JAGANNATH SHANKER SHET -Indian Philanthropist and a revolutionary Educationalist




 Jagannath Shankar Shet (10 October 1800 – 31 July 1865), was a notable Indian Philanthropist and a revolutionary Educationalist. He was born in 1800 in the wealthy Murkute family of Goldsmiths of the Daivadnya Caste in Mumbai (Bombay). He was one of the founders of Elphinstone College, and Indian Railway Association that became part of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway. He was the first Indian member to be nominated to the Legislative Council of Bombay under the XXTY 26 Act of 1861, a member of the Bombay Board of Education, and also the first Indian member of the famous Asiatic Society of Bombay.

                     Jaganath “Nana” Shunkerseth (also spelled Jagannath Shankarsett and Jagannath Shankar Shet) (10 October 1800 – 31 July 1865), was an Indian Philanthropist and an Educationalist. He was born in 1800 in the wealthy Murkute family of Goldsmiths of the Daivadnya Caste in Mumbai (Bombay). Unlike his forefathers, he engaged in commerce and soon developed a reputation as a very reliable businessman. So high was his credit that Arabs, Afghans and other foreign merchants chose to place their treasures in his custody rather than with banks. He soon acquired a large fortune, much of which he donated to the public.

                 Shunkerseth became an active leader in many arenas of Bombay life. Foreseeing the need for improvements in education, he became one of the founders of the School Society and the Native School of Mumbai, the first of its kind in Western India. The school went through a series of name changes: in 1824, it became the Bombay Native Institution, in 1840, the Board of Education, and in 1856 the name which continues to this day, the Elphinstone Educational Institution* (“you can read the History about Elphinstone Educational Institution at the end of this Article with the Notable Alumni of this College”). When the Students’ Literary and Scientific Society first opened their girls’ schools, Jaganath Shunkerseth contributed much of the necessary funds, despite strong opposition of some members of the Hindu community. Other educational projects he began include the English School, the Sanskrit Seminary, and the Sanskrit Library, all of which are located in Girgaum, South Mumbai.

                In 1845, along with Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy*, Shri. Jagannath Shankar Shet formed the Indian Railway Association. Eventually, the association was incorporated into the Great Indian Peninsula Railway* and Jeejeebhoy and Shunkerseth became the only two Indians among the ten directors of the GIP railways. As a director, Shunkerseth participated in the very first train journey in India between Bombay and Thane, which took approximately 45 minutes.

  • History of Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy: He is the 1st Baronet, variously spelled Qamsetji and Jeejeebhoy, Jejeebjoy, Qijibhai, lived from 15 July 1783 to14 April 1859 was an Indian merchant and philanthropist.
  • History of The Great Indian Peninsula Railway: This was the predecessor to what is known as the Central Railway today.Its headquarters is based at Chatrapathi Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai.

                 Jagannath Shanker Shet, Sir George Birdwood* and Dr Bhau Daji* were instrumental in the some of the major reconstruction efforts of the city, beginning 1857. The three gradually changed a town made up of a close network of streets into a spacious and airy city, adorned with fine avenues and splendid buildings.

  • History of Sir George Christopher Molesworth Birdwood: He lived from 1832-1917, an Anglo-Indian official and writer, son of General Christopher Birdwood, was born at Belgaum, in the Bombay presidency, on the 8th of December 1832.
  • History of Dr Bhau Daji: He was also known as Ramakrishna Vithal, lived from 1822-74, Hindu physician of Bombay, Sanskrit scholar and antiquary.

Jagannath Shankar Shet became the first Indian to be nominated to the Legislative Council of Bombay under the XXTY 26 Act of 1861, and became a member of the Bombay Board of Education. He also was the first Indian member of the Asiatic Society of Bombay* and is known to have endowed a school and donated land in Grant Road for a theatre.

  • History of Asiatic Society of Bombay: The Asiatic Society of Bombay is a public state library in the city of Mumbai, India. It was established in 1803 as “The Royal Asiatic Society, Bombay Branch. The society, founded by Sir James Mackintosh was known as the Literary Society of Bombay, and first met on November 26, 1830. It was later moved to the present Town Hall building which was built in 1804. The library is currently run on an annual grant by the state of Maharashtra. (Sir James Mackintosh, lived from October 24, 1765 – May 30, 1832, a Scottish jurist, politician and historian, is said to have been one of the most cultured and catholic-minded men of his time . His studies and sympathies embraced many interests. He was trained as a doctor and barrister, and worked also as a journalist, judge, administrator, professor, philosopher and politician.

Jagannath Shankar Shet’s influence was used by Sir John Malcolm* to induce the Hindus to acquiesce in the suppression of suttee or widow-burning, and his efforts also paid off after the Hindu community was granted a cremation ground at Sonapur (now Marine Lines).

  • History of Sir John Malcolm: He lived from May 2, 1769 1833, was a Scottish soldier, statesman, and historian, born at Burnfoot, Dumfriesshire on the 2nd of May, 1769. In 1782 Sir John Malcolm entered the service of the East India Company; and a part of his success is to be ascribed to the zeal with which he applied himself at first to study the manners and languages of the east. Having distinguished himself at the siege of Seringapatam in 1792, he was appointed by Lord Cornwallis to the situation of Persian interpreter to an English force serving with a native prince. In 1795, on his return from a short visit to his native country, on account of his health, he performed some useful services in General Clarke’s expedition at the Cape of Good Hope, for which he received the thanks of the Madras government, and was appointed secretary to the commander-in-chief. He was employed in many important negotiations and held various distinguished posts, being Ambassador to Persia, Resident of Gwalior (1803-1804) and Governor of Bombay 1827-1830. He was the commander of the English Army which defeated the Holkars who ruled Indore at the Battle of Mahidpur in 1818. After defeating the Holkars he signed the Treaty of Mandsaur with them. It was under this treaty that the English were given the cantonment town of Mhow which is 23 km from Indore. He was the author of several valuable works regarded as authorities, viz., A History of Persia (1815), Memoir of Central India (1823), Political History of India from 1784 to 1823 (1826), and Life of Lord Clive – 1836.

           Shri. Jagannath Shankar Shet is known to have donated generously to Hindu temples. During the First War of Independence of 1857, the British suspected his involvement, but was acquitted due to lack of evidence. He died in Bombay on the 31 July, 1865. A year after his death a marble statue was erected at the Asiatic Society of Bombay. A road and chowk (Nana Chowk) are named after him in South Mumbai.

  • History of Elphinstone College, Mumbai: This is one of the oldest in the University of Mumbai system, being established in 1824 and formally constituted in 1835. It is named after Hon. Mountstuart Elphinstone, the Governor of Bombay from 1819 to 1827. The college is located in the Kala Ghoda area of downtown Mumbai. Sydenham College used to use the Elphinstone College premises at one time.

                 Notable Alumni of this College are: • Dr. B. R. Ambedkar – Social reformer & great leader • Kishori Amonkar – Artist & Musician • Madhav Apte – Cricketer & Industrialist • Homi J. Bhabha – Scientist & founder of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research • R.G.Bhandarkar – Scholar & Social reformer • Varsha Bhosle – Writer • Khurshedji Rustamji Cama – Social Reformer & Specialist in Iranian Studies • Justice Y. V. Chandrachud – Justice & Social Reformer • N. G. Chandwadkar • Bhulabhai Desai – Renowned Attorney & Social Reformer • C. D. Deshmukh – Economist & former Indian Finance Minister • P. L. Deshpande – Writer, Actor, Diector & Music Director • Sanjay Dutt – Film Actor • Gopal Krishna Gokhale – Founder of Indian Freedom Movement and Indian Congress • Bhakti Barve-Inamdar – TV Newscaster & Film/Stage Actress • Dhondo Keshav Karve – “Maharshi”, Educationist & Social Reformer • Madhav Mantri – Cricketer • Pherozeshah Mehta – Great Leader & Social Reformer • Jivanji Jamshedji Modi – Scholar of Zorastrian Studies & Social Reformer • Vijay Merchant – Cricketer, Cricket Comentrator & Industrialist • Dadabhai Naoroji – Leader in Indian freedom movement • Amol Palekar – Actor & Director • Dattu Phadkar – Cricketer • Mahadev Govind Ranade – Eminent Leader & Social Reformer • Deodatta V. Shenai-Khatkhate – Electronic Materials Scientist & Fellow of Maharashtra Academy of Sciences • Jamsedji Tata – Industrialist, Great Leader & Social Reformer • Kashinath Trimbak Telang – Social Reformer • Bal Gangadhar Tilak – ‘Lokamanya”, Father of Indian unrest & Indian freedom • Badruddin Tyabji – Barrister & Social Reformer • Professor B. M. Udgaonkar – Eminent Scientist & former President of Maharashtra Academy of Sciences • S. Vaidya – Educationist • Ajit Wadekar – Cricketer • Linda Wragg • David Woodman.





SRI MADHAV SHARMA was born at adigon near gokarna . He belonged to a daivajnya Brahmin family of adigon . He had attained deep knowledge about social life of man and also realized the ultimate truth of attaining MOKSHA. He was a profound scholar in Sanskrit and has also written many works in Sanskrit. He took Samadhi on 18.3.1985 at mahaganapati temple, karki.




             shree prajnanand lived at  baggon lakshmi narayan mutt in kumta ,he belonged to daivajnya brahman community.

he was born at kadwad,karwar on 4th dec,1941.his father took diksha from swami krishnanand a close companion of shree swami padmanabh maharaj ,gurumuth ,baad,karwar,which inspired shree prajnandji to persue spiritual life from his childhood.

he was impressed by the teaching’s of shirdi saibaba and felt that self realization is the highest goal of life in his childhood. swami prajnanandji attained mantra deeksha from shree swami prabhanand ,the founder of shree ramakrishna ashram ,karwar.after the demise of shri prabhanandji ,he was initiated into sanyas by swami chidanandji ,the chief desciple of swami shivanand maharaj at shivanand ashram of hrishikesh.

he completed his Master degree in philosophy from karnataka university and Ph.D in indian philosophy (particularly in vedanta) from banaras hindu university .hes was highly inspired by the life and teachings of shankaracharya,ramakrishna paramahamsa ,vivekananda swami,swami ramdas and swami ram thirtha .he also studied dasabodha of ramdas swami and swami ram thirtha.





           SHREE SARVESHWAR ATMANAND SADGURU MAHARAJ was born on 24th January 1917 at dhareshwar in kumta taluk. His father sri narayan shet and mother smt lakshmi bai were respectable honorable wealthy people of the village.born in a orthodox daivajnya Brahmin family sri maharaj was keenly interested in bhajans and religious activities in his childhood. His original name was narasimha narayan revankar .At the age of 19 he married his uncle’s daughter and entered “grahasthashrama “.

          He was fully devoted to lord’s grace and entered the lord’s heaven of knowledge about ‘MOKSHA PRAPTHI’ due to ‘SADHANA’ (penance). Having wife and children, he followed purandaradasa‘s words about being a saint with accepting the laws of Sanatana Dharma. Under the decision and guidance of shree narasimha .saraswati.gurudutt maharaja of narasimhawadi using his own capital managed to have a field at kumta taluk’s gore village .for about 2 years he performed yajnyas and bhajans with offering daily meals to the beloved devotes.  

            In rama thirta at honnavar for about 3 years shri maharaj performed shree satyanarayan vratha, offering daily meals to the devotees. At the age of 30 he bought a land at manki village ,honnavar taluk  with his own investment ,and visited several religious holy places around the country and brought along with him the holy water and prasadam . On 21.4.1950 he installed the idol of lord sri sarveshwar lakshminarayan and established a dharma peetha along with sri sadguru samarths paduka.

               He also built a beautiful temple,lake,hall and also a silver seat ,rudra peetha and yajna alter at sri kshetra mankipur .this proves that sri maharaj has a great divine bliss by  lord, also a great example for the betterness of human life .Every year at the mankipur kshetra on the ratha saptami day there is a great car festival of sri sarveshwar jaganmathe with great pomp and glory . By attaining divine bliss and knowledge of moksha, preaching it to the world sri maharaj attained Samadhi on 7.6.2004.







About 16th century ,at Marathawada of Maharashtra state a great Sanskrit poet and saint named “Daivajnya Soorya Soori” ,born in a Daivajnya Brahman family,had written many resourceful books on astrology and poetical works in Sanskrit language “RAMAKRISHNA KAVYAM”, was a great poetical book written by him in Sanskrit language. In those days it was highly respected by the scholars of Sanskrit language. In the last century this poetical book was edited and translated into Marathi language by B.Velenkar who was famous scholar of Sanskrit language in Mumbai. It was published by Keshav Bhikaji Dhavale in 1978, in Mumbai. Late K.N.Aithalye had described the political power of “RAMAKRISHNA KAVYAM” in his “KERALA KOKILA”VOL-4, and has called it “king of poetical works” .at present this book is out of print and out of stock.

According to the scholar,B.Velenkar this great poet was born at Parthapura of Marathawada province. His father was Jananadhiraja who was settled in Parthapura.

His ancestors were the courtiers at the court of Devagiri king, Ramaraja. The poet belonged to Daivajnya Brahmin community.

Balashastri Ravaji Shastri Ksheerasagar ,pune had mentioned the name of “Daivajnya Soorya Suri” in his research book in Kannada, “Vishwabramhakulothsaha” vol-4 ,as he was Daivajnya Brahmin .late .P.P.Shirodkar  ,a famous writer and politician ofGoa ,had also written regarding him in a Marathi book-as he belonged to Daivajnya Brahmin community.

During the 16th century Daivajnya Soorya Suri had great respect as a saint and recognized as the great poet in Sanskrit language all over the Marathwada. His poetical works were respected by the scholars even in Kashi Kshetra which was the renowned learning centre of those days. He was a scholar of Vedas, Jyothishya Shastra and Mathematics. According to many research scholars have claimed that he has written about 30 books on Vedas, Jyothishya Shastra and Mathematics.later after 16th century onwards the popularity of Sanskrit language decreased his works got back under the dark veil. He had also composed the Abhangas (BHAJANS) in Marathi language, being a saint of those days.

In 1539 A.D, he had written “Soorya Prakash” ,on astrology and in 1542 he had written on “Leelavathi”, who was great woman astrologer of the olden days.

A poet named “Harikavi” who was born in the family of Daivajnya Soorya Soori had written “Sooryodaya Kavya” (Khandeshwari Leela Vilas) a long poetry in Sanskrit language in 1876.in poetical book,he had provided many details regarding his ancestor Daivajnya Soorya Suri. That poetical book was edited by the Dr. P.G.Lalaye who was the head of the Sanskrit Dept. in Usmania university, Hydrabad, and published by the same university in 1979.

Here is a link to Daivajnya Soorya Soori’s “RAMAKRISHNA KAVYAM”