A. R. Krishnashastry
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© Kamat's Potpourri
|Born||Ambale Ramakrishna Krishnashastry
February 12, 1890
Ambale, Chamarajanagar district (Erstwhile Mysore district), Karnataka
|Died||February 1, 1968
|Occupation||Writer, Professor, Journalist|
Ambale Ramakrishna Krishnashastry (1890–1968) was a prominent writer, researcher and translator in Kannada language. Krishnashastry is still popular four decades after his death and has become a household name through his work, Vachana Bharata, and his recital of Mahabharata in Kannada language.
Krishnashastry lost his mother Shankaramma because of plague when he was only ten. His father Ramakrishna Shastry, who was a distinguished grammarian and principal of Sanskrit Pathashala of Mysore, did not remarry as was the usual practice but brought up his children with great difficulty. Due to poverty, Krishnashastry was compelled to study Kannada and Sanskrit for his Bachelors of Arts degree (1914) although he wanted to pursue his career as a scientist. His career started as a clerk in Athara Kacheri in Mysore. He worked as a tutor and researcher at Oriental Library (later renamed the Oriental Research Instititute), Mysore, before undertaking his Master of Arts degree at Madras University. Finally he became Professor of Kannada and served as a professor and researcher in Mysore University(group photo) until his retirement. Krishnashatry married at the age of sixteen to Venkatalakshamma, who was only ten at that time.
Krishnashastry was fluent in many Indian languages including Sanskrit, Kannada, Bengali, Pali, Hindi besides English and German which helped him to work in all these languages and translate some of the great works from those languages to Kannada. Krishnashastry brought out many of the unknown naunces of great Sanskrit plays of Kālidāsa, Bhavabhooti and Bhasa. Krishnashastry's biography of Bankim Chandra Chattarjee, a Bengali novelist, earned him a Sahitya Academy award. Krishnashastri has written numerous other short stories and novels.
He is well known for is his novels Vachanabharata, Nirmalabharati and Kathamrita. Vachanabharata and Nirmalabharati are a condensation of Mahabharata. Kathamrita is collection of stories from Kathasaritsagara, huge anthology of hundreds of fables, fairy-tales and stories in Sanskrit. Kathamrita has an exhaustive and well studied introduction of stories in Indian and western tradition.
- Jyotsna Kamat, Prof. A.R. Krishnasastry, Kamat's Potpourri'
Awards and honors
Short story collections
- Shreepatiya Kategalu