B.Shivamurthyshastry, (basavayyasvAmi shivamUrtishAstrI) (ಬಸವಯ್ಯಸ್ವಾಮಿ ಶಿವಮೂರ್ತಿಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಿ) a journalist, scholar and ‘keertanakaara’ was an active participant in the Karnataka unification movement and he has rendered yeoman service to Kannada Sahitya Parishat.

He was born and studied up to secondary school in Tumakur. He taught in a school at Gubbi for a short while. He had the opportunity to learn Sanskrit and ancient Kannada under the tutelage of P.R.Karibasavasahastry at Tumakur for a period of six years. He became closely acquainted with many religious and literary texts during that period. He developed an abiding interest in the art of ‘Keertane’, which is a public presentation of a story intermingled with songs. He travelled extensively all over Karnataka performing ‘Keertanas’. He moved over to Bangalore in 1927 and involved himself in multifarious cultural activities. Shivamurthyshastry had a huge number of manuscripts collected during his travels. His collection of palm leaf manuscripts and copper plates in Sanskrit and Kannada exceeded four hundred and included many classics such as ‘Jaimini Bharata’, ‘Veereshacharite’, Sharanaleelamrutha’ etc. All of them were generously donated to Universities and other institutions.

Shivamurthyshastry has edited and published a number of works. Some of them are listed here:

1.      ‘Puratana Trividhi’ by Nijaguna Shivayogi

2.      ‘Shivasharanara Tripadigalu’

3.      ‘Vedanta Shikharatna Prakashika’

4.      ‘Madeshvara Sangatya’

5.      ‘Gana Sahasra Namavali’

6.      ‘Shadakshara Mantramahime’

7.      ‘Veereshacharite’ by Raghavanka, 1942.

8.      ‘Ghanaligidevara Vachanagalu’

9.      ‘Sri Basavodaharanam’ (Sanskrit) 1944.

10. ‘Nyayashatakam’

11. ‘Sirumala Charite’

12. ‘Kannada Jaimini Bharata’ (with Devudu Narasimha Shastry)

13. ‘Kanakadasara Keerthanegalu’ (With K.M.Krishna Rao), 1965

14. ‘Haribhaktisara’ (With K.M.Krishna Rao)

15. Someshvara Shataka’ (With others)

Most of these works are provided with useful supplementary material. The editing is fairly satisfactory even though the principles of textual criticism are not followed meticulously. Shivamurthyshastry was the founder editor and publisher of ‘Sharana Sahitya’ (Monthly, 1938-1972) and ‘Svatantra Karnataka’ (Weekly,1938-43) two periodicals that were published for a long time.

Some of the original works written by Shivamuthyshastry are as follows:

1.      ‘Veerashaiva Sahitya mattu Itihasa’ (In three parts)

2.      ‘Veerashaiva Mahapurusharu’

3.      ‘Karnataka Sandarshana’

Shivamurthyshastry was the president of ‘Kannada Sahitya Parishat’ for eight years. (1956-64). He was a member of the editorial board of the ‘Kannada Vishvakosha’ published by the University of Mysore during 1968-76. He was awarded the Padmasri title by the Government of India in 1966 and the Karnataka University conferred its honarary Doctorate on him in 1975. ‘Devagange’ is the felicitation volume presented to Shivamurthy Shastry in 1968.

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