Amrita Darshanam– International Centre for Spiritual Studies, celebrated Saṁskṛta-saptāha-samārohaḥ, Sanskrit-Week-Celebrations from August 21-27, 2018, in Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore campus.
The week-long celebrations commenced on August 21, 2018, with the ceremonial lighting of lamps by Śrī Tapasyāmṛtānanda Chaitanya, Prof. P. Venugopalan, Dr. Vamshi Krishna Ghanapathi, and Śmt. Jayalaxmi, and the chanting of Vedic mantras. Dr. Vamshi Krishna Ghanapathi, a renowned Vedic scholar, orator, academician and the Chief Guest of the session, addressed the audience with his profound insights into the devabhāṣa, Saṁskṛta. The young students from Amrita Vidyānilayam performed a Sanskrit song.
The guest of honor for the session was Śrī Sampath Kumar and his wife, Śmt. Jayalaxmi, the owner of Sudharma, the only Sanskrit newspaper of the world. Started in 1970 by Śrī Sampath Kumar’s father, Śrī Varadaraja Iyengar, Sudharma is churned out every day by this family that is dedicated to keeping the language alive. Four pages in all, the paper covers a wide range of issues like India’s economic policy, politics, sports and weather. Sudharma’s circulation is a little under 2,000 copies per day, which go to Sanskrit scholars and students across India and abroad. “This might not pay, but it is something we have devoted our life to,” said Śmt. Jayalaxmi, in her inspiring address to the students. On the occasion of Sanskrit Day, the couple was felicitated for their extraordinary service rendered to the devabhāṣa with a token of appreciation on behalf of Amrita Darshanam (ICSS).
A Sanskrit Musical Evening was conducted on the evening of August 21, 2018. Dr. Murali Rangarajan, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, along with the students from Club Nāda, rendered excellent Sanskrit compositions of Tyāgarāja, Muthusvāmi Dīkṣita, etc., to the delight of the audience.
On August 22, 2018, Vākyārtha Sadas was conducted to engage with the Indian Knowledge Traditions. Dr. U. K. V. Sharma, Assistant Professor, Department of Cultural Education, School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, enlightened the audience about the different aspects of the Vedas— the concept of apauruśeya, the prakṛti and vikratipāṭha-s of the Vedas with a demonstration of the same, etc.
Naveen Bhat, Assistant Professor, Department of Cultural Education, School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, shed light on the nature of verbal roots (dhātu-s) as discussed in the Vaiyākaraṇa BhūṣaṇaSāra, an important treatise of Sanskrit Grammar tradition. Manjushree Hegde, Assistant Professor, Amrita Darshanam- International Centre for Spiritual Studies, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, discussed two sūtra-s from the Paribhāṣenuśekharaḥ, a text written by the great grammarian, Nāgeśa Bhaṭṭa. Dr. Sripad Ghaligi, Assistant Professor, Department of Cultural Education, School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, engaged the audience with his profound insights into the Yogasūtras of Patañjali. The platform helped the audience to learn much about the Sanskrit knowledge systems.
On August 23, 2018, Kāvyāvalokana (relishing Sanskrit poetry) was organized. Verses from the most important Sanskrit poets, including Kālidāsa (with the commentary of Mallinātha) and Baṇa Bhaṭṭa, were read to the audience, and the rasa of the poems were enjoyed. The session concluded with an enjoyable discussion on citra–kāvya, poetry that creates wonder through a physical arrangement of words into visual patterns or pictures.
On August 24, 2018, Vedas were chanted for the safety of people affected by floods in Kerala during the week. On August 27, 2018, Bhagavad-gītā recitation and interpretation competition was organized. Ankitha K., first-year BTech student, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, was awarded the first place, and Sripathy Ram, first-year MTech student, School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, won the second place in the competition. On the auspicious occasion, avadhāna sevā/darbār sevā was offered to Saṁskṛta mātā. Dr. Srikrishnan A. R. gave an engaging talk on Melpathūr Narāyaṇa Bhaṭṭāthiri about his life and works and in particular, his extraordinary Sanskrit composition, the Nārāyaṇīyam. The celebration concluded with a valedictory session presided by the Guest of Honor, Śrī Rāja ji, Prof. C. Joshi Haran and all the faculty of Amrita Darshanam.