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Posts Tagged ‘Rana’

Laxmi Jayanti: Laxmi Prasad Devkota

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 13, 2012

Laxmi Prasad Devkota (November 12, 1909 – September 14, 1959), was a Nepali poet. Devkota is considered to be one of the most prolific and gifted writers in Nepali Literature. He has been given the title of “Maha Kavi,” (“The Great Poet”) of Nepal.

Devkota was the third son of Pandit Til Madhav and Amar Rajya Laxmi Devi. He was born in Dilli BazarKathmandu on the day of Dipawali, the Festival of Lights, which is a celebration of Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth. His name literally means a gift “Prasad” from the goddess of wealth “Laxmi”. His family was never financially well-off.

Devkota studied science at Tri Chandra College in Kathmandu. After completing the intermediate level studies at Tri Chandra College, he enrolled in Humanities and that was when he began to read English poetry. In 1931, Devkota went to Patna on scholarship hoping to study English for his Master’s degree. But because seats were not available as expected, he enrolled for the Bachelor of Law degree instead. After he received the degree, he returned back home and started to live the family life. Despite taking tuition classes to supplement his earning, sometimes for fourteen hours a day, financial problems never left him.

Devkota lost his both of his parents and his very young daughter within a span of two years during mid 1930’s. He fell into a depression and became a chain smoker. In 1939, his brothers put him into a mental hospital in Ranchi, India for five months. He makes references to his experience in the lunatic asylum in his famous free-verse poem पागल (“The Lunatic”). After he returned to Nepal, he worked as a part of Nepal Bhasanuwad Parishad, a state organization that acted as a censorship board, and also taught at Tribhuwan University. He wrote several of his epic poetry during this time. In late 40’s, dissatisfied with the Rana regime, he went into a self-imposed exile in Benaras, India, where he edited Yugbani, an opposition journal. 

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