25 Jun 2015: Literary colossus Pullela Sri Rama Chandrudu no more

A literary colossus in Sanskrit & Telugu with a prodigious output of over 200 works, Padma Shri & Mahamahopadhyaya Dr Pullela Sriramachandrudu (aka Sri Rama Chandrudu) passed away on June 24, 2015 in Hyderabad following a massive heart stroke. He was 87. Born in the scholarly town of Amalapuram in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, Sriramachandrudu had three MAs (Sanskrit, Hindi & English) from BHU and a PhD in Sanskrit from Osmania University, where he had served for 27 years including as HoD when he took the department to new heights. He also served as Director of the OU Sanskrit Academy, authoring as many 19 works during that period (1980-1991).

Even on his last day, he cleared the final proof of Vyasa Manjari, a collection of his speeches in Telugu & Sanskrit.

With his masterly command of Vyakarana, Vedanta and Alamkara and his keen, rational & critical acumen, he covered every field of Sanskrit studies and was held in high esteem throughout the country. He guided a number of PhD students and was noted for his simplicity and silent, solid & constructive work away from the glare of publicity. He was helpful to whoever approached him. The awards that came his way were numerous.

His monumental work includes two epic works. The Valmiki Ramayanam published in 2013 is a 7-volume set in 10,000 pages with word to word meaning and commentary in Telugu. Thanks to philanthropists, the popular set is priced at Rs 495 and the classic at Rs 1,000. And the Mahabharata Saara Sangraham (The quintessence of Mahabharata) which appeared in 2012 in 1012 pages, at a subsidised price Rs 300, has also sold like a hot cake.

Not only the family of Sriramachandrudu, but the literary community at large stands bereaved. A number of litterateurs and artists who rushed to his home on hearing the news paid homage and broke down. The void caused by his demise is slow and hard to fill.

(Report by: U Atreya Sarma, June 25, 2015)

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