The Indian Biographical Dictionary (1915)/Shankarlal Shastri

Shankarlal Shastri, Mahamaho-padhyaya, Marvi; b. at Marvi, Kathiawar, 1844; the first to receive the title of “Mahamaho-Upadhyaya” in all Gujarat; exhibited his powers of composing verses at the early age of 14; at the age of 16 he was introduced to the then Jam Sahib Vibhaji, who bestowed on him the title of ‘The Poet Extempore’; attracted the attention of the great Hindu Jurist, Rao Sahib Viswanath Narayan Mandlik at whose instance he composed thanksgiving verses in Sanskrit on the recovery from illness of His Majesty the late Emperor Edward VII (then Prince of Wales); appointed Head Sastriji of Marvi; retired on pension after a service of 40 years; is equally remarkable for his powers of memory; has composed many Sanskrit dramas and poems, and one of his dramas, ‘Savithri Charitra’ has been successfully staged at Bombay and at Marvi; two of his Sanskrit Dramas were translated into Gujarati by the late Keshavlal Hariram, and two of his stories have been rendered into Gujarati prose by Mr. Viswanath P. Vaidya. Address: Marvi, Kathiawar Agency, Bombay Presidency.

Shankarlal Shastri, Mahamaho-padhyaya, Morbi; b. at Morbii, Kathiawar, 1844; the first to receive the title of “Mahamaho-Upadhyaya” in all Gujarat; exhibited his powers of composing verses at the early age of 14; at the age of 16 he was introduced to the then Jam Sahib Vibhaji, who bestowed on him the title of ‘The Poet Extempore’; attracted the attention of the great Hindu Jurist, Rao Sahib Viswanath Narayan Mandlik at whose instance he composed thanksgiving verses in Sanskrit on the recovery from illness of His Majesty the late Emperor Edward VII (then Prince of Wales); appointed Head Sastriji of Morbi; retired on pension after a service of 40 years; is equally remarkable for his powers of memory; has composed many Sanskrit dramas and poems, and one of his dramas, ‘Savithri Charitra’ has been successfully staged at Bombay and at Morbi; two of his Sanskrit Dramas were translated into Gujarati by the late Keshavlal Hariram, and two of his stories have been rendered into Gujarati prose by Mr. Viswanath P. Vaidya. Address: Morbi, Saurashtra ( Now it is in tyhe State of Gujarat).

In Morbi, Shastri Shankarlal M. Bhatt was performing the feat of attending to eight objects or eight activities at a time. At the same time in Bombay, Gattulalji Maharaj was performing similar feats. These were the only two well‑known persons for their exceptional memory and attention feats. There is a Ashram at Morbi built in memory of Shri Shankarlal Shastri ji by the late Maharaja of Morbi who reverred this laurette and sankrit teacher par excellence. The name of the ashram is known as " Shankar Ashram" and it is situated on the bank of the river just adjascent to the two bulls bridge known as " pada pul" by the locals. Free Sanskrit lessons are provided to ethusiatic learners. There are thousands of books written in Sanskrit by Shankarlal Sahtriji which are still preserved at the ashram. There is a Shiva temple in the premises and a favorite picnic spot for locals during the Indian Calender Month of Shravan which falls in August month of the English calender.