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Preserving Vedic heritage

CHARUKESI

A full-fledged patasala is coming up in Palakad.



INCLINED TO TRADITION: The students with pandits at the Veda Patasala.

At the Veda Patasala at Chathapuram in Kalpathi, Palakkad, students from Mumbai, Pune, Coimbatore, Vaniyambadi, Madurai, Gobi, Avinashi, Chidambaram and Chennai stay together. "Many of them hail from the family of purohits and a few are from the families of traditional cooks. Of course, there are some who have taken genuine interest in the study of the Vedas, like the boy from Triuppur, whose father is working in a hosiery factory," tells Krishnaswamy, Vice-President of the Patasala.

The secretary, T. V. Krishnan, a former DGM of Indian Oil, showed the inadequate facilities available for the inmates in the old house in the village.

The Veda Patasala will be relocated to the nearby Ramanathapuram village, once the construction of a new building is completed. "The Veda Samrakshana Samiti has purchased 50 cents of land for constructing a full-fledged Veda Patasala with all the amenities," says Krishnan.

The six-year course is now funded by the Maharishi Sandeepani Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratishthan, Ujjain. To achieve its aim, `Save the Vedic Tradition and Culture,' the Veda Rakshana Samithi banks largely on donations and subscriptions from the public.

The pioneer

" C. R. Swaminathan, the founder, is an acknowledged Sanskrit and Vedic scholar. He retired as deputy educational advisor to Govt. of India, in 1985. He was instrumental in initiating special schemes for preservation of the oral tradition of Vedic studies and a pioneer in establishing Vedic Patasalas in many places including the one in Ujjain. He is the recipient of the President's Award for outstanding contribution to Sanskrit studies," says the President Gopalakrishnan.

The bhoomi puja for the new Patasala in Ramanathapuram village was performed in February 2005 and the work has just commenced. "We require at least Rs. 25 lakhs to go ahead with the work," says Krishnan.

"We have a plan which provides space for worship, class rooms, administrative space, guest accommodation, museum and interpretation centre, a full-fledged library in memory of Mahamahopadhyaya Nurani Ananthakrishna Sastrigal who served in the universities of Chennai and Kolkatta. Each component of plan has a cost range. An area of 8,000 sq. ft. would be sufficient to meet all our requirements", says Gopalakrishnan.

Donations are exempt under 80-G of Income Tax act. Those interested may contribute to this project. The Veda Rakshana Samithi now functions at 1/524, Chathapuram, Kalpathi, Palakkad 678 003. Phone 0491-2515 273/2544 807/2515 441; e-mail: ramsaket@sancharnet.in & kannutv@sancharnet.in

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