Note: This is the full text of the author’s address delivered on the occasion the launch of the Mysore Hiriyanna Library, a set of reprints of M. Hiriyanna’s books and essays, published by Prekshaa Pratishthana.   

At the outset, I take great pleasure in extending a very warm welcome to all of you.

Yudhiṣṭhira told the Yakṣa, “O revered one! I do not desire that which belongs to you; the noble ones do not appreciate such behaviour. I shouldn’t indulge in self-boasting; I shall endeavour to answer your questions to the best of my abilities. Ask, what are your questions?”[1]

Yakṣa: Who makes the sun rise? Who are those in his presence? Who makes the sun set? Where does the sun reside?

ಮರಣಾಸನ್ನನಾದ ವಾಲಿಯ ಪರಿಸ್ಥಿತಿಯನ್ನು ಮಹರ್ಷಿಗಳು ಮನಮುಟ್ಟುವಂತೆ ವರ್ಣಿಸುತ್ತ ಆತನು ಹೊಗರನ್ನು ಕಳೆದುಕೊಂಡ ಕಮಲಬಾಂಧವನಂತೆ, ನೀರೆಲ್ಲ ಸೋರಿಹೋದ ಬೆಳ್ಮೋಡದಂತೆ, ಆರಿಹೋಗುತ್ತಿರುವ ಅಗ್ನಿಯಂತೆ ತೋರುತ್ತಿದ್ದನೆಂದು ಚಿತ್ರಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಇಲ್ಲಿಯ ಒಂದೊಂದು ಉಪಮೆಗಳೂ ಸಹಜ, ಸಾರ್ಥಕ:

ತಂ ನಿಷ್ಪ್ರಭಮಿವಾದಿತ್ಯಂ ಮುಕ್ತತೋಯಮಿವಾಂಬುದಮ್ | 

ಉಕ್ತವಾಕ್ಯಂ ಹರಿಶ್ರೇಷ್ಠಮುಪಶಾಂತಮಿವಾನಲಮ್ || (೪.೧೮.೨)

After tying the mekhalā, the boy was invested with the yajñopavīta (sacred thread).[1] While the yajñopavīta as a ‘sacred thread’ was largely unknown in ancient times[2], it became the focus of the upanayana saṃskāra in later years.[3] In later times, the young vaṭu was given the yajñopavīta and made to recite the well-known mantra, “The yajñopavīt


AR Krishna Shastry was a scholar by birth. His father, Ambale Ramakrishna Shastry was the head professor of Grammar in the Samskṛta Pāṭhaśālā in Mysore. In addition to Sanskrit grammar, he was well versed in Jyotiṣa and Ayurveda too. Scholarship, therefore, flowed in Krishna Shastry's veins.

Krishna Shastry lost his mother at a young age and this probably was one of the reasons for him to develop a tender heart full of empathy. Krishna Shastry lent out a helping hand for many. He always had a soft corner for the needy.

Some historians have expressed a doubt that Maharana Pratap Simha wrote a letter of surrender in his last days. However, this has not been established conclusively. All his life, he lived, fought and died for the sole cause of wresting Chittorgarh back. His son Rana Amar Simha also continued his father’s fight.

Maharana Pratap’s valour was boundless. His name blazes brightly in the annals of warriors.

Hemachandra Vikramaditya: The Emperor Deprived of Fame

In the history of India, there have been a few decisive wars. The Battles of Panipat also form a part of that. If the results of the three Battles of Panipat had changed even slightly, the future of India would have been completely different. One of the great heroes who fell in one of these Panipat wars is Hemachandra or Hemu.

Kunigal Sri Rama Sastri[i] had once embarked on a pilgrimage to Rameshwaram. Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III had made all the necessary arrangements for the same. A team of chefs and servants, a palanquin and strongmen to carry it—this entire family accompanied him.

Upon listening to the story of Sāvitrī, Yudhiṣṭhira experienced a great deal of relief; he did not allow any more worries to plague his heart, and after spending some more time in the Kāmyaka forest he returned to the Dvaita forest along with everyone, where he established residence once again. It was there that their twelve-year forest exile came to an end.

During their stint in the Dvaita forest this time, the Pāṇḍavas fell into grave danger while trying to help out a poor brāhmaṇa