praNO dEvI saraswatI!
A former student of mine requested me to give a talk at the SAMSKRITI SHIKSHANA SHIBIRAM, conducted by Manisha
Cultural Foundation at the campus of Veda Vijnana Gurukulam,Channenahalli, Magadi Rd, Bangalore – 562130.
Having disappointed him a couple of times before, by cancelling in the last minue, this time I was very particular that I go there and give the talk. So inspite of the excitement happening in Vidhana Soudha on Monday, I confirmed that I would be giving a talk. I gave a list of dozen topics from which the person in charge, Dr. Vinay selected Sri Rama’s Journey Maps. (Ancient India Map (3) Rama’s Journey).
As I was doing the last minute preparation so characteristic of me, Dr. Vinay called to say that a Vedacharya, Sri Ananth Sharma would be coming to pick me up by two wheeler.
I was surprised to see a young man on a motorcycle at the assigned spot. It has been many years since I have ridden pillion on a motorbike and trusting my spinal cord to God, I hopped on. This was the beginning of an awesome adventure.
The young Sri Sharma had already mastered the entire Krishna Yajur Veda Taittiriya Samhita, as well as several vedangas and was now onto the Rg Veda. I tried to get my head around the thought that I was in the presence of such learning and could not comprehend at all. For my brain it is like trying to do those infinity experiments.
At the gurukula, I met many young traditionally dressed boys, with radiant faces and each with mastery over the yajur veda to varying degrees. These were students of the Veda Vijnana Gurukulam, which is an advanced school of Vedic studies which focusses on Advaita Vedanta and the prasthana traya bhasyas of Sri Adi Sankaracharya, AFTER, teaching the students, Vedas and some Vedangas! There are junior Veda schools for boys and girls in Harihara and one more place (I forget now.)
This gurukula has been imparting knowledge for 10 – 11 years now and has created about 60 “walking Yajur Vedas”. Some of these now teach at the gurukula.
The gurukula is closed from Dasara to Deepavali and in that time, students from the general public are enrolled by Manisha Foundation and taught a few basic courses in this campus for a week or 10 days. Both Manisha Foundation and the Gurukula run on sponsorships and donations.
Dr. Vinay introduced me to Sri Ramachandra Bhat who is the Guru of this gurukula and whose vision and work are seen in the kuteeras, yagnyasalas, navagaha vanas, gosalas and so many other things that take us back several thousand years to an ancient atmosphere.
I was honoured to hear his thoughts for a short while and then taken off to give a talk. (BTW, the kashaya they offer is delicious!)
A laptop and projector had been organised for me to display and explain the maps to the small children mostly 12 years old and slightly older. Many of children were well versed in the incidents of the Ramayanam and asked as well as answered good questions. I had the most enjoyable time.
I was given a lovely tour of the gurukula as well as a fabulous lunch which the vatus, had helped to prepare and serve. At my request Dr. Vinay spent some more time with me after lunch and answered some of my questions.
While they were kind enough to speak to me in English and Kannada, they all spoke to each other only in Sanskrit.. even the summer camp kids.
When I went to this camp, I thought I was doing something to please my student, Varun. After spending the day there, I realized what a huge favour he had done for me.
It reminds me of this line, ” Nuvvu daata leka kaadule Ramayya thandri, naa meeda daya chupinavu Ramayya thandri”.
They did not invite me to talk because they did not know what I knew, but out of kindness to me. I am grateful for that wonderful day.
One of their web-sites : http://rochanam.org/index.html
Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula.
Writer and Researcher.
A teller of stories
Thatha and the Magic Grain : Stories and Posts for the young at heart.
Founder and Professor