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Haran Chandra Shastri – Sanskrit Grammarian

Haran Chandra Shastri was born in a small village in Bengal on December 15, 1889 CE. He was the third son of Prasanna Kumar Chakravarti. In a devastating fire, Haranchandra Shastri lost his parents along with his brothers and sisters. He survived with one younger brother and was thrown into a life of misery and struggle. It was then that he took to up the study of Sanskrit grammar from Bopadeva’s Mughabodha or Katantra. But his zeal for learning the grammar of Panini brought him to Kashi (now Varanasi).

He became a disciple of Pandit Shiv Kumar Shastri, a renowned teacher and grammarian of his time. Haran Chandra learned Paninian grammar from Pandit Shiv Kumar Shastri in Government Sanskrit College, which is now known as Varanaseya Sampurnananda Sanskrita Vishvavidyalaya.

As a student in Varanasi, he took up cudgels against a visiting scholar, who made scathing remarks against the monism of Shankara and himself. Haranchandra Shastri wrote a two volume work entitled Advaita Siddhanta Vimarsha in defense of the theory of non-dualism. The book was distributed free of cost to scholars who came to Varanasi as delegates from every part of India to attend the congress of All India Brahmin Mahasammelan held in 1933 CE.

Haran Chandra served as a teacher in Sanskrit College, Varanasi, as well as in Government Sanskrit College, Kolkata. In Kolkata, he wrote a book titled Kala Siddhanta Darshini. The book contains concepts of Time that are discussed critically from the viewpoints of different doctrines.

He also wrote a series of articles in a Bengali journal, Vasumati, on the Mahabhasya of Patanjali.