S. Srikanta Sastri was born into a scholarly lineage. A paternal ancestor - Yagnapathi Bhatta was a famous court poet in the court of Kempegowda. Maternal ancestor Umamahesvara Sastri, a renowned court poet in the Vijayanagara Kingdom had earned the title of "Abhinava Kalidasa" for his work "Bhagavata Champu". His uncles - Vidwan Motaganahalli Mahadeva Sastri,Vidwan Shankara Sastri and Asthan Maha Vidwan Ramashesha Sastri were eminent court poets in the Mysore Palace. Vidwan Ramshesha Sastri was the first person to translate "Bhagavata" to Kannada from Sanskrit.
Maharaja's College Group Photo showing Kuvempu, Ta Ra Su, A. R. Krishna Sastri, Ralapalli Anatha Krishna Sharma among others
Group Photograph of History Department of University of Mysore showing S. Srikanta Sastri with his teacher Prof S. V. Venkateswara (sitting in the middle)
S. Srikanta Sastri was born in 1904 in Nanjanagud, Mysore as the second child of Seshamma and Ramaswamy Sastri of the TeluguMulakanadu community of Brahmins. He had his preliminary schooling in the cities of Kolar, Nanjanagud and Chikkaballapur before moving to Mysore. After finishing his school, he pursued his Bachelor's and subsequently master's degree in History at Maharaja's college, Mysore. Here he came under the influence of S. V. Venkateswara (History)[pictured], J. C. Rollo, B. M. Srikantaiah (English), V. L. D'Souza, H. Krishna Rao (Greek History), N. S. Subba Rao (Economics) and M. H. Krishna (Ancient History). During these years, he penned his first article titled "Conquests of Siladitya in the South" on the reign of King Harsa Siladitya in the "Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland" in July, 1926. On completion of his education, S. Srikanta Sastri secured the post of a tutor at Maharaja College, University of Mysore in the Department of History (1930) and subsequently became a lecturer in the Department in 1935. Contemporaneous at this time were such other eminent personalities at Maharaja College, Mysore, as K. V. Puttappa (Kuvempu), A. R. Krishna Sastri, Ralapalli Anantha Krishna Sharma, V. Seetharamaiah, D. L. Narasimhachar, T. S. Shamarao and N. Anantharangachar.(all pictured in group photograph).
S. Srikanta Sastri authored about 12 books, 224 articles [100 in English, 114 in Kannada, 8 in Telugu, 1 in Sanskrit & Hindi] and three monographs and book reviews in Kannada, English, Telugu and Sanskrit. Among his earliest essays were "Kannada Nayananda" and "Shivaganga Kshetra" - a treatise on the religious centre of Shivaganga. He published his first article in the "Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland" at the age of twenty two. He subsequently authored a small piece on King Devaraya of Vijayanagara Kingdom in the "Indian Antiquary". His earliest book "Sources of Karnataka History, Vol I" provides a list of resource material in the form of inscriptions, epigraphics and tablets enabling a detailed study of history of state of Karnataka over two millennia. His next work - "Geopolitics of India and Greater India" was on the evolving Geo-Political scene in Asia and India's role in the coming decades where he outlines a union of nations, coming together to complement each other's needs - a forerunner to the WARSAW PACT, NATO, SAARC and BRICS associations. His third book - "Early Gangas of Talakad" published in 1952 dealt with the rise and fall of Ganga Dynasty in Southern Karnataka. This received a favourable review by Emeritus Professor of Oriental Law J Duncan M Derrett in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland in July 1953. His fourth book "Bharatiya Samskruti" (Kannada: ಭಾರತೀಯ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ) served to illuminate on cultural, traditional and historical aspects of India spanning over three millennia. S. Srikanta Sastri's study on the Nayaka rulers of Chitradurga in his research article "Capitulation of Chitradurga" (1928) describes the decline and fall of Palegars in early eighteenth century. His Collection of English writings have been brought forth as two hard bound volumes titled "ŚRÌKAŅŢHAYÁNA" in 2016.
List of books
Sastri, S.Srikanta (1940)-Sources of Karnataka History, Vol I
Sastri, S.Srikanta (1943)-Geo-Politics of India and Greater India
Sastri, S.Srikanta (1944)-Iconography of Vidyarnava Tantra
Governor Mohanlal Sukhadia honouring S. Srikanta Sastri
S. Srikanta Sastri is the second person to receive D. Litt from University of Mysore in 1949. In 1958, S. Srikanta Sastri presided over the Kannada Literary Conference (Kannada: ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ಸಮ್ಮೇಳನ ಕಲಾಗೋಷ್ಠಿ) at Bellary, Karnataka. He was conferred the Kannada Literary Academy (Kannada: ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ಸಮ್ಮೇಳನ) award in 1970. During the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Mythic Society, Karnataka Governor Mohanlal Sukhadia (pictured) honoured S. Srikanta Sastri for Lifetime Contribution to Historical Research & Studies. The University of Mysore brought forth a Festschrift Volume titled "Srikanthika" (Kannada: ಶ್ರೀಕಂಠಿಕ) with articles on History and Indology by distinguished scholars. In 1994, S. Srikanta Sastri's portrait was unveiled in The Daly Hall of Fame at Mythic Society, Bangalore during The South Indian Numismatics Conference - 1994. In 2004, to mark his birth centenary, a two-day National Seminar was conducted, where several papers were presented in honour of S. Srikanta Sastri. The Mythic Society, Bangalore has published "Centenary Commemoration Volume" containing these papers presented during this occasion. The Government of Karnataka as part of celebrations marking fifty years of statehood brought forth a reprint of "Bharatiya Samskruti" in 2008. The Mythic Society under the Editorship of T. V. Venkatachala Sastry and P. N. Narasimha Murthy brought forth a collection of S. Srikanta Sastri's works in English titled "ŚRÌKAŅŢHAYÁNA" in 2016.