M.R. Srinivasa Murthy, (em. Ar.shrInivAsa mUrty) (ಎಂ.ಆರ್. ಶ್ರೀನಿವಾಸಮೂರ್ತಿ) was a creative writer and a scholar who rendered yeoman service to Veerashaiva literature during a period when it was finding its feet in the modern context. He was born at Mysore and obtained a bachelor’s degree in science from the Central College . He was an employee of the education department and has served in various teaching and administrative capacities. He was a District Educational Officer at the time of his superannuation. (1947) He was first an assistant editor and later the chief editor of the English-Kannada dictionary project by the University of Mysore.(1943-46) He was closely associated with Kannada Sahitya Parishath and was its president during 1950-53.

Srinivasa Murthy was well versed in Sanskrit and old Kannada and he had a special liking for Veerashaiva literature. He was the co editor of the celebrated literary epic ‘Prabhulingaleele’ by Chamarasa which delineates the life of Allamaprabhu. This was published in 1934 and it contains a scholarly introduction. ‘Vachanadharmasara’, (1942) ranks among the first full length books on Veerashaivism. Srinivasamurthy uses the title ‘Vachanadharma’ to indicate that the vachanas of the Veerashaiva saints constitute all the elements of a religion within themselves. The book delineates various aspects of Veerashaiva religion on the basis of some eight hundred vachanas selected by him. The birth and evolution of the religion are given in detail. The concepts of Bhakti, Jnana, Vairagya, Karmayoga and Sharanasati Bhava are explicated based on the poems of Basavanna, Chennabasavanna, Allamaprabhu, Siddarama and Akkamahadevi respectively. This is followed by a discussion about the ideas propounded in the vachanas on the themes of ethics, society, and women. He goes on to prove the literary merits of Vachanas in the concluding chapter. The book is supplemented with a collection of three hundred vachanas.

‘Bhaktibhandari Basavannanavaru’ (1946) is a biographical account of the saint Basaveshvara. A lot of erudite research has gone in to the making of this volume.

Srinivasa Murthy has experimented in different forms of creative literature. ‘Mahatyaga’ (mahAtyAga) and ‘Savitri’(sAvitri) are novels. ‘Nagarika’ (nAgarika) and ‘Dharmaduranta’ are plays which are being performed even to this day. ‘Rangannana Kanasina Dinagalu’ (rangaNNana kanasina dinagaLu) is a unique book that narrates the experiences of a school inspector.

Srinivasa Murthy chaired the 33rd ‘Kannada Sahitya Sammelana’ held at Sollapura in 1950. ‘Sahityaloka’ (sAhityAlOka) is a collection of 24 research articles and a number of prefaces and such material penned by him. This was published by the University of Mysore in 1975.


References: 1. M.R.Srinivasa Murthy: ondu adhyayana, Naguvanahalli P. Ratna, 1994, Mysore .


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