Dr. Devendra Kumar Shastri
The eminent oriental scholar and linguist Dr.Devendra Kumar
Shastri was born on 26th February 1933. After his schooling in Mathura and
Varanasi he secured his M.A.degree in Hindi literature from Holkar
College, Indore and "Acharya" in Sanskrit literature from Sanskrit
University, Varanasi. He obtained his Ph.D.Degree from Agra University for
his thesis 'Bhavisayatta Kaha tatha Apabhramsha Kathakavya'.
After retiring as a Professor and Head of the Hindi
literature department from Government Post Graduate College, JAORA, Vikram
University, Ujjain, he involved himself in extensive research work on
Prakrit and Apabramsha literature. He has written number of essays and
research articles on Apabramsha language as well as literature. His
writings in the field of Apabhramsha Hindi critical literature are imbued
with critical insight and are highly prized. One of these, the 'Tirthamkara
Mahavira' was awarded Laxmidevi Jain Puraskara by Vira Nirwana-Bharti,
Meerut in 1977.
Dr.Devendra Kumar Shastry has successfully unearthed various manuscripts
hitherto unknown to scholars and critics of Apabhramsha after conducting
an extensive tour and survey of the country. His book 'Apabhramsha Basha
tatha Sahitya ki Shodha Pravrittiyan' gives the complete picture of the
language and literature. In the foreword of this book, Ernest Bender,
Professor (Indo-Aryan languages & Literature), University of Pennysylvania,
and Editor of 'Journal of the American Oriental Society' writes - "The
first chapter provides an excellent historical survey of Apabhramsha,
scholarly activity, linguistic and literary; the subsequent chapters
contain bibliographies of publication-books as well as articles and
descriptive lists of manuscripts including the names of the collections
where they reposed Dr. Shastry in so many words and reports the work done,
the work in progress and meticulously describes the data available,
pin-pointing their locations. What more is required than enthusiastic
pursuit ? Indological scholarship, established and neophyte, are in Dr.
Dr.Shastry is a well known critic, editor and translator. He has been
conferred the title "Siddhantacharya" by Padamshri Sumatibai Vidyapitha,
Sholapur in 1983. He also contributed more than seventy entries in the
Encyclopaedia of Indian literature and translated some portion of "Paramappayasull
of Joindu in Apabhramsha for ancient literature published by Sahitya
Academy, New Delhi.
Presently he is the Chief Editor of 'Jaina Sandesha' weekly newspaper and
the General Editor of Moortidevi Jain Granthmala at Bharatiya Jnanpith. He
has edited Mahabandh of Acharya Bhutbali in seven volumes, a major work of
Agamas. He is also the Chief Editor of Jivaraja Jain Granthmala, Sholapur.
More recently he has taken up the magnanimous task of compiling the
lexicon of Apabhramsha language based on historical principles.
Dr.Shasty's wide range of manuscripts published in Prakrit, Apabramsha,
Hindi Literature and linguistics include :
(1) Bhaisayattakkaha tatha Apabhramsha Kathakavya (1970)
(2) Apabhramsha Bhasha aur Sahitya ki Shodh Pravrittiyan (1972)
(3) Bhasha Shastra tatha Hindi Bhasha ki Rooprekha (linguistics,1973)
(4) Tirthamkara Mahavira (1975)
(5) Jainadharma aur Bhagwan Mahavira (1975)
(6) Vitaragata : ek Samichin a Drishti (1979), translated in Tamil.
Dr.Shastry has edited and translated important works from Prakrit to
Sanskrit and Apabhramsha to Hindi. They are :
(1) Rayanasara of Acharya Kunda Kunda (Pkt. 1974)
(2) Sammaisattam of Acharya Siddhasena (Pkt. 1978)
(3) Varasanauv ekkha of Acharya Kunda Kunda (Pkt. 1990)
(4) Ananda of Mahanandi (Apbh. 1986)
(5) Ritthanemi Chariu of Swayambhu (in Apbh.)
(6) Pahud-Doha of Muni Ram Singh (in Apbh.)
(7) Mahavira Vani (a collection of Prakrit sayings, 1976)
(8)Karmabandh Ki Prakriya mein Mitthyatva aur Kashatya ki Bhumika (in
(9) Jainadharma, Darshama aur Sanskriti (in Hindi)
(10)Chetantavilas of Joharilal (Hindi poetry, edited)
Considering the fine quality and variety of Dr.Devendra Kumar Shastri's
critical and research works, he rightly deserves a prominent place in the
annals of oriental studies.