Profiles

Introduction to the Life and Legacy of D V Gundappa

ಅಸಮದಲಿ ಸಮತೆಯನು ವಿಷಮದಲಿ ಮೈತ್ರಿಯನು ।
ಅಸಮಂಜಸದಿ ಸಮನ್ವಯ ಸೂತ್ರ ನಯವ ॥
ವೆಸನಮಯ ಸಂಸಾರದಲಿ ವಿನೋದವ ಕಾಣ್ಬ ।
ರಸಿಕತೆಯೆ ಯೋಗವಲೊ - ಮಂಕುತಿಮ್ಮ ॥

To find equality in disparity, harmony in oddities,
A gentle strand of reconciling strife,
To find joy in the melancholy of worldly existence –
This attitude of refined taste verily is Yoga – Mankutimma

The Flight of a Bird and Godavari Brahmanas

Extracts from the Preface

The profiles and lives of all the people portrayed in this volume deserve our respect at all times. My attempt here is to show how the people of an era in our country’s history lived, as well as the ideals they believed in. There’s the renowned verse from the Ishwara’s mouth in the Bhagavadgita:

yadyadācarati śreṣṭhaḥ
tattadevetaro janaḥ|

Hanagal Virupaksha Shastri’s Unwavering Conviction in the Vedas

Traditionalism

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.

Hanagal Virupaksha Shastri’s Felicitation and Studenthood

Felicitation

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.

K A Krishnaswamy Iyer: Vedantin and Violinist

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.

Hanagal Virupaksha Shastri: Scholarship and Method of Instruction

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.”

Bidaram Krishnappa: Unmatched Carnatic Musician, Unparalleled Rama Bhakta

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.

Natti Shastri: The Uncelebrated Life of the Stammering Guru

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.