Sanskrit is our Cultural Heritage-Shri Abdul Kalam,The President of India

via published on February 1, 2007

(Following is the complete speech given by Shri Abdul Kalam, The President of India addressing the students of Sree Guru Sarvabhouma Sanskrit Vidyapeetam in Mantralayam in Kurnool District,Andhra Pradesh on 01.02.2007)  


01-02-2007 : Mantralayam
                       Sanskrit is our Cultural Heritage

“Learning gives creativity”


I am indeed delighted to interact with the students of Sree Guru Sarvabhouma Sanskrit Vidyapeetam in the serene environment of Mantralayam. After you complete your eight year course, twelve year course or seven your course, what you will be? You will be a great teacher. You have to acquire the qualities of teaching and carry the tradition of Raghavendraswamy. Wherever you are and whatever task you perform the devotees will treat you as Gurus and the foundation for a such a Guru comes from this institution. I congratulate the teachers who are constantly shaping you towards a noble profession which you will be following in your later years. When I am with you, I would like to recite the Moola mantram of Raghavendraswamigal.

We worship Guru Raghavendraswamy, the divine soul who practiced and taught truth and dharma (the right conduct). We chant his name as Kalpavrisha (the giver of limitless material wealth) and bow before him as Kamadenu (the giver of spiritual knowledge).

My Experience with Sanskrit Scholars

I have come across two great teachers, one in the primary school and another in the St. Joseph’s College. My primary school teacher Sri Sivasubramanya Iyer was a great Sanskrit scholar apart from being my science teacher. Everyday he used to perform Sandhya Vandanam three times a day and Bhagavatam. My college teacher Prof Thothathri Iyengar who taught me complex numbers and number theory was also a Sanskrit scholar.

While the base of these two great teachers was science and mathematics, their life was shaped by the ancient wisdom of Sanskrit scholarship. Recently, I have come across a great scholar Dr MA Lakshmi Tathachar of Sanskrit Academy, Melkote, Karnataka who has been carrying out intensive research in Sanskrit including the agriculture using organic farming. Such is the richness of Sanskrit and I am happy that Sanskrit Vidyapeetam is preserving and nurturing this great language.

Richness of Sanskrit

Though I am not an expert in Sanskrit, I have many friends who are proficient in Sanskrit. Sanskrit is a beautiful language. It has enriched our society from time immemorial. Today many nations are trying to research on the Sanskrit writings which are there in our ancient scriptures. I understand that there is a wealth of knowledge available in Sanskrit which the scientists and technologists are finding today. There is a need to carry out research on our Vedas particularly Atharvana Veda for eliciting many valuable information in Science and Technology relating to medicine, flight sciences, material sciences and many other related fields. Cryptology is another area where Sanskrit language is liberally used.

Tasks for Sanskrit Vidyapeetam

I would suggest the Sanskrit Vidyapeetam apart from their academic activity can take up the location of the missing literature in Sanskrit available in palm leaves spread in different parts of the country so that they can be documented and preserved. For this I would suggest that they can avail the help of technology available in digital library for documenting those scriptures both in audio and video form which can be preserved as long term wealth for use by many generations. For this purpose, the Academy can get in touch with Prof N. Balakrishnan of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore who is piloting a digital library project for India.

In the Sanskrit Vidyapeetam you should go into details of lives of great scholars, poets, epic creators like Valmiki, Veda Vyasa, Kalidasa and Panini. I would suggest that the Vidyapeetam may invite a few scholars who have been awarded Certificate of Honour in Sanskrit and Maharishi Badrayan Vyas Samman for young scholars by the Government of India so that these scholars can stay and interact with the students for a certain period. This will provide an opportunity for the students to interact and get enriched in Sanskrit and Vedas.

Knowledge acquisition and retention

Now, I would like to play an audio CD which highlights the importance of the Vedas and also how the Vedas nourish our mind, memory and intellect. This has been rendered by Tatwamasi Dixit, founder Ojas Foundation, Chennai. I would like to play the song first:

A. O Lord Surya! Augment my direct perception, my ability to infer, and help me to retain the Vedic teachings for posterity.

B. I invite Medha Devi (retention power) and Maneesha Devi (absorbing power) into my mind to expand the past and future knowledge even whilst the present knowledge is being thoroughly assimilated. (Track 11 – A &B )

A Prayer to Medha (power of retention) and Maneesha (power of assimilation). They should come together and help the devotee to assimilate the present knowledge in relation to the past and the future. In other words, while the power of retention will help the devotee to understand the past and the present, the power of assimilation will help him to learn the lessons for the future from the past and present experiences.

My best wishes to all the students and Acharyas of Sree Guru Sarvabhouma Sanskrit Vidyapeetam for success in their preservation and promotion of Sanskrit.

May God bless you.

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