NARASIMHACHARYA S.G., 1862-1907

 

            S.G.Narasimhacharya (es.ji. narasimhAcArya) (ಎಸ್.ಜಿ. ನರಸಿಂಹಾಚಾರ್ಯ) was a scholar and a creative writer who rendered yeoman service to the cause of Kannada during the last few decades of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the next century before his pre mature death. He was born in Srirangapattana and had his education in Mysore. After working for a while as a teacher he was appointed as a translator in the department of education. Later on he worked as a pandit (Scholar) and editor in the Oriental Research Institute, Mysore. His erudition in Kannada, Sanskrit, English and Tamil as also his apprenticeship under R.Narasimhachar equipped him admirably for his life’s mission.

            His association with M.A.Ramanuja Iyyengar in the task of editing ancient Kannada texts was long and fruitful. He was actively involved in all the publications of ‘Karnataka Kavyamanjari’ (1892) and ‘Karnataka Kavya Kalanidhi’ (1899) till his breathed his last in 1907. Many important works with a wide range of themes and prosodic forms were edited and published by this duo perhaps for the first time. ‘Gadayuddha’, ‘Yashodharacharite’, ‘Girijakalyana’, ‘Kabbigara Kava’, ‘Ramashvamedha’, ‘Mohanatarangini’ and ‘Chandombudhi’ are a few among them. ‘Adi Puranam’ (1900) by Pampa and ‘Jagannathavijaya’(1904) by Rudrabhatta were edited independently by S.G.Narasimhachar during his tenure in the O.R.I.

            S.G.Narasimhachar provided excellent support to his uncle R.Narasimhachar in the preparation of the first volume of the monumental ‘Karnataka Kavicharite’ (1907).

            S.G.N. was an able translator both from English and Sanskrit. ‘Dileepacharite’ and ‘Ajanrupacharite’ are translations of selected parts from the ‘Raghuvamsha’ of Kalidasa. These are composed in ‘Shatpadi’ meter. He has translated the fist three acts of ‘Uttararama Charite’ by Bhavabhuti. He has translated the poem ‘The Hermit’ by Thomas Parnell (1679-1718) from English. A series of books written by Marsden (Govt. of Madras) and another set of books called ‘Books for Brains’ by Stead were rendered in to Kannada by Narasimhachar. Two anthologies of excerpts from ancient Kannada epics, ‘Padyasara’ and ‘Padyasangraha’ edited by him were prescribed as text books for a long time.     

            Narasimhachar’s contributions to the advent of modern poetry in Kannada went un noticed for a long time. His association with the making of text books resulted in translations of many English poems. The language used in these translations is refreshingly modern even though the translator has not renounced the prosodic meters altogether. Poems such as ‘Nakshatra’, (Twinkle, twinkle little star) and ‘biDuvu’ (Leisure) are very popular. He has written many original poems such as ‘gOvina bALu’, ‘kAvEriya mahime’ and ‘nEgilu’. All these poems are collected in a single volume ‘S.G. Narasimhacharyara Kavitegalu’ by T.V.Venkatachala Shastry. Many original poems and translated poems written by S.G.N. were published in the name of others.

The manifold contributions of S.G.N. are all the more impressive considering the fact that he passed away before reaching fifty years of age. 

 

References: 1. ‘S.G. Narasimhacharyara Kavitegalu’ edited by T.V.Venkatachala Shastry, 1986. I.B.H. Prakashana, Bangaore.

 

 

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