A story for a verse – Sosale Garaḻapuriśāstri 2

नृसिंहाख्ये गण्डशैले  वरदाख्यो महामणिः |

निपत्य खलु तत्तैव व्यशीर्यत सहस्रधा ||

A grammarian by name Narasiṃhaśāstri once presented a verse in the form of a eulogy to the King Mummaḍi Kṛṣṇarāja Wodeyar of Mysore. The verse was set to a rare chandas (meter), that was not commonly used. Upon hearing the verse, a poet by name Varadācārya who was in the king’s court raised an objection that the verse was faulty as it was set to an unknown meter. Sosale Garaḻapuriśāstri established the validity of the meter by using the ṣaṭpratyayas. He even figured out the name, category, the position of yatis (cesura) and other details related to the meter. This made the poet Varadācārya eat his words of criticism. Narasiṃhaśāstri, who was gladdened by this, came up with the above verse extempore

‘The gem called ‘Varada’ has shattered into pieces, having fallen on the rock called Nṛsiṃha’.

The king then declared that the objection raised by Varadācārya was pertinent and so was Garaḻapuriśāstri’s reply. Narasiṃhaśāstri’s verse that caused such discussion was good too. He thus felicitated the three scholars and avoided further confrontations between them.


Adapted from Kannada by Arjun Bharadwaj
(The original article is from the anthology Kavitegondu Kathe.)



Dr. Ganesh is a 'shatavadhani' and one of India’s foremost Sanskrit poets and scholars. He writes and lectures extensively on various subjects pertaining to India and Indian cultural heritage. He is a master of the ancient art of avadhana and is credited with reviving the art in Kannada. He is a recipient of the Badarayana-Vyasa Puraskar from the President of India for his contribution to the Sanskrit language.