गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णु र्गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः | गुरु साक्षात परब्रह्मा तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः ||
IndicToday had previously announced the event #Grateful2Gurus, an initiative to honour the living Gurus in our midst. On the 27th of July this year, which is also the day of Guru Purnima, many teachers and scholars were given tributes for their exemplary work in serving Dharma. Local chapters of the INDICA Network participated and held their own ceremonies to pay tributes to the Gurus. Here are a few snippets from the events.
INDICA Agra celebrated the #Grateful2Gurus program on 29th July, Sunday at Saraswat Hospital, Agra. The program commenced with a the Saraswati Vandana. Prof Beena Sharma, the acting Registrar of the Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, was felicitated on the occasion. She is also author of five books and editor of two magazines.
In her keynote address, Professor Sharma touched upon various observances and symbols of Indian culture and highlighted the sublime and universal aspects of Indic civilization. An audience of around 25 -30 people including some enthusiastic kids attended the function. Vikas Saraswat presented a brief outlay of Indic Academy and its affiliates at the beginning, and a vote of thanks at the end of the program. Amit Jain, Friends Video, volunteered to record the event.
INDICA Madurai organized a simple ceremony at the office of Prof Vasudevan on Gurupurnima. Smt. Vivitha Arun, an old student of the professor and a member of the Madurai chapter, honored the Guru with a shawl and a citation.
Professor Vasudevan showed keen interest in being a part of Indica and getting his students involved. He also teaches the Bhagavad Gita to his students during his freetime.
INDICA Mysuru celebrated the #Grateful2Guru program on July 29, 2018, Sunday at the K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute, Mysuru.
Smt. Saraswati Jois, the renowned teacher of Yoga was felicitated on the occasion for her phenomenal contribution to teaching and spreading authentic Yoga.
The program commenced with recitation of Ganapati Vandana by Ananya R Bhatt and Amulya R Bhatt. This was followed by a talk on the importance of the Guru in Indian civilization and a brief introduction about Indic Academy by Nithin Sridhar.
Padmavathi S Bhatt then gave a brief introduction about Smt. Saraswati Jois, her life and contribution to Yoga. Following this, Jois was felicitated accompanied by Veda Ghoshti. Veda Ghosti was performed by Sri. Praveen Sharma and Sri. Madana.
In her keynote address, Smt. Saraswati Jois remembered her early days of teaching yoga with her father and then on her own and the challenges she had to face. Few of the students of Saraswati Jois also spoke a few words about their teacher and their own journey into Yoga. Nithin Sridhar presented the vote of thanks.
INDICA Coimbatore celebrated Guru Purnima today at Sri Ramakrishna College of Arts & Science for Women (SRCW). The Guru Vandana ceremony began by lighting the auspicious ‘kuthuvilakku’ accompanied by vibrant chanting of Veda mantras by the renowned Shrautikas Sri Ram and Sri Lakshmanan of the Sama Veda Pathashala in Perur.
SRCW has become the host for most of the Indic events here. Dr. Anandhi, Chairperson of the English Dept of SRCW gave the welcome address. Pramod Kumar, Coordinator of the INDICA Coimbatore chapter explained the significance of the #Grateful2Gurus events being held across the INDICA city chapters. This was followed by the felicitation ceremony. Dr. K. Mani, a committed spiritual seeker, retd. scientist and Associate Prof of Botany from PSG College of Arts & Science was invited to do the honours for the Chief Guest Dr. K. Subrahmanyam. Dr. K. Mani offered a garland, shawl and citation to Dr. K. Subrahmanyam accompanied by ashirvada mantras chanted by the Shrautikas. The hall reverberated with the sonorous Vedic chanting and we all felt blessed to witness this event.
This was followed by the presidential address – Dr. K. Mani, who has been translating Adi Sankara’s commentaries into Tamil spoke about the glory of the Guru Parampara and how his scientific research led him to discover and cherish the Vedic vision of the Cosmos. Finally, Dr. K. Subrahmanyam delivered the keynote address highlighting the phenomenal contribution of Vedavyasa and why his jayanti is celebrated as Guru Purnima – in his characteristic style interspersed with witty anecdotes and humor. Around 200 students attended the event.
INDICA Bangalore felicitated the Shatavadhani Dr. R Ganesh, a scholar, practitioner of the art of avadhana and a ployglot with extensive writing in multiple languages. He is also an extempore poet, having set a record for fast composition of poetry and has performed more than a 1000 avadhanas in Kannada, Sanskrit, Telugu and Prakrit. Several articles of his are available on the web in English.
INDICA Chennai held a program in honor of Dr. Sadhana Rao and Prof. Umadevi Ganesan. Dr. Rao is a practising Doctor who has dedicated several years in the care of abandoned, stolen and stay creatures. Hundreds of cows, buffaloes, sheep, goats and dogs have come under her care over the years and rest in the shelter of her land. Despite stiff opposition from unsuportive neighbours and threats from cattle rustlers, she has soldiered on for the sake of those poor animals and gave them a home. Prof. Umadevi Ganesan teaches Transportation Engineering at Anna University. Inspite of facing caste and gender related prejudices in her life, she has had a very fruitful career and has been a beacon for several students over the years, guiding them at all levels.
Nassim Taleb once remarked that “tawk” is cheap but very few people are ready to put their skin in the game. However, it is the mark of our times that the few who do immerse themselves in Dharma often go unrecognized, their efforts remain unappreciated. This is by no means an indication of the vital place these Gurus occupy in the Indic world. Like the humble clay cups that selflessly carry the diya down the river during Ganga Aarti to render a beautiful, uplifting experience to all, the Gurus preserve the flame of our sanskriti through the flow of time and make available it’s gifts to all of us. We hope that this initiative has inspired you to pay tributes to the Gurus you know, and perhaps even to sit their feet and imbibe their teachings.