T.V. Kapali Sastri was a Vedic scholar who had his early training under the renowned Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni. His scholarship and spiritual sadhana endeared him to Ramana Maharshi. From 1916 onwards he was drawn to Sri Aurobindo’s yoga and settled down in the Sir Aurobindo Ashram. Interpreting the philosophy of Ramana Maharshi and Sri Aurobindo became a lifelong vocation for him. Teacher, translator, exegetist, essayist and poet, Kapali Sastri was a philosopher attuned to Tantra.
As A.R. Ponnuswami lyer writes in his forward to Sastry’s The Maharshi, “Even after, under the imperative urge of an inner development, he [Sastry] took the sadhana of Sri Aurobindo, he retained his reverential attachment to Sri Maharshi. This he could do without sacrifice for he saw, appreciated, and assimilated the realized truth of these two greatest teachers of the age have given to the world. Small men, with their little egos, boast of their teachers, as they boast of their material possessions, feel needless jealousies, and stir up passion and discord in a realm where harmony should reign. But Sri Sastriar could be loyal to Sri Aurobindo without being disloyal to Sri Maharshi or his still earlier guru Sri Ganapati Sastrigal.” (Sastry,1979)
Sri Kapali Sastriar has come to be known more and more after his passing in 1953 than before. For he was an example of perfect self-effacemant in the best traditions of the Aryan who represents the noblest and the highest aspirations of humanity.
“Sastriar was a multiple personality. He excelled in whatever field he worked. Among his several services to the national heritage, the one which comes most prominently to the mind is his solid contribution in building a strong bridge between the ancient past and the evolutionsry thought of the present. Following the trial of his Masters, first of Vasishtha Ganapati Muni and then of Sri Aurobindo, he unearthed many a truth that lies concealed within the cryptic utterances of the Veda. his was not a scholastic approach, though he was an impregnable scholar in his own right. He delved into this hymnal on the strength of his inner experience, verified the verities that are perceivable to the awakened eye, in his own yogic realisations and then went on, in his sixtieth year, to write his classic commentary on the first Ashtaka of the Rig Veda in virile Sanskrit.” (M.P. Pandit)