As elsewhere in the world's history, Nepal has seen bloodshed, coup and rise and fall of rulers. With the unification of Nepal by Prithvi Narayan Shah and his premature death, Nepal saw much bloodshed till the rise of Jung Bahadur Rana.
Following over 30 years of ruthless rule of Jung Bahadur, the conspiracy continued. Fourteen years after his death, there were other bloody coups by his nephew Bir Sumsher and his brothers, killing all important personalities of Jung clan.
Although many books have been written about the bloody coup of Bir Sumsher in the establishment of Sumsher Rana’s rule in Nepal, only a few books were written on historically important figure Shiromani Acharya, who was an extraordinary person of that period.
As a tutor of sons of Dhir Sumsher, Shiromani, a devout Brahmin, had a direct access and link with Sumsher Rana. This was the reason Bir Sumsher had sent Shiromani to Kashi to perform Yagya.
Following the Yagya, his descendents took up the title of Dikshit and Mani in recognition of what he had done. Born as a descendent of Brahman Pandit, Shiromani was among the few who could influence the course of the country.
Shiromani’s descendents, Acharyas added the title of Dikshit, which was bestowed upon Shiromani after he completed the Agnistone Hom at Kashi in the year 1896.
Writing a book on such an important historical figure like Shiromani is not an easy task. However, Hemang Mani Dixit has shown the courage to bring out the book. History is a subject of controversy and contention, but Dixit has tried his best to portray Shiromani in his own position.
Shiromani’s families have a name in the society occupying various positions in public life. This historical figure comes to us though the lens of Hemang Dixit who did an intensive research, verifying the facts and incidents about his life.
“Some Shiromani’s descendents, by dint of hard work and study, not only achieved recognition but also contributed in various fields in Nepal. Shiromani was introduced to the household of Dhir Sumsher as a tutor to his children when he was twenty but later he also took charge as a priest to perform puja. In course of time, his descendents became advisors to the Rana prime ministers and they were also involved in the state affairs,” writes Dixit.
He died at the age of 77 and his association with the Rana’s family is just 57 years.
However, his son Kashinath was very involved in the affairs of the state during Chandra Sumsher's time. Similarly, his son Ram Mani Acharya Dixit was one of the key figures of Chandra Sumsher Rana. Mani Dixits were connected with different branches of Dhir Sumsher’s family and they are close to Chandra Sumsher and his descendants later on.
Although there are still many things to write about Shiromani Dixit, this book is first help to understand a very important figure in the history of Nepal. Hemang Dixit in his objective perspective has assembled most of the comments written on Shiromani by various authors.
Along with shedding light on Mani Dixit families, this book is part of history of Nepal highlighting a figure like Shiromani.