Lecture Demonstration at Veda Sammelanam held at Sringeri Vidhya Bharathi Foundation, Stroudsburg, USA
By Dr YagnyaSubramaniam (1 hour 40 mins, in English language)
Part 1 http://youtu.be/H7s8XWCguoo
Part 2 http://youtu.be/U9mSJ809as8
|| Shree Gurubhyo Namaha ||
FIRST VEDA SAMMELANAM OF NORTH AMERICA – APRIL 14, 2012
With the Blessings of Jagadguru Sri Sri Bharati Teertha Mahaswami of Sringeri Sharada Mutt and the boundless Grace of Goddess Sharadamba, the first Vedasammelan in North America was conducted in a grand manner on April 14, 2012 at the Sringeri Sadhana Center, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. The Sammelan coincided with the 100th year of ascension to the Spiritual Throne by the 34 th Pontiff of Sri Sharadha Peetham, Jagadguru Sri Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal.
The Vedasammelan was conducted mainly to honor the Vedic scholars living in the U.S.A and Canada, and to create and propagate awareness of the Vedic dharma to all Asthikas living in this part of the globe. On the day of the event, around 130 Vedic scholars from all over the United States and Canada, comprising, Vedic Scholars, Agama/ Sastra Pundits, Shivacharyas and Vaishna Bhattacharyas, assembled at the Sringeri Sadhana Center at 8 AM. The event started with Guru Vandanam, by praying to the entire Guru Parampara of the Sanatana Dharma tradition.
A special pooja was performed to H. H. Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati Mahaswamiji to seek His blessings. The pooja was followed by Ganapati Homa and abhisheka to Lord Chandramouleeswara in the temple. Then, all the Vedic scholars assembled at the Veda Vyasa shrine. Prayers were offered to Veda Vyasa, who codified the Vedas into four major branches. Pooja was performed to the Veda Book of all four Vedas, the personification of Veda Purusha.
The Veda Book was then placed on a beautifully decorated pallakki, and was carried on the shoulders by the Vedic scholars themselves. The images of Sri Sharadamba, Sri Adi Shankaracharya, Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati Mahaswamiji, and Sri Sri Bharati Teertha Mahaswamiji led a ceremonious procession that resounded with Veda mantras of different Shakhas from Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, Atharva Veda and also from other Agamas. It was a fitting tribute to the Veda Purusha, the Jagadgurus and Goddess Sharadamba as the entire procession advanced on red carpet. Blessed were those people who witnessed a rare procession in their life time. The procession ended at temple. ‘
The Vedic scholars then assembled in the Sri Sharadamba’s shrine, and sat in groups according to their own shakhas. The assembly of scholars was welcomed by the President of SVBF USA, Dr. S. S. Iyer. He formally welcomed the priests and Padmashri Dr. V. R. Gowrishankar, CEO, Sringeri Peetham, India. A video message of H. H. Jagadguru Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswami was played. The Jagadguru, in his benedictory message, explained the importance of Vedas and the importance of following our Dharma.
The gathering was then addressed by the Chairman, SVBF, Dr. S. Yegnasubramanian. He stressed the importance of fostering the Vedic Dharma and explained how the Vedic scholars play an important role in fostering the dharma. He also pointed out that all other shastras, like music, dance, etc. will flourish only if the root of all of them, the Vedas is properly nourished. The Vedic scholars are the custodians of the Vedas, and if we need to preserve the treasure of the Vedas, Vedic scholars should be encouraged to send their kids to pathashalas, he said. He also mentioned that if Vaidika dharma is preserved, it will in turn protect us. He appreciated the Vedic scholars for turning out in big numbers and showing full support to propagate this dharma, which was the main objective of the mutt.
Dr. V. R. Gowrishankar, who was kind enough to make a flying visit for the event amidst his busy schedule, gave a very good speech on the uniqueness of Sanatana Dharma. He recounted an anecdote where H. H. Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswami posed a question to a group of scholars as to what is unique about our Sanatana Dharma that we want to follow this dharma? Even though the scholars came up with many good answers, the saint was not convinced with any of them. The Pontiff Himself gave the answer – our dharma is the only one which is apaurusheya, i.e., not of a human origin.
Dr.Gowrishankar also praised the Vedic scholars for their commitment to spread the dharma in this part of the world. He urged them to lead the asthikas in the dharmic path by giving them the right advice.A very elaborate and special Ashtavadhana seva was offered to Goddess Sharadamba, the abode of all Knowledge, by the Vedic scholars. It was a rare treat to the audience who enjoyed the recitation for nearly two hours and was a great experience to hear many Vedic scholars, synchronizing to one single voice.
A few Veda Mantras from the following shakhas were recited:
Rig Veda – Shakala shakha
Shukla Yajur Veda – Kanva shakha, Madhyamdina shakha
Krishna Yajur Veda – Taittiriya shakha
Sama Veda – Kouthuma shakha, Jaiminiya shaka, Pranayaniya shaka
Atharva Veda – Saunka Shakha
Agama – Vaikanasa, Shaiva, Pancharatra, Madhva
The special offering was followed by lunch prasadam. All the Vedic scholars were served food in the most traditional style by the volunteers of the foundation.
In the afternoon, the Chairman of SVBF, Dr. S. Yegnasubramanian gave a very informative lecture-cumdemonstration of the various Vedic recitation practices. He illustrated in simple terms the prakrti and vikrti pathas of reciting Veda mantras. The oral recitation practices were beautifully demonstrated by the highly qualified priests of SVBF, Br. Sri. Shringeswara Bhatt, Br. Sri. Shyamasundara Rao and Br. Sri. A. R. Chandramouli.
The different prakrti pathas – Samhita, Pada and Krama – and vikrti pathas – Jata, Mala (Pushpa Mala), Shika, Rekha, Dwaja, Danda, Ratha (Dwichakra, Trichakra and Chatuschakra), Pancasandhi Ghana and Ghana – were illustrated and recited. Dr. Yegnasubramanian enlightened the audience with the various chanting methods and the pattern involved in each of the oral recitation patterns. He also illustrated Varna Krama – the phonology of accent and classification of each syllable.
Br. Sri. Sivaramakrishna Salakshana Ghanapathi from Sri Guruvayoorappan Temple, Morganville NJ demonstrated the Varna Krama for a single Vedic word “Saraswati”. Dr. Yegnasubramanian described the Vedic method of analysis of each syllable in the Vedas, and explained how the various parameters of each Vedic syllable, along with the recitation practices served as an impeccable record for propagating the Vedic texts without distortion in an oral tradition. The lecture was well received by an enthusiastic full house audience (more than 300) at the Sri Bharati Theertha Community Center Hall.
The Vedic scholars then assembled at the temple premises again for the concluding session. Every Vedic scholar was individually honored in front of a huge audience. The Vedic scholars in turn expressed their gratitude to the Foundation and praised the efforts of Dr. Yegnasubramanian for his untiring efforts in fostering the Vaidika dharma. The program concluded with Rashtra Aseervadam by the participating scholars.
All the scholars left the place with rejuvenated energy. It was a very good break from their routine and they were already looking forward to many more conferences of Vedic scholars in the years to come. All participants greatly appreciated the way the Sammelan was organized and were pleased with the hospitality, food and other facilities provided by the foundation. It was a very fruitful and memorable day for all the participants.
The whole event was well attended and appreciated by many devotees. A group of more than 75 people came from Canada in two buses to witness the Vedasammelan. The event was also webcasted live on the Internet, and was watched by devotees all across the globe. It was also covered by TV5, a television channel.The Foundation is grateful to the volunteers, who were responsible for pulling the event off to a grand success.
Meticulous planning (up to finest details) for two full weeks and faultless execution of tasks by the independent committees were appreciated by all the participants. The volunteers worked as a part of several committees – parking & transportation, food, registration, hospitality and religious – to execute the tasks. The volunteers were honored by the organizers at the end of the event.
In summary, with the blessings of the Jagadguru and grace of Sri Sharadambal, the first Vedasammelanam event was a grand success – another good achievement by the Chairman of the Foundation and organizers of the event, a matter of pride for the participants, a pleasant treat for the audience, a great source of information for enthusiasts of the Vedas, a great blessing for the devotees and a big accomplishment for the volunteers and SVBF SAINT THYAGARAJA DAY
On April 15th, Sunday we had the Inaugural Saint Tyagaraja Day, a dedication to the Saint at the Feet of Goddess Sharada who is none other thanRajamathangi Herself! The Sangeetopasana/Nadopasana followed the Vedopasana of the previous day on the same stage.
Shri. RK Shriramkumar led the Pancharatna kritis session in the morning and it was Supreme Bliss and divinity that filled the air and hearts and minds of the devotees! Shriramkumar gave an inspiring chaste concert following that. He chose the Karaharapriya Rame Nee Samanamevaru, appropriately for his main. The afternoon session was filled with Group presentations by the teachers and students of Tiruvottiyur, Lalgudi, Kovur pancharatnams etc. The children had wellprepared and practiced for the event and presented their pieces in One Voice! An adult group of 10 people trained by a Senior Teacher, Mrs. Padma Srinivasan sang in unison the Kambhodi, Mahita Pravrddha Srimati. It’s one of the Lalgudi Pancharatnams of Tyagarajaswamy.
We also recognized and honored the talent of the North American Carnatic Idol, Shyamala Ramakrishna as an Young Musician, on the occasion of Saint Tyagaraja Day! Shyamala gave an inspiring concert for an hour and a half and deserved the appreciation of the Foundation and the audience.
Every April, we will celebrate Saint Tygaraja Day, Americavil Thiruvaiyaru. We invite the teachers and students of Carnatic Music to come forward and participate in all the sessions of the event and dedicate the day to Goddess Sharada and Saint Tyagaraja with whose blessings we learn, develop and grow our talent to blossom.
Starting next year, Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation, an Overseas Affiliate of Sringeri Sharada Peetham will recognize and honor an Young Musician with an award and a citation.
About SVBF: http://www.svbf.org