'Swarna Kankanam' for Kondepudi

Sadguru Sivananda Murthy decorating eminent scholar, Kondepudi Subba Rao, with a `Swarna Kankanam'. - Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam.

Sadguru Sivananda Murthy decorating eminent scholar, Kondepudi Subba Rao, with a `Swarna Kankanam'. - Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam.  

Visakha Saraswatha Vedika, a literary forum founded in 1960 by the outstanding poet, patriot, scholar and statesman, Tenneti Viswanadham, celebrated its 42nd anniversary at a grand function recently.

Noted litterateur, poet and editor of `Prasanna Bharathi', Kondepudi Subba Rao was honoured with the coveted title `Kala Saraswathi' and with a `Swarna Kankanam' as Tenneti Viswanadham Puraskaram.

Sadguru Kandukuri Sivanandi Murthy, who conferred the title and decorated the Swarna Kankanam on Kondepudi Subba Rao, who had turned 88 on that day, said that he was glad to note that "Visakhapatnam has become the hub of literary activity with the first-ranking litterateurs and poets".

Divakarla Ramamurthy, who presided over the function, decorated Subba Rao with a `Pushpa Kireetam' (flower-crown) and extolled his literary achievements. Vedula Subrahmanya Sastry presented the felicitation address. Ganapathiraju Achyutarama Raju spoke on the hoary past of the Uttarandhra literary firmament and gave an account of Subba Rao's literary contributions.

The president of Sahridaya Sahiti, L.R. Swamy, and the Bhagavadgita commentator, Pateelu Thimma Reddy, spoke on Subba Rao's literary acumen and commitment to traditional poetry. Durvasula Bhaskara Murthy proposed a vote of thanks.

Kondepudi Subba Rao's literary works stand out for their grandiose style. His pen embraced almost all the literary forms - poetry, novel, story, playlet, ballad, essay and translations - all in his inimitable classical style. He has about a hundred books to his credit, fifty of which were published so far.

A gold medallist from Andhra University, Subba Rao is an ardent lover of Pothana's `Mahabhagavatham' and his poems' resemblance to Pothana later got him the title `Abhinava Pothana'. He is fondly called `Padya Vidya Sarvabhowma' and `Padya Samrakshaka'.

He is the founder-president of Andhra Padya Kavitha Sadassu, which has branches throughout the state. His magnum opus, `Hanumat Prabhandham', in two volumes proved his Prabhandha style of poetic narration and literary critics rightly hailed him as the `doyen of devotional poetry'.

Versatile Tenneti: Tenneti was a litterateur par excellence. He was well versed in the Vedas, Upanishads, the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha. He took part in the freedom struggle under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and was imprisoned for eight years.

He had composed many poems, plays and songs while he was in jail and published them after his release. He used to conduct `Prabhat Pheris' (morning processions) in which he used to sing his patriotic songs along with his colleagues. His articles were published in the reputed monthly journal, Bharathi.

Tenneti was well-versed in Telugu, Sanskrit, English, Hindi, Tamil and Persian. His literary works include `Navajivanam', `Hridayagruha', `Sankhya Karika', `Tatvamasi', `Yagnalkya', `Sri Rama Vipravasanam', `Kuchela', `Brahma Sutras commentary' and Similies in Rig Veda.

Marepalli Ramachandra Sastri, reverentially known as Kavi Garu, and Tenneti jointly founded Kavitha Samithi in 1932 and invited Rabindranath Tagore who recited his poems. After gaining rich experience in organising literary activities, Tenneti founded the Visakha Saraswatha Vedika.

Regular literary sessions were held in Akella House till 1979 under the presidentship of Tenneti. After his death in 1979, the Vedika was shifted to Sri Krishnasramam, which belonged to his close comrade, Namburi Ranga Rao. Divakarla Ramamurthy and Bhaskara Murthy, close associates of Tenneti, are the conveners of the Vedika for the last 35 years.

The Vedika has so far released 300 books and it meets on the first and third Saturday of every month. The unique feature of the literary forum is that there is no membership fee and there is no executive body as such, but still the Vedika prints all its invitations and honours all the dignitaries on the stage in every session. No wonder, the best literary forum award instituted by Sahridaya Sahiti was conferred on the Vedika.


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