Amrita Darshanam – International Centre for Spiritual Studies (ICSS) of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Bengaluru campus, conducted a four-day programme titled “Saṁskr̥totsavaḥ”. It consisted of a series of four online lectures from 2 to 5 September 2020. Four leading academics in the field of Sanskrit studies from different parts of India gave their scholarly presentations. Around three hundred and fifty participants across the country registered to participate in this event.
Day One (2 September 2020)
A talk by Prof. K. Ramasubramanian, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Bombay was scheduled on the first day. Dr. Pranshu Samdarshi (Assistant Professor, Amrita Darshanam, Bengaluru Campus), delivered the welcome address. Dr. Tanashree Redji (Assistant Professor, Amrita Darshanam, Bengaluru Campus) formally introduced Prof. K. Ramasubramanian to the audience. Prof. Ramasubramanian spoke on the topic “An Exquisite Blend of the Rhythm of Poetry with the Rigor of Math in Līlāvatī”. His talk elucidated some mangalācharan (benedictory) verses of Līlāvatī. He also explained various intricate concepts related to the principles of mathematics that are encoded in these verses of Līlāvatī. His talk was well received by the online participants and there were many engrossing questions asked by the viewers. The session ended with a short thank you by Dr. Pranshu Samdarshi.
Day Two (3 September 2020)
On the second day, Prof. Madhusudan Penna, Professor & Dean, Faculty of Indian Religion, Philosophy and Culture, KKSU, Ramtek, Nagpur, delivered a talk. Mr. Manish Rajan Walvekar (Assistant Professor & Centre Coordinator, Amrita Darshanam, Bengaluru Campus) welcomed the speaker and the participants. Dr. Pranshu Samdarshi formally introduced Prof. Madhusudan Penna. Prof. Penna spoke on the topic “Science of Vedānta”. He began his talk by addressing engineering students on the importance of learning the concepts of Vedānta. He investigated philosophical uniqueness of Vedānta by drawing parallels between the concepts of Vedānta and those of modern physics, and then leading the beautiful convergence of these two fields. This enriching lecture was well appreciated by the Amrita students and the outside audience, as there was an engaging question-answer session at the end. The second day program concluded with a thank you by Mr. Manish Rajan Walvekar.
Day 3 (4 September 2020)
On the third day of the lecture series, Dr. Bhagyalata Pataskar, Director of Vaidika Samshodhana Mandala, Pune, delivered her lecture on “The Vedas – The Heritage of Wisdom”. The webinar started at 5:00pm and ended at 6:45 pm through Microsoft Live stream. The resource person was welcomed by Mr. Manish Rajan Walvekar. The lecture contained detailed insights into the concept of the Vedas. Dr. Pataskar divided the lecture into three parts: 1) Extent of the Vedas, 2) Content of the Vedas and 3) Wisdom (which means the contribution part) of the Vedas. She clarified divisions of the Vedas, Vedāṅga-s and Upaveda-s, etc. During her lecture, Dr. Pataskar described the Indian philosophical system as an instinct of the Vedas. The Vedas are more famous because of its implementation. Each Yajña follows the implementation of the Vedas. The lecture ended with the question-answer session.
Day 4 (5 September 2020)
On the last day of the lecture series, Prof. C. Rajendran, Former Professor & Head, Department of Sanskrit, Calicut University, Calicut, delivered his lecture on “The Wondrous World of Sanskrit Literature – A Journey to the Past”. The webinar started at 5:00pm and ended at 6:45pm through Microsoft Live stream and was anchored by Mr. Manish Rajan Walvekar. The resource person was welcomed by Dr. Nibedita Banerjee (Assistant Professor, Amrita Darshanam, Bengaluru Campus). Prof. C. Rajendran started his lecture with a nice quote by William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the USA. Then he explained the Sanskrit literature that encodes several experiences of life. He also discussed the great Indian epics Rāmayaṇa and Mahābhārata and pointed out the popularity of these two epics in South East Asia. Sanskrit literature is divided into two parts: Vaidika literature and Laukika literature. The glimpses of Vedic literature were given through the story of Yama-Naciketā Saṁvāda. A discussion continued with the Laukika literature through the dramas of Kālidasa, Bhavabhūti and Bhāsa. The lecture ended with a question-answer session. The four-day lecture series was ended with a vote of thanks given by Mr. Manish Rajan Walvekar.