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Sri Ambikadatta Vyasa – Short Biography

Sri Ambikadatta Vyasa (1848 to 1900) was a Hindi poet, playwright and novelist. He was a poet of Braj bhasha. He was part of the Bharatendu group of writers, who were the pioneers of modern Hindi prose, poetry, journalism and plays. Ambika Datta began his career as a Hindi poet, writing primarily in Braj Bhasha, the literary dialect of Hindi in which most Hindi poetry was written until Khariboli was established as the universal medium for both poetry and prose.

Sri Ambikadatta Vyasa specialized in samasya purti, a literary competition, in which one line is given and the competitors are expected to complete the poem. Though his unfinished narrative poem Kamsavadh (slaying of Kamsa) was written in Khariboli, the earlier writings had been in Braj Bhasha.

Pavas Panchasa Ambika Datt Vyas was a collection of fifty poems on the beauty of the rainy season. In keeping with the renaissance versatility of his days, he wrote poetry, plays and novels.

Lalita is a playlet in Braj Bhasha, while Kaliyug aur Ghee is a powerful satirical play in Hindi. His other plays, Bharat Saubhaggya (Good Fortune of India), Gau Sankat (Problem of the Cow) and Mann Ki Umang (Inner Enthusiasm), reveal his genuine concern for the values in Hinduism.

Sri Ambikadatta Vyasa was a famous scholar and orator of his time. He knew both Hindi and Sanskrit equally well. He was a practitioner and propagator of Sanatana Dharma. He wrote some religious books also, of which Atarmimamsa is particularly noteworthy. In addition to this, Vyasa wrote Gadyakavya Mimamsa, a treatise on the genres of poetry and prose.

In 1884, he started Vainshav Patrika, which was about Sanatana Dharma. Later, this was devoted to literature under the name Piyush Pravah. Vyas wrote a biography of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj. He also wrote a novel and some short stories.