Editing the Sanskrit Writings of Vasishtha Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni

Vasishtha Ganapati Muni was born on the 17th November of 1878 in Kalavarayi, a small village situated in the Vizag district of Andhra Pradesh. He was a mighty spiritual personality with a vast knowledge of Sanskrit. A yogi, poet, philosopher, critic, scholar, an eloquent speaker, an ardent devotee of Mother India, he never deviated from his goals: the attainment of India’s freedom through the power of tapas; revival of the Vedic wisom. Thus he did intense tapasya to reach his goals. He untiringly endevoured to reveal the inner significances of the Vedic hymns, and believed that the future of India rests on a complete revival of the Vedic truths. The Muni always used Sanskrit as his language and at times Telugu. But maximum of his writings are in Sanskrit. He strongly believed that Sanskrit has significant role to play in India’s Self-development and it must be promoted as India’s National Language.

It was in the year 2002 that I came in contact with Sri Natesan. Till then I knew Vasishtha Ganapati Muni only as the author of Umasashasram and the guru of Sri Kapali Sastri, who later came and settled in Pondicherry as a disciple of Sri Aurobindo. I had also heard about the Muni as an aṣṭāvadhanī who could simultaneously attend to eight different questioners and reply to them through extempore poetry. But I had no idea about any other writings of the Muni. It was only when I came into close contact with Sri Natesan, who had preserved all the works of the Muni by copying them in his own note books, that I learnt about the other writings of the Muni. For Sri Natesan it was a dream or life’s mission to see all these works in print. So he had started giving thought to publishing all the works in several volumes. It was during this period that my contact with him took place. We then sat together to decide the layout and format of the volumes. The work which he had started much before he met me now began to take shape. This is how editing and publishing the twelve volumes of the ‘Collected Works of Vasishtha Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni’ took place. I was fortunate to be a part of this Divine work and it was an enriching experience for me to work as the associate editor of the Collected Works of the Muni. Sri Natesan was so particular about the accuracy that he would go through and verify each and every letter that was put into the computer. We used to sit together to proof read the texts and most of the time I found that when I was reading the text on the screen he was sitting with his eyes closed instead of looking at his note book. If there was any mistake he would immediately point out from his memory. It always seemed to me that all that has been published in the eleven volumes of the Collected Works of the Muni was committed to memory by Sri Natesan. That was his uniqueness.

I remember when we were trying hard to bring out the first volume, one day Sri Natesan told me why the work was getting delayed, and he expressed his wish to see at least one volume in print before leaving his body. When he told me this in the year 2003, he was ninety years old. I then spontaneously told him, “Please do not tell me that Sir, you have to live and you will surely live to see all the works of the Muni in print form. Without your presence the work will not move at all.” In the year 2009, six years later, when a copy of the eleventh volume was put in his hand, he asked, “How much work is left to be done?” When he was told that that was the last volume of Muni’s original writings, he expressed the desire that since everything was over he should leave his body. It thus happened, that a month or so after he said this, in March 2009, he left his body. When I think of Sri Natesan, I always feel happy and I also feel that I was fortunate to come in contact with him, a man who lived a complete life. And it is through him that I could delve deep into the writings of the Muni and learn many things about the Muni and his works.

For me participating in this work of editing the Collected Works of the Muni was a part of my spiritual as well as intellectual sādhanā. I can very well say that I have grown with this work. The experience was highly enriching and inspiring. While working on these volumes I always invoked the presence of the Divine to help me and have felt it all the time. I had vividly experienced how this very presence helped me in carrying out this work. I aspire to remain in a state of infinite gratitude to the Divine for giving me this opportunity.

To access all the twelve volumes of the Muni CLICK HERE

To visit my blog page on Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni CLICK HERE

HERE is an article in Sanskrit on Ganapati Muni — His Life and Work

To know about Ganapati Muni’s Association with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother CLICK HERE

HERE is a note on Ganapti Muni’s Research work on Mahabharata

CLICK HERE to read Ganapti Muni’s Prayers to the Divine Mother Shachi for protecting Mother India.

HERE is an article on Ganapati Muni — An Avadhani Par Excellence

Suggested Readings for knowing more about the life and works of Ganapati Muni:

Vasishthavaibhabam of Kapali Sastri, Volume 7 of Collected Works of Kapali Shastri

Jayanti, Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni, Centenary Commemoration Volume,
Karnataka, 1978.

Nayana: Biography of Vasistha Ganapati Muni, Gunturu
Lakshmikantam,Tr. (G.Krishanan), Hyderabad, 1978

Glory of Vasistha Ganapati, S.R Leela, Sri Aurobindo Kapali Sastri
institute of Vedic culture, Banglore, 1999.

Mahatapaswi, Tr. (Smt. Sonti Anasuyamma), A.V. Ramana, Mumbai.

Bhagavana and Nayana, S. Sankaranarayana, Sri Ramanasraman,
Tiruvannamali, 1997.

Nayana, A biography of Ganapati Muni by Dr. S. Krishan

Selected Works of M. P. Pandit, Vol. 4, 5 and 6

Collected Works of Ganapati Muni, Vol. 1 by K. Natesan

Sri K.S. Venkataramana’s letters to Kapali Sastri published in Sat-sang with M. P. Pandit, Vol. IV, p. 194–197.

Written by

Author, speaker and researcher on subjects related to Sanskrit, Indian Culture, Spirituality, Yoga and Education. SahityaAkademi and President of India Awardee.

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