English translation of Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri’s Kannada Classic work “Bharathiya Samskruthi”
- Title: INDIAN CULTURE – A Compendium of Indian History, Culture and Heritage
- Original Author: Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri (in Kannada as “Bharathiya Samskruthi” – 1954)
- English Translation: Prof. S. Naganath
- Year of Publication: 2021
- Pages: 674
- Price: Rs.800
- Publisher: Notion Press INDIA Pvt. Ltd.
INDIAN CULTURE – A Compendium of Indian History, Culture and Heritage,” an English translation of Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri’s Kannada Classic work “Bharathiya Samskruthi,” has been brought out by Prof. S. Naganath (son of Dr. Srikanta Sastri).
Speaking to Star of Mysore, Prof. Naganath said, “This translation is the result of three years of hard work and intellectual toil. The two- hundred-and-fifty-plus Sanskrit quotations in the original Kannada volume have been translated into English by Sanskrit linguists and subject experts Dr. K. L. Prasannakshi (Mysuru) and T. V. Vishalakshi (Bengaluru).” The book is replete with an exhaustive Bibliography and INDEX at the end. Nearly fifty detailed illustrations and tables serve to showcase the information in a clear and concise manner.
The Kannada original (published in 1954) saw five reprints and was a best-seller in academic circles, especially with Kannada readers. It is hoped that this English translation will showcase the book to a global readership and help them wade through the life and times of possibly the oldest surviving civilisation on the planet. Long before archaeo-genetics was popular in India, Dr. Srikanta Sastri was among the earliest proponents of the “Out of India Migration Theory” and argued vehemently against the “Aryan Invasion Theory.” His articles on “Harappan Town Planning” and “Proto-Indic Religion” followed in the Indus Valley Civilisation remain popular to this day, said translator Prof. Naganath.
The Translator’s Note on the book cover captures the essence of the book in a nutshell:
The author (Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri), a historian of repute, confronts important issues of Indian history in this classic work. He raises such questions as “Was there an Aryan Invasion of India in the past?”, “Is the caste system a bane or a boon?”, “Did Indian women enjoy equal rights in ancient times?”, “Was Democracy an alien concept to Vedic Indians?”, “Why Buddhism became extinct in the country of its origin?”, “What is India’s lasting contribution to the field of Science, Mathematics, Astronomy, Medicine, Chemistry, Metallurgy, etc.?”, “Was Indian Culture greatly impacted by foreign religions?”, “How did India influence its neighbouring Eastern and Western countries?”, “Is Sanskrit only an off-shoot of the Indo-European Languages Group?”, “What was the scale of the social, economic and political implosion detonated by two centuries of British Colonial Rule?” The author has answered the above vexing questions based on an intensive study of Archaeology, Epigraphy, Numismatics, original records in different languages and the travelogues of foreign visitors.
The book is now available on Amazon and Flipkart for online purchase.
Incidentally, Dr. S. N. Bhagirath, who occasionally writes ‘Mysore Memories’ column in Star of Mysore, featuring litterateurs, scholars and academicians, is the grandson of Dr. Srikanta Sastri. Dr. Bhagirath currently practices medicine in the UK.
About the Translator: Prof. S. Naganath is a retired Professor of English and headed the Department of English at National College, Jayanagar, Bengaluru. He has taught English Literature for nearly four decades and currently pre-occupies himself translating, editing and publishing many of Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri’s works. He is often invited by centres like University of Mysore (History Department), ISKCON (Bengaluru) and Gokhale Institute of Public Affairs (Bengaluru) where he has delivered lectures on topics like “Aryan Invasion Debate”, “Interpretation of Upanishads”, “300 Ramayanas” and “William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.” He spends his time between Mysuru and Bengaluru. —OSR