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Veda Vyasa Endowment for Mahabharata Studies


Agnyaana Timiraandhasya
Gnyaana Anjana Shalaakayaa
Chakshuhu Unmeelitam Yenam
Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.

A Guru can save us from the pangs of ignorance (darkness) by applying to us the balm of knowledge or awareness of the Supreme, I salute such a Guru.

Guru Poornima , the full moon day of month of Ashadh,  has a special auspicious significance in Indic culture. Particularly disciples on this day worship their Guru with an unconditional devotion, love and surrender. Guru Poornima holds a special place in the heart of the disciple as they are able to express their full gratitude towards their Guru who dispels darkness and ignorance and creates the path to being a realised soul for the disciple.  Lord Bhagvan Shri Krishna in 34th verse of 4th chapter of Bhagawad Gita says “attain this knowledge by all means, if you prostate yourself at the feet of wise, render them all forms of services and question then a guileless heart again and again, those wise souls of truth will unfold that wisdom to you.”

Sri Aurobindo says ” The Teacher of the integral Yoga will follow as far as he may the method of the Teacher within us. He will lead the disciple through the nature of the disciple. Teaching, example, influence,—these are the three instruments of the Guru. ”

On Guru Purnima, we honor our gurus, the acharyas and rishis who have transmitted to us the light of Dharma and the Vedic tradition, the light we must keep alive for future generations.  This day is specially dedicated to Veda Vyasa, he who compiled the Vedas and bestowed upon us the Mahabharata and the Mahapuranas, he who is guru to us all.  On this sacred occasion of Guru Purnima, we place the newly created Veda Vyasa Endowment for Mahabharata Studies at his feet as a humble offering.

The Mahabharata is a fundamental component of our Indic civilizational DNA.  It is an ancient, timeless tale that has incredible relevance and resonance even today.  It is a source of passionate debate and reflection, its complex characters, conflicts and themes motifs that recur again and again throughout all of our literature and arts.  There is a reason traffic and trains stopped while the Mahabharata serial was playing on television screens thirty years ago.  No piece of literature better captures the ethos, worldview, values and aesthetics associated with our culture and civilization than the Mahabharata.  As the longest epic in the history of world literature, there is no wonder that it is said what is not found in the Mahabharata cannot be found elsewhere.

Accordingly, the preservation and promotion of the Mahabharata is a vital element in reviving and nourishing Indic traditions and thought.  Currently, the integrity of the text of Mahabharata, its core meaning, values and standing as a core text of the Indic civilization, are under attack on multiple fronts.  Manuscripts of traditional commentaries on the Mahabharata are languishing under neglect.  Younger generations are growing up without being exposed to the literary richness of the Mahabharata, relying instead on pop culture riffs that are not always true to the original.

This endowment would be utilized for the following purposes:

  • Preservation, digitization and translation of relevant manuscripts
  • Promotion of the Mahabharata by making it more accessible to wider audiences (e.g., providing copies of translations to libraries and schools)
  • Funding Indic scholarship on the Mahabharata, particularly the work of traditional scholars
  • Promotion of the Mahabharata through artistic works, conferences and workshops

The Veda Vyasa Endowment for Mahabharata Studies is being made available through the generous donations of Ms. Aditi Banerjee to Indic Academy. Each grant made available through the Endowment will be up to of Rs. Two Lakhs Fifty Thousand given yearly. The number of such grants made available to scholars will be the discretion of Indic Academy. To avail of this grant please send your detailed proposals at any time of the year to indicacademy@gmail.com.


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