripted several dramas for famous drama troupes. One of them was “Pandava Vijaya” which was later quoted by Gubbi Veeranna (legendary drama artist and drama troupe owner of yester years)  in “Kaleya Nataka” page 3.  Vidwan Ramshesha Sastri even composed “Balika Gitavali”  in 1921 and “Karnataka Hitopadesham”. Vidwan Shankara Sastri was proficient in “Sahitya Vedantanadi alankara”. Vidwan Shankara Sastri settled in Bangalore and taught at “Rao Bahadur Arcot Narayanswami Mudaliar Patashala” where he composed “Vedanta Panchadarshi” which was later quoted by D.V.G (D.V.Gundappa-famous Kannada writer). It was a tribute to the then pontiff at the Sringeri mutt. Vidwan Shankara Sastri’s son Motaganahalli Subramanya Sastri was also blessed with a great intellect and flair for composing great poems spontaneously. His works include “Shri Mudramayana Kannada Vyakhyana”, “Lalithopakhyana”, several Sanskrit dramas, “Karnata Malavikagnimitra” and “Jayachamarajendra Granthamalige”. He was editor of “Rangabhoomi” for a long time. Motaganahalli Subramanya Sastri’s close friends included M.R.Srinivasamurthy, V.Seetharamaiah and K.S.Narasimhaswami.

He was remembered for his mastery over the folk art of Gamaka. His gurus included the likes of Kashinatha Sastri who taught him Sanskrit and Anantha Sastri who coached him in singing.  Through the generations a rich oral tradition of composing and reciting Sanskrit hymns and poems was practiced and such composed master pieces were passed down from generation to generation. Sadly, this tradition also meant that no records exist today in the written format. Some of the prominent compositions are listed here

Ram Chandra Sastri-           “Vigneshasthava”, “Dakshina Moorthyashtaka”, “Lalitha Navarathnamalika”

                                                   

Chandrasekhar Sastri-         “Gangashtaka”, “Girijastuthi”,  “Sri Krishna Vijaya”                                               

                                                   

Mahadeva Sastri-                “Girijakalyanashtaka”, “Bagalu Tereyora Hadu”  (composed in Saurashtra raga)                                                                                  

Motaganahalli Mahadeva Sastri-  “Paripohi Gowri Kumari” (composed in Gowri raga), “Kamari Sundari”,  “Girija Kumari”.

                                               Several songs, works on Ayurveda & a tribute to Chandrashekhara Bharathi.

CHILDHOOD (back to top)

His father Ramaswamy Sastri was a sub-registrar in the government offices at Kolar, Nanjanagud and Chikkaballapur. Ramaswamy Sastri had 7 children-five sons & two daughters. Srikanta Sastri was the second child. The family's economic situation was bleak for a long time until Ramaswamy Sastri (father) assumed the post of sub-registrar in various government offices. Dr S.Srikanta Sastri's mother Seshamma passed away in his childhood. This meant that his upbringing was predominantly done under the influence of his grandmother. This was relevant given the fact that his grandmother was a reservoir of hundreds of Sanskrit hymns, which she would recite about as she went on with her day to day chores. Young Srikanta Sastri was witness to this, all through his childhood and probably developed a love for Sanskrit therein. He was initiated into Brahmin hood with the Upanayana which was done in his 14th year.

EDUCATION (back to top)

Owing to his father’s frequent transfers, young Sastri had to switch several schools. While in Chikkaballapur, he passed his lower secondary exam in the year 1915. He cleared his matriculation (SSLC) while his father was working at Kolar and had particularly impressive scores in subjects such as Biography and Economics. Post-matriculation he attended the entrance exam at Bangalore and gained admission to a course in Bachelor of Arts (B. A.) at Maharaja’s College, Mysore. He passed B. A. in 2nd class and then went on to pursue a course in Master of Arts (M. A.) in History. He was tutored at college under the likes of J. C. Rollo, H.Nanjundaiaha, Sri B. M. Srikantaiah, Prof V. L. D'souza (English faculty); S. V. Krishnaswamy Aiyangar  (Political-science), S.Krishnarao (Greek history); N. Subba Rao (Economics); Prof S. V. Venkateswara (History); Dr R. Shamasastri and Dr M. H. Krishna (Ancient History). After finishing his M. A. in History, he successfully passed the F. C. S exam under the British Administration, but was not selected as he was deemed unfit based on health grounds. He would go on to author many works in Kannada and English of significant historical interest in his later years. Quite a few of them still continue to serve as hallmarks in their respective fields. His scholarly erudition earned him respect from fellow intellectuals at home as well as abroad.

ACADEMICIAN (back to top)

His career as a teacher started in 1930, when he was selected as tutor in the Department of History, Mysore. 5 years hence, in 1935, he was promoted as Lecturer in the same department and was later remembered for his vast repertoire of historical data-something which enabled him at times to tutor students of Kannada & Sanskrit Honours courses! Serving in the same faculty for the next 19 years, he would be elevated to the post of Professor of History in 1954 under the Vice-Chancellorship of K. V. Puttappa (Kuvempu). He would ultimately  retire as Head of the Department of History in the year 1960. In all Dr. S. .Srikanta Sastri had completed 32 years as a teacher. Always simple in his ways, Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri would most often be seen by his students in an open coat, an old fashioned shirt and a white dhoti. Alongside his work as tutor at University of Mysore, Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri got himself involved quite deeply in the freedom struggle during the early 1940s. His weapon being his pen, Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri would often make sound yet undeniably scathing criticisms of the British rule in India. This attracted the attention of Great Britain’s adversary Germany early on. It was 1941 and Nazi Germany was knee deep in II World War. It was announced on Berlin Radio “....British rule in India has been criticised by Dr S. Srikanta Sastri and Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan..” The British knew who Dr. Radhakrishnan was, but had little idea as to Dr S. S. Sastri’s identity! The investigation ensued with earnest and the British duly came upon Dr S. Srikanta Sastri’s foreword to Y. G. Krishnamurti’s “Independent India and New World order” where he had criticised the British rule. Dr S. S. Sastri’s arguments being sound, the British could do precious little other than issuing an official warning.  

HIS NOTABLE STUDENTS (back to top)

His legacy continues today in a vast bastion of students whom he schooled and nurtured and who have become prominent personalities themselves. Many of them occupy high positions in various Government bodies while others are distinguished writers, historians and intellectuals alike. Still many have passed away leaving behind their works as testament to their greatness. All of these students remember and cherish Dr S. Srikanta Sastri's classes and it is in their remembrance that the ultimate homage is paid to this great intellectual's memory. Here is a list of some of his notable students:

1.   Dr T. V. Venkatachala Sastry

2.   Dr S. R. Rao

3.   Dr U. R. Ananthamurthy

4.   Dr Chidanandamurthy

5.   H. Y. Sharada Prasad

6.   Prof G. Venkatasubbaiah

7.   Dr A. V. Narasimhamurthy

8.   Dr P. N. Narasimhamurthy

9.   Dr Javare Gowda

10. Dr B. Sheikh Ali

11. R. K. Laxman

12. R. K. Narayan

13. Chaduranga - Dr Subramanya Raje Urs

14. H H Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar

15. Mirle Krishnamurthy

16. R. Sathyanarayana

17. R. Visweswaran

18. Dr M. V. Srinivas

19. Dr B. R. Gopal

20. Dr S. Shettar

21. M. V. Rajashekhara Murthy

22. Prof Jayalakshmiammani

23. V. S. Samputhkumaracharya

24. S. Sreenivasachar

25. K. Narasiaha

26. Dr Venkatarathnam

27. Ms. Karunaratne

28. Dr Ramanna

29. Prof Shankaranarayan

30. Dr Parameshwar Bhat.K.V

WORKS (back to top)

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”..! 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. 

"Sources of Karnataka History, 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  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. It was not until 1940, 12 years after it had been commissioned, that the work had the good fortune of seeing the light of day. Vice chancellor N.S.Subbaraya assumed office in 1940 and immediately saw the treasure of material hidden in Dr S. S. Sastri’s work and would not relent until the first volume of Sources of Karnataka History saw publication. The book immediately grabbed attention from all quarters. Diwan Sir Mirza Ismail after going through the book immediately conveyed his warm appreciation of the work to the University, the Publishers and most important of all, the author-Dr S. S. Sastri himself. Great historian and scholar at Dhaka University R. C. Majumdar and distinguished professor at Pune University- P. K. Ghode called the book a model for future historians and writers in the country. Vol II & Vol III were also written and prepared for publication-but sadly never saw publication.

“Sources of Karnataka History, Vol II”

Second volume in the series, this particular book had to endure the insensitivities of Dr S. S. Sastri’s less sensible colleagues. A respectable intellectual (whose name is best left out for reasons of propriety) apparently borrowed the book from Dr S. Srikanta Sastri, only never to return it. Simply put it was stolen. ! Dr S. Srikanta Sastri had to re-write the whole book from memory and research manuscripts he had with him. Such uncalled for generosity meant that Dr S.Srikanta Sastri had to surmount such obstacles quite often to make headway in his intellectual pursuits.

“Bharathiya Samskruthi”

His most famous book, published in 1954, is a comprehensive work on India’s Vedic culture, religion, culture, morality, philosophy, social structure, economics, political hierarchy and literature. Dr S. Srikanta Sastri was greatly assisted in this work by A. R. Krishna Sastri. From writing it to seeing it published Dr S. S. Sastri had to wait for 10 long years !

“Samshodhana Lekhanagalu”

Published in 1960, Samshodhana Lekhanagalu was a collection of 112 articles by Dr S. Srikanta Sastri and dealt with study of humanities, geology, and among other things Darwin and Pitt Rivers..!

“Hoysala Vastushilpa”

Published in 1964, Hoysala Vastushilpa dealt with temple architecture under the Hoysala period in Karnataka. Here Dr S. S. Sastri studied in detail the temple building methods and architectural styles involved in construction of these temples at places such as Chitradurga, Bellary, Gadag and Kuruvatti. Chalukya Vastushilpa is also visited and studied with keen interest. A brief piece on Vishnuvardhana’s unbiased approach towards the construction of both Shaiva, Vaishnava and even Jaina temples is discussed.

“Shri Pampapathi Panchakam”

Dr S. Srikanta Sastri travelled to Badami, Bijapur and Hampi in the year 1924. He was able to capture his visits in photographs, many of which are displayed on our site. Fresh from his travels, he composed “Shri Pampapathi Panchakam”. Famous Kannada Littérateur Aa. Na. Kru even went so far as to remark.. “how many of his stature do we have amidst us today..?..” In fact, both Aa. Na. Kru and Ta Ra Su were avid readers and close friends of Dr S. Srikanta Sastri and his works and would often visit him at his residence to collect information for their forthcoming novels, many of which were based on historical events.

 

Dr S. Srikanta Sastri has produced nearly 300 works in Kannada, Telugu and English in a period spanning 40 years.  His research works totaled 12 - five in English and seven in Kannada. He contributed nearly 30 odd articles to the Kannada Daily ‘Prajavani” between 1955 - 1966. His monograph of “Origins of Gandaberunda” attracted considerable attention from German scholars.

Articles (back to top)

For a complete list of articles, click here: List of Articles - Dr S. Srikanta Sastri

Even to this day, many works of Dr S. Srikanta Sastri remain in manuscript form. Notable of these are his Kannada translation of Charles Dickens’s "A Tale of Two Cities", English translations of "Yajurveda Taithiriya Brahmana and Taithiriya Aranyaka" and “Kannada Nighantu”. He had to his credit the work of deciphering and contextualising several stone inscription tablets. This was testament to his profound knowledge of Indology and Epigraphy.

Prominent of these were:

1.  Basaveshwara Shasana

2.  Yadavakrishna Arjunavada Shasana

3.  Ponnerinolambana Goravur Dhanashasana

4.  Guhana Uttarakshi Shasana

5.  Duvarnita Gangana Hebbata Shasana

6.  Kanteerava Narasajirajana ( 2 ) Shasana

7.  Belaguthi Shasana

CONTROVERSIES (back to top)

Dr S. Srikanta Sastri's writings often invited sharp criticism from certain intellectual quarters invariably culminating in heated debates, which on more than one occassion led to controversies. Notable of these was, when he linked Purandaradasa to Vijayanagara empire’s fall. Equally controversial were his contentions regarding the actual time of Basaveshwara and the veracity of his miracles. His contention that Chavundaraya had little to do with the construction of the monolithic statue of Bahubali at Shravanabelagola also invited mixed response from historians and intellectuals alike. Probably, the most remembered was when, Dr S. Srikanta Sastri questioned Mysore State’s Sovereignty from the perspective of a Unified Indian Nation state. This line of questioning in pre-independent India, when the princely state of Mysore was still under the Maharaja’s rule invited criticism from the then Diwan, Sir Mirza Ismail. The Diwan went so far as to invite Dr S. Srikanta Sastri for clarification and is believed to have warned of dire consequences, if a retraction was not issued forth in earnest. Dr S. Srikanta Sastri being the steadfast proponent of truth, readily declined to offer any apologies and further challenged the Diwan to mete out the worst. Of course, nothing happened and Dr Srikanta Sastri stood his ground!  Another instance of his daring scholarship was when he openly criticised Father Heras for linking Dravidian and Indus script (a view unfortunately encouraged by a particularly biased section of The - Hindu newspaper). 

ACCOLADES (back to top)

Dr S. Srikanta Sastri through his extensive canvas of works attracted attention far and wide at home and abroad. He would play host to quite a few western, Japanese scholars who visited him at his house in Mysore. These researchers would come in search of this giant of a historian, with the chief purpose of referencing their sources and clearing doubts about various historical points. Notable among these visitors were Prof Noboru Karashima, who currently holds the position of Professor Emeritus at University of Tokyo and Professor of Indian Studies at Taisho University, Japan. He is believed to have visited Dr S.Srikanta Sastri at his residence in Mysore in the 1960s. In fact, when he presented his collection of works for the award of the D. Litt honour, one of the reviewer’s (Dr Radhakumudha Mukherjee) said that the D. Litt was too small for his intellect.! He would end being up awarded the very first D. Litt honour ever in the history of the princely state of Mysore.  In 1958, He was invited to preside over the Sahitya Sammelana Kalaghosya Adhyakshathe at Bellary, Karnataka. In 1970, He was awarded the Sahitya Sammelana Prashasthi (award) at the Kannada Sahitya Sammelana held at Bangalore. Sadly, owing to health reasons, he could not make it personally to the event. In 1973, The University of Mysore brought together prominent historians and intellectuals of his time to bring forth a felicitation volume in honour of Dr S. Srikanta Sastri’s lifetime contribution to the world of history. This felicitation volume was christened “Srikanthika” and was released by Dr T. V. Mahalingam amidst a chorus of tributes. The event was presided by the then Vice Chancellor Prof D. Javaregowda, Dr T.  V. Venkatachala Sastri.  S. R.Rao,  Dr B. Sheikh Ali among others. The felicitation volume received praise far and wide. In the same year i. e. 1973, Mythic Society, Bangalore celebrated its diamond jubilee year. To mark that event, Mythic society felicitated many scholars. One among them was Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri who was presented with a brass memento depicting young king Hoysala slaying a ferocious lion to save an ascetic from harm. Historically, this young king Hoysala would rule the Hoysala kingdom and go on to construct many temples. This particular temple architecture under the Hoysala rule was later studied by Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri in his monograph-Hoysala Vastushilpa. A file photograph of the brass memento is pictured in memorabilia section. In the year 1994, a Numismatic conference held at the Mythic Society, Bangalore saw great intellectuals and public figures grace the function. Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri’s contribution to Numismatics, Indology and epigraphy in particular was remembered and greatly appreciated. Among the guests were, Nittur Srinivas Rao and M. V. Srinivas. Even after his death, Dr S. Srikanta Sastri is remembered for his erudition and great teaching. To mark his birth centenary (1904-2004), a symposium was held at Mythic Society, where leading littérateurs, intellectuals and historians presented papers on varied topics in honour of Dr S.Srikanta Sastri. The event was graced by Dr T. V. Venkatachala Sastri, Rama Jois,  Prof M. V. Srinivas, Dr S. R. Rao, then Vice chancellor of Bangalore University- Thimappa among others. It was widely covered both in the print and electronic media in Karnataka. To mark 50 years of statehood for the Karnataka State Government was gracious enough to publish forth 100 selected works spanning literature, fiction, history and drama. One among these was Dr S. Srikanta Sastri’s famous work “Bharathiya Samskruthi”. Last printed in 1954, the book had the good fortune of seeing a re-print thanks to Karnataka Government’s efforts in 2006. Priced at Rs. 40/- the book was received quite well by the general reading public as well as academicians in universities all over Karnataka.

FAMOUS QUOTES (back to top)

“….Too close an embrace of the state might result in abandoning democracy”

 

“…..Only through socialistic bias given to the government will provide it with an organic and dynamic quality and make it truly democratic”

 

“…...Japan can easily build an oriental co-prosperity sphere in eastern Asia”

 

“…..An important consideration is the necessity to maintain the unity and compactness endowed by nature and culture. The attempt to vivisect India into Pakistan, Sikhistan, Azad Punjab, Dravidistan etc can have no justification on geographical grounds”

 

“…..It is imperative that we strongly oppose the idea that India cannot feed her millions on her own” (1940)

 

“…..To not see the fallacies of an aging system of Judiciary (copied from the British) is to be both redundant and shortsighted”

 

“…..In the history of the world, it is only Hinduism that gave not only to India but to all her neighbours an organic conception of society based upon economic as well as spiritual needs. It is the very antithesis of ‘The principle of accumulation based on inequality which is the vital part of the western order of our society’. It recognised frankly the hard fact that perfect equality in all spheres is impossible of attainment. Therefore it attempted to mitigate the evil consequences of great disparity by aiming at only the essentials. It reconciled the antagonism between rights and obligations, so that the individual by asserting his inherent rights might not break up social solidarity, nor could society impose such obligations as to cripple the spirit of individualism. Liberty and law were synthesised to achieve spiritual freedom”  

PERSONAL & FAMILY LIFE (back to top)

All throughout his life, he stuck to his conviction and not once hesitated to speak out the truth. Unbiased and unrelenting, he would often place the hard facts as they were, even though, on more than one occasion, many a people had taken objection to his ideas based on the ground that it was hurtful to their sensibilities. As far back as 1939, when the congress committee meeting was held at Haripura, a remembrance book was brought out in its memory and in it, Dr S. Srikanta Sastri never hesitated to discuss and question the prudence in Mahatma Gandhi’s choice as the National Congress Secretary. The same daring perspective was equally apparent when he later chose to question Mysore State’s sovereignty from a unified national standpoint while discussing the “Indian States & Federal Plan”.  Dr S. Srikanta Sastri had an active life in his younger years. This coupled with his steadfast dedication to his work probably held him in good stead in his later years when he was plagued by health problems. Encouraged by A. R. Krishna Sastri, Dr S. S. Sastri frequented the Garadi mane (Body building complex) where he exercised for few years. This ensured him with a strong well built body. But sadly, in his later years he would succumb to small-pox and lose his left eye as well as left ear. By 1958, due to severe uncontrolled hypertension, Dr S. Srikanta Sastri suffered a paralytic stroke which left him debilitated on one side of his body. But these health issues would not stand in the way of his thirst for intellectual achievement. Not withstanding these handicaps, Dr S.S.Sastri would invariably stick to his routine of getting up at 04:30 AM, finishing his bath and observing brahminical rituals early in the morning. After which he would get back to his academic pursuits for the better part of the day. In more than one sense, he was a workaholic, at times spending more than 14 - 16 hours a day writing, reading and editing books. At the age of 21, Srikanta Sastri married Smt Nagarathnamma at Bellary, Karnataka. The year was 1925. Nagarathnamma hailed from the village of Uruvokonda in the present state of Andhra Pradesh. Her parents were rich landlords near Uruvokonda. She had little education either at the school or university level, but none the less managed to adjust and accommodate herself to the sensibilities of an intellectual giant of the sort of Dr S. Srikanta Sastri.  7 years down the line in 1932, Dr S. Srikanta Sastri had his first child - which sadly died within a few days of birth. His next issue - a boy by name Ramaswamy would live upto the age of 18 only to succumb to a heart condition. In this sense, it was tragic that the couple had lost their first two issues. Later on they would successfully parent 5 children in all - two girls and three boys. His two daughters Smt Balamba and Smt Suvarna were married early on into respectable families. His sons Sri Vijayashankar, Sri Naganath and Sri Manjunath were well educated and found decent positions at various faculties of work. Out of the five children, only one is alive today. The eldest son Sri Vijayashankar, the eldest daughter Smt Balamba and her sister Smt Suvarna and the youngest son Manjunath have passed away. Sadly, Dr S. Srikanta Sastri was plagued by ill health in his later years. After suffering two heart attacks and a debilitating stroke, his ability to work for hours at the desk gradually started waning. After losing his wife (Smt. Nagarathnamma), Dr S.Srikanta Sastri spent his last days at his elder daughter's place in Bangalore. He breathed his last on May 10,1974.

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Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri

Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri

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