Born Bhagavatula Sadasiva Shankara Sastry
31 August 1925
Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
Died 4 June 1998
Residence Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Occupation poet, lyricist, songwriter, translator, and writer
Known for Aarudhra shiva
Spouse(s) K. Rama Lakshmi
Awards Sahitya Akademi Award, 1987

Aarudhra (born Bhagavatula Sadasiva Shankara Sastry) (31 August 1925 – 4 June 1998), was an Indian author, poet, lyricist, translator, publisher, dramatist, playwright, and an expert in Telugu literature.[1][2][3][4][5] Aarudhra is the nephew of Telugu poet Sri Sri, and is also known for his works exclusively in Telugu cinema as a screenwriter, dialogue writer, and story writer, and is the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1987.[2][4][5][6]

Early life

Aarudra was born in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India on 31 August 1925.[7] After the primary education, he shifted to Vizianagaram in 1942 for his college education.[1][2][3] He got attracted to Communism after coming into contact with people like Ronanki Appalaswami and Chaganti Somayajulu. He joined the Indian Air Force as a Band Boy in 1943 and served it till 1947.[2] He shifted to Madras and worked as editor of Anandavani magazine for two years. Joining the cine field in 1949, he wrote lyrics and dialogues for many films. He married noted writer K. Rama Lakshmi (a columnist and a writer-critic in her own right) in 1954.[8] [9]

Literary works

Tvamevaham (You are none other than me) and Samagra Andhra Sahityam (An Encyclopedia of Telugu Literature) are his landmark works.[2] He wrote poetry such as Koonalamma Padaalu, reminiscences of the Second World War.[10][1] [11] He translated the Tamil treatise Tirukkural into Telugu. He belonged to the school of progressive writers such as Abhyudaya Rachayitala Sangham.[12][13][10] [14]


Tvamevaaham written in 1948 was based on the contemporary violence and lawlessness during the Razakar movement in the princely state of Hyderabad.[6] The Razakar attrocoties were sponsored by the Nizam against his own people who wanted to overthrow him in favor of democracy and join the Indian Union. In this kaavyam, death spoke to a human being and says, "you and I are the same (Tvamevaaham)".[2][12][13][15]

An imaginary sand clock and a water clock were used by the poet to depict time in Tvamevaham. The `hours' are a symbol of the rich and affluent, the `minutes' denote the attitude of the middle class and the `seconds' are likened to the mentality of the working class. A stop watch was depicted as an instrument to measure `revolution'. The `key' fanned revolution, while the `alarm' was a warning of the prevailing situation.[2][1]

The Samagragrandhra Sahityam

Aarudhra first published the SAS in 12 parts between 1965 and 1968. It spans the Telugu literature from the 9th century CE to modern times. He chronicled the history of Telugu Literature in 12 volumes:

  1. Early and Chalukya Era (From 8 - 9c CE to end of 12c CE)
  2. Kakatiya dynasty (1200 - 1290 CE)
  3. Padmanayaka Era (1337 - 1399 CE)
  4. Reddiraju Era (1400 - 1450 CE)
  5. Early Rayala (Vijayanagara) (1450-1500 CE)
  6. Later Rayala (Vijayanagara) (1500-1550 CE)
  7. Nawabs (1550-1600 CE)
  8. Nayaka Kings (1600- 1670 CE)
  9. Later Nayaka Kings (1670-1750 CE)
  10. East India Company (1750 - 1850 CE)
  11. Zamindari (1850 - 1900 CE)
  12. Modern (1900 CE onwards)

How is Sita related to Rama?

Ramudiki Sita Yemautundi? or How is Sita related to Rama?, put before the public the riddle of Mandodari, Sita and Hanuman and their origins in a lucid and scholarly way.[12][13] It was a bold attempt at cracking the Valmiki-Ramayana code and in the process de-mystified the story of Rama to the middle-class, literate, modern day Telugu reader. [16][6]

The book explores the Buddhist and Jain sources of the story of Rama.[6] It also surveys the Khotan Siam (Thai), Laos, and Malaysian versions of the story of Rama. Here is a sampling from the 'Dasaratha Jataka ', a Buddhist Tale:

Buddha narrates the 'Dasaratha Jataka' tale to a householder who was grieving the death of his son....Long long ago.. Dasaratha was the king of Varanasi.[1] He had sixteen thousand wives.The Queen had two sons and a daughter.The eldest son was called Ramapundit and the younger one was called Laxmanpundit.The daughter was called Sitadevi. The Queen dies after sometime. Dasaratha marries again, and comes to like her the most. She begets a son named Bharata...When Ramapundit returns from the forest, he marries Sita and rules for 16000 years...Bodhisatta concludes the story stating that Dasaratha was none other than Shuddhodana (Father of Buddha) in an earlier reincarnation. Similarly, Sita was none other than Rahulmata(Mother of Rahul or Wife of Buddha) and Ramapundit was none other than Buddha himself.


Aarudra's questions like "How is Sita related to Rama?" or "Were they just Husband and wife?" may sound naive or sacrilegious but a serious study of genealogies, as revealed from different sources, logically leads to them. To deny the existence of such stories, per Arudra, would amounted to intellectual dishonesty. [16][1]

List of his works


  1. Beedala Patlu (1950) (lyrics)
  2. Kanna Talli (1953) (writer)
  3. Pakka Inti Ammayi (1953) (adapted screenplay)
  4. Veera Kankanam (1957) (dialogue)
  5. Chenchu Lakshmi (1958) (lyrics)
  6. Illarikam (1959) (dialogue)
  7. Jayabheri (1959) (lyrics)
  8. Aradhana (1962) (lyrics)
  9. Bhishma (1962) (lyrics)
  10. Dakshayagnam (1962) (writer)
  11. Manchi Kutumbam (1965) (lyrics)
  12. Gudachari 116 (1966) (story and dialogue)
  13. Farz (1967) (story)

  1. The Train (1970) (screenplay)
  2. Mosagallaku Mosagadu (1971) (story and dialogues)
  3. Andala Ramudu (1973) (lyrics)
  4. Muthyala Muggu (1975) (lyrics)
  5. Yashoda Krishna (1975) (writer)
  6. Mahakavi Kshetrayya (1976) (writer)
  7. Daana Veera Soora Karna (1977) (lyrics)
  8. Mallepoovu (1977) (lyrics)
  9. Anugraham (1978) (dialogue)
  10. Kondura (The Sage from the Sea) (1978) (writer)
  11. Thoorpu Velle Railu (1979) (lyrics)
  12. Pelli Pusthakam (1991) (lyrics)
  13. Mr. Pellam (1993) (lyrics)

Film songs

His Film songs are compiled and published by his wife K. Ramalaxmi in five volumes.,[17][18]

Year Film title Popular song/s
1965 Manchi Kutumbam Manase Andhala Brundhavanam
Preminchuta Pillala Vantu, Deevinchuta Peddala Vantu
1965 Pandava Vanavasam Baavaa Baavaa Panneeru
1965 Preminchi Choodu Mee Andala Chetulu Kandenu Papam
1965 Veerabhimanyu Adigo Navalokam Velase Manakosam
Rambha Urvashi Taladanne Ramaneelalama Evareeme
1965 Zamindar Chukkalu Podiche Vela Makkuva Teere Vela
1966 Antastulu Vinara Vissanna Ne Vedam Cheputa Vinaranna
1967 Bhakta Prahlada Siri Siri Laali Chinnari Laali
1967 Gudachari 116 Manasuteera Navvule Navvule Navvali
1967 Saakshi Amma Kadupu Challaga Atta Kadupu Challaga Batakara Batakara Pacchaga
1968 Bandipotu Dongalu Gandara Ganda Shoggadivanta
1968 Ramu Pacchani Chettu Okati Vecchani Chilakalu Rendu
1970 Akka Chellelu Chakachakalade Paduchundi
1972 Iddaru Ammayilu Oho Mister Brahmachari
1978 Mana Voori Pandavulu Orey Pichchi Sannasi Ila Choodu Ila Choodu Itukesi
Pandavulu Pandavulu Thummeda Mana Voori Pandavulu Thummeda
1978 Vayasu Pilichindi Muthyamalle Merisipoye Mallemogga
Nuvvadigindi Enaadaina Kaadhannaana
1991 Pelli Pustakam Srirastu Subhamastu Srikaram Chuttukundi Pelli Pustakam
1993 Mister Pellam Adagavayya Ayyagari Ekkuvemito Cheppamanu Aadavalla Thakkuvemito


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Datta, Amaresh (1 January 1987). "Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature: A-Devo". Sahitya Akademi via Google Books.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "The Hindu : A humanist lyricist".
  3. 1 2 "Arudra remembered". 5 June 2014 via The Hindu.
  4. 1 2 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
  5. 1 2 "telugu, mana saMskriti (our culture)".
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 "Arudra remembered". 5 June 2009 via The Hindu.
  7. "Arudra birth anniversary". 1 September 2013 via The Hindu.
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-19.
  9. "Arudra".
  10. 1 2 Aarudra, 'Samagra Andhra Sahityam' (1968). Reprinted in 1989
  11. Aarudra, 'Samagra Aaandhra Saahityam' (2005): Revised and Reprinted, Published by Telugu Akademi, Hyderabad.
  12. 1 2 3 "The Hindu : Collection of essays".
  13. 1 2 3 "MUDDUBIDDA (1956)". 28 November 2014 via The Hindu.
  14. Aarudra, 'Samagra Aaandhra Saahityam' (2005): Revised and Reprinted, Published by Telugu Akademi, Hyderabad.
  15. Aarudra, 'Vennela-vesavi', Navodaya Publishers, Vijayawada, 1977
  16. 1 2 Aarudra, 'Ramudiki Seetemautundi? 'Vishalandra Publishing House, Hyderabad, 1978.
  17. Arudra Cine Geethalu (1965-1970) - Vol. 3, Navvula Nadilo Puvvula Padava, Compiled by K. Ramalakshmi, Published by Vishalandhra Publishing House, Hyderabad, 2002.
  18. Arudra Cine Geethalu (1977-1998) - Vol. 5, Kurise Chirujallulo, Compiled by K. Ramalakshmi, Published by Vishalandhra Publishing House, Hyderabad, 2003.
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