An “ACHARYA PURUSHA” of Melukote Temples, Pandavapura Taluk, Mandya District, Late Pandith M C Krishnaswamy Iyengar was born in 1886 as the second son of late M C Alahiya Singrachar, Advocate and late P Shingamma, and the grandson of late Sri Chinna Comara Jeeyar (Peetadipathi of Sri Yadugiri Yathiraja Mutt). He was married to late Smt Ranganayaki and had 2 sons and 2 daughters.
He was the “ACHARYA PURUSHA” of Sri Thirunarayanaswamy Temple, Melukote since September 1935. He worked in Accounts &Audit department of Mysore State Government from 26/11/1909 to 16/03/1941 and retired as Superintendent, Comptroller’s office. His family offers the “PUSHPA KAINKARYA KARTHA” of 6th day of Kotarothsavam, Melukote.
He was a life member of and served various religious/cultural organisations like:
- Sri Yadugiri Yathiraja Mutt
- Mandayam Srivaishnava Sabha
- Veda Dharma Paripalana Sabha
- Ubhaya Vedantha Pravarthana Sabha
- Sri Venugopala Krishnaswamy Temple
- Malleshwaram Sri Rama Bhajana Sabha
- Bangalore Gayana Samaja
- All India Oriental Conference, etc
Pandith M C Krishnaswamy Iyengar was a Sanskrit scholar & genius par excellence. He spent all his life in the company of books and books only. He had a room exclusively dedicated for collection of books on various subjects like Mythology, Philosophy, History, Geography, Vedas, Upanishads, English literature, famous personalities, music, dance etc in almost all the languages. He had a collection of more than 30,000 books in addition to very ancient manuscripts, stamps, coins etc. One highly exceptional aspect is that he had read and gone through each line, each page of each book and invariably made markings with his comments written in ink. He used to attend Sanskrit conferences all over India regularly and present his papers.
He conducted free Sanskrit classes regularly at home and sometimes at students’ houses. He taught free Sanskrit classes for several years in the mornings at Samskritha Patashala in front of Sri Venugopalaswamy Temple, 11th Cross Malleshwaram. His disciples include a galaxy of learned scholars from India & abroad, as well as priests from several temples in Bangalore, Mysore and Melukote.
The late Osuri Jeeyar of Sri Yadugiri Yathiraja Mutt consulted him frequently regarding various aspects of Sanskrit Literature as well as philosophy. Similarly, several dignitaries used to meet him and get valuable information on various subjects.
Late Sri M C Krishnaswamy Iyengar has written and published several books in Sanskrit, Kannada, English which are very popular till date. Particularly the book “NITHYA NAIMITHIKAHNIKA KRAMA” which teaches the “Sandhyavandana Krama” and other daily rituals for Iyengars, was very much sought after by most of the people of our community.
He along with Sri M H Ram Sharma, brother of Prof. M H Krishna published “History Of Vijaynagar”. He also published “Bhojaraja Kalidasa Charitre” with Sri V R Hanumanthaiah in Kannada. “Life Of Rajaram Mohan Roy” was published along with W H Hanumanthappa of Gandhinagar, Bengaluru.
He translated to English, old Sanskrit manuscripts pertaining to ‘Vaimanika Shastra’, but lost the manuscripts when he loaned them on request. Before his death in 1972, 2 steel cupboards with his collection of rare books were donated to Sri Ubhaya Vedantha Pravarthana Sabha and are present there even today.
Sri M C K Iyengar has published several books during his lifetime, which is known to many of our community members. A sample list of his books is as below:
- Ramayana Sangraha (Champu) – Kannada
- The Sanathana Arya Dharma
- Nithya Naimithikahnika Krama – Kannada
- Sri Ramanuja Siddantha
- Sri Vaishnava Chintamani Male
- English Guide To Bhartruhari’s Neeti Sataka
- English Guide To Kalidasa’s Raghuvamsa
- Panchatantra – Sanskrit To Kannada
- Sri Vedanta Desika &Sri Sowmyajamatru Yogeendra
- Sangraha – Sri Vaishnava Bhagavat Pooja Vidhi – Kannada
- The Mysore Sslc Samskrit Text Examiner– 1949, 1950-52
- Bhagavataha Stotra Rathnam By Yamuna Munivarya
- Kiratharjuniya Of Bharwi Kavi – Kannada
In the memory of Late. Pandith M C Krishnaswamy Iyengar , a great Sanskrit Scholar, an endowment has been instituted to award students who secure highest marks in Sanskrit in the board examinations ( SSLC & above) each year.