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Vedas rich in science knowledge : Sharma - The Hindu

Posted By Ashok V Chowgule (ashokvc@giasbm01.vsnl.net.in)
22 January 1997

Title : Vedas rich in science knowledge : Sharma
Author :
Publication : The Hindu
Date : January 22, 1997

The President Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, today called upon Vedic
scholars and Sanskrit experts to take up a study of works of seers
on science and technology for the benefit of the society.

Noting that this aspect had not been fully explored. Dr Sharma said
many of the ancient texts contained a vast store-house of knowledge
which could be of considerable contemporary relevance. "Our Vedic
scholars and other well-versed in Sanskrit should undertake a
systematic study of these works for the potential benefit of

The President was addressing a function here after releasing an
English prose rendering of Kamba Ramayana.

Describing Kamba Ramayana as one of the gems of Indian literature,
he said the significance of the work lay not only in the beauty of
the language, the lyricism and poetry, the embellishments and
ornamentation, the skilled use of rhyme, alliteration and simile,
the vivid imagery and magnificent descriptions but in the fact that
it brought the message of "Dharma" to the people in their own
language and in a manner which they could comprehend with ease.

Though Valmiki's Ramayana was the base and main source for the
Ramayanas in other languages, there continued to exist significant
differences. The most well-known difference in Kamba Ramayana
related to an incident where Rama happened to see Sita by chance
prior to the "Swayamvara", about which there was no reference in
Valmiki Ramayana. However Tulsidas' "Ram Charita Manas" referred to
the incident in a different setting. "This is yet another instance
of the underlying unity of our tradition which transcends language,
region and cultural styles and provides the core basis for our
civilisation", the President observed.

Dr. Sharma, who also released the 500,000th copy of Rajaji's
Ramayana and Mahabharata at the function organised by the Bharatiya
Vidya Bhavan, said the two epics were an integral part of the lives
of the people throughout the country. "The epics have presented the
wisdom of out civilisation in a manner which is easily understood,
appealing to the common people".

The President praised Rajaji for his lasting contribution in
bringing the message of the two works closer, particularly, to the
younger generation. Also, he commended the former Minister Dr. H.V.
Hande for translating Kamba Ramayana into English as such a work,
he said, would enable non-Tamil speaking people to draw inspiration
from and admire the beauty of Kambar's immortal composition.

Dr. Sharma presented the Bhavan's Sadguru Gangeshwarananda Veda
Ratna Puraskar - 1995 to the Vedic scholars, Sri Balagangadhara
Sharma of Andhra Pradesh and Sri Agnihotram Ramanuja Tatachariar of
Tamil Nadu. The third recipient of the award was the late Naval
Kishore Kankar of Rajasthan, on whose behalf, his son Mr. G. N.
Sharma received it. The award carried a prize money of Rs. two
lakhs besides a citation and shawl.

Presiding over the function, Mr. Krishan kant, Governor, wanted
strategies to be evolved for countering attacks on the country's
culture. He lauded the Bhavan for popularising Sanskrit when the
study of the language was not considered an attractive proposition.

The former President, Mr R. Venkatarman, said Kambar's diction,
imagery and insight into human nature were so great that his work,
in many respects, excelled Valmiki Ramayana. While Valmiki treated
Rama as a human being, Kambar elevated him as a "Godly person".

Mr. C. Subramaniam Bhavan's President, made a suggestion for a
comparative study of the versions of Valmiki, Kambar and Tulsidas.
He said a greater scope should be provided for the study of
Sanskrit in school curriculum.

Mr. E.S. Venkataramiah chairman of the jury for the Puraskar, said
the award had been instituted to honour outstanding scholars of
Vedic studies and who had devoted themselves to propagating the
Vedic knowledge.

Swami Govindananda, Head of the Vedamurti Gangeshwarananda Ashram,
and Mr. A. Rahman Khan. Labour Minister, were among those who
participated in the function.

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