Rajabhasha Bhushana Karpur Srinivasa Rao
Karpur Srinivasa Rao was a descendant of an ancient and well-to-do Maharashtra family of Bangalore and was born in the sixties of the last century. One of his ancestors, a devotee of the Lord Srinivasa of Tirupati, lighted up big lumps of Camphor (Karpur) at every step from the bottom to the top of the hill, and hence “Karpur” became his family name.
After his College career, he qualified himself for the Engineering profession and entered service under the Bombay Government. In course of time he rose to be Superintending Engineer in Bombay; when Sir M. Visweswarayya was made Dewan, Karpur Srinivasa Rao was appointed Chief Engineer in Mysore. He rendered meritorious service to the State in constructing the Kannambadi Dam and in conducting important negotiations with the Madras Government.
In recognition of his work, the Mysore Maharajah bestowed on him the title of “Raja Sabha Bhushana”. He retired in 1923 and spent his days in the study of Sanskrit and Indian Philosophy.
Karpur Srinivasa Rao was of a deeply religious turn of mind. Being urged on to it by the illustrious Swami Vivekananda, whom he had the good fortune to meet prior to his departure to America in 1893, he had taken to Sanskrit learning with enthusiasm, and soon his knowledge won for him the admiration of many a professed Pandit. As a Sanskritist of repute, he was given the title of ‘Vidya Bhushana’.
In later life he delivered many religious lectures and his exposition of the different schools of philosophy was remarkably lucid and carried conviction to all his hearers.
To his close friends, Karpur Srinivasa Rao was an ideal to be followed with devotion; and his conversation with them was highly instructive and inspiring.
During his last years, he took a keen interest in the affairs of the Sriman Madhwa Siddhanta Onnahini Sabha of which he was Vice-President for several years. He passed away in 1932, deeply mourned by a large circle of friends and admirers.