Muniswamy Achar was one of the frontrunners among a group of connoisseurs at Mulabagilu. He was popularly called Gattanagari Muniswamy. He was a goldsmith. One of his ancestors by name Ghattanna might have probably gained popularity for his athleticism.
Note: This is the full text of the author’s address delivered on the occasion the launch of the Mysore Hiriyanna Library, a set of reprints of M. Hiriyanna’s books and essays, published by Prekshaa Pratishthana.
At the outset, I take great pleasure in extending a very warm welcome to all of you.
AR Krishna Shastry was a scholar by birth. His father, Ambale Ramakrishna Shastry was the head professor of Grammar in the Samskṛta Pāṭhaśālā in Mysore. In addition to Sanskrit grammar, he was well versed in Jyotiṣa and Ayurveda too. Scholarship, therefore, flowed in Krishna Shastry's veins.
Krishna Shastry lost his mother at a young age and this probably was one of the reasons for him to develop a tender heart full of empathy. Krishna Shastry lent out a helping hand for many. He always had a soft corner for the needy.
Kunigal Sri Rama Sastri[i] had once embarked on a pilgrimage to Rameshwaram. Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III had made all the necessary arrangements for the same. A team of chefs and servants, a palanquin and strongmen to carry it—this entire family accompanied him.
Diwan Gundopanth Road[i] in Bangalore lies to the north of City Market when we traverse from Arcot Srinivasacharlu Road towards Doddapet. The word “Diwan” has been in vogue in the Kannada language for a really long period. I’m unware of the root language from which this was borrowed into Kannada. The word is prevalent even in Marathi and Hindi.
Among the Sanskrit Vidwans whose patronage I sought, it was Sri Motaganahalli Sankara Sastri who showered me with love and affection. There was no other Vidwan with whom I enjoyed the kind of liberty that I enjoyed with him. From the beginning he regarded me as one of his own and displayed great warmth. I had developed immense respect towards him much before I even went to him in person. The reasons were twofold:
The moment I think of R Narasimhacharya, C Vasudevaiah’s name floats up to the surface of my memories. Both of them would come together to social events. They usually sat next to each other. There was an abundance of affection and respect between them. Their professions were quite dissimilar. Vasudevaiah had retired as the office manager of the Department of Educational Outreach. Even in their scholarship of śāstras such as grammar, they differed. Yet it never seemed like Narasimhacharya remembered any of these differences; not even for a split second.
Sri Mahadeva Sastri was the elder brother of Motaganahalli Sri Sankara Sastri. Even he was highly accomplished in music and literature. Every Ekadashi a Bhajan programme would be organized in his home. In this case, the word “bhajan” must be understood as music.