Bhattacharya Shastri, Janakinath

Bhattacharya Shastri, Janakinath (1887-1971) Sanskrit scholar, was born in 1887 in the village of Dhanuka in faridpur district. His father, Ishwar Chandra Bhattacharya, and elder brother, Dwarakanath Bhattacharya (Nyaya Shastri), were also sanskrit scholars.

After completing his primary education, he went to Benares where he studied Sanskrit grammar and poetry as well as sangkhya, Mimangsa and Vedanta from different scholars, including Chandra Kishore Tarkatirtha, principal of Central Hindu College. He then moved to Ceylon where he learnt karma yoga and hata yoga under an ascetic mendicant, Achyutananda Saraswati.

On his return from Ceylon, Janakinath started teaching Sanskrit at a school in Bihar. He was then appointed headmaster of Saraswati Institution in 1920. He retired from the post in 1935 because of his illness.

Apart from Bangla, he was fluent in Sanskrit, Hindi and English. He contributed to the establishment of the sanskrit sahitya parisat and in setting up and maintaining its library. To promote the study of Sanskrit, he wrote a number of textbooks and grammars, among them, the school text Helps to the Study of Sanskrit. He was awarded nationally for his contribution to Sanskrit sahitya in 1968. He died on 5 May 1971. [Dilip Kumar Bhattacharya]