On Sunday, a unique felicitation is happening in the city.
“I wished to study the Vedas and make it my way of life. That didn’t happen. Now the dream is being realised,” says R.R. Nagarajan, whose sons are studying in the Kanchi Mahan Vidya Mandir in Rajakizhpakkam. Is it a case of parents’ imposing their ambitions on their wards? “No,” comes the reply. “Both are happy in the gurukulam.”
It was a conscious decision the couple took five years ago and they do not regret. They will be among the over 300 couples from 70 locations to be felicitated at a function in the city on Sunday. “At a point in time when parents and children are chasing the dollar and training their eyes on lucrative jobs, what these parents are doing is remarkable,” says Sarma Sastrigal. “It is a silent service they are doing, to the Vedas and the country,” he adds.
How did this idea come about? “Last year, I was invited to the Kumbakonam Raja Veda Kavya Patasala as chief guest at their anniversary function. I was overwhelmed by the sight of all those students and their parents… a sacrifice on the part of the parents that was going unnoticed. I was moved and thought they had to be showcased,” explains Sarma Sastrigal.
“No, it is not easy to part with your young ones. But it has to be done if the chain is to be preserved,” observes Nagarajan. “The curriculum teaches them everything from math and physical science, computer and commerce to the Vedas, allied scriptures and darma. It is ultimately the choice of the individual to pursue his calling,” he says.
Arvind Bhatt of Gulbarga has his son studying Ghanam at Ramanasram, Tiruvannamalai. “My son, Nirguna, evinced interest in the subject even in his childhood. He enrolled in a Patasala in North Canara and was not satisfied after completing the course there. Now he is absolutely happy. The bond he has developed with his guru is incredible. His aim is to graduate to an advanced level after this,” elaborates the father, who is the priest of the Dattatreya temple.
Mr. Balasubramanian of the over 400-year old Kumbakonam Kavya Patasala feels that it is appropriate that parents have to be lauded for guiding their children in the right direction. He is optimistic that more parents will be encouraged to opt for this line of education for their wards.
“Sadly, study of the Vedas is never the priority of the parents. They do not realise that it is vital to impart this knowledge to their children, whether or not they take it up as their profession,” he says. He believes in catching them young. “The ease with which they master the course has to be seen to be believed. The energy and memory levels of these students are matchless,” he marvels.
“During Mahamagham, the town resonated with Veda mantras, chanted by hundreds of scholars and students across the State and the country. ‘This is the soul of this land and these people are keeping it alive,’ I thought. Just as watering the roots, to cherish the tree. This is also the message of Mahaperiyava, who was instrumental in propagating the need to preserve the Vedas. It is to him that we owe the Vedapatasalas. With his blessings the numbers should swell,” he concludes.
The venue for the function on March 13 is Kuchalambal Marriage Hall, Chetpet, and the time 9 a.m. Contact 9840281452, 9840318675, 9444273491 and 9444380973.