Satyanarayana Vishwanadha (1895-1976)

Satyanarayana was born on October 10, 1895 in a Shaivite Brahmin family to Shobhanadri and Parvatamma in Nandamuri village.  His wife was Varalakshmamma. He had his primary education in Nandamuri, Indupalli and Pedapadu villages and higher education in Bandaru City.  He was lucky to have Venkatashastri Chellapilla  as Telugu teacher in Bandaru High School.  After finishing his BA, he joined Bandaru High School as a teacher.  He continued his studies part time in the pursuit of MA and graduated from Madras University.   He resigned from his teaching position to paticipate in Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-cooperation Movement.

Later he took up various teaching positions at Bandaru National College (1928), Gunturu Christian College (till 1933), a private college in Vijayawada (1933-1959), and Karimnagar Arts and Science College (1959).

Satyanarayana started his writing career in 1916 with “Visweswara Satakam,” a devotional poetic composition as a tribute to his family God, Lord Visweswara (the God of the entire World).  At the same time, he wrote “andhra pourusham,” a patriotic poetical composition.  A drama “dhanya kailaasam” and a novel “antaraatma’ include his devotional works composed by his at that time.  He wrote kinnerasaani song, girikumaara geetaalu, nartanasaala, sringaaraveedhi, and anaarkali in 1921-23.  He wrote his famous composition “veyipadagalu” in 1933-34 for which he was awarded with titles and awards, such as “kavisaamraat (emperor of poets)’ and an award by Andhra University.  Later he wrote ramaayana kalpavriksham, paamupaata, terichiraaju, pillala ramaayanamu etc.

For his contributions the Andhra nation felicitated him with various awards and festivals. Telugu People felicitated him in 1942, during Sankraanti festival with an elephant ride and celebrated his 60th birthday festival in 1956 in Gudiwada.  He served as vice president of Andhra Pradesh Sahitya Academy in 1957 and as a nominated member of Legislative Council in 1958.  Andhra University celebrated his achievements by awarding him with “kalaaprapoorna” title in 1964.  The federal government of the Indian Union honored him “gnyaanapeeth” award for his ramaayana kalpavriksham in 1971 and the Andhra Pradesh government honored him by hiring him as the State Poet.

Satyanarayana is considered one of the greatest Andhra poets and writers. He was the first Telugu to receive the federal gnyaanpeeth award.  He died in 1976 leaving behind more than one hundred works that include poetic compositions (~15), satakas (6), song collections (13), dramas (20), novels (60), Sanskrit  dramas (10), literary cricisms (10), and many essays and radio speeches.

Sreenivasarao Vepachedu

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