D. V. Gundappa

Indian writer
(Redirected from D.V. Gundappa)

Devanahalli Venkataramanaiah Gundappa (March 17, 18871975), popularly known by his pen name DVG, was an Indian writer, biographer, journalist, and novelist in the Kannada language with philosophical approach to life. His magnum opus, the Manku Thimmana Kagga, meaning "Dull Thimma's Rigmarole", is a set of philosophical muse, which is a collection of 945 poems, each of four lines in length. It is one of the best known of the major literary works in Kannada. He also started Kannada newspapers such as Bharat and Karnataka and also founded the Gokhale Institute and promoted fine arts. He was the recipient of Padmabhushan by the Government of India. A commemorative postage stamp was also issued by the Indian Postal Department.

Statue of D V Gundappa (popularly known as DVG) In Bugle Rock, the second largest garden in Bangalore.


  • History, if it should serve its purpose of stirring emotion, instigating inquiry and directing thought, must first of all be exciting. Is it impossible to be both truthful and warm-hearted, both factual and moving? Are imagination and conscience necessarily enemies to each other? In reconciling them is the art of the true historian. The flow of the story must be swift, vivid, vibrant.
    • D.V. Gundappa, ‘The Classical Age’, All India Radio, Mysore, 26 July 1954. Reprinted in Triveni Journal, October 1954. quoted from Balakrishna, S. Invaders and infidels: From Sindh to Delhi : the 500- year journey of Islamic invasions. New Delhi : BloomsBury, 2021.
  • What is the character and nature of the people of India? What are their life-ideals? These are primary and basic questions that need to be asked in our politics... [in the ideals of our people], the world is just an instrument; the other world is a possibility, that is, it’s something that needs to be attained. A thirsty man needs water. What is required for water is a utensil. Thus, the utensil acquires a value because of water. In the same manner, worldly life acquires a value because it enables the attainment of the goal of reaching a higher world. And politics acquires a value because of worldly life. This is the chief tenet.
    • Upasamhaara (Epilogue): Jnapaka Chitrashaale: Vol 4, DVG Kruti Shreni: Kannada and Culture Department, Government of Karnataka, 2013, Pg 210. Quoted in S. Balakrishna, Seventy years of secularism.
  • ...our national leaders demanded ‘Swarjaya’ [self-rule]. It was equally true that everybody had joined that demand. But the key [element] in that ‘Swarajya’ was the ejection of foreigners. But it wasn’t crystal clear in anybody’s mind as to the sort of people who would take the place of these foreigners. “Let the foreigners get out first, we’ll rule our country ourselves” – this was the only definite opinion back then... thus, the leaders of India artificially embraced to their hearts a political system that wasn’t convenient to our people...the pundits who authored Bharata’s political statute were bookish pundits...
    • 1940 Ra Taruvayada Mysooru (Post 1940 Mysore): Jnapaka Chitrashaale Vol 4, DVG Kruti Shreni: Kannada and Culture Department, Government of Karnataka, 2013. Quoted in S. Balakrishna, Seventy years of secularism.
  • The rights that we upheld can be termed Theoretical Rights. They weren’t directly related to the common citizens’ daily life...what we demanded was democracy; what we’ve got party-cracy. [...] But the questions that some folks had asked me back then continue to remain intact. Mahatma Gandhi himself led this haste. The day after the riots at Vidurashwatha, he sent a telegram to Diwan Mirza [Ismail] thus: “Give the Responsible Government immediately. People have registered their qualification for it.” What’s the import of this? That mob enthusiasm is a proof of qualification, right? [...] Why has what appeared as an attractive political system become so abhorrent in practical experience? To state the truth, we cheated ourselves...back then, we didn’t have an estimate of how wretched human nature will become when confronted with the treasure called power. Our activist zeal concealed basic, natural human weaknesses from us.
    • Upasamhaara” (Epilogue): Jnapaka Chitrashaale Vol 4, DVG Kruti Shreni: Kannada and Culture Department, Government of Karnataka, 2013. 1940 Ra Taruvayada Mysooru (Post 1940 Mysore): Jnapaka Chitrashaale Vol 4, DVG Kruti Shreni: Kannada and Culture Department, Government of Karnataka, 2013. Quoted in S. Balakrishna, Seventy years of secularism.
  • … there is nothing peculiarly British or European in these ideas [of liberalism]. Their validity is universal. So far as India is concerned, the ideas are implicit in the Hindu concept of Dharma. […]Dharma is individual self-sustenance or one's being oneself… None can perform the Dharma of another. The eye cannot hear; the leg cannot taste… Liberty is opportunity for … self-fulfilment. Sva-tantra or liberty is a condition indispensable to Sva-dharma. It should be noted that, while the word liberty, denoting absence of restraint, is negative in its import, the word Sva-dharma (one's own duty prescribed by the principle of the general good) is positive. The notion of duty is implied and not explicit in liberty, while the notion of Sva-tantra (liberty) is implied and not explicit in Sva-dharma (duty). The relative emphasis in the two phrases is characteristic of the two scales of value. That liberty is incidental and ancillary to Dharma is the Hindu view…[…]Self-fulfilment is not in solitude, but in and through society… Law or Nyaya is the working of Dharma.[…]Dharma is thus charity or philanthropy, citizenship, or public spirit… The progress of the soul is from self-expression under the law of justice to self-dissolution in life universal--from Dharma to Moksha, from individualism to universalism, from life limited to life limitless.
    • quoted from [1]

D.V. Gundappa,Sahitya Akademi


Veṅkaṭasubbayya, Ji (2002). D.V. Gundappa. Sahitya Akademi. ISBN 978-81-260-1386-9. 

  • This [Journalism] is not a profession of my choice. Nor is it family traditional occupation. God must have created this profession as a fit theater for all my struggles...Whatever I have written so far is about politics or philosophy, literature, music, poetry or even speeches I made either in the floor of assembly or from public-platforms-all these in a way touch one aspect of journalism or the other
    • In page=18
  • Journalism is meant to educate the people. To do this effectively, journalists will have to equip themselves adequately.
    • In page=19
  • Any journalist worth his salt, should have to study literature to some extent.
    • In page=19
  • The higher we go, the ups and downs at the lower level would gradually fade. If what we do is to be worth while and if we are to get job satisfaction, we have to study more and work hard. The more we work, the stronger the profession would become and grow.
    • In page=19
  • The craze for power among elected representatives is the deathtrap of democracy. Once they get in to the positions of power, they become gluttons, like the hungry at the dining table.
    • In page=20
  • For some people belligerency and divisiveness are inbuilt qualities and if they come to power, unity becomes a far cry. Belligerent and divisive attitude are but natural in power politics.
    • In page=20
  • But a nationalist shall not merely have control over these weakness but would cultivate the qualities of politeness and cordiality.
    • In page=20
  • Power without the fear of enquiry is like pickles without salt that would degenerate into a pit of worms. The fear of enquiry is the body guard of power administration.
    • In page=20
  • Be relaxed, not to bother yourself, let it happen whatever that happens.
    • In page=20
  • Reading biographies of great men would shape the life of the youth.
    • In page=22
  • The probity in a public life is a must for improvement of country’s economy vis-à-vis the living conditions of common man. To mould the perceptions of students he wrote biographies of three great men.
    • In page=22
  • I have written this book to enunciate some principles, ends and means in which I have full faith, implementation of which would do good to the people and society
  • The one and only God of Universe Vishwanatha, takes the shape of different deities, worshipped by the devotees whether he be Hindu, Jain, Parsi, Mohammed, Yahudi, Christian. Let him also sow seeds of unity and friendship in the mind of the people of the country.
    • One of the six hymns that he had set for the Gokhale Institute of Public Affairs that he had set up in Bangalore quoted in page=13

The Wisdom of Kagga: A Modern Kannada Classic


The Wisdom of Kagga: A Modern Kannada Classic. Retrieved on 23 December 2013publisher=Yoga Bharati Organization.

  • Be like that grass on the foot of the hill,
    Or like that jasmine plant behind the house,
    Be like hard rock when the fate rains difficulties upon you;
    Be like jaggery & sugar bringing happiness to the poor & needy,
    Be one among all mingling and mixing –Mankuthimma
    • DVG’s Kannada poetry Kagga translated in to English
  • New shoots, old roots make a tree look beautiful
    New approaches and old principles give us true Dharma
    Sayings of sages and findings of scientists come together
    Human life is then truly splendid –Mankuthimma.
    • DVG’s Kannada poetry Kagga translated in to English.

The Wisdom Of Vasistha A Study On Laghu Yoga Vasistha From A Seeker`S Point Of View


Raghunandan (1 January 2004). The Wisdom Of Vasistha A Study On Laghu Yoga Vasistha From A Seeker`S Point Of View. Motilal Banarsidass Publishe. ISBN 978-81-208-2043-2. 

  • Seeking Brahman in world transactions,
    Seeking Brahman in all JIva forms,
    Feeling Brahman in body and sense experiences,
    This is the secret of salvation – Mankuthimma.
    • A Kagga {Quatrian) of Manku Thimmana Kagga in pages=191-92
  • Once in garden then in friends’ company,
    Once in music and then in philosophy,
    Once with family and then in silence,
    Experience Brahman- Mankuthimma
    • A Kagga {Quatrian) of Manku Thimmana Kagga in pages=191-92
  • Best of feasts is the essence of the Supreme
    Brahman, Nothing to beg when you have tasted it.
    Vanishes the distinction of renouncer, renunciation and renounced.
    And you become the monarch of the universe - Mankuthimma.
    • A Kagga {Quatrian) of Verse 752 of Manku Thimmana Kagga in page=217

India's Shakespeare: Translation, Interpretation, and Performance

D. V. Gundappa

Poonam Trivedi; Dennis Bartholomeusz (2005). India's Shakespeare: Translation, Interpretation, and Performance. University of Delaware Press. pp. 110–. ISBN 978-0-87413-881-8. 

  • It is my intention to represent the world of Shakespeare as far as possible as it really is and not merely to tell the story. It is my effort to retain the names used by him, the atmosphere he created, his descriptions...on the whole. His representation of the world as it is. I believe that this is necessary for the enhancement of Kannada literature and the sensibilities of the Kannada people and for the broadening of their vision of the world. If human civilization and peace are to last, it is of foremost importance that the different races of the earth attain a world vision. In order to achieve this the people of the West should read our epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata sympathetically as we must acquaint ourselves with their poetic tradition.
  • Linguistic equivalence and cultural communication are thus complimentary to each other as language is culture generative and culture bound.

The Gita for Every Man


The Gita for Every Man. Yabaluri.org. Retrieved on 23 December 2013.

  • As the author describes it, it is the conversation of a “common man” with other common men. Intricate, distant and sacred questions of Religion, Reality, Dharma and Divinity are not for me. .... such has been my belief from the outset. It was not my good fortune to have had transcendental experiences, concentration on religious austerities, or the philosophical knowledge to qualify me for the exposition of abstruse problems.
  • When the mind was disgusted with the ways of the world, when obstructions were feared in the path of duty, when people became excited and lost their reason, when friends lost their spirit and suffered inner disquiet on any account, [Sastry used to recollect these Slokas. Tulya nindastuti] – equal and unmoved by praise or insult - is an injunction which ought to guide our public men...
  • We must endeavour to bring about a correlationship and complementarity between the spiritual and secular. Let there be whatever changes in our style of living or in the conditions of society. The recognition of the soul and conscience, the acknowledgement of the supremacy of Divine, faith and devotion to Dharma, and the limitation of selfishness and greed - if these four are kept alive, we can boldly assert that the teaching of the Gita will remain alive.


  • The work of samskriti or culture is the work of scrubbing, washing and cleansing the mind...the road of culture is one without a trace of stubbornness or crudeness; instead it is the road of humility and respect, for what is the difference between a life without humility and respect and the life of a dog that lunges for.

About D. V. Gundappa

  • D.V.G.’s exposition of the Bhagavad Gita is unique in the vast literature on the “Song Celestial”. It is the record of talks before an audience seeking guidance in the real concerns of living. It is not a deliberate work of philosophical discussion or dry, intellectual analysis. Even where philosophical problems are taken up, academic interest is subordinated to practical concern. Material for explanation and illustration is taken up from everyday life. It is an easy, informal and clear stream of discourse without the ponderousness of a formal composition.
    • By Prof. G. N. Sarma in "The Gita for Every Man".
  • To D.V.G., the problem of problems today is confusion and perplexity about one’s duty to self and society.
    • By Prof. G. N. Sarma in "The Gita for Every Man".
  • D.V.G’s exposition of the concept of duty is not just academic and theoretical. It covers the entire range of duties that are woven into the social structure.
    • By Prof. G. N. Sarma in "The Gita for Every Man".
Wikipedia has an article about:
Modern Hindu writers 19th century to date
Religious writers Mirra AlfassaAnirvanAurobindoChinmoyEknath EaswaranNisargadatta MaharajRamana MaharshiMaharishi Mahesh YogiNarayana GuruSister NiveditaSrila PrabhupadaChinmayananda SaraswatiDayananda SaraswatiSivanandaRavi ShankarShraddhanandVivekanandaYogananda
Political writers AdvaniDeepakGandhiGautierGopalJainKishwarMunshiRadhakrishnanRaiRoySardaSastriSavarkarSenShourieShivaSinghTilakUpadhyayaVajpayee
Literary writers BankimGundappaIyengarRajagopalachariSethnaTagoreTripathi
Scholars AltekarBalagangadharaCoomaraswamyDaniélouDaninoDharampalFeuersteinFrawleyGoelJainKakKaneMukherjeeNakamuraRambachanRosenMalhotraSampathSchweigSwarup
Non-Hindus influenced by Hinduism BesantBlavatskyChopraCrowleyDassDaumalDeussenEliadeEliotElstEmersonGinsbergGuénonHarrisonHuxleyIsherwoodKrishnamurtiLynchMalrauxMillerMontessoriMüllerOlcottOppenheimerRoerichRollandSchopenhauerSchrödingerThoreauTolstoyVoltaireWattsWilberYeats