H. Thipperudraswamy (honnALi tippErudfrsfvAmi) (ಹೊನ್ನಾಳಿ ತಿಪ್ಪೇರುದ್ರಸ್ವಾಮಿ) is a scholar who made a pioneering effort to look at the culture of Karnataka in its entirety. (ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ ಸಮೀಕ್ಷೆ) He took various dimensions such as political history, religious realities and cultural aspects in to consideration while indulging in a holistic appraisal of the situation. It’s a laudable effort even though some of his attitudes and methodological tools may seem a little outdated in the contemporary context.

Thipperudraswamy was born in Honnali a small town in Davanagere district and obtained early education in his native town and Teerthahalli. He secured B.A. (Hons.) (1951) and M.A. (1952) degrees in Kannada from the University of Mysore . His work, ‘Sharanara Anubhaava Saahitya’ (Mystical Literature of the Shivasharanas’) fetched a Ph. D. degree from the Karnatak University . He joined his alma mater as a lecturer in 1964 and later became the director of the Institute for Postal and Correspondence Courses in the University of Mysore . (1973-75) He was appointed as the Director of the Post Graduate Centre of the University at Bhadra Project in Shivamogga district.(1975-1984) He returned to Mysore and served as the Director of ‘Sri Kuvempu Kannada Adhyayana Samsthe’ till he sought voluntary retirement in 1987.

Thipperudraswamy was a creative writer and contributed a few works to various genres of literature such as poetry, drama and fiction. Novels such as ‘paripurnadedege’, ‘kadaLi karpUra’, ‘kartArana kammaTa’, ‘jyOti beLagutide’ and ‘vacana virUpAksha’ are based on the lives of historical personalities i.e. Allamaprabhu, Akkamahadevi, Basavanna, Nijaguna Shivayogi and Raghavanka respectively. They do constitute an interesting attempt of merging historical data with fictional imagination. However his fame rests on his scholastic efforts in the fields Cultural history, comparative poetics, literary criticism and Veerashaiva religion. He has edited a few ancient and medieval texts.

His doctoral work studies the philosophical traits of the Shivasharans in the light of their literary out put as well as their mystical pursuits. ‘VachanagaLalli Veerashaiva Dharma’ is another attempt to place literature in a philosophical and religious frame work. ‘KarnATaka Samskruti Sameekshe’ which fetched him the coveted Sahitya Academy Award is a systematic attempt to study and analyze the culture of Karnataka. It is divided in to ten chapters including the introductory and concluding chapters. Remaining chapters deal with the political history of Karnataka, community life, Inscriptions, literature, folklore, architecture and sculpture, music and dance and painting. Cultural aspects are invariably delineated and appreciated. The mode of presentation is basically informative and descriptive. The book is valuable more for the information provided rather than polemical debates. It serves as an important source book for further research. He has dealt with thematic pre occupations of ‘Shunya Sampadane’, an important work based on Veerashaiva philosophy and Vachanas. Tipperudraswami was a keen student of comparative poetics and ‘taulanika kAvyamImAmse’ is an illustration. His contributions to literary criticism and modern literature are beyond the scope of this note. Some of his important works are enumerated here:

1.      ‘shUnyatatva vikAsa mattu shUnya sampAdane’, 1963

2.      ‘sharanara anubAvasAhitya’, 1963

3.      ‘vacanagaLalli vIrashaivadharma’, 1969

4.      ‘karnATaka samskriti samIkshe’, 1968.

5.      ‘kannaDadalli anuBAvasAhitya’ , 1962

6.      ‘cAmarasa’ (Biography)

7.      ‘BImakavi’ (1970)

8.      ‘cAmarasa’

9.      ‘Shri sharaNa carita mAnasa’ 1956, (Textual Criticism)

10. ‘Amugi dEvayyagaLa sAngatya’ 1965, (Textual Criticism)

11. ‘siddarAma carite’, 1975, (Textual Criticism)

12. ‘basaveshvara vachanadeepike’,

He has written a few biographies meant for children on the lives of Kannada poets and Veerashaiva saints.

Thipperudraswamy was awarded the Central Sahitya Academy award for his ‘Karnataka Samskriti Sameekshe’ in 1969 and the life time award of the Karnataka Sahitya Academy in 1985.


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