Preserve Vedic tradition: Sringeri Acharya
THIS IS A COLLECTED LIST OF INTERVIEWS AND TALKS BY THE SRINGERI ACHARYALS ON VARIOUS RELIGIOUS TOPICS DURING THE 1990’S. THEY WERE PUBLISHED IN “THE HINDU” NEWSPAPER.
The Sankaracharya of Sringeri Math Sri Bharathi Theertha today blessed the Veda Vedanta Gurukula Mahavidyalaya, the institution in Andhra Pradesh dedicated to Vedic learning in the traditional gurukula style.
Speaking at a function of `Honoured Citizens Meet', the Sankaracharya, who is also the Chancellor of the Mahavidyalaya said, Vedas and Sastras were the cornerstones of `sanatana dharma'. Only by the propagation of these the principles of dharma could be learnt. If there was no dharma, there would be no virtue. Hence, the `vedasastra parampara' ought to be preserved and the Mahavidyalaya was an effort in that direction, he said.
In his benediction, the Sankaracharya also blessed the `Tritiya Maha Veda Sastra Sabha' to be conducted by the Mahavidyalaya on Tuesday. Eminent pandits in Vedas and Sastras are expected to participate in the Maha Sabha.
Earlier, speaking to reporters, Mr. M. H. Avadhani, Chairman, Steering Committee of the Mahavidyalaya, said the institution was visualised on the lines of gurukulas to impart Vedic and Sanskrit education in its best form and practice. The Vedas, Sastras, Upanishads, and other related subjects would be taught at this centre. It would also conduct research on the Vedic system. The research centre would be connected to various centres around the world through satellite to share Vedic literature.
The Mahavidyalaya is situated on the banks of the Krishna river at Swetha Sringachalam in the Venkataya Palem Forest area, Guntur district. The center proposed to have 16 colleges with a total strength of about 500 professors and 2,500 students. The first college had already started with 75 students and 12 teachers. The students would have to stay in the campus with their teachers and in the gurukula tradition, all the needs of the students would be taken care of. The second college would be for applied Vedas and the third one for astrology and astronomy.
In addition to Vedic education, the students would also be imparted education as per the contemporary system so that they could integrate into the mainstream and seek employment if they wished to. To a question whether the centre had any university status, he said it would be acquired by repute. After completing education at the centre, the students could get employment there itself. The remuneration of the teachers would be equivalent to that of any university, Mr. Avadhani said.
The Mahavidyalaya would be spread over an area of 1,500 acres of forest land and would comprise four distinctive divisions: Mahavidyalaya campus, Mahavidyalaya Service Centre, Mahavidyalaya Township and Tapovan. Construction activity would be restricted mainly to the campus area and hence the forest would be preserved. By the end of the century an expenditure of Rs. 24 crore was expected. By then the center would be able to accommodate 2000-3000 persons and 500 `gurus'.
On the selection procedure, he said anybody willing to abide by the rules of learning Vedas in the traditional gurukula system could be admitted. The minimum age limit would be 6-8 years. However different courses were being made available to all the people. To a question whether a scheduled caste candidate would be admitted, Mr. Avadhani said `he may be admitted' if he met all requirements for Vedic learning.
Mr. V. R. Gowrishankar, administrator, Sringeri Math, Dr. K. Ramamurthy, editor of special publications brought out to mark the Sankaracharya's visit to the city and Prof. T. V. Ramanan, Principal, Guru Nanak College were among others present.