April 16, 1908 to Dec 16 2005

compiled and edited by Dr S. Balakrishna

<< VII. Marriage
>>IX. My wife-biography
I. Origins
II. Family tree
III. My brothers
IV. My children
V. Early boyhood
VI. College education
VII. Marriage
VIII. My wife - lineage
IX. My wife - biography
X. My friend
XI. Mysore palace
XII. Achievements in palace
XIII. Extension of gold throne
XIV. Tours of duty

VIII. My wife - lineage

(click to see enlarged image)

The family tree above shows my wife’s lineage. She came from a very famous group of Mulakanaadu brahmins. They also had an inti peru- "vellala vamsha". The family was famous for its knowledge in Ayurveda ,Kavya, etc.

The original Mahadeva Shastry, was down with a disease, and he decided to take sanyasa. By then he was married and had at least one child. After he became a sanyaasi, he went to Kaashi. Most people those days perished in their travels. But he spent a few years there and came back with a shiva linga. This was installed as Chandra Mouleshawra in Motgaanahalli. As sanyasi’s are buried, he has been buried in a samadhi. My wife wished to have this samadhi properly taken care off. Only Dasharatha Shastry ,of Motagaanahalli, could identify the place.

I was married in April-May 1930, when I was 22 and my wife Saraswati was 12 at Bangalore. The marriage festivals took place for five days. My Father-in-law Pandit Ramasesha Shastry was a Jodidar having 1/4 share of his Jodigrama Motaganahalli near Thippagundana Halli. This was shown in a previous map, it being not too far from kudur, where my mother Lakshmidevamma, hailed from. He was a learned man, a Sanskrit Scholar and a Poet. He composed songs and gave them away as gifts to Vidwan sangeetha ratna Vasudevachar. He with his brother Shankara Shastry would give harikatha and pravachana at a temple in New-tharagupet in Bangalore regularly. His major life work was Sri Bhagavatha Mahapuraana of 12 skandas in eight volumes. This took him 18 years to complete. Other than this, he has written Mudra raakshasa as a kannada drama, and Mukundanandabana, which was prescribed as Kannada optional for BA. First volume of Bhagavatha was printed in 1918 and last volume in 1932. He was a sanskrit teacher in Bangalore central college. He settled in Mysore after he was made a Aasthaana Maha Vidwaan in Mysore Palace. He was a puraanika for Her Highness Dowager maharani. He was a sanskrit teacher teaching sanskrit to Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wodeyar in Royal School till about 1927. He was a sanskrit vidwaan in Maharanis college at Mysore. He was a puranik to Her Highness the Maharani Vani Vilas Mahasannidhanam and mother of HH Shri Krishnaraja Wodeyar.He used his influence with maharani and I got the job in Palace as a Jewelry clerk in 1932 at Ambavilas (zanana samukh ladies department). For 23 years I was in this department.

Ramashesha Shastry’s elder brother Shankara shastry had two sons, one Subrahmanya Shastry (called Balakavi because of his early prowess in kavya), Ramashastry and a daughter Lakshmi. Subrhmanya Shastry’s only daughter Lalithamba married Srinivasa Murthy, whose sons all migrated to USA during 1980’s. Ramashastry had a handicapped son Shankara, Balsubrahmanya who died I 1996 due to kidney problems. He also had two daughters who were not married.

My mother-in-law Venkatalakshamma hailed from a village Marasanapalli near Srinivasapur. Her brother was Annaswamiah, a well known public person who was elected from taluk as a member of Mysore state representitive Assembly. I once had the occassion to see the place when my mother in laws brother’s son chinnaiah was married. My mother in law’s brother, Annaswamaiah was well known in Kolar district. This was the first state which established a democratic form of government in the 1920’s. He leaves behind his grandson Prof M Venkatakrishnaiah of RV Engineering College. Their gotra is Haritha same as mine.

My wife was strong willed, kind hearted person who learnt veena 2 years from Vidwaan RN Doreswamy. My wife Saraswatamma had an elder brother called Srikanta Shastry. Though he was a part graduate, he was not keen on further studies or job elsewhere since he had sufficiient income from his jodigrama Motaganahalli. My father in law had quarter share of the village as Jodidar, every year after harvest four to six carts of ragi was being from the village to Bangalore An under ground vault was specially prepared for this purpose in the front left room of the house. The house was very big 110'x30' wide having an outhouse which was being used by the sister of Mother-in-law.

My father in law had earned a good name as a sanskrit scholar and a poet. He performed harikatha’s with his elder brother Shankara Shastry in New Tharagupet temples. He composed keertanas which were being given away to vasudevachar. He was a sanskrit pandit in college at Mysore and was appointed Aasthana Maha Vidwaan by palace at a monthly remunaration of Rs 12. He was giving Puraanam to HH the Maharaaja (Father of the HH maharaja Sri Krishna raja Wodeyar. He was a sanskrit tutor to jayachaamaraja wodeyar in the Royal school). He lived three years after my marriage. He wrote Bhaagavatha mahapuraana in a set of eight volumes of sanskrit sholka-pratipaddartha (transliteration) word by word meaning, translation of each sloka in kannada and commentary on complicated sanskrit terms. The work was his life work for it took him 18 years to complete the last volume was got printed at the time of my marriage. My brother in law too died not long after my father in law’s death. My brother in law, Srikantha shastry, used to help me and as he had a special liking for his sister he used to be helpful on all matters. He made life insurance policy for Rs 1000 and after his death this amount was helpful for me to take a site 40 ft x 72 ft at upset price and raising a loan of Rs 500 from graduate Bank. Another Rs 800 house building advance was received from the Palace. I could build a terraced house consisting of one hall, room in front and three rooms behind all terraced. Totally Rs 2500 was spent on this house.

My wife’s eldest sister Gowramma was married to a landlord Lakshminarasu at Peddatippa Samudramu near Madanapalle. He was son of an aunt of my mother in law

My father in law and mother in law were kind enough to their second daughter Mahalakshamma. She became a widow in her 20th year. She was still carrying a baby (Gangadhara Shasthry) at the time of death of Aswathanarayana shastry. My parents in law looked after their widowed daughter and maintained her and her son for 25 years. But as the grandson was found to misuse her property (Venkatalakshamma's Bhagavata books) and as he demanded Rs 5000 due from her, she found that mother and son are not worthwhile being maintained by her. So there came a seperation. Gangadhara Shastry and his mother moved away to live at Begur, a village near Bangalore as they had some property left behind by his father. He misused his grand mother’s property without her knowledge. Hence she (venkatalakshamma) was dead against both her daughter and grandson and she asked them to live separately and hence they went to their village.

To repay Rs 5000 to Gangadhara, my mother-in-law approached me for relief and hence my house in Saraswatipuram was sold at Rs 6000 which repaid Gangadhara. He did not give voucher for it. In addition to the amount I had to raise a loan of Rs 5000 to repay all the debts on the house (Bangalore)at the society and this was secured by me by raising a loan from Subbaraya Shastry of Motaganahalli village who was fed by mother in law when he came to study in Bangalore at Vedapathashala. Subbaraya Shastry later built the famous Subrahmanya swamy temple in Sheshadripuram.

My mother in law was dead against her daughter and grandson, and she went to the extent of telling me that neither her daughter (Mahalakshamma) nor her grandson be allowed to look at her dead body. My mother in law bequethed her house in favour of me along with all movables left over by her. I performed final rituals (aparakarma) for my mother in law. My mother in law liked me and my wife most because I sold my own house at Mysore to liquidate all her debts Rs 5000 taken from her daughter (Mahalakshamma) and demanded by her grandson. True to her self, she bequaethed her only house and all movables including Bhagavatha worth Rs 10-15 thousand.

The third daughter Meenakshi died young before she could ber any children to her husband Krishna Murthy, who was serving under Jodidar Venkatappa Krishna Iyyengar. Iyyengar’s son VK Srinivasa was my college mate in Maharaja's college between 1927-30. His father Iyyengar was kind enough to his clerk Krishna Murthy and gave away a house for him to enjoy. Krishna Murthy was then married to Shakuntala, a girl from my mother in law’s parents family. Krishna Murthy committed suicide in 1957 or so in his house.

My wife Saraswatamma was the last daughter. My mother in law lived in her house in chamaraja pet till death 5 years after she made a sale deed of her house in my favour. She died in 1952, on Jeshta Bahula Tritiya.

My brother in law had nominated a life insurence policy of Rs 1000 and after his death in 1936 to my wife. This was utilized by me for purchasing a site at saraswatipuram and build a small terraced house consisting of two bed rooms one big hall and kitchen apart from a hall and a well in the back yard. I lived in the house for 3 years and let it for rent for a period of two years due to malaria prevailing in that locality. My house being the last but one beside a thota. This house was at the end of I stage of Saraswatipuram extension.

My father in law died on March 17, 1934 – Phalguna shukla dwitiya. My brother in law Srinkatha Shastry died of tuberculosis on March 30, 1936 about 23 days after my son Narasimha Murthy was born. He had an unfortunate marriage, and his wife quit him. My father-in-law gave her a house as a termination consideration..I understand that woman became a muslim later.