Dr. A.N. Upadhye - His Life And Accomplishments ► 4. Contribution of Dr. Upadhye to Prakrit, Sanskrit and Kannada Literature and Languages ► 4.3. As A Straight Forward Speaker And Guide In Conferences And Seminars

Posted: 09.06.2011

As A Straight Forward Speaker And Guide In Conferences And Seminars

Though Dr. Upadhye participated in the Kannada Conferences, Seminars, Symposiums etc. on a very few occasions, the thoughts expressed in them regarding Kannada language and literature are very important and useful. At the right context even in English medium Conferences, Seminars etc. he has brought out the antiquity of and rich elements etc. in the Kannada literature and language several times.

In 1969 at the Hyderabad Session of the All India Oriental Conference held in 1969, from its Presidential Chair, he contextually referred to the Dravidian languages and literature and proudly laid down the peculiarities of the Kannada language.

His reflections exposed from the Presidential Chair of the Kannada Sahitya Sammelana held at Shravanabelagola, are very significant. He has thrown special light on the importance of Kannada literature in the field of Indian literature as a whole. Moreover he has proved, with evidence and examples, that without proper study of Prakrit literature and languages, the study of Kannada literature and language is incomplete.

Dr. Upadhye was honoured with the Presidential Chair of the All India Jainology Conference, organized by the Jaina Visva Bharati, at Jaipur in 1975. Accepting this, he sent his Presidential Address with the type-script of a very important Research Paper entitled "Prakrit Literature in Karnataka" to the Secretary of the Conference well in advance. Later the authorities of the Jaina Visva Bharati published it in a special Commemorative Issue of their Tulasi Prajna, Vol.VI, 1976. This is the last Research Paper coming down from the savant's pen. In that paper he has shown in detail that in Karnataka, Prakrit literature was produced in considerable quantity and quality of which we can be proud of and such Prakrit literature has rightly guided the creation of high quality Kannada literature and has helped it to be rich and full of variety. When the Satkhandagama works appeared too voluminous and difficult to understand, scholars like Siddhanta Chakravarti Nemicandracarya prepared their quintessence in the form of books like Gommatasara, Dravya Sangraha etc., and made them easy and handy for the future generations of scholars and other readers and, thus, kept their interest in Prakrit literature alive. This truth was shown by Dr. Upadhye for the first time in that paper. Moreover he interpreted that because of this, many Kannada Commentaries on important Prakrit works were written by various scholars and Kannada literature, thus, got new and healthy trends and grew with rich contents. He has also pointed out that the Jaina teachers coming from the North, settled in the Dravidian Provinces making Karnataka their main centre, produced Prakrit literature of high quality in large quantity and became very helpful for the progress of Kannada literature in an appreciable way.

And, now, a last part of my job: For the Commemorative Issue of the TulaslPrajna (Vol. VI, 1976), I was asked to contribute an article. At that time, my heart melted with the memory of my great teacher and overflow in the form of a free verse in Prakrit, which was published in that special issue of the Tulasi Prajna, and the English translation of which now runs here as follows:


At the renowned Rajaram College, Kolhapur
For the first time did I see your goodself,
As a distinguished Professor of Ardhamagadhi
Some thirty years long ago;
And commenced my study of Ardhamagadhi
At your sacred feet!
For studying Ardhamagadhi eagerly then,
Numerous students rushed there and returned well accomplished.
O Guruvarya, several of them today,
Are spread around the country
And are carrying thy work well and sincerely
Earning worthy name in Jainology and Prakrit.
At the fag end of your dedicated life,
Did you plant a tree of Jainology and Prakrit!
May it grow with branches, twigs and fruits
And give cool shade to allstudents resorting there under,
You are verily Upadhyaya Paramesthi
Among the Revered Paflca Paramesthis!
Who can forget your serene life and ideal work?
Salutations to thee! To your gemlike books
That stand aloft like the veritable Light House
For voyagers like me! For voyagers like me!!

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Ahimsa Mandira Prakashana, New Delhi

Edition: 1999