Featured: M. Hiriyanna Page 2 of 3
In 1935, he presided as chairperson in the All India Oriental Conference at Mysore. Four years hence, in 1939, he was requested to preside over the All India Philosophy Conference at Hyderabad, which he promptly declined. The next year, he was invited to deliver the prestigious “Miller’s Memorial Speech” on Philosophy at Madras University. Surprisingly, Hiriyanna accepted this offer and graced the occasion – probably the only instance when he left Mysore to attend an event elsewhere !
Hiriyanna was an individual who predominantly kept to himself. He was always exceedingly charitable and helped many poor students with the condition that they should never reveal the name of the benefactor. He was a traditional Sanskrit scholar by training but a philosopher who had an in-depth knowledge of both Eastern and Western Philosophy. His love of English Literature made him to buy expensive books from two shopkeepers in London on a regular basis.
University of Madras
Sanskrit Language & Literature, Philosophy, Aesthetics.
Oriental Research Institute, Mysore
Maharaja College, Mysore
Outlines of Indian Philosophy
Essentials of Indian Philosophy
Ishtasiddhi – Vimukthathman
Vedantasara – Sadananda
Indian Philosophy of Values
M. Hiriyanna's Portrait
He regularly read the “Times Literary Supplement” and “Illustrated London News”. During the last ten years of his life, he visited the house of Palghat Narayana Sastri with whom he would discuss for hours on end the finer aspects of Indian Philosophy, Vedanta and the Upanishads. He was a close friend of Kuppuswami Sastry who was a Sanskrit Professor of eminence at University of Madras. Incidentally, much of Hiriyanna’s library was eventually donated to the “Kuppuswami
Research Institute” at Mylapore. Across three decades, Hiriyanna authored nearly twenty works.
3. “Ishavasyopanishad” (1911)
6.“Brhadaranyakopansihad – Part 1” (1919)
7.“Naishkarmyasiddhi – Sureshwaracharya” (1925)
8.“Vedantasara – Sadananda” (with English translation) (1929)
9.“Ishtasiddhi – Vimukthathman” - Gaikwad Oriental Series (1933)
10.“Outlines of Indian Philosophy” (1932)
11.“Essentials of Indian Philosophy” (1949)
12.“Indian Philosophy of Values”
13.“The Quest for Perfection” (1952)
14.“Popular Essays in Indian Philosophy” (1952)
15.“Art Experience” (1954)
16.“Sanskrit Studies” (1954)
17.“Indian Philosophical Studies – I” (1957)
18.“Indian Philosophical Studies – II” (1972)
19.“Mission of Philosophy” (1960)
After a brief period of illness, Hiriyanna passed away at the age of seventy nine on September 19, 1950. In 1973, to mark his birth centenary, a commemoration volume was brought forth by a committee, which included Prof. V. Sitaramayya, Pu. Ti. Narasimhachar, Prof. Nikam and G. Marulasiddaiah (among others).
M. Hiriyanna with
Sir Mirza Ismail
M. Hiriyanna's English Handwriting Sample.
This Commemoration Volume was released by the then Governor of Karnataka Mohanlal Sukadhia. In the world of Indian Philosophical Studies, Hiriyanna’s name stands tall even to this day. His works are studied extensively in the West. His unassuming demeanour, simplicity and down to earth personality masked a gigantic intellect. Kalidasa provides a parallel in “Raghuvamsa” when he says “Speak less for the sake of truth” (Satyaya-Mita-bhashinam). Prof. M. Hiriyanna practised silence of this type.
Pu. Ti. Narasimhachar’s observation on Hiriyanna probably sums him up the best:
“Guru Hiriyanna was a Stithapragna in every sense of the term. He exhibited the quality of the well-bred gentlemen – an abhijatapurusa – one who gives his gifts in such a way none except the donor knows it, who knows how to welcome whoever comes to his house and make him comfortable, who is silent about his own good deeds but proclaims unreservedly of favours he has received from others, in whom fortune does not breed arrogance – who is averse to listen to stories about others and who is intensely devoted to learning. To me, Guru Hiriyanna is an ideal Indian, rooted in his own culture; he did not allow Western thought and culture to destroy the identity as an Indian. He digested them and assimilated into his system all the best of the West, its Philosophy and Literature. It is good to remember Prof. Hiriyanna, his life, his scholarship, his unostentatious benevolence, his dignified bearing and his keen sense of honour and independence.”