Ganapati Muni

Ayyala Somayajulu Ganapathi Sastry, also known as Ganapati Muni (1878–1936), was a disciple of Ramana Maharshi.[1] He was also variously known as "Kavyakantha" (one who has poetry in his throat), and "Nayana" by his disciples.[2]

Ganapati Muni
Ayyala Somayajula Surya Ganapati Sastry

(1878-11-17)17 November 1878
Kaluvarayi near Bobbili, Vizianagaram
Died25 July 1936(1936-07-25) (aged 57)
Occupation(s)scholar, poet
  • Narasimha Sastry (father)
  • Narasamamba (mother)


Ganapati Muni was born in Kalavarayai near Bobbili in Andhra Pradesh on 17 November 1878. His parents, Narasimha Sastri and Narasamamba had three sons, Muni being the second. Ganapati, when 18 years old, set out and wandered from one place to another, residing in places like Bhuvaneshwar, where he performed his tapas. When Ganapati was staying in Varanasi he learned of an assembly of Sanskrit scholars in the city of Nabadwip in Bengal. He participated in it and on passing the tests in extempore Sanskrit prose and poetry, was conferred the title 'Kavyakantha'. He was then 22 years old. He returned home at the age of 25. From Kanchipuram he came to Arunachala (Tiruvannamalai) in 1903 to perform tapas. At that time he visited Ramana Maharshi, who was then known as Brahmanaswami, before he accepted a teaching post in Vellore in 1904. He wrote his devotional epic hymn "Uma Sahasram," One Thousand Verses on Uma (goddess Parvathi), after accepting Ramana Maharshi as his Guru on 18 November 1907. He also met Sri Aurobindo on 15 August 1928. Ganapati Muni died at Kharagpur on 25 July 1936.[3]


Ganapati Muni's teachings are laid out in his magnum opus, 'Uma Sahasram' and other works like 'Mahavidyadi Sutras'. They helped to reduce popular prejudice about the teachings of Tantra.[4]

His students include T.V. Kapali Sastry.

Literary worksEdit

  • Umasahasram[5]
  • Muni, Gaṇapati (2004). Śrīramaṇagītā (9 ed.). Tiruvannamalai, India: Sri Ramanasramam. ISBN 9788188018185. An anthology of the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, along with English translations.[6]


  1. ^ Nandakumar, Prema. "The Vedanta Kesari". 93: 43. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ Pandit, M.P. "Prabuddha Bharata". 89: 277. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ "Guru Mahaprasadhavan's Tribute to Kavyakantha Ganapati Sastri". Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  4. ^ Shankarnarayanan, S. "The Vedanta Kesari". 68: 467. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ "Umasahasram : Free Download: Internet Archive". 10 March 2001. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Prabuddha Bharata". 60. August 1955: 352. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)


  • Gunturu, Lakshmi Kantam. (1958). NAYANA: Kavyakantha Vasishtha Ganapati Muni : Biography in Telugu. J.V.S.Lakshmi, Chennai. (Latest reprint : 2013).
  • Osborne, Arthur (2008). Ramana Maharshi and the path of self-knowledge : a biography (5th ed.). Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam. ISBN 978-8188018116.
  • Krishna, G. (1978). Nayana: Kavyakantha Vasishtha Ganapati Muni : biography. Madras: Kavyakantha Vasishtha Ganapati Muni Trust.
  • Gaṇapatimuni, Vāsiṣṭha [Honoree] (1978), Jayanti: Kavyakanta Ganapati Muni centenary commemoration volume. Kavyakantha Centenary Committee.

External linksEdit