The Legend Who Outdid Panini

India has pioneered the human quest for knowledge since aeons. Its soil has given birth to such great intellectuals as “Maharshi Vyasa” who reorganized the Vedas and composed the timeless epic of “Mahabharata” and the eighteen Puranas, a treasure of our cultural heritage, “Maharshi Patanjali” who gave the world a unique system of “Yoga” by composing “Patanjala Yogasutra”, “Maharshi Panini” who reorganized the Sanskrit grammar by composing “Ashtadhyayi” and last but not the least “Maya” who gave the world the sciences of “Architecture” and “Astronomy” by composing “Mayamata” and “Suryasiddhanta” respectively, which were probably the first ever expositions of these subjects. Incredible as it may be, in the first quarter of the last century, was born a legend in this league only.

“Pt. Raja Ram Shastri” was a versatile genius with a number of great achievements to his credit including the most outstanding research work on Sanskrit grammar which outdid “Maharshi Panini.” He was a curator of folk art, writer, linguist, astrologer, anthropologist and a supreme researcher of Indian traditions all combined into one.

Born on 27th Dec., 1918 in Tohana Distt., Haryana in an orthodox Brahmin family, he grew to be a research scholar of no mean stature. His parents died in his infancy and was brought up by his grandparents. He showed signs of an extraordinary intellect early on in life. Without ever devoting much time to studies, he stood fourth in the state of Punjab in his matriculation exams. Then he went ahead to complete his Shastri in half of the required time.

After completing his education, he became inclined towards the field of literature and in the course of time made an outstanding contribution with his works. During his tenure as a dramatist in “All India Radio” from 1947 to 1957, he composed more than 300 one-act plays which were broadcast on AIR. “Dr. Hazari Prasad Dwivedi” has also acknowledged the contribution of Shri Shastriji in composing his Granthavali in the first volume. But a proper acknowledgement has not been made. While “Dr. Dwivedi” was writing his Granthavali he considered using some authentic material in which Shri Shastriji helped him by completing the termite-eaten portions of some original handwritten manuscripts on the classical principles of literature. This work alone speaks volumes of his scholarship.

Among his numerous literary works, seven collections of one-act plays in Hindi were also published including “Sat Ladi Ka Har”, “Uljhan”, Damrunath” and “Devhuti.” He authored many novels like “Jhumman”, “Uljhe Tar” etc. in Hindi together with the first ever novel in Haryanvi language, “Jhadu Phiri” which was later included in the postgraduate syllabus of Kurukshetra University in the year 2002.

Other of his writings include at least ten books on astrology and various research works including “Agroha” which deals with the history of Agrawal community of India.

Haryana and Haryanvi language were of special interest to him. His contribution in the political, cultural, social and linguistic arenas of Haryana is unparalleled. The cause of Haryana remained closely associated with him throughout his life. Under this association, he went on to establish “Haryana Lok Manch” in the year 1963 which has been a pioneering institution in its work on preserving, developing and researching the different aspects of Haryanvi culture and folk art. The motto of “Haryana Lok Manch” is “Deshosti Hariyanakhyah Prithivyam Swargasannibhah” meaning “Equal to heaven there is a place on earth known as Haryana.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *