A. R. Krishnashastry
© 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 the Kannada language. Krishnashastry has remained popular four decades after his death through his work Vachana Bharata, and his narration of Mahabharata in the Kannada language.
Krishnashastry lost his mother Shankaramma to plague when he was ten. His father, Ramakrishna Shastry, who was a distinguished grammarian and principal of Sanskrit school in Mysore, raised his children. Due to poverty, Krishnashastry was compelled to study Kannada and Sanskrit for his Bachelors of Arts degree (1914) though he wanted to pursue a career as a scientist. His career started as a clerk in the Athara Kacheri ("Secretariat") in Mysore. He worked as a tutor and a researcher at Oriental Library (later renamed the Oriental Research Institute) at Mysore before enrolling for his Master of Arts degree at the Madras University. Finally he became Professor of Kannada and served as a professor and researcher at the 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 multiple Indian languages including Sanskrit, Kannada, Bengali, Pali and Hindi. He had a good working knowledge of English and German and this helped him to work and translate some of the great works from those languages to Kannada. Krishnashastry brought out many of nuances of great Sanskrit plays of Kālidāsa, Bhavabhooti and Bhasa during his translations to Kannada. Krishnashastry's biography of Bankim Chandra Chattarjee, a noted Bengali novelist earned him a Central Sahitya Academy award. Krishnashastri wrote numerous other short stories and novels including Vachanabharata, Nirmalabharati and Kathamrita. Vachanabharata and Nirmalabharati are a abridged versions of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Kathamrita is collection of stories from Kathasaritsagara, huge anthology of hundreds of fables, parables and other stories in Sanskrit. Kathamrita has a well written introduction to Indian and western cultural traditions. In 1918, Krishnashastry started Prabuddha Karnataka, a Kannada language newspaper and worked as its editor.
Awards and honors
Short story collections
- Shreepatiya Kategalu
- Kathamrutha - Kathasaristsagara
- Samskruta Nataka
- Harischandrakavya Sangraha
- Sarvajnana Kavi
- Bhashanagalu Mattu Lekhanagalu