Triveni Journal

1927 | 11,233,916 words

Triveni is a journal dedicated to ancient Indian culture, history, philosophy, art, spirituality, music and all sorts of literature. Triveni was founded at Madras in 1927 and since that time various authors have donated their creativity in the form of articles, covering many aspects of public life....

Book Reviews



INDIAN PRESS AND FREEDOM STRUGGLE: By Aurobindo Mazumdar 1937-42 Published by Orient Longman Limited, Madras - 2. Price: Rs. 130.

It is a well-mown fact that dur­ing the Independence movement the nationalist press was severely sub­jected to a series of hardships and hurdles by the reigning British Imperi­alist master under various laws, rules and regulations, in regard to freedom of expression and propagation of ideas to the masses through the medium of newspapers and periodicals, in English and native languages too. In a sense, it could be said that, barring the British ­Oriented Press, the freedom struggle and the progress of the press during that crucial period in our modem his­tory went hand in hand, one comple­menting the other in awakening the vast multitudes of our fellow-men to the much-necessary consciousness of national unity and endeavour, and educating them in that spirit for a concerted action for emancipation from the oppressive foreign yokes. The multifarious and at times mealy-mouthed restrictions put on the work­ing of the press to curb its legitimate activities and prevent it from playing its due and rightful role in informing public opinion with facts and figures relating to the administration of the country by the ruling masters, could not, in fact, suppress its vigour and voice although there were temporary and spasmodic suspensions of publication of newspapers in different parts of the country.

Professor Aurobindo Mazumdar, Head of the Department of Journal­ism, Gauhati University, researched into the press archives and Freedom struggle and has presented a compre­hensive picture of the state of the press and its working, especially dur­ing the period 1937-42, when the Indian National Congress party spear­heading the Independence movement, had assumed office in some states of country, culminating in the 1942 August agitation demanding the Brit­ish to ‘Quit India’. The book is a heavily documented one - judgements of the presiding magistrates and of the judges of High Courts sitting in appeal against them, have been reproduced in extenso, in cases of sedition and other alleged offences with which the editors, publishers and printers newspapers and magazines were charged on some pretext or the other. Students of Journalism and working journalists will do well to imbibe the zealous independence of spirit and the unswerving devotion to professional conduct and ethics evinced by the stalwarts in the field of yester years, when the country was in a tumultuous ferment for freedom and the safety, security and continued existence of newspapers were always at stake and in a perilous state, and to emulate the examples of those patriotic and profes­sionally immaculate and ideal forbears. The book is larded with too much material which could have been prudently pruned without loss of its value and objectives.


Name of the Book: SHRI NARAYANA GURU. Author: Dr. K. Sreenivasan - Price Rs. 120 For copies Jayasree publications Parvati Nagar. Kowdiar - Trivandrum - 695 003.

This book is an inspiring biogra­phy of late Sri Narayana Guru a Saint, Philosopher, Humanist, poet and a successful social reformer, who lived upto his principles and precepts, and who won encomies from Romain Rol­land. Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindra Nath Tagore. To him “service is the one religion and love the only one God of mankind”. Though an Advaitin. He is not a “Mayavadin”. He crusaded against untouchability, casteism and addiction to liquor. He worked for the upliftment of the down-trodden espe­cially ezhave community, freed women from bondage, brought out reforms in law of inheritance and marriage ritu­als, obsequies and temple worship. He founded an order of Sanyasins under the name of S.N.D.D. Yogam. All these achievements deified him, and we see small shrines of Sri Guru through out Kerala. This work of sixteen chapters gives a detailed sketch of the Guru's life and achievements. Guru’s conver­sations with Mahatma Gandhi and others are instructive. Chapter Twelve is most valuable in that it contains on elegant English translation in metre, of twelve of Swami’s minor poems in Malayalam and Sanskrit, and these elevate our souls to higher realms. All these poems, full of imagery and philo­sophic thoughts do animate our souls. “A spotted leopard skin surrounds, his form of tender bloom”. “Within the self he dances, say and Dance cobra dance! Thy sorrow seek and witness the bliss of grace in wild dis­play. Dance Cobra dance” is one of the verses from a poem entitled “Kun­dalini Pattra” Need it be said that we recommend this book to all Indian patriots, youth and lovers of poesy also.

B. K.  Rao

Name of the Book: RADHA KRISHNA POEMS ON DIVINE LOVE Author: B. Indira Kumari (Ammaladinne). Pages: 64, Price: not mentioned.

Radha is an embodiment of love. The quintessence of her life consists of her divine love for Krishna. Their’s is an eternal love. Radha surrenders herself to Lord Krishna and their love story is immortal and ever-fresh in our memories. As the Upanishads state, “God manifests Himself in immortal forms of joy.” That joy is love’s ulti­mate expression. Vivekananda says, “Lovers may be a thousand miles away from each other, but their love does not die, and will never produce any painful reaction.” This is true and self-less love. This love is also depicted by spiritualists as the “Atma” seeking communion with the “Paramatma” which is the ultimate expression of the love of God and achievement of the highest bliss. This is the hidden con­cept of Radha Krishna’s love. There is a deep spiritual message in it.

As long as Gopala is away from her. Radha feels the pangs of separa­tion. But, when He is with her, she expresses her anger, jealousy, sorrow, anxiety and a desire to monopolise His love! “Radha Krishna poems on Di­vine Love” by B. Indira Kumari pres­ents before our mind’s eye all these scenes of pain and pleasure in a pic­turesque manner.

The poetess has succeeded in describing all these various aspects of Divine Love, in her poetic rendering. The two - line stanzas which end with rhyming words sound a musical note. Her description of the river Yamuna, the village belles – Gopikas, and the magic of the flute of the Lord incar­nate, add a magical touch to the poems.

In the later part of the book, the Hindu belief of the ‘Atma’ seeking the ‘Paramatma’ and finally merging in Him is very aptly portrayed by the poetess. Krishna’s explanation to Radha’s doubts about the very exis­tence of the ‘Being’ touches our hearts. He reaffirms, The everlasting Truth, no doubt, I am. This reminds us that He himself is the creator as well as the destroyer. Everything cre­ated by Him ultimately reaches His feet. Pramoda, a Gopika finds “an effulgent light from Radha going up­wards.” Thus Radha’s soul was merged into Lord Krishna and Pra­moda felt greatly relieved.

Y. Satya Sree

Name of the Book: SHRI SANKARACHARYA. Author of the original English: Dr. Indusekhara Sastry. Translated in Telugu by Shri P.S. Sundaram. No. of pages: 152. Price: Rs 36.

At no time in human history could a publication on Sankara be­come superfluous. The treasure-hunt is inexhaustible. Biographers, Histori­ans, Economic analysts, Social Scien­tists, Religious Reformers and Linguis­ts would ever find Sankara an unfa­thomable sea of thought, perception and logic.

This book, based on the English version of Shri. M. Indusekhara \ Sastry, is rendered true to the promise in the preface, into chaste Telugu com­bining the beauty of biography with the sensitivity of perception.

Shri Sundaram, a man of letters has proved that a reading on Sankara is a reclamation of the deserter to faith. He has consistently maintained the narrative in lucid and simple style, gripping in interest and absorbing in thought. Padmapadacharya’s Recital itself is scintillating. Shri sundaram’s Telugu version is superbly sober.

Starting from Sanandana’s meet, the birth of Sankara in Kaladi, the noble resignation of his mother to his renunciation, the ‘Sishrusha’ to Gov­indacharya the verbal duel with Mandana Mishra, the intellectual combat with Bharathi, the advent of Thotaka and Hasthamalaka into his Sishyaparunmpara, the Kapalika epi­sode, the demise of his mother, the Krakucha and the Navagupta con­spiracies, his ascent to “Sarvagrnatha Peetha”, and finally telescoping into a short discourse on the future of hu­man civilisation, the book is rendered readable, leaving a long, lingering impact on the devotee’s mind.

If Action is existence and sound is sense and silence, the Acharya’s preaching of the Quintessence of “Shristhi”, “Sthithi” and “Laya” embodied in that sublime silence of Ages is faithfully portrayed by the author. Dedication to “Brahma Kadig­ina Padam” is the life - line of this book. Shri Sundaram is indeed blessed by his literary wash of the sacred fleet of Acharya as an ani­mated author - “Brahma me thaanaye”.

The print and the get-up of the publication are as good as its moder­ate price. The ‘Printer’s Devil’ is no where seen except on page 2 which promptly caught the eye of the author himself.

Prof. B.H. Sankarnarayan


KORADA RAMAKRISHNAYYA CENTENARY FESTSCHRIFT: Com­memoration Volume, published by Sita Trust. ‘Sita Nivas’. 48-9-16 Dwaraka­nagar, Visakhapatnam - 530 016.

The year 1991-92 saw the cen­tenary celebrations of Korada Ramakrishnayya, the academician ­scholar - savant of Telugu. The cele­brations were sponsored by the Susarla International Foundation. Illinois. U.S.A. and a commemoration volume issued. A number of centres of higher education not only in Andhra but in distant Varanasi and Bangalore held meetings and seminars on the savant’s work. The commemoration volume was released by another scholar savant, the Hon’ble Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao on 30th November 1992 at New Delhi.

In the first thirty-nine pages Dr. Tirumala Ramachandra has scintil­latingly narrated the lineage and bio­graphical account of Ramakrishnayya. Then follows, in the next forty pages, the reprinting of Korada Ramachandra Sastry’s Upamaavali and Unmalla Raghavamu. Upamaavali is in San­skrit and a feast of creative imagina­tion, Unmatta Raghavamu is a relish­able Telugu rendering of Bhaskara Kavi’s Sanskrit work of the same name.

In the next 145 pages follow the reprinting of some twenty-nine impor­tant articles of Ramakrishnayya. It is a treasure. Each article is a mine of information, with appropriate compo­sition and judicious assessment. Edu­cative and enlightening, the total impact of these is one of sweetness and light. It is good these are brought together and made available to the readers in one place.

The next sheaf of eleven articles under the caption “Smrtyanjali” are generally appreciative in nature of the savant’s work. Within this frame some reminisce, some explore and others document. C. Narayana Reddy. Nan­duri Ramakrishnamacharya, Gunturu Seshendra Sarma. Kolavennu Ma­layavasini, Rachapalem Chan­drasekhara Reddy, Inac, Salva Krish­namurthy, Ramavarapu Sarat Babu and Budaraju Radhakrishna have contributed to this section.

The rest of the Telugu section is divided into three categories namely Language. Literature and Culture.

Among the articles on Language Bhadriraju Krishnamurthy’s “Tikkana Padaprayoga Kosamu” stresses the importance of the history of each word and the need for such word-index works. Considering the language as­pect of Nannchoda’s Kumarasambhava L.B. Sankara Rao irrefutably places the work between Nannaya and Tikkana. Dr. T. Donappa, carrying all his scholarship ever so lightly enter­tains the reader with the fourfold his­tory of the word “saani” in his article “Telugu Sani Kahani”. K. Sarvottama Rao touches upon the “ragades” both in Kannada and Telugu. Dwarakanath Sastry writes about Marepalli Ramachandra Sastry’s “Nudikadali” (Ocean of words) a lexicon of indige­nous Telugu words. K. Ramanjaneyulu details the various stages of compiling a lexicon.

A major chunk of space, natu­rally, goes to literary criticism with some thirty contributions on various topics. Constraint of space does not permit the reviewer to deal with them all but to resort to a select mentioning of some names. Salaka Raghunatha Sarma, Yasoda Reddy, Mudigonda Veerabhadra Sastry, P.L. Srinivasa Reddy, Yamijala Padmanabhaswamy, Anantapadmanabha Rao, Sardesai Tirumala Rao, P.S.R. Appa Rao, buddanna, K. Kamalam Vedula Subrah­manya Sastrym Uma Ramaraom Supras­annacharya, Bhimsen Nirmal, Obi Reddy, Akkiraju Ramakanta Rao and a host of others have contributed to this section. Buddanna’s article on “gazhal” and Suprassana’s article on the “Splendour of Sanskrit Scholar­ship at Orugallu” are interesting.

The section under “Samskriti’ (culture) contains about twenty ar­ticles. Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar’s “San­gacchadhwam”, Palle Nagamani’s “Vairabhakti” Kartikeya Sarma’s ar­ticle on the various aspects of temple­-construction at Alampur, R. Sesha Sas­try’s write - up on “Hero Stones” are interesting. Vempati China Sat yam projects the “Bhomi Charis” and “Akasike Charis” of Bharata as the salient features of Kuchipudi dance. While B.V.S.S. Mani gives a history of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham assign­ing Adi Sankara to 509 B.C. - 476 B.C. Cheemakirti Seshagiri Rao suggests a reappraisal of Adi Sankara’s date and assigns him to the 6th century A.D.

Among the twenty articles in the English section three are reproductions of Ramakrishnayya’s articles, namely (1) Telugu Language and Paisachi Prakrit, (2) Telugu Literature Out of the Telugu Country and (3) A Common Literary and Prosodial Tradition in south Indian Languages. The rest of the articles are divided, as before, on the lines ofLanguage. Lit­erature and Culture. In the opening article Korada Mahadeva Sastry, the prime mover of the present effort and the savant’s son, reminisces about his student days at Calcutta detailing the encouragement he has received from Suniti Kumar Chatterjee and other professors. G.K. Panikkar speaks of the Telugu-speaking people of Kerala and pleads for an immediate socio­logical and linguistic study of such communities outside Andhra Pradesh. “Two problems in Dialectology” by V.I. Subramanyam, “Grammaticalisa­tion of contest”, The Domain of Deixis” by E. Annamalai, and “Syntactic convergency in Central Indian Languages” by B. Ramakrishna Reddy are thoughtful professional articles on language. G.V.S.R. Krishnamurthy examines naming of flora in Telugu in an article of the same name. It has to be pointed out ‘Kadapacettu’ is not named after the place-name Kapa (Cuddapah). It is a variant of kadim­ichettu with “pa” displacing “ma’ (Kadamba Skt - Kadama Tel – Kadapa/ Kadimi). T. Koteswara Rao explores the kinematics of Rasa with Santa as the still point in his article “Rasa - The Mystic Diamond”, G.R. Achuta Rama Raju’s” Dramatist Saga from Korada to Gurazada”, T. Suseela’s “Tragic Plays in Telugu” touch upon Telugu literature. Korada Suryanar­ayan in his article “Paninian Gram­mer and computer Science” leads us to the computer age. “On the nomen­clature” “Samskrita”, “Prithviraj Rasso”, “Ekam Sad Vipraa Bahudha Vadanti”, “Hinduism - Its relevance to the Present”, “Our Eternal Heritage”, “Avatar Mehar Baba” are the other articles catering to a wide range of tastes.

Given at the end of the volume are the names and addresses of he contributors in Telugu.

A deeply satisfying volume with thoughtful content worth preserving both for the student and scholar. Printing and get-up are good.

Dr. Salva Krishnamurthy


DEVI SATAKAM: Devotional poems in Sanskrit - by K.V. Sankara Subrahmanyam (Published by the author at Sri Sai Sadanam, Behind Canara Bank, Cantonment, Bellary ­583104 ), Price: not mentioned.

A mere academic ground in Sanskrit and or nominal exposure to it obtained through various slokas will not suffice if one were to do justice to the job of reviewing the contents of a book such as this.

Having said this, one can’t but marvel at the devotion, dedication and felicity in use of Sanskrit which Shri K.V. Sankara Subrahmanyam has brought to bear in the writing of these 108 verses in praise of the Shakti. A cursory glance at some of the verses convinces one that the structure of the verses and the words used, are such that the verses can be put to effective use during pujas and bhajans.

The book includes a benediction from the Sankara Mutt at Kancheepu­ram. It has been divided into twelve parts of nine stanzas each - with each stanza having four lines. As one who has had the privilege of reviewing the other work of Subrahmanyam, viz, Parapaarijaat (containing the author’s translation into Hindi of poems of Thomas Gray and others) and having thus obtained an idea about the author’s command over Sanskrit and Sanskritized Hindi, this writer feels that Subrahmanyam has the potential to do some reverse translation, i.e. of this Devi Satakam into English ( and, of course, in Hindi). For the present, however, the ‘essence’ of each of the stanzas can be given in English, and appended to this publication, for the benefit of the devotees all over India.

V. Subrahmanian

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