I haven’t come across anyone who has described in detail the services rendered to Kannada literature by the doyen of drama, Nāṭaka Śiromaṇi A V Varadacharya. The plays that he produced never saw publication – i.e. they were never printed as books. Words are inadequate to describe the charm of his scripts, songs, and poems. I used to marvel when I would hear how flawless, rich with emotions, and brilliant his plays were.
The insights of the sort DVG possessed emanated precisely from this deep understanding of philosophy, or more accurately, his realization of Darshana. In other words, when we grasp the nature of the world characterized by name and form (nAma-rUpa), we develop what is known as the tara-tama vivEka—wisdom to grade worldly events and phenomena. In his own words,
I recall an incident when Shivaswami Iyer once poked fun at a group of people, calling them ‘Dharma-dhvajas.’ This was during one of his lectures at the Lions’ Institute in Bangalore. “A person who wants to help others—i.e., who wants to perform acts of dharma—and also wishes to make his humanitarian service known to the public is called a dharma-dhvaja by Manu. Basically, he wants his flag (dhvaja) of ‘dharma’ flying high at all times and that people should notice it.
Shivaswami Iyer was a Sanskrit scholar. V Krishnaswami Iyer was his friend, colleague, and sometimes an opponent in his profession as a lawyer. Krishnaswami Iyer founded a Saṃskṛta Mahāpāṭhaśālā in Mylapore, Madras and also established a medical school called Venkataramana Ayurvedic Dispensary. He too was a great scholar of Sanskrit and had compiled a Sanskrit work called Ārya-caritam.
But at the doctrinal level, this consequence is the direct outcome of imposing the selfsame untested theory of freedom, democracy, liberty and related ideas fashioned in the West on an entire people who had fashioned their lives for more than three millennia based on a thoroughly different political, cultural and social inheritance. In other words, an all-encompassing and far-reaching change was thrust upon the entire population of the seventh largest country in the world without their consent. Bharatavarsha continues to pay the human cost of this change.
During 1934-35, during Sir Mirza Ismail's term as the Diwan of Mysore, there were many prominent men from Madras who would come to Bangalore to spend their summer here. P S Shivaswami Iyer was one such person. His ancestors belonged to aristocratic and affluent families and thus Shivawami Iyer was well off even by birth. Just as the saying goes, "Śucīnāṃ śrīmatām gehe," he was born to a wealthy family yet a noble, dignified, and morally upright one.
At the individual level, the Bhagavad Gita’s dictum of uddharedAtmanAtmAnam (Let a person raise and purify himself by his own efforts) and its emphasis on Svadharma also means that one must rule oneself, which in turn means that the onus is upon the individual to constantly rectify himself. Hidden within these tenets is a call to discard one’s ego at every step. The opaque wall of ego blocks the sunlight of self-reflection required for the said rectification.
I will now talk about a small organization that lived only for a few years starting from about 1916-17. I also happened to be a member of the organisation. The name of the organisation was Non-entities. In other words, 'anonymous.' I don’t know the exact nature of circumstances that caused its birth.