Author:Vasuki H A

India is home to a unique and vibrant civilization. It is unique for being the only ancient civilization to have survived the test of time. The ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Assyrian cultures are only of academic interest today. Even the not-so-ancient Greek civilization has been wiped out clean from its homeland. But the Vedic civilization of India, which has its origins in the Sindhu-Saraswati river basins, is very much alive today.

This Vyāsa-pūrṇimā, Prekshaa is delighted to present a translation of the masterly introductory essay of A R Krishna Sastri to his magnum opus, the Vacana-bhārata, which is a condensed prose rendition of the Mahābhārata in modern Kannada. The first edition of the book came out in 1950. It was hailed as a great work by his contemporaries and has remained as the authentic source of Mahābhārata in simple Kannada prose.


Sri Virupaksha Shastri would conduct himself like he epitomized the Shraddha or conviction in the Shastras, Karma, and virtue. Puja thrice everyday in his home. The Ekadashavara RudrAbhishekam was performed every Monday and Suryanamaskaram on Sundays. Numerous Vratas. Given this, he would mostly eat only once a day.

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The India Government awarded the Mahamahopadhyaya title to Sri Virupaksha Shastri. Our [Mysore] Maharaja awarded him the Vidyanidhi honorific.

And so, in order to express our joy at this, we constituted an Award Committee. B.V. Lakshman Rao (who has been mentioned earlier) was prominent in this Committee. The Award ceremony was fixed at five in the afternoon on a Sunday.

As instructed by K Ramachandra Rao, I went to meet K A Krishnaswamy Iyer. During those days, he lived in his own house on 5th Cross, Basavanagudi (behind the house named ‘Chidvilaasa’). I went to his house at around three in the afternoon. Soon after I knocked the door, he opened it himself and ushered me inside. The room was sparsely furnished without a hint of ostentation. A bookshelf, two floor mats, a couple of cushions, and a violin – this is all I saw.

This is part two of the paper presented at the international conference New Frontiers in Sanskrit and Indic Knowledge in June 2017 organized by the Chinmaya International Foundation. Part 1 of the paper can be found here.


This paper by Shashi Kiran B N and Hari Ravikumar was presented at the international conference New Frontiers in Sanskrit and Indic Knowledge in June 2017 organized by the Chinmaya International Foundation.



Sanskrit, one of the greatest gifts of India to the world, is unique in many ways. The Pāṇinian system of grammar, logical in its structure and exhaustive in its delineation, gave the language great strength in terms of word-generation ability, brevity, and freedom from ambiguity.

There is a beautiful poem ascribed to Vedānta-deśika (born Veṅkaṭanātha) that deals with the topic of vairāgya (detachment from worldly indulgences).

क्षुभ्यत्-क्षुद्र-नरेन्द्र-चाटु-रचना-धन्यान्-न मन्यामहे।
देवं सेवितुम्-एव निश्चिनुमहे योऽसौ दयालुः पुरा
धाना-मुष्टिमुचे कुचेल-मुनये दत्ते स्म वित्तेशताम्॥ 1
(Meter: Śārdūlavikrīḍitam)

अत्तुमम्ब तव पाकमद्भुतं
वाञ्छितं स्म करपञ्चकं मम ।
अश्म-केश-तृणशोधनाय य-
त्ताडनार्थमुदरास्ययोरपि ॥