Laxmi Prasad Devkota was born on November 12, 1909 and died on September 14, 1959. Laxmi Prasad Devkota was the third son of Pandit Tilmadhav and the Amar Rajya Laxmi Devi. He was born on the day of Laxmi Puja. So, His Parents named him Laxmi Prasad as the arrival of Laxmi(Goddess of Wealth). Most People know him as a great poet of Nepali literature. Devkota was a man of many talents, writing poems, short stories, plays and essays in all four genres of Nepali literature. Therefore, His contributions to the genre of poetry and essays are considered to be of the highest order. He has written unique works like Munamdan, Sulochana, Shakuntala. He is especially famous for his masterpiece “Muna Madan”.
Devkota has been experiencing many hardships since his birth. The managerial structure of his house was also very poor. Also, his house did not reach the poverty line. So, when he was young he use to say, ‘I will study English and after studying a lot I will earn money by teaching tuition. But he was sick from birth. Devkota had read Amarkosh and recited hymns in his childhood. He used to recite his father’s poems from an early age. As his father’s poetry progressed, so did the juice of literature. His father tried to make him a Pandit.
Durbar High School was the only school in Nepal during the Rana rule. He was admitted there with hard work. He started writing poetry from school. Devkota used to recite poems in class. Some students accused him of reciting his father’s poems. So, he recited a poem called Durbar High School in 10 minutes. The poem contained a critical analysis of the student’s behavior, the teacher’s teaching style, and the school. After hearing this poem, students and teachers of the school started praising Devkota’s creativity. In 1925, Devkota admitted to Tri-Chandra College in Science. After completing his certificate level studies in science, he moved to the Faculty of Humanities. After completing his bachelor’s degree in 1929, he went to Patna, India in 1931 on a scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in English. He didn’t get a place in English. So, he studied law.
Devkota was a rich and extraordinary writer of many talents; There is no genre of literature that has not touched his short life since he started writing poetry at the age of ten. He has written epics, long descriptive poems, essays, stories, plays, songs and critiques. Devkota’s essays, which feel like reading poetry, are highly commendable for their style and content. The tragic play “Munamdan” is one of the best-selling works by sajha publication even five decades after his death. “Munamdan” is the first Nepali work soaked in Nepali public life. Devkota also taught at Tri-Chandra College for some time. He also became Nepal’s education minister in 2013. During his time, Nepal’s largest and first Tribhuvan University was established.
Devkota had a unique talent for writing poems very quickly. He wrote Shakuntala (epic) in three months, Sulochana (epic) in ten days and Kunjini in one night. He took Nepali literature to new heights. Munamadan was written in the popular Lok Vaka or Zhaure verse. This put an end to the influence of Sanskrit in Nepali literature. The poem “Pagal” is his next great creation; In which he has answered in a poetic style to those who call themselves crazy. In Nepali linguistics, Devkota became the pioneer of Romanticism. Also, Devkota was also the first to translate Nepali language literature into English language literature. And bring it to the western countries.
The great Indian scholar Dr. Rahul Sankrityayan had said, “I consider Devkota to be the greatest human incarnation after the Buddha”. Sankrityayan had also described Devkota as one of the three main poets of India. (Jaishankar Prasad, Sumitranandan Pant and Suryakant Tripathi Nirala). Devkota understood fourteen languages. His poem ‘Sharda’ written in nine languages also came to the masses.
Devkota was also known as the water god of Literature. He was not out of poetry when he got up, sat down, walked, slept, ate or in any moment of his conscious and unconscious. From the time he opened his eyes in the morning to the time he closed his eyes at night, he used to wander in the world of poetry. One of his lifelong friends was a poet and the other a cigarette.