Arsha Vidya Gurukulam celebrates its Silver Jubilee
The Gurukulam witnessed a get-together of more than 1,600 of Pujya Swamiji’s students and devotees on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee Celebration held on Nov 20, 2016.
Sri Maharajapuram Ramachandran and party rendered a Carnatic music programme exclusively featuring the compositions of Pujya Swamiji.
Sri Ravi Sam welcomed the gathering. He remembered the anniversary functions held in the previous years in Pujya Swamiji’s presence and spoke about how Pujya Swamiji’s presence can be felt in every nook and corner of the Gurukulam and in every word of his books.
Honouring the Contributors
Swami Shankarananda expressed his delight about how Pujya Swamiji’s wish regarding the memorial and photo gallery has been fulfilled.
The key people who contributed in various ways towards The Swami Dayananda Memorial Projects Gurutirtha, Gurusmrti Gallery and Gurukrpa – the study center were thanked and honoured. First, the professionals comprising the project team including Sri Sriram, the Architect who visualized Gurutirtha, Sri Pramod and his associate Ms Arundati from the Archiving services team, Sri Subramaniyan – Project Director, who led the project team, Sri Chandrapragasam for foundation work, Sri Satyamurti, for stone work, Sri Marudavanan for pergola design, Sri Prabhu for electrical work, Swamini Vidyananda and Sri Anand Daga for their work in implementing the Gallery project.
In addition to the project implementation team, Smt. Girija Natarajan was honored for coordination of donation related activities and Swami Purnatmananda, Manager of the Gurukulam, for facilitating the projects and overall administration of the Gurukulam.
All financial contributions to the Swami Dayananda Memorial Projects were much appreciated. Some of the significant donors who were present at the venue were honored.
Swami Sadatmananda expressed his gratitude to Pujya Swamiji, the founder of the Gurukulam. He spoke about how ‘Tirtha’ is a place of pilgrimage where devotees get purified. Pujya Swamiji himself was a tirtha. Gurutirtha is a place where Pujya Swamiji’s disciples can visit and get charged. He thanked Sri Pathy for the beautiful landscaping at the Gurutirtha. He said that whatever good is there in the Gurukulam is due to the grace of Pujya Swamiji.
Arsha Kala Bhushanam Award
Sri Padmavasan, a painter of Temple arts was awarded the title Arsha Kala Bhushanam, His citation reads “Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Anaikatti confers “ARSHA KALA BHUSHANAM” on Sri Padmavasan for his unique contribution in the field of fine arts, especially painting, expressing impressive thoughts through intricate works.”
Swami Viditatmananda released Aksharamala, a book authored by Swamini Svatmavidyananda containing 108 names extolling Pujya Sri Swamiji’s glories.
Donation to Coimbatore Kidney Centre Trust
Pujya Swamiji was treated very well by Coimbatore Kidney Centre where he underwent dialysis treatment. In appreciation of their care and as per Pujya Swamiji’s wish, the Gurukulam presented the Kidney Trust, represented by Dr. Ramalingam with a donation of Rs.7,50,000.
The letter accompanying the donation reads “This contribution is towards the Corpus for adding a comfortable dialysis suite or creating any other infrastructure in the name of Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati at the Kidney Centre and any accretion thereof may be utilised for treating poor patients in need of dialysis or kidney transplants. “
Address by Guest of Honour
Sri P.R. Ramasubrahmaneya Rajha recalled Pujya Swamiji’s contribution to the Hindu culture and the various reaching out activities initiated by him. He appreciated the contribution of various people who served Pujya Swamiji and those who help in running the activities of the Gurukulam.
Swami Shankarananda presented the Gurukulam Report. He said that he was privileged to be a student of Pujya Swamiji. It was due to Pujya Swamiji’s blessings that the teaching continued for so many years here. Last year was actually the Silver Jubilee year, but due to Pujya Swamiji’s Mahasamadhi, celebrations could not be held. Therefore, this year we are celebrating the Silver Jubilee of this Gurukulam. Recalling Pujya Swamiji’s words about jubilee, he said “There were a number of people responsible for this institution to come into being and its growth. The real celebration is in acknowledging their service during this span of twenty five years of seva. This is the occasion to remember our commitment to the gurukulam’s growth along with our own growth”.
The contributions of acharyas, volunteers and others in the growth of the Gurukulam were recognized.
Firstly, all the acharyas were honoured since the Gurukulam is primarily a place of learning which was made possible by the acharyas who taught here. Four long term courses were held here earlier between 1990 and 2013. Now, the fifth long term course is in progress since 2014. The acharyas of the Gurukulam who taught in the previous long term courses were honoured: Swami Siddhabodhananda, Swamini Brahmaprakashananda, Swamini Pramananda, Swami Sakshatkritananda (in absentia), Swamini Vedarthananda and Swamini Saradananda. Swamini Brahmaleenananda and Swami Prasantananda, were honoured for teaching the weekend classes.
The Gurukulam also honoured a few key people who have made significant contributions to the Gurukulam voluntarily over the years including Sri Siva Prasad, Secretary, Sruti Seva Trust; Sri CSK Prabhu, Auditor; Chandramma, who looked after Pujya Swamiji; Sri Kumara Chaitanya, for his admirable seva to the Gurukulam; Sri Muruganandam and Sri Sambamurthy, who help with the Gurukulam’s public activitities and functions; Sri Elumalai who does temple seva on festival occasions; Smt Lalitha and Sri S N Ramachandran for reaching out to the Gurukulam, its teachers, sadhus, and students over the years.
Swami Omkarananda announced that he had accepted the request of the Acharya to guide the proposed Kumbhabhisekam of Sri Medha Dakshinamurthy temple in 2018 and appealed to all the devotees to participate and contribute towards this holy cause.
Chief Guest’s Address
Swami Viditatmananda spoke about the word Gurutirtha. Tirtha usually refers to a water body where one is purified of papa. He explained how the Guru himself is a tirtha. Pujya Swamiji touched the life of everyone he met. He made each one of them his own by accepting them totally. In 1976, when he visited USA for the first time, his unconditional love for every one made him popular in his very first visit. Swami Chinmayananda had said that he had no choice but to name him ‘Swami Dayananda’. During a lecture on management, Pujya Swamiji had said that there was one thing he could not manage and that was his compassion.
Swami Viditatmananda commended the acharyas of the Gurukulam and expressed his happiness to see the tradition in the Gurukulam continue to offer the knowledge, care and compassion of Pujya Swamiji.
Vote of thanks
Sri Siva Prasad proposed a vote of thanks thanking everyone who helped make the program a success.
Report by N. Avinashilingam