Though Srinivasa Sastri often claimed it as an excuse, he did not lack knowledge about the Rāmāyaṇa at all. He went through the original Rāmāyaṇa in Sanskrit again and again and perhaps he did so all through the day. As he went through the original version of the Epic composed by Vālmīki, he grew curious to see how the other poets had described the same episodes. He would immediately call out for his wife.

“Lakshmi! Read out what Kamban has written in the context of this incident. Let me hear it out”

Deep Bonding with Society

The source of inspiration for all of DVG’s life-work was the deep bonding he had forged with society. This bond was not something that was imposed on him externally; it was part of his bloodstream.


It is good character that is more important than physical strength. Noble character leads to honesty, dhārmic outlook, strength and wealth. In the past, Prahlāda won over Indra and ruled the three worlds, merely because of his unblemished character. Indra disguised himself as a brāhmaṇa, went to Prahlāda and lived as a student with him. He received noble characteristics as a boon from Prahlāda, for having served him with sincerity. As soon as Indra left, a radiant mūrti came out of Prahlāda’s body.

Śrī  Navīnam Veṅkaṭeśa Śāstri had supplied several sets of logical refinement to Brahma-sūtras, which were not seen in extant commentaries thereon. Because of this, the moniker ‘Navīnam’ came to be associated with him. Vidvān Śeṣācala Śarmā insisted Lakṣmīnarasiṃha Śāstri to collate his Guru’s logical refinements in the form of notes and prepare them for publication. But he never gave his mind to this job.


Passion for Rāmāyaṇa

 I have mentioned earlier that VS Srinivasa Sastri’s love and devotion for the Rāmāyaṇa was something he inherited from his forefathers. During one of his long stays in Bangalore, his close friend M. Venkataranga Rao, a native of the Andhra region, happened to visit him. One evening, Srinivasa Sastri, his friend Venkataranga Rao and I set out towards the Nandi Hills in a car. I am going to narrate an incident that took place in this short trip –



The foundational pillar of DVG’s fearless attitude was his characteristic transparency and abstinence from seeking anything. At no point in his life did he use his extraordinary political and social influence for personal benefit.

In the activities related to the protection of his people, a king must only take help from people who are courageous, devoted, loyal, respected, hailing from a good family, those with health and strong bodies, good students, those who keep company of noble persons, those with self-respect, those who don’t look upon others with disdain, well-educated, experienced in worldly affairs, those with an eye on their legacy and the hereafter, those who always adhere to dharma, saintly people, and those who are resilient and stable; only such people should be appointed by the king.

“On one occasion Vidvān Anantakṛṣṇa Śāstri (a towering scholar of the league of Navīnam Veṅkaṭeśa Śāstri) began to pose a series of questions to him. Lakṣmīnarasiṃha Śāstri answered them all with great conviction, confidence, and mastery. Anantakṛṣṇa Śāstri was visibly impressed—he patted his back and gave his blessings. This brought unbound happiness to the Jagadguru. Scholars present there exclaimed with joy.”