Vijaygupta Maurya (Gujarati: વિજયગુપ્ત મૌર્ય) was a pioneer science writer in Gujarati. He wrote thousands of articles popularising science as well as several books.
Vijaygupta Maurya was born as Vijayshankar Morarji Vasu (Gujarati: વિજયશંકર મુરારજી વાસુ) in Porbandar, Gujarat in 1909. He completed his high school education at Bhavsingh High School in Porbandar, India. He studied law in Mumbai, India and returned to Porbandar in 1933 to start his law practice. Four years later he took a position as judge in a British court. However, due to his passion for bird watching he wrote regular articles for Prakruti (Gujarati: પ્રકૃત્તિ) magazine on birds
In 1944, the freedom fighter in British India named Dr. Vasant Avsare (Gujarati: ડૉ. વસંત અવસરે) came to Porbandar and asked Vijaygupta Maurya to fight for his case. However, as Vijaygupta Maurya was already at the position of judge, he could not do so. This prompted Vijaygupta Maurya to resign from his position and took Dr. Avsare's case as a regular lawyer. This ended Vijaygupta Maurya's career as judge and he decided to stay in Mumbai. He found a job as a typist for the salary of Rs. 0.75 per month at Gordhandas ni Pedhi (Gujarati: ગોરધનદાસ શેઠની પેઢી).
Career as Journalist and Writer
In between financial struggles he kept writing for Prakruti magazine. After a few years, he got an opportunity to write for the Gujarati newspaper Janmabhumi. He started writing articles about birds and other animals for the last page of Janambhumi Pravasi with limited space and eventually grew to become editor/writer of entire page and wrote on varied subjects from the universe, science, marine life, plant life and so on.
In 1973, he left Janmabhumi Pravasi and became a freelance journalist writing for various magazines. He also wrote several books during that time that included the theme of serving interesting factual information rolled up in stories as well as other books based on true stories. His career as a writer spanned over 46 years, however it didn't help him much financially. During later years he encountered several physical problems including poor vision, continuous back pain and Parkinson's disease. After a long illness he died in July 1992.
His sons, Nagendra Vijay and Bhardvaj Vijay, has accepted similar goals and career as their father. Nagendra Vijay started writing at the age of 14 and pioneered the first Gujarati science magazine Scope and later Safari magazine. His grandson, Harshal Pushkarna, has also continued work on spreading science and knowledge by currently running Safari magazine.
Some of the Gujarati books authored by Vijaygupta Maurya
- Sherkhan (શેરખાન)
- Kapina Parakramo (કપિનાં પરાક્રમો)
- સિંહ વાઘની સોબતમાં
- શિકારીની તરાપ
- કીમિયાગર કબીર
- હાથીના ટોળામાં
- કચ્છથી કાશ્મીર સુધી લડી જાણ્યું જવાનોએ
- કાશ્મીરનું અગ્નિસ્નાન
- ઝગમગતું ઝવેરાત
- સમુદ્રની અજાયબ જીવસૃષ્ટિ
- પ્રકૃતિનાં લાડકવાયાં પંખીઓ
- Jindagi Jindagi (જિંદગી જિંદગી)
- માણસ જેમ બોલીને સુપરસ્ટાર બનેલી એક હતી મેના
- સરકસ જીવનના જીવ સટોસટનાં સાહસો
- Samudrani Sahaskatha (સમુદ્રની સાહસકથા)
- હવામાનનું જ્ઞાન શા માટે?
- Aa Chhe Russia (આ છે રશિયા)