Biographical Sketches of Dekkan Poets/Venkatachari


This poet was a Vistnava bramin, and native of Arasanifala-Agrahara, which is situated between the rivers Baha and Payaswini, in the province of Tundira Mandalam, otherwise called Kanchi Mandalam: this bard was of illustrious descent, for his father Raghunaddichet was a priest of high rank and reputation, and author of of several religious works in great estimation among his Countrymen. Venkatachari was court pundit to Pralayakaveri, one of the Rajah's tributary to the throne of Vijayanagur; from this prince he obtained grants of land, he made ample commentaries on various difficult texts, and among them Sunklapa Surya Doya. Venkatachari obtained the name of Venkatadhweri, from the many sacrifices he performed: he was well versed in history, philosophy, and logic, and like his father Raghunadichet, he amused himself in the composition of elegant Sanscrit poetry, he was the author of Viswaguna Dursana, a work highly celebrated throughout the Southern Peninsula. It is composed partly in prose and partly in verse, and much ingenuity is shown in the management of the polemic arguments contained in the dialogues of two Gundharvas, one of whom is a panegyrist, and the other a calumniator on every subject, this gives our poet an opportunity to display his knowledge in Indian theology, history, geography, and logic. The poetry is rich and sublime, and the language of the prose copious and elegantly combined, forming on the whole, a delightful mental treat to the natives of the south, who peruse the work for instructions and amusement.

There are but few copies of the Viswaguna Darsana, to be met with in the north of India at present, but the merits of the work will undoubtedly speedily cause it to be multiplied, the encouragement moreover now given by the liberal public to Oriental literatore, and the advantages resulting from the printing establishments, Intely introduced in this country, will, no doubt, shortly cause this excellent work to be brought into general notice, to the edification of the native population. Some of the descendants of Venkatachari are still living, but none of them have inherited the genius and talents of their fore-fathers, whose works have added much to the beauty of the Sanscrit language, and will, in all probability, be as perpetual as that dialect.