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.
Lessons in Brahmasutra Commentary
I had requested Sri Shastri to instruct me in [Adi Shankara’s] commentary on the Brahmasutras[i]. Equally, I had requested him to train me in two or three other Vedanta commentaries that I hadn’t seen so far, and entreated him that I had set aside two years for this Shastric study. He said that that period was insufficient. I said, “Let it go on for two years; if required, we can extend it for an additional six months.”
Around 1922, Hanagal Virupaksha Shastri was a Vidwan in the Shankara Matha in Bangalore. He taught Advaita Vedanta. Back then his colleague was “Mimamsakanteerava” Vaidyanatha Shastri. He taught Purvamimamsa.
Bidaram Krishnappa (1 September 1866 to 29 July 1931)
In about 1915, I’d been to Mysore on some work. Then the (Mysore) Palace Controller Ballalacaru Ramakrishna Rao sent for me when he learned that I was in town.
R: You must come for lunch tomorrow afternoon. I’ve some work with you.
Me: I’ll be leaving for Bangalore tomorrow afternoon.
R: That can’t happen. Go day after. Don’t argue now.
It appears that the God Brahma who was so munificent in bestowing the boon of command over language to Venkatarama Shastri indulged in mischief in the matter of giving him speech. If this wasn’t true, what explains the fact that a Vidwan—an accomplished scholar—like him stammered at every step? It was for this reason that all the village folk referred to him as “Stammering Shastri.” This appellation was merely for the convenience of identification, not ridicule. Everyone had reverence-filled affection and respect for Shastri.
ಅನಪೇಕ್ಷಿತಗುರುವಚನಾ ಸರ್ವಾನ್ಗ್ರಂಥೀನ್ವಿಭೇದಯತಿ ಸಮ್ಯಕ್ |
ಪ್ರಕಟಯತಿ ಪರರಹಸ್ಯಂ ವಿಮರ್ಶಕಶಕ್ತಿರ್ನಿಜಾ ಜಯತಿ ||
ಗುರೂಪದೇಶದ ಅಪೇಕ್ಷೆಯಿಲ್ಲದೆ ಕಗ್ಗಂಟಿನಂಥ ಎಲ್ಲ ತೊಡಕುಗಳನ್ನೂ ಸುಲಭವಾಗಿ ನಿವಾರಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ಹಾಗೂ ಗಹನವಾದ ಪರಮರಹಸ್ಯವನ್ನೂ ಅರ್ಥೈಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ಸಾಮರ್ಥ್ಯವು ಸ್ವಂತವಿಮರ್ಶಕಶಕ್ತಿಯಿಂದ ಲಭಿಸುವುದು.
As seen from earlier parts, the chief objective of Madhava-Vidyaranya was the rejuvenation of Dharma. While his works on Dharma and Vedanta influenced the educated and the deeply interested, they remained beyond the ken of the lay public. How then could his program of dharmic rejuvenation transcend societal and educational barriers?
While discussing the talent of Balamurali, we have to speak in the context of his contemporaries. The examination of the value of something (or someone) is always carried out with regards to the ecosystem of which it is a part. Value examination cannot take place in a vacuum. And even then, all such evaluations are subjective. Thus it would be foolish on our part to compare Balamuralikrishna with poets like Kalidasa or Kumaravyasa. We can compare him with people like Tyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar, Shyama Shastry, Svati Tirunal, etc.
About a week ago, Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna passed away.
When we think about his talent and scholarship, cogitate about his achievements and personality, we feel that a legendary saga has passed by. Beyond the specialties and eccentricities of his personality, what attracted the world by the force of its brilliance was his art.