A. R. Krishna Shastri, the great savant of Kannada literature, once took a young boy to meet D. V. Gundappa (DVG). The boy, by then, had some articles to his credit. He had even taken a copy of his book for DVG’s perusal. DVG quietly glanced through it, and a whirlwind of questions followed. In order to answer those penetrating questions, the boy had to exhibit his hard-earned, meticulous scholarship. DVG must have been impressed, though there were no visible signs of it, for he moved on to the next topic. It was about a metrical flaw in one of the boy’s poems. Prof.
The Vijayanagara Empire pioneered not only Hindu cultural renaissance but also re-energized administrative, political, and economic conditions of the era. Under Madhava-Vidyaranya’s guidance, time-tested concepts of Hindu polity were brought back into currency along with much needed innovations. So effective was his model that three hundred years later, the famous Shivaji, influenced by the Vijayanagara model, instituted the अष्ट-प्रधान (council of eight ministers) concept for his own administration.
Vidyaranya ensured that different religious traditions of the land were given equal respect while not disturbing the peace in the empire. For a great empire to flourish, it needs more than military and political prowess. Only a robust cultural and social foundation can ensure that the people of a country remain united through troubles and turmoil. If a cursory look at today’s world can show us what kind of profound impact religion can have over a country, it is impossible to not see how religion ruled the worldview eight hundred years ago.
We will never tire of repeating that quote of Vidyaranya from his Panchadashi that amply illustrates how he managed affairs of state as well as those of the Spirit:
ज्ञानिना चरितुं शक्यं सम्यग्राज्यादिलौकिकम्
It is indeed possible for the enlightened one to navigate politics and worldly affairs well
Krishna points out in the Gita (3.21) – "यद्यदाचरति श्रेष्ठः तत्तदेवेतरो जनः" – that people follow the actions of a learned person. Vidyaranya was definitely one such shreshtha whose life is worthy of emulation though impossible for most people. His life has several gems worthy of adoration and emulation.
Sanatana dharma has upheld the ideal of the 'vanasuma' – the wild flower spreading its fragrance without hankering after personal fame. However, this shunning of fame, while rewarding in one’s sadhana, can cause quite a problem when it comes to historicity.
Vedic traditionalists or Vedics in short, are a community of people who are fast fading into the pages of history. They are the torchbearers of Vedic traditions and have been carrying it forward for generations. A happy, contented life even under poverty has been a trademark of their way of life. Some of their traits include:
Bangalore Nagarathnamma hailed from Mysore.
She is different from Kolar Nagarathnamma. Kolar Nagarathnamma's mother was Nanjundasani, a renowned scholar and artist both in classical music and Bharatanatyam. She had won numerous accolades among both the laymen and pundits alike. She was more famous as a classical singer, known for her melodious voice. Her brother Puttaswamayya was an acclaimed violinist who unfortunately passed away at a young age.
Illustrious personages are the flowers of the tree of civilization. They represent the loftiest ideals of a culture and a people. By understanding their lives, readers can imbibe the essence of an era and a country. It is with this intention that we have set out to document the biographies of some of the finest individuals that lived and worked in this great country of ours.