Birth Centenary year of Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma

Story of a lifelong learner

  • The Legend That is Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma

    (Story of a lifelong learner)

    Vice Chairman Central Hindi Insitute;Chairman, Inter University Board, Govt of Bihar; Vice Chancellor, Patna and KS Darbhanga Sanskrit University; Professor and Head of the Hindi Department of Patna and Bihar Universities; First Hindi Scholar honoured with National Fellowship of University Grant Commission (UGC); Chairman of the panel of Indian Languages of UGC for many years; Chairman/Member of many committees of the Commission; Member of the expert committee of Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology, GOI on Literary Criticism and Linguistics; Member of Hindi Advisory Committee of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Rural Development etc.; Member of Hindi Panel of National Council of Educational Research and Training; Visiting Professor, JNU etc.

    Member of the Adjudication Committee of the Gyanpeeth Award; Member of Agricultural Universities Review Committee of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research; Expert-Member of the committee constituted by the Government of India for reform of the Devnagari script; Reviewer of Historical Grammar of Hindi prepared under the auspices of Banaras Hindu University with the help of University Grants Commission; A key organizer of the Third Vishwa Hindi Sammelan; Member of Bihar Rashtra Bhasha Parishad and Bihar Hindi Pragati Samiti; Involved in various capacities with Sahitya Academy; Bangiya Hindi Parishad; Kashi Naagari Pracharini Sabha; Prayag Hindi Sahitya Sammelan; Hindustani Academy; Bharatiya Sanskriti Sansad; Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad; etc.

    President of Bharatiya Hindi Parishad Gwalior (1971) and Vallabh Vidyanagar, Gujarat (1974) Sessions. Member of Pravar Samiti (Selection Board), Bharatiya Gyanpeeth Puraskar. Judge of Mangalaprasad Purashkar, Uttar Pradesh Hindi Samiti Puraskar, Madhya Pradesh Shasan Puraskar, Rajasthan Sahitya Academy Puraskar, Bihar Rashtra Bhasha Parishad Puraskar, Bihar Rajbhasha Puraskar etc.

    Inaugurator/President/Chief guest of numerous Literary/Linguistic/ Cultural seminars of national level.

    Member of committees constituted for the selection of Vice-Chancellor of several universities.

    Keynote address in the Special Interest Group Session of Educationists in Assembly of World Peace at Czechoslovakia.

    Educational/Cultural visit to England, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Korea, Mauritius, Nepal etc.

    Honours (a select list) Award by Uttar Pradesh Hindi Samiti, Honoured by Purvottar Hindustani Sammelan, Rajbhasha Vibhaga, Awarded by Bihar Government as Varishth Hindi Sevi, Awarded with Subrahmanyam Bharati Puraskar by Kendriya Hindi Sansthan.

    Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma was born in the family of renowned educationists and scholars. His father Pt. Shivsharan Sharma was a reputed scholar of Languages and Sanskrit.(It is reported that he was learning Urdu in his closing years of life!)Pt Shivsharan Sharma had specialized in Kavya(Poetry) ;Vyakaran(Grammar) and Schools of Philosophy such as Nyaya, Sankhya, Vedanta . He was the Head of Dharm Samaj Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya at Motihari. Impressed by the radiance of the wisdom of Pt Shiv Sharan Sharma and his scholarship Mahamana Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya had invited him, as an Acharya, to Banaras Hindu University.

    Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma was endowed with multidimensional personality. He was a gifted teacher and orator, efficient administrator and innovative research supervisor. He was a sensitive and loving human being whose principles and values were very important to him. He never compromised on the basic beliefs.

    He was essentially a lifelong learner, beginning from the grass roots and spreading himself out into many diverse eco-systems, with aplomb.

    He was endowed with superb creative ideation and writing skills, and blessed with critical and analytical scholarly faculty. He excelled in both the ideational critical domains of writing. He was a profound scholar of Hindi, Linguistics, Phonetics and Sanskrit. He inherited the knowledge of Sanskrit .Among Indian languages, he was proficient in Urdu, Pali  , Marathi, Gujarati, Bangla . Among Non- Indian Languages he was also adept at English, Russian, French, and German. He translated Chekhov’s stories into Hindi from Russian.

    Acharya Sharma was endowed with the knowledge of Vyakarana, Sahitya and Darshan (Philosophy) from his respected father. He passed the Sahityacharya in Sanskrit Medium and Master of Arts in modern education system also in Sanskrit. The record marks obtained by him in Master of Arts Examination at Patna University remained unsurpassed for 30 years. He began his career as faculty in Sanskrit in Patna College, and later did his Masters in Hindi and chose Hindi and Linguistics as his field of advanced academic activity.

    His love for Indian languages particularly the Indo Aryan and Dravidian genere went hand in hand with his professional activities in Hindi. He firmly believed that it is not possible for India to regain its diminished sense of pride without access to classical languages of the sub-continent including Sanskrit, Tamil etc. It was his opinion that skepticism about Indian culture starts with the decline of Sanskrit and Indian classical languages learning in the educational system of the country. As the president of Sanskrit Academy he envisioned the publication and dissemination of many literary works of Sanskrit along with Hindi/Indian languages translation. He was of the view that the first phase should be to publish 'Praman Vartik' by Dharmkirti, 'Vaiyakaran Siddhant Manjusha' by Naagesh, Vakya Padiya by Bhartrihari, 'Shloka Vartik' by Kumaril and many other texts like 'Mahabhashya' of Patanjali along with easy to follow translation in Hindi/Indian Languages. He had sorted out five hundred most useful aphorisms out of nearly four thousand aphorisms of 'Ashtadhyayi' to make the Sanskrit Grammar easy and accessible in a popular sense. These aphorisms were sufficient for anyone to gain a practical knowledge of Sanskrit. He was also conversant with Persian.

    Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma did not consider 'Introduction' to be necessary for enjoyment and appreciation of creative writing. His views on lifelong learning were unique.

    He made long lasting contribution to personal essays and one act plays in Hindi by writing at a time when these styles and craft of expression were in their developmental stage, in the Indian Languages. He thus made important contribution in establishing these as independent styles of creative writing in Hindi. He wrote one-act plays based on social subjects such as 'Chikitsa Ka Chakkar'. In his one-act plays on social subject often there is a deep satirical presentation. These one-act plays are still as contemporary as they were seven decades ago. 'Shahjehan Ke Aansoo' is a collection of six one-act plays by Acharya Sharma based on incidents of Medieval period. These one-act plays are inspired by history, but even though they are historical they have eternal values of life and euphemisms of modern problems.

    Acharyaji always remained connected with the society, therefore, whatever subject in which he chose to express himself, he always maintained its relevance. At many places he expressed eternal truths of life in a very simple and communicable manner. Consider this dialogue of Babar (in his play “Babar ki Mamta”) on life, "Hazaron aadamiyon ki jaan lene ki taakat hamame thi, lekin aaj ek aadmi ki jaan bachaane ki taakat hamame nahin hai. Kaisi laachari hai? Kisi insaan ko woh cheej lene ka kya hak hai, jise woh de nahi sakta? (I had power to take the lives of thousands of people, but today I have no power to (give) save the life of one person. How helpless am I! What right has a person to take the thing, which he has no power to give?)"

    He was a consummate theatre Director . Prithvi Raj Kapoor was his personal guest when he visited Patna in the early 50s with his drama troupe. He closely observed the European Theatre also and tried to combine its characteristics with those of conventional Indian theatre. On one of the visits of the first President of the Republic Dr Rajendra Prasad to Patna he was invited to stage the Sanskrit Play “Mrichkatikam” at the lawns of the Raj Bhavan (Governor’s house) for the President.

    During his visit to foreign countries observed the English, Russian and Korean Theatrical tradition. This practical background of Theatrical presentation could be seen clearly while he enacted plays on the stage during festivals of one-act plays. Several of them won awards in this competition. The success of these plays on Aakashvaani (All India Radio) is evidence of the fact that these plays are equally suitable for both the visual and audio presentation. Years later he was invited to head The Bihar Art Theatre. He used an opportunity with the then Chief Minister of Bihar Shri Kedar Pandey, to get land for the Theatre at the prime location of the Gandhi Maidan.

    A man of parts, scholar by profession, and catholic by temperament the magic of his brand still evokes nostalgia in those who interacted with him. To read him is to resonate with him.

  • Biographical Snippets: explorations in diversified learnings


    Name: Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma
    7th July, 1918 -- 17th Jan. 1991
    Place of birth : Vill. – Kritpura, Distt. – Saran [Now Gopalganj], Bihar
    Education : Patna and London University.
    Purview :

    Vice Chairman, Central Hindi Institute
    Vice Chancellor, Patna University
    Vice Chancellor, Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University
    Chairman, Bihar State Inter University Board
    Chairman, Bihar Hindi Granth Academy
    Chairman, Bihar Sanskrit Academy
    Chairman, Bhojpuri Academy, Bihar
    Visiting Professor Jawaharlal Nehru University; Kurushetra & Vikram Univerisities
    National Fellow, University Grants Commission

    Professor and Head of the Hindi Department of Patna and Bihar Universities; First Hindi Scholar honoured with National Fellowship of University Grant Commission (UGC); Chairman of the panel of Indian Languages of UGC for many years; Chairman/Member of many committees of the Commission; Member of the expert committee of Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology, GOI on Literary Criticism and Linguistics; Member of Hindi Advisory Committee of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Rural Development etc.; Member of Hindi Panel of National Council of Educational Research and Training; Vice-Chairman of Governing Council of Central Hindi Institute; Member of Agricultural Universities Review Committee of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research; Expert-Member of the committee constituted by the Government of India for reform of the Devnagari script; Reviewer of Historical Grammar of Hindi prepared under the auspices of Banaras Hindu University with the help of University Grants Commission; A key organizer of the Third Vishwa Hindi Sammelan; Member of Bihar Rashtra Bhasha Parishad and Bihar Hindi Pragati Samiti; Involved in various capacities with Sahitya Academy; Bangiya Hindi Parishad; Kashi Naagari Pracharini Sabha; Prayag Hindi Sahitya Sammelan; Hindustani Academy; Bharatiya Sanskriti Sansad; Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad; etc.

    President of Bharatiya Hindi Parishad Gwalior (1971) and Vallabh Vidyanagar, Gujarat (1974) Sessions. Member of Pravar Samiti (Selection Board), Bharatiya Gyanpeeth Puraskar. Judge of Mangalaprasad Purashkar, Uttar Pradesh Hindi Samiti Puraskar, Madhya Pradesh Shasan Puraskar, Rajasthan Sahitya Academy Puraskar, Bihar Rashtra Bhasha Parishad Puraskar, Bihar Rajbhasha Puraskar etc.

    Inaugurator/President/Chief guest of numerous Literary/Linguistic/ Cultural seminars of national level.

    Member of the committee constituted for the selection of Vice-Chancellor several universities.

    Keynote address in the Special Interest Group Session of Educationists in Assembly of World Peace at Czechoslovakia.

    Educational/Cultural visit to England, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Korea, Mauritius, Nepal etc.

    Published Works :

    Poetics : Alankar Muktawali (1948), Hindi Annotation of Kavyalankar by Bhamah (1962), Kavya Ke Upadaan (1981), Pashchatya Kavyashastra (1984).

    Linguistics : Rashtra Bhasha Hindi, Samasyayen Aur Samadhan (1965), Bhasha Vigyan Ki Bhumika (1966), Hindi Bhasha Aur Nagari Lipi (1972).

    Critiques(Alochana) : Sahitya Sameeksha (1951), Hindi Kaviyon Ka Mulyankan (1952).

    Anthology of One-Act Plays : Paarijaat Manjari (1949), Bikhari Smritiyan (1958), Shahjehan Ke Aansoo (1964), Mere Shreshtha Ekanki (1990).

    Anthology of Personal Essays : Khatta-Meetha (1950), Aainaa Bol Uthaa (1964), Pranaam Ki Pradarshani Men (1980).

    Translation : Everest Ka Aarohan (1955), Lottery Ka Ticket (1964), Manovishleshan Aur Sahityalochan (1969).

    Edited Works: Sahityik Nibandhavali (1946), Chhayavad Aur Pragativad (1950), Richards Ke Aalochanaa Siddhaant (1968), Hindi Sahitya Ka Vrihat Itihas – Bhakti Kaal (Sagun Bhakti), Amar Bharati (1967), Upanyas Ka Shilp (1973), Shaili (1973).

    Journals launched/edited: Drishtikon, Sameeksha, Naya Aalochak etc.

    Honours : Award by Uttar Pradesh Hindi Samiti, Honoured by Purvottar Hindustani Sammelan, Rajbhasha Vibhaga, Awarded by Bihar Government as Varishth Hindi Sevi, Awarded with Subrahmanyam Bharati Puraskar by Kendriya Hindi Sansthan.

  • Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma with the noted linguist Dr. Uday Narayan Tiwari

    Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma in Europe

    Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma and Shri K. C. Pant in Germany

    Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma at a 500 year commemoration of Sur at Ranchi University.

    Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma and Shri Kedar Pandey, Chief Minister Bihar

    Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma at his farewell at Patna Junction (1950)

    Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma with Dr. Nagendra (the noted expert of Poetics and Head, Hindi Department, Delhi University)

    Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma addressing the convocation of Sanskrit University, Darbhanga

    Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma with noted poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar

    Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma leading a cultural delegation in Berlin

    Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma with Professor W. K. Mathews (Head Slavonic Studies, London University, 1951) London

    Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma delivering the Presidential address of Bhartiya Hindi Parishad

    Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma laying a foundation stone

    Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma cleaning the walls of Patna University.

    Mrs. Kusum Devendra Nath Sharma with granddaughters Tanvi and Saumya

    Acharya jee's grand-daughter Saumya with grand-son Apratim

    Pt. Shiv Sharan Sharma, Father of Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma

    Acharya jee with his grandchildren

    Acharya jee with the new born granddaughter Tanvi (1976)

    Acharya jee at his residence at B. M. Das Road, Patna

    Acharya jee and Mrs. Sharma with their three children

  • 1. The listing of the literary contributions of Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma at WorldCat Identities

    2. An Ode to Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma (edited by Dr. Vidya Niwas Mishra, the noted Hindi Scholar) containing a description of the contributions and times of Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma. An Ode to Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma

  • It was an august event held on 6th of July, 2017 at Kamaladevi  Chatopadhyay Multi-Purpose Hall of the India International Centre, Delhi, India to celebrate the Launch of the Birth Centenary of leading literary figure of the twentieth century: Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma.

    The initiative was taken by D K International Foundation (DKIF).

    Celebrations are planned yearlong activities in various centres, concluding in July 2018. DKIF is involving local institutions in the conduct of such programmes. Offers have been received for activities related to centenary celebrations from outside of India also.

    Acharya Devendra Nath Sharma was endowed with multidimensional personality. He was a gifted teacher and orator, efficient administrator and innovative research supervisor, author, poet, educationist, editor, actor. He was a sensitive and loving human being whose principles and values were very important to him. He never compromised on the basic beliefs. He was a multi lingual person with the knowledge of 7 Indian & 4 foreign Languages

    The programme started as follows:

    • Remarks were given by Dr. Vinayshil Gautam, Chairman, DKIF

    • Video clips were played on “Acharya Ji”

    • Honble Minister Shri J.P. Nadda (Union Minister, Health & Family Welfare, Government of India) & patron of the Centenary Advisory Council addressed the audience through video medium on account of his travel.

    The following were the other speakers:

    1. H.E. Mr. Ernest Rwamucyo, High Commissioner of The Republic of Rwanda in India, Former Policy Advisor to UNDP in New York, Director-General for Economic Development  Planning, Government of Rwanda. He was awarded 2012 Diplomat of the year from Africa by Diplomat Magazine in London.

    2. Dr. Sanjay K. Dewan, Honorary Consul General of The Republic of Cabo Verde in India & Former Honorary Consul General for The Gambia In India, Vice President Honorary Consul Corps Diplomatique – India, An association of Honorary Consuls General/Consuls in India, Ganesa Natyalya: Member, Managing Committee a Bharatnatyam dance institute being run by Padmabhusan Saroja Vaidyanathan.

    3. Padmabhusan Shri Shyam Saran, IFS (rtd) Chairman of the National Security Advisory Board under the National Security Council. Former Secretary - Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India & Former Ambassador of India to various countries.

    4. Dr Karan Singh, Member of Parliament, NCT Delhi, Former Ruler J&K State, Former Minister of Various Ministries, Poet and Author.

    Vote of thanks given by Dr. Dipti Tripathi, Secretary General, DKIF.

    The celebration was attended by prominent people from many fields such as Diplomats, Civil Servants, Police Officers, Vice Chancellors, Academics, Linguists, Chartered Accountants, Management Specialists, Media and Scholars etc. from various parts of India.

    The programme followed by dinner.