A. R. Krishnashastry
© Kamat's Potpourri
|Born||Ambale Ramakrishna Krishnashastry
February 12, 1890
Ambale, Chikkamagalur district (Erstwhile Mysore district), Karnataka
|Died||February 1, 1968
|Occupation||Writer, Professor, Journalist|
Ambale Ramakrishna Krishnashastry (1890–1968) (Kannada: ಅಂಬಳೆ ರಾಮಕೃಷ್ಣ ಕೃಷ್ಣಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಿ) 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 was born on February 12, 1890 in Ambale, Chikkamagalur district ( Karnataka, India) into a Smarta Hoysala Karnataka Brahmin family. His parents were Ramakrishna Shastry, Distinguished grammarian and principal of Sanskrit school in Mysore and Shankaramma a home maker. Krishnashastry lost his mother Shankaramma to plague when he was ten. His father, Ramakrishna Shastry raised all the children. Due to poverty, Krishnashastry was compelled to study Kannada and Sanskrit for his Bachelor 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. Krishnashastry married at the age of sixteen to Venkatalakshamma who was only ten at that time.
Prof A.R. KrishaShastry was called as "Kannada Senani" by famous Kannada writer and folklorist Haa. Maa. Naayak( H. M. Nayak). He was the first one to start a Karnataka Sangha at Central College, Bengaluru. Later these Sanghas spread throughout Karnataka.
Prof KrishnaShastry was a polyglot. Apart from Kannada (mother tongue), Sanskrit and English, He was also proficient in Pali, Bengali (self taught), Hindi, and German. 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, Bhavabhuti 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 Vachana bharata, Nirmalabharati and Kathaamruta. Vachanabharata and Nirmalabharati are an abridged versions of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Kathaamruta is a collection of stories from Kathasaritsagara, huge anthology of hundreds of fables, parables and other stories in Sanskrit. Kathaamruta 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
- Vachana bharata - Rated as the best translation of Vyasa's Mahabharata to Kannada and very popular in the state of Karnataka, India.
Short story collections
- Shreepatiya Kategalu
- Kathaamrutha - Kannada translation of Kathasaritsagara
- Samskruta Nataka
- Harischandrakavya Sangraha
- Alankara ( kannada handbook on Alankara shastra - 1927, Mysore university) - Alaṅkāra-śāstra
- Bhasa Kavi ( A critique on Sanskrit playwright Bhasa - Central college Karnataka Sangha - 1922)
- Sarvajnana Kavi
- Bhashanagalu Mattu Lekhanagalu ( Speeches and Writings )
- Nagamahashaya (Author: Sarat Chandra Chakravarty) translated from Bengali to Kannada - 1937