Rajendra Shukla was born to Anantray Shukla and Vidyagauri in Bantwa, Junagadh district, Gujarat, on 12 October 1942. He married Nayana Jani in 1974 and has an M.A. degree in Sanskrit-Prakrit from Gujarat University, where he specialised in Indian Poetics. Previously he had been awarded a B.A. degree in the same language subject at L. D. Arts College.
Birth of son – Dhaivat – in 1975. Birth of son – Jajvalya – in 1977.
Shukla began a career in education by teaching graduate level at Shri Natavarshimhji Arts College, Chhota Udaipur, between 1967-1969. He taught postgraduates at Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad between 1969-1970 and at both levels for,Kotawala Arts College in Patan between 1970-1971.
Further graduate and postgraduate teaching was done in 1972-1973, part-time at both Vivekanand Arts College, Ahmedabad, and Navjivan Arts College in Dahod. He then taught solely at Navjivan Arts College in a full-time post until 1977 before moving to become a high school supernumerary lecturer at R. and L. Pandya High School in Dahod. He took retirement in 1982.
First poem published in prestigious Gujarati magazine "Kumar". Thereafter, continued publication of poems in other literary magazines like Kumar, Kruti, Ray, Kavita, Milap, Kavilok, Vishvamanav, Kankavati, Shabdasrushti, Navneet-Samarpan, Gujarat, Abhiyan etc.
First anthology "Komal Rishabh", 1970. Re-print in 1983. (out of print at present) Second anthology "Sva-Vachak Ni Shodh" – A long poem, 1973, (out of print at present) Third Anthology "Antar Gandhar", 1981 (out of print at present) Fourth Publication – "Ghazal Samhita", 2005.- a collection of more than 450 Ghazals in five "Mandala-s" (parts). 1. "Sabhar Suraahi", 2. "Meghdhanunaa Dhaal Par", 3, "Aa Ame Nikalyaa", 4. "Jhalhal Padaav", 5. "Ghir Aayi Girnaari Chhaya".
Paathpratishthaa Vol. 1 – Recititation of poems in his own voice (other than Ghazals), 2007 Paathpratishthaa Vol. 2 – Recitation of Poems in his own voice (Ghazals), 2007. Sahrudaya Samaksha Vol. 1 – A collection of archival audio recordings from 1981 to 2006 from various public poetry recitation programmers.
Installation of a stone inscription (શિલાલેખ)
One of his inspired poems "Divya Setu" (A divine bridge) was inscribed on a rock at Mt. Girnar Velly, at Rupayatan, Junagadh, on behest of Shri Morari Bapu. The inauguration of this inscription was done by Shri Morari Bapu at time of the Narsimha Mehta Award ceremony. (read poem)
Awards and Accolades
- To "Komal Rishabh" - from Government of Gujarat - best Anthology of poetry for the year, 1970 (shared with poet Ramesh Parekh), first prize
- To "Antar Gandhar" - from Government of Gujarat - best Anthology of poetry for the year, 1981, first prize
- To "Antar Gandhar" – Kavi Shri Nhanalal Prize, 1981.
- To "Antar Gandhar" - Uma-Sneharashmi Prize, 1982.
- Gujarat Sahitya Academy Award to "Ghazal Samhita" for Best Anthology of Gujarati Poetry, 2005.
- Narsinh Mehta Award – the highest award being given to contemporary poet, 2006 by Shri Moraribapu.
- Felicitation as an eminent personality from Junagadh - by Mr. Narendra Modi, Chief Minister, on the occasion of Gujarat Day, 2007.
- National Academy Award to "Ghazal Samhita" for the best Gujarati publication of the year, 2007.
- Narmad Chandrak, 2008.
- Vali Gujarati Award for Ghazal Year ???
- Lekharatna award by Kanchi Kamakotipeeth Shankaracharya Shri Jayendra Saraswati year ???
He is indebted to Kalidasa, Bhasa, Bhavabhuti, Amaruka, Bilhan, Jayadeva, Pandit Jagannath. The inner world of his poetry reflects the influences of Shankar Vedanta, from Shriman Nathuraam Sharma to Mahrshi Ramana.
His main work is considered to be in the form of Ghazal though he has explored many other metrical and non-metrical forms of poetry such as Geet, Achhandas, and Sonnet. Some of the notable qualities of each of his Ghazals are:
- uniqueness of form
- diversity of metrics
- structure and diction – a lot of symbols and imagery from the life and culture of India along with the traditional concept of Ghazal.
- amalgamation of the flavors of other Gujarati traditional poetic forms like Baaramaasi, Pad, Dhol, Bhajan, Bharathri songs etc.
- incorporation of the insights found in folklore
He has recited his poetry in various private and public events and is often referred to as the "Bapu" of "Rishi Kavi".
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- "Gujarati Documentary on Poet Rajendra Shukla(Video)". DeshGujarat. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
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- "Buy Rajendra Shukla Image". India Today Images. 2006-12-10. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
- "રાજેન્દ્ર શુક્લ, ગુજરાતી સાહિત્ય પરિષદ - Rajendra Shukla, Gujarati Sahitya Parishad". Gujaratisahityaparishad.com. Retrieved 2012-11-16.