Vishnu Raj Atreya (Nepali: ne:विष्णुराज आत्रेय born on 10 November 1944) is a literary figure in Nepali language, Sanskrit language and Awadhi language. He uses the title Latosaathi (Nepali: लाटोसाथी) (meaning: mute friend) in his poetry works since 1963 A.D. He is considered to be the first person to start writing Haiku in Sanskrit language.
1.1 Early life
2 Latosaathi Title
3.1 Social Works
3.2 Religious Works
3.3 Educational Works
3.4 Acting in plays and cinemas
4 Learning and style
7 See also
Atreya was born on 10 November 1944 as the first son of Dev Raj Upadhayaya and Sharada Devi in Rashminilaya, Kapilvastu, Nepal. His father Dev Raj and grandfather Rashmi Raj both were Sanskrit scholars. He was intelligent since his childhood. He attained his basic education under the custodianship of his father (who was a teacher in Tauleshwor Sanskrit Pathshala) and his grandfather Rashmi Raj. He started his education from Harihar Sanskrit Vidhyapeeth, Khidim (now affiliated to Nepal Sanskrit University). He then went to India for further education, where he completed undergraduate in Sankhya-Yog-Puran-History from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. He finished his Masters in Navya Vyakarana from Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi. He further completed Masters degree in Nepali and Political Science from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He then completed his PhD in Navya Vyakarana from Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi, India. He was visiting professor at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi, India and professor at Nepal Sanskrit University, Valmiki Vidyapeeth, Kathmandu, Nepal. He retired after 47 years of teaching.
He was married to Guneshwori Acharya (Arya Atreya after marriage) on July 1974. He has three daughters and two sons.
In the early 2019s, Atreya suffered from Gallbladder cancer. He was admitted to the Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre, India, for four months. He has been undergoing treatment at Patan Hospital, Lalitpur. After he was diagnosed of his condition, he started writing a novel titled 'वररुची कात्यायन' (Vararuchi Katyayan) which is in press for publication.
Although his name is Vishnu Raj Atreya, he introduced himself as 'Latosaathi' since 1963 A.D. He believed that literature itself is mute and a person adds life and sense to it. This might be the reason that he added 'Latosaathi' as his literary title. He has expressed this view in his first short-epic 'कपिलवस्तु' (Kapilvastu) as:
"लिपि छ मूक लेखेनी मूल लेखक पनि स्वयं म मूकै छु।"
The script is silent, the writing is silent and me being the main writer am also silent.
Poet of the nation, Madhav Prasad Ghimire writes his view on Atreya's latosathi title as: "I think Atreya was influenced from द्वा सुपर्णा सयुजा सखाया (dwa suparna sayuja sakhaya) from Rigveda. The metaphore of that bird of Rigveda is life that undergoes karma and god who looks after as a witness. As such, Latosathi is that clever friend who looks after his friends as a witness. If I would ask him about this, he would not speak but write sarcasm on deformed society and social Distortion and simply keep on laughing."
Atreya has been involved in various social works throughout his life. After starting his studies in Varanasi, he became a member of Nepal Student Organisation (1957 A.D.). In the year 1966 A.D. he then became Literature and Culture Minister of same organisation. He was editor of 'छात्रदूत' published by Nepal Sanskrit Student Council. Similarly, he was founding member of Baneras Sahitya Samparka Samiti in 1968 A.D. and organised various cultural and religious programmes to encourage Nepali students studying abroad.
He also became vice president of Kapilvastu Samaj, secretary of Panini Award Committee (1991 A.D.), member of Noorganga Pratibha Puraskar Guthi (1992 A.D.), executive member of Dadhiram Marasani Smriti Pratisthan (1994 A.D.), member of Nepal Pragya Pratisthan, vice-chairman of Gaukalyan Sangh, advisor of Kapilvastu Samaj, convenor of Rupak Smriti Pratisthan, member of Madan Puraskar Guthi etc. He had also played important role in erecting statue of Bhawani Bhikshu in Kapilvastu, Nepal.
Atreya was born in religious family background which made him very active in religious activities. He started his early education following Gurukul tradition since his childhood. While he was student in Harihar Sanskrit Vidhyapeeth itself, he started writing poem by worshiping stone as:
"पाषाण मान्दछु तँलाई म देव रूप"
Stone, I consider you to be the form of God.
He had recited Devi-Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavata Purana while he was studying in Varanasi, India which shows his religious inclination. His daily life is influenced by Eastern philosophy therefore he performed jap, tap meditation, yoga daily until he became physically weak (July 2020). He was a national member of Vishwa Hindu Mahasangh and travelled around Nepal and abroad to attend and present papers in Hindu conferences.
He has served as a Professor of Navya Vyakaran in Nepal Sanskrit University for seventeen years (1996-2013). Before joining Nepal Sanskrit University he worked as a reader in Tribhuvan University (1988-1996), visiting professor in Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, Banaras Hindu University (1980-1988) and lecturer and reader in Tribhuvan University (1970-1980). Since 2004, he has been member of Pragya Sabha, and contributing to scholar areas. He was a producer and director of a Sanskrit Learning Program "Samskritam" in Nepal Television for six months in 1989.
Acting in plays and cinemas
Since his hostel life itself, Atreya used to write, direct and act on plays. While he was studying in Varanasi, he used to visit his home town Kapilvastu during summer vacation and attend and participate in cultural programs. Once he wrote, directed and acted on a play which plots saving a royal swan of Siddhartha Gautam on a yearly program at Yashodhara Lower Secondary School, Taulihawa, Nepal.
Atreya has also played in various Nepali movies. He started his movie appearance as a role of professor in a black and white movie titled 'मनको बाँध' (Manko baandh), which is a first film produced by Royal Nepal Film Corporation, directed by Prakash Thapa. He also acted as a friend of the main actor in the movie 'सिन्दुर' (Sindur). In the year 1999, he also acted as Gajadhar Soti in a historical movie titled Bhanubhakta Acharya directed by Yadav Kharel. He has also directed and led Sanskrit plays in Kalidash Janmajayanti program organised in Ujjain, India.
Learning and style
Year of first publication
First edition Publisher
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