Any discussion about Rama Rajya in the context of the previous century of India’s history will be incomplete without objectively examining the role of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. In the present context, this examination becomes more crucial for significant reasons.
Career as a Teacher
John Cook, who was impressed with Venkatanaranappa’s dedication to studies and his ethical outlook, appointed him as a lecturer soon after he procured his BA degree. The following is an incident that took place when he worked as a lecturer.
DVG’s essay titled Rama Rajya is the fitting finale and the crowning glory of his monumental, semi-academic work, Rajyashastra (Statecraft/Politics) meant for a general audience. This essay touches the upper echelons of pure political philosophy akin to the precision of the tip of a finely-sharpened pencil.
For an institution to survive for long and to find fulfilment in executing its objectives, it needs a dedicated set of active workers. At least one person will need to keep working on it day and night. He will remain its supporting pillar throughout its existence and the rest will bolster him through their work. The (Kannada Sahitya) Parishat was fortunate to get a dedicated worker of this nature starting from 1915 for about twenty years. It was Bellave Venkatanaranappa, who worked untiringly through out his life.
As I’ve said earlier, it is assumed that sādhanā—rigorous practice—is essential for this. Sādhanā is indeed tapas. This is crystal clear when we see the life of Tirukkodikaval Krishna Iyer. For the sādhaka, while he is undergoing sādhanā, as a result of his tireless efforts, new heartfelt feelings will blossom. Attuned to the new feelings, new rāgas and passages will emerge.
No Hatred Towards Sanskrit
Every creature felt happy. Everybody was intent on [performing] Dharma. Turning their eyes towards Rama alone, creatures did not kill [or inflict violence upon] one another.
While Rama ruled the kingdom, the conversations of the people centered round Rama, Rama and Rama. The whole world became Rama's world.
Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras were performing their respective duties, satisfied with their own work and bereft of any greed.
Vīṇā Sheshanna (1852–1926) and Tirukkodikaval Krishna Iyer (1857–1913) were great sādhakas (hard-workers, musicians who practiced a great deal), but sādhanā (diligent practice) is not the ultimate in music. It is neither the mother of music, not even in part. Music—just like poetry—has its origins in pratibhā (talent, creativity, genius) and kalpanā pratibhā (creative imagination).
A few poems from Srikantaiah’s “English Gītagaḻu” (meaning English Poems) were published at regular intervals in the monthly “Karnataka Granthamāle”. N.S. Subbarao liked the poems and had spoken to us about them. He had compiled the poems and had gotten it neatly bound with the title embossed in gilt. He had gotten the title written in beautiful golden letters. I felt a great sense of pride looking at it.