From Madhava Kandali to Hiren Bhattacharya of recent times, many poets like Hiren Bhattacharya, Upendra Chandra Lekharu is a silent scholar of the post-Sankardeva period and researcher of Assamese old literature, especially Vaishnava literature, and a widespread promoter of Vaishnavism.
Biography of Upendra Chandra Lekharu
|Name||Upendra Chandra Lekharu|
|Date of Birth||13 January 1905|
|Place of Birth||North Guwahati, Rudreshwar, Assam|
|Father’s Name||Nandaram Lekharu|
|Mother’s Name||Sonpahi Lekharu|
Early life of Upendra Chandra Lekharu
Upendra Chandra Lekharu was born on January 13, 1905, in Rudreshwar, North Guwahati. His father’s name was Nandaram Lekharu and mother’s name was Sonpahi Lekharu. His mother was very religious, because of which he was also religious since his childhood. Born into an Assamese middle-class family, Lekharu had to face many setbacks and shortages on the way to life. Nevertheless, his mind was always cheerful. He was one of the leading scholars of Assamese Vaishnavism literature.
Also Read: Biography of Phani Sarma
Upendra Chandra Lekharu started his education from North Guwahati itself. In 1918, he sat for his academic examination from Minor School in North Guwahati and passed successfully. After passing the examination, he got admission in Cotton Collegiate School, Guwahati. After this he passed the entrance examination in first division with letter marks in mathematics from this school in 1922. After this, he enrolled in Cotton College, Guwahati for higher studies and he successfully passed out with first division in 1924. In 1926, Lekharu completed his graduation from Cotton College with honors in Philosophy, securing the ninth position in second class. After graduating, he obtained a master’s degree in modern Indian languages. He did his M.A. in both Assamese and Bengali language. While pursuing his master’s studies, he went on to study law at The Earl’s Law College, Guwahati, and earned a degree in law with distinction.
After completing his education, Upendra Chandra Lekharu started his career as a teacher at Kamldev Higher Secondary School in North Guwahati. After teaching at the higher secondary school, he started practicing law for a few months in Guwahati in 1936. But he did not like advocacy and later quit advocacy and started teaching again. In 1931, Lekharu founded the ‘Anandaram Baruah Library’ in Guwahati, as well as he worked very hard to make the library beautiful as well as successful. His ‘aim’ in establishing the ‘Anandaram Baruah Library’ was to promote Assamese literature through it. Seeing his hard work and enthusiasm for the library, he was later appointed as a librarian at Cotton College. After this, Upendra Chandra Lekharu was appointed professor at Cotton College in 1938 and he performed his duties as an accomplished professor in the Assamese department with great interest. Lekhrudev became an exemplary teacher in the society. He retired as a departmental head in December 1959 after teaching at Cotton College for 21 long years. After retiring, Upendra Chandra Lekharu went to Vrindavan. Then in 1960 Lekharudev was appointed as the Research Director Professor for the Sri Sri Shankaradeva chair in the Institute of Oriental Philosophy in Vrindavan, Mathura, where he guided research on the Ramayana. In Vrindavan, he founded the Sri Sri Sankaradeva Seva Sangha with the help of several Dharmaprana Vaishnavas of Assam and he became its editor. Apart from this, his contribution to the construction of Sri Sri Shankara Temple and Yatri Nivasi there is noteworthy. Several researchers from Assam received doctorates degree from the university under the supervision of Professor Lekharu. Mamoni Raisom Goswami was a student of Upendra Chandra Lekharu in the same university. In 1969, Mamani Raisom Goswami researched Ramayana literature at the Vrindaban Institute of Oriental Philosophy under her teacher Upendra Chandra Lekharu. Lekharudev was the ‘Mahatma of Assam’ in the eyes of the people of Vrindavan. After being away from the Asom Sahitya Sabha for many years, Upendra Chandra Lekharu adorned the chair of the President’s seat at the seventy-nine session of the Asom Sahitya Sabha held in 1970 in Dihing. Some years later, in 1974, Lekharudev retired from the University of Vrindavan and returned to Guwahati and stayed at his residence.
Upendra Chandra Lekharu, a litterateur, educationist, essayist, and professor in the Assamese literary world, served as the editor of the magazine ‘Jana Shiksha’. Apart from this, Upendra Chandra Lekharudev was also associated with the editing committee of ‘Milan’, the spokesman of the Assam Students’ Conference.
It cannot be said that the writings of Upendra Chandra Lekharu were abundant. His literary works are mainly translated, criticised and edited. He started writing essays from his school days and published his articles through magazines like ‘Milan’, ‘Chetna’, ‘Avahan’. Upendra Chandra Lekharu started his literary career with translation. Lekharudev was interested in literature since his student days. He also made a significant contribution to the field of translation. Some translated books by him are Sri Sri Ramakrishnar Updesh, from Bengali to Assamese. In 1947, he translated the roots of Dharmapada into Assamese. Then in 1948, he translated the book Anka Ardena into Assamese. The translation of these two books made him well known in the literary community. In 1951, he translated Bhattadeva’s book Bhakti Vivek into Assamese. Upendra Chandra Lekharudev mainly focused on religious Vaishnava literature. He was one of the research scholars of Assamese Vaishnava literature. Apart from this, he later wrote many books and articles, one of the most valuable resources of Assamese literature is the ‘Katha Guru Charit’ (1952) is one of the largest collections which he edited. Apart from this, notable books he edited were Katha Sahitya (1940) and The History of Assamese Literature. The two notable collections of books edited by Lekharudev, who attempted to edit old literary texts in the modern scientific manner, are: ‘Bhakti Vivek’ and ‘Kotha Sahitya’ The discussion literature written by Lekharudev are University Essays (1951), Jana Sikshya, Adarsha Rasanawali (Ideal Works) (1949). Assamese Ramayani Literature (1948), Sahitya of Assamese Literature Rajnikanta Bordoloi (1948), Lakshminath Bezbaruah (1979), President’s Address Saptatrinsh Dihing Session (1970), and written in Bengali language Shri Shri Hediakhan Baba etc., were said to be the original literature written by Lekharudev. The collections of essays written by him are- Ekhon Puroni Puthi (An Old Book), Collection of old books, Shri Krishna Prayang Naam Nataka, Vishnu, and Vaishnava of the Assamese pre-Shankaradeva period, Madhava Kandali’s Ramayana. Apart from this, he also wrote a collection of essays in English language such as Religion in Assam throughout the ages, Concept of Siba according to Shree Sankardev. Some of Upendra Chandra Lekharu’s unpublished literature collections are – Bhagavata’s Story (Part I and II), Articles on miscellaneous topics, Lekharu’s dream vision, English translation of Borgeet, etc.
From the beginning of his life, in the midst of many obstacles, Lekharudev honestly established himself in life by being patient towards his life. On June 3, 1979, he died and was cremated at his residence in Guwahati at the age of 74 He died leaving behind a treasure trove of literary works such as ‘Kotha Gurucharit’, ‘Bhakti Vivek’ and ‘Kotha Sahitya’ etc., Upendra Chandra Lekharu, a literary enthusiast who has made a special contribution to the world of literature, is a matter of pride for Assam and Assamese.
1. When and where was Upendra Chandra Lekharu born?
Ans: Lekharudev was born on January 13, 1905, in Rudreshwar, North Guwahati.
2. What is his parents name?
Ans: His fathers name was Nandaram Lekharu and mother’s name was Sonpahi Lekharu.
3. Name some of the books translated by Upendra Chandra Lekharu.
Ans: Sri Sri Ramakrishnar Updesh, Dharmapada, Anka Ardena, Bhattadeva’s book Bhakti Vivek etc.
4. Name some of the essays written by Upendra Chandra Lekharu.
Ans: Some of the essay collection written by Lekharudev are: Ekhon Puroni Puthi (An Old Book), Collection of old books, Shri Krishna Prayang Naam Nataka, Vishnu, and Vaishnava of the Assamese pre-Shankaradeva period, Madhava Kandali’s Ramayana.
5. Name some of the essays written by Upendra Chandra Lekharu in English language.
Ans: Upendra Chandra Lekharu also wrote a collection of essays in English language such as Religion in Assam throughout the ages, Concept of Siba according to Shree Sankardev.
5. When did Upendra Chandra Lekharu died?
Ans: Upendra Chandra Lekharu died on June 3, 1979,
Hi, I’m Dev Kirtonia, Founder & CEO of Dev Library. A website that provides all SCERT, NCERT 3 to 12, and BA, B.com, B.Sc, and Computer Science with Post Graduate Notes & Suggestions, Novel, eBooks, Biography, Quotes, Study Materials, and more.