Sri Venkateswara Vedic University
A Vision and
Suggestions for the development of the University
One of the greatest needs that India of today requires to fulfill is the recovery of the ancient spiritual knowledge in its full amplitude. This ancient spiritual knowledge has been greatly lost, and yet whatever has so far been recovered in our recent history of Indian renaissance shows that it has great contemporary relevance; even the new synthesis of knowledge that India and the world are required to develop will need a solid and ample foundation which can be found in the ancient systems of knowledge, particularly those which have been recorded in the Vedas, Brahamanas, Arayanakas, Upanishads, Gita, as also in the Vedangas and Upavedas.
The establishment of the Sri Venkateswara Vedic University, which has been rightly hailed as a milestone of Vedic renaissance, has tremendous potentiality of becoming a milestone of the Indian renaissance and also of the world renaissance. It is, therefore, a matter of great importance for the lovers of humanity to bestow on this University their best attention and to contribute to the development of this University as a world
University, devoted to the higher levels of research, of teaching and learning and of the growth of culture of synthesis, harmony and unity.
The objectives which have been incorporated in the Act of the Vedic University (Act No. 29 of 2006) provide an appropriate framework for playing the pioneering role the University can play in the recovery of the ancient spiritual knowledge as also its wide synthesis of various branches of knowledge for the purposes of fulfillment of their contemporary relevance. These objectives not only aim at preservation and promotion of oral traditions of Vedic, āgamic and cognate literature but also to conduct research and propagate the relevance of knowledge system and the wisdom contained in the Vedic literature for meeting the challenges of life in the technology-driven contemporary society.
Against the above background, the following vision can be presented and some appropriate suggestions can be made that might add to the plans which are already being made for the development of the University.
The oral tradition of the Vedic recitation needs to be greatly strengthened. For this purpose, the Vedic Pathshalas which will be affiliated to the University should have well planned programmes, and the students who join these Pathshalas should have suitable curricula, which will not only encourage the promotion of the oral tradition but also acquisition of modern scientific, technological, humanistic and artistic knowledge and skills, so that they can shine among the school students of the country and even become leaders of the synthesis of knowledge that the modern world needs to develop and in which the Vedic knowledge will find itself as an indispensable and valuable foundation.
It has been contended that it is impossible to combine proficiency in the memorization and recitation of Vedic texts with the proficiencies that are required by the contemporary society.
There is a great force in this argument; but there is an inescapable feeling that if this argument prevents students of Vedic Pathshalas from gaining access to the proficiencies required by the contemporary world, there will always remain a dichotomy between the old and the new, and this will stand in the way of developing a new system which the new world necessitates.
There is also an argument that there was in India a curriculum which was so wide and comprehensive that it included not only the study of the Veda but also of Vedangas and Upavedas, and students of that curriculum were able to contribute to the development of the then contemporary society and its needs of advancement. When one reads in the Chhandogya Upanishad the account of Narada to Sanat Kumar about the background of his knowledge or when one learns of the accomplishments of Arjuna or of Kadambari and Mahasweta, one is irresistibly led to conclude that India had a tradition of such a sound pedagogy that it could foster sixty-four sciences and arts along with swadhyaya and Vedic learning. One begins to ask as to what that pedagogy was and whether that pedagogy can be recovered and enriched in the light of modern advancements.
There is thus an imperative need to institute a new line of research in pedagogy that will sincerely and seriously address itself to the following:
(a) Study of pedagogy contained in the Vedanga known as Shiksha, in the Taittiriya Upanishad, and in relevant literature where the pedagogy connected with the preservation of the oral tradition of the Veda was blended with the studies in Vedagas, Upavedas and various developing sciences and technologies;
(b) Study of modern curriculum with a view to develop a new curriculum that can be prescribed for the Vedic Pathshalas in which the aims of the preservation of the Vedic oral tradition can be effectively blended with the requirements of proficiencies that are demanded by the modern world; and
(c) Development of the required pedagogy which could foster the aims of the Vedic systems of education, including holistic knowledge and holistic development of personality.
The need of the research that this programme involves is imperative; unfortunately, the imperativeness of this need is hardly recognized, and therefore no attention has been paid to undertake this programme of research. But it can legitimately be expected of the new Vedic University to play a leading role in initiating and developing the required programme of research.
This programme of research will require the following:
(a) Collection of the data concerning ancient curricula of study when the Vedic system of education produced scholars like Narada, warriors like Arjuna and cultured women like Kadambari and Mahasweta, as also great astronomers, mathematicians, chemists, agriculturists and metallurgists, artists, sculptors, architects, builders and leaders of finest craftsmanship;
(b) constitution of a committee of scholars, scientists, technologists and educationists with the objective of studying the relevant data and suggesting the ways and means of developing a new pedagogy that a modern Vedic University should develop among the Vedic Pathshalas and in Universities and centers of higher learning devoted to Vedic learning, Sanskritic studies and oriental literature;
(c) appointment of four permanent scholars in the university who will be responsible for the development of activities connected with (a) and (b) above, and who will themselves develop expertise in the university connected with the growth of the new pedagogy; and
(d) development and implementation of a new but holistic curriculum appropriate to the development of students in Vedic Pathshalas and even elsewhere, who will satisfy the requirements of the contemporary world in which the Vedic knowledge is recovered more and more fully and which contributes to the development of a new synthesis of the past and the present and of the East and the West.
The programme of research at the University deserves to be planned in a systematic manner, and the minimum suggestions that can be formulated in certain basic areas are as follows:
(a) Research in Vedic interpretation:
There have been several interpretations of the Veda starting from the Brahamanas and the Upanishads right up to the present day where five systems of interpretation are on the centre stage:
(i) Sayana’s interpretation;
(ii) Modern European interpretation;
(iii) Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati’s interpretation;
(iv) Pandit Madhusudan Ojha’s interpretation; and
(v) Sri Aurobindo’s interpretation.
The Vedic University should have on its faculty five research professors corresponding to these five interpretations, and these professors may have the following responsibilities:
(1) Continuous development of their expertise in their respective domains;
(2) Promotion of dialogue among these domains of interpretations;
(3) Organizing consultations, seminars and conferences in order to promote lines of development of these interpretations as also the lines of the comparative studies;
(4) Promotion of publication of papers, monographs and other literature connected with their research work involved in this programme.
(b) There is also a need to develop high level research in Brahmanas, Aryanakas and Upanishads.
For this purpose, the university may appoint three research professors pertaining to these three domains of disciplines, and their responsibilities may be the same or similar to those outlined for Research Professors for Vedic interpretation, but their domains will be related to Brahamanas, Aryanakas and Upanishads.
(c) Research in Vedangas
There are six Vedangas, - siksha, kalpa, vyakarana, nirukta, chhanda, and jyotisha.
In regard to these six Vedangas, the University should have six research professors with the responsibility to develop research in their respective domains as also to promote teaching and learning of these Vedangas. They will also develop curricula which will relate them to modern knowledge relevant to their domains.
(d) Research in Upavedas
These Upavedas are four in number: Ayurveda, Dhanurveda, Gandharvaveda and Arthaveda.
The university should have four Research Professors corresponding to these four Upavedas with the responsibility to promote and develop research, teaching and learning in their respective domains. In regard to all these four domains, there is a vast scope of the synthesis of the knowledge contained in the ancient texts and in the developments that have taken place in our own times. This needs a programme of synthesis and the corresponding programme of research and training.
(e) Research in Veda, Itihasa and Purana
This is also a very important domain of research; the University should give due attention to this domain, and, to begin with, it should appoint two Research Professors to promote research, teaching and learning in this area.
(f) Inter-disciplinary research
The Vedic University needs to pay special emphasis on the theme of inter-disciplinary research, and the aim should be to study how Vedic knowledge has influenced the development of practically all disciplines of knowledge and particularly those relating to philosophy, science and culture. To begin with, the University may appoint two Research Professors to develop and promote research in this vast area. And in this connection, the Research Professors may be expected to develop expertise with regard to the vast number of Volumes which are being published under the Govt. of India’s Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture, which is being conducted by the Centre for Studies in Civilizations in Delhi.
(g) Promotion of Vedic knowledge among the leaders, scholars and students of contemporary fields of humanities, sciences, technologies and cultural arts and crafts:
The need of this programme should be considered as a matter of imperative and urgent importance. A laudable commencement of the work in this domain has been initiated by Prof. Panchamukhi, Chancellor of the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth at Tirupati. The exhibition depicting various aspects of knowledge developed during the course of the growth of the Vedic tradition of knowledge has already been mounted and presented at different institutions of the country. This exhibition has demonstrated the need to spread the ripe fruits of the Vedic knowledge among practitioners of modern knowledge in the country. This exhibition has also inspired many scholars to study the Vedic tradition of knowledge and to connect that knowledge with the modern streams of knowledge. But this programme needs to be instituted on firmer foundation. For this purpose, the following three programmes may be suggested:
(i) Development of suitable courses which can be offered to students of universities
who are specializing in the respective areas at the post graduate and doctoral levels. These courses could be conducted by visiting professors appointed by the University for short or long terms who can offer these courses during vacations or long holidays in the respective universities;
(ii) Institutions of specialized courses for post graduation or doctoral research in areas that would relate the ancient systems of knowledge to the modern systems of knowledge in certain selected areas. The University should aim at fostering in the country at least 100 scholars in the fields of astronomy, mathematics, metallurgy, agriculture, philosophy, poetry, linguistics, dramatics, sculpture and architecture.
(iii) Development of courses for at least five scholars every year who are doing or have done research at the doctoral level in any one of the above mentioned areas, who should be given the necessary courses, instruction, guidance in respect of the Vedic knowledge pertaining to their specialization. For this purpose, the University may execute five one-year fellowships.
(iv) Occasional seminars of scholars and researchers:
In order to foster inter-disciplinary studies and for the synthesis of the past systems of knowledge and the modern systems of knowledge, the University may institute a regular programme of at least two national seminars every year on selected topics.
III. Major Faculties:
Among the faculties that have to be developed at the University, the following faculties need to be specially emphasized:
(a) Faculty of languages
This faculty may concentrate on the following languages:
1) Sanskrit and Vedic Sanskrit;
2) Hindi, Telugu and Tamil;
While Sanskrit and Vedic Sanskrit may be common for any study in any of the languages mentioned above, specialization in any of the other languages should give to the student, during a five year course, adequate competence to read and write, to translate the Vedic texts into the languages of specialization and vice versa, and adequate capacity to
expound selected topics of our Vedic knowledge in the language chosen for specialization.
It may be emphasized that in course of time when Vedic knowledge will spread in the world, the demand for linguistically competent linguistic scholars will multiply. Even now the capacity for translating from one into another in above languages ensures a valued place in the world of work,
This faculty will have five year courses in the following areas:
1) Vedic yoga, history of yoga and recent trends in integral psychology and integral yoga.
2) Vedic yoga, history of Indian philosophy and western philosophy; recent trends in contemporary philosophy.
3) Vedic yoga, yoga of the Gita and problems of exclusive systems of yoga and synthetic systems of yoga (a detailed study) in connection with history of religion, history of philosophy and history of psychology (Eastern and Western)
4) Vedic yoga and comparative studies in religions and systems of values.
This faculty may have five year optional courses in the following:
1) Vedic astronomy, history of Indian astronomy and modern astronomy;
2) Vedic mathematics, history of Indian mathematics, and contemporary philosophy of mathematics;
3) Vedic physics, history of Indian science and contemporary studies in recent theories or relativity and quantum mechanics;
4) Vedic agriculture, history of Indian agriculture, modern Indian agricultural economics, modern practices of agricultural productivity;
5) Vedic Upaveda of Ayurveda, history of Indian system of medicines and comparative studies in the philosophy of Allopathy, Ayurveda and Homeopathy;
6) Vedic Upaveda of Arthaveda, history of Indian Arthashastra and modern problems of Indian economy and globalization;
7) Vedic system of polity, history of Indian polity and contemporary problems of Indian polity and contemporary studies in the ideal and practice of human unity;
8) Samaveda, history of Indian music and comparative studies in Indian and Western music;
9) Vedic theory of essence and form, history of Indian art, sculpture and architecture, modern theories of architecture, sculpture and art.
In this faculty, a five year course may be offered which will have three alternatives:
1) Vedic science of living, and problems of ethics, religious life and spiritual life;
2) Vedic science of living, history of major sciences of living (European, African, Arabic and Chinese), modern problems of living and their solutions in the light of Vedic ideals;
3) Vedic science of living, detailed studies in supracosmic aim of life, supraterrestrial aim of life, terrestrial aim of life and integral aim of life; the problems of free will and search for the highest perfection ― individual and collective.
(e) Faculty of Literature
This faculty may have two optional five year courses: History of Vedic literature, modern Indian literature, and modern English poetry.
The Vedic Chhanda shastra, Indian history of poetics and classical Sanskrit poetry.
(f) Faculty of Education
This faculty will have four alternative five year courses.
A student who completes the five year course in any one of the above optional courses in the faculty may be given the degree, M.A., B.Ed., so as to be eligible for appointment as a teacher in the Indian school system.
Under section 28 of the University Act, it is laid down that ordinances may provide for, interalia, the terms and conditions of recognition or affiliation of Vedic pathshalas and Vedic institutions of higher learning as also for the admission of the students in the University and conduct of examination and other methods of evaluation.
It may be suggested that, in order to provide a special character to this Vedic University, and in order to provide possibilities of admission to its courses for students of recognized boards of studies, as also non-recognized institutions of teaching and learning, open school system, private students and students of Sanskrit and Vedic pathshalas, we need to envisage a very flexible system of admission. For this purpose, the following requirements may be kept in view. These requirements should also create conditions in India which would encourage innovations in the recognized school system in India. They should be able to encourage the development of alternative education system in India which would liberate the present system of education from the model that has been given to India by Macaulay. Hence, the following provisions for admission may be made:
All admissions to the University should be determined by an entrance test, which will emphasize:
(a) Standard of Vedic studies,
(b) Standard of proficiency in Sanskrit,
(c) Standard of linguistic capacity in mother tongue, Hindi and English,
(d) Standard in regard to value oriented education,
(e) Standard of special talent in any subject of areas of humanities, science, technology, or arts and crafts,
(f) Standard of physical fitness.
Those students who do not have certificate from any recognized board of studies will also be eligible for the admission to the University, provided that they qualify in entrance test, which, among other things, will also examine the linguistic competence, competence in at least five subjects which they might have studied during the previous twelve years of their schooling at home or any non-recognized pathshala or school, and their interest and qualification for pursuing any of the courses which are offered at the University.
The system of entrance test will thus be quite rigorous and yet will be so flexible and open that a large number of students will feel free and attracted to seek admission to the University.
In order that the University bears the character of an innovative university, the methodology of education may consist of three aspects:
c. Programmes of “demonstrations”: all programmes of “demonstration” can be addressed to large audiences of students, and they could consist of power point projections, educational films or slide shows, demonstrations of experiments through which important discoveries were made or through which technologies were invented. These programs of demonstrations may be followed up by developing projects of explorations, discoveries and inventions.
It will be seen that if these innovations are to be implemented, curricula of different subjects will need to be formulated and implemented by teachers through innovative and imaginative methods. This will also require continuous in-service training of teachers in regard to the development and employment of innovative methods. It will be seen that in the ancient gurukula system, these innovative methods were actually implemented, and some of the accounts in the Upanishads indicate how teachers used to employ different methods for different students. Multisided and integral education can be aided greatly if these three methods are suitably blended.
As a result of these innovative methods of teaching and learning, the system of evaluation also will have to be innovative.
A) Value-oriented education and development of personality should have a system of evaluation which will bring out how each individual has progressed on the lines of his or her swabhava and swadharma. A few suggestions in this regard may illustrate this important aspect of testing:
(a) Every student may be required to maintain his or her own progress report in which he or she records from time to time the following:
i) Books and journals read or consulted;
ii) Short reviews of books or articles and internet explorations which have exercised on him or her some significant impression of stimulation;
iii)A record of any action or any experience which he or she considers to be extremely valuable;
iv)Thoughts or Aphorisms which he or she has found to be very instructive;
v) One’s own experiments to develop one’s personality;
vi)Appreciation of important lectures or any program of demonstration, including art exhibitions, dramatic performances, etc;
vii) Important biographies studied and lessons derived from them;
viii) Record of activities of physical education, which have been pursued with regularity and perseverance;
ix) Reflections on value system that has been explored and experimented upon.
(b) Another important method of testing progress in value-education is to require each student to write an essay on one of the optional topics, such as the following:
i) Write one page of your imaginary autobiography, describing some decisive development or experience;
ii) Present an imaginary interview with an eminent personality whom you admire;
iii) Describe an actual encounter with a teacher that has changed the course of your life, etc, etc.
(c) In addition to the above, every student may be required to present a paper on his or her understanding of an important event in Indian history or in world history, which in his or her opinion was decisive in the promotion of ideals of lokasangraha, - unity and integrity of people.
(d) The progress reports and other papers should be evaluated not only in terms of the written tests but also in terms of an interview.
If value-oriented education is developed in the vast framework of the ideals of the Vedic culture, and if the system of testing progress in value education is developed and implemented properly, the students who will have qualified in the Vedic University will bear valuable stamp on their character, and these will have not only intrinsic value but also extrinsic value in the society.
B) Apart from testing in the domain of value education, teams of students should be collectively tested in the presentation of their projects. This will also tend to eliminate from the testing system the evils of cramming and unintelligent reproduction of materials read in the text books.
C) As far as the testing of other subjects is concerned, the testing can be gradually individualized in such a way that every individual student can offer himself or herself to be tested when he or she is well prepared to face the test. Moreover, the system can be further individualized so that a test paper can be based, through computer-facilitated system, on the basis of an individualized programme of study chosen by the student. The details of such a programme of testing can be successfully worked out, if and when it is agreed that the Vedic University should provide a pioneering model of innovative methods of teaching and learning and innovative methods of testing, which respect the Vedic ideals of education that promote the development of each individual’s swabhava and swadharma.
VI Extension Programmes
Apart from innovative programmes of teaching and learning and training, and of research, the Vedic University can develop several innovative extension programs. The following may be suggested for consideration at the present stage.
A. An important extension programme that could be envisaged could be specially designed as an enrichment programme for teachers.
As is well known, teachers are in need of continuous in-service enrichment. This is true for all teachers of all categories. Enrichment can be in many forms and in many aspects. What enrichment Vedic University can provide to teachers in the country is three fold:
In the first place, all the teachers of our country need to have minimum and essential acquaintance with Indian civilization and with the glory of Indian culture, since the Vedic age has been the foundation of the contents and direction of all that constitutes the valuable aspects of the Indian heritage. It can reasonably be expected that the Vedic University will develop and impart an enrichment programme of teachers which will have, as its special dimension a programme of Vedic heritage. This programme may include:
(a) A panoramic story of Indian heritage and basic data of Vedic literature;
(b) Selected hymns and passages from the Vedic literature centered on the message of the University, goodwill, harmony and peace as also hymns and passages which deal with the ideals of individual and collective perfection;
(c) Important legends and stories narrated in the Vedic literature, such as the legend of Angirasa Rishis and the stories of Nachiketas, Satyakama and Svetaketu, etc.;
(d) The motto of the Indian ideal, - satyam eva jayate;
(e) Vedic recitation;
(f) Symbolism of Vedic sacrifice;
(g) Sixteen samskaras developed in the Vedic culture.
Various aspects of Vedic knowledge:
(a) Vedic knowledge of yoga;
(b) Upanishadic knowledge of yoga;
(c) Subsequent developments of yoga as methodized efforts that aim at individual and collective perfection;
(d) Vedic sciences: astronomy, mathematics, physics, chemistry, environmental care, agriculture, architecture, grammar, medicine, etc.;
(e) Poetry and poetics;
(f) Epistemology, psychology and philosophy;
(g) Dharma shastra and Niti shastra;
(h) Sociology and polity, etc.
Lessons concerning value-oriented education concerning the themes of :
(a) Aim of life;
(e) Aims of education and
(f) Science of living, theory and practice of self-control.
These themes can be studied through the methods of exploration and comparisons with the modern approach to value-oriented education.
Some other programmes can also be envisaged which will provide insights into the development of Indian dramatics, Indian music and Indian forms of dance.
Note: The above programme can be held twice a year, each one of the duration of one month, so that teachers who wish to be benefited by this programme can visit Tirupati during the vacation period. This programme can be so organized that teachers willing to participate in the programme are required to register their names in advance and their attendance in the programme should be regulated by suitable rules and regulations, and certificates can be issued at the end of their participation in the programme. A suitable fee can be charged for board and lodging and for providing literature and equipment. Tuition can be free as a gift of the University to the teachers of the country so as to illustrate that education in the Vedic view cannot be sold.
B. Another extension programme could consist of enrichment of students in the country, and this programme can be structured on almost the same lines as the programme given under A.
C. Daily extension lectures: since thousands of pilgrims visit Tirupati, it would be good service, if the University can organize daily programme of lectures in three or four languages; Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and English. Specialists of various themes relating to Vedic literature can be invited by the University to deliver these extension lectures. Suitable programme of Vedic recitation can also form an important part of this programme.
D. Vedic pavilions:
As a major programme of providing various aspects of awareness in regard to Vedic knowledge, we can envisage construction of pavilions for housing permanent exhibitions relating to Vedic literature and Vedic knowledge. These pavilions may be related to the following themes:
Pavilion I: Vedic literature: exhibition of manuscripts and books starting from Vedic samhitas, Vedangas and Upavedas up to the learned commentaries produced in our own times.
Pavilion II: An exhibition to depict the essentials of the synthesis of yoga contained in the Vedic samhitas. This may include the yogic process of Jnana yoga, Karma yoga, Bhakti yoga and Mantra yoga starting from aspiration and leading up to the attainment of the goal of immortality. This pavilion may expound the legend of Angirasa Rishis (X.62, VI.6.3-5), (I.31.1, VI.11.3, VI.75.9) and the process of their discovery of Agni (V.11.6), (X.46.9) in the inner heart of all things and the process of kindling Agni in the inner heart of the seeker (VI.49.1, VII.75). The encounter of the seeker with the experiences of the higher faculties of śruti and drsti, of Ila, Saraswati (I.3, I.13, and X.110), Bharati or Mahati, Sarama (I.104.5) (III.31.6) and Dakshina (III.39), as also with Indra (I.170.1), Varuna, Mitra (V.63.1-7), Bhaga (V.82) (X.63.7, II.4), Aryamana (X.64.5) and Surya Savitri (V.81). Suitable examples of the Vedic yoga and Vedic realizations described in the hymns of Vashishtha (VI), Vishwamitra (III.1.14), Atri (V), Vamadeva (IV.3), Bharadwaja, Ribhus (IV.37.4), Shyavashwa (V.81), etc.
There are three important discoveries made by the Vedic Rishis. The first is the discovery of three oceans ― the ocean of the inconscience, the ocean of the human consciousness and the ocean of the superconscience. These three oceans are described by Vamadeva, (IV. 58.11). The second discovery is a discovery of the evolutionary movement starting from the inconscience and rising up to the superconscience. This discovery is described by Vishwamitra in III.2-14; it is also described in the famous Nāsadīya sukta. The third discovery is the discovery of the supermind, and this is described in the legend of Angirasa Rishis by Vamadeva in IV.3, and also in X.67.1, where it is said that by the seven-headed thought, Ayasya became universal, viśvajanya, and he was able to manifest the fourth world of the supermind.
The Purusha sukta is one of the most famous suktas in the Vedic Samhitas, and this sukta may be made the centerpiece of this pavilion, since it describes the supreme reality or the supreme Purusha and his sacrifice in the inconscient would explain the entire evolutionary process of the world and even the riddle of the world.
The Vedic knowledge also consists of the knowledge of the cosmos; this knowledge also should be expounded. According to this knowledge of the cosmos, there are three highest worlds which are classed together as the triple divine Principle ― for they always dwell together in a trinity; infinity is their scope, bliss is their foundation. They are supported by the vast regions of the Truth from where a divine Light radiates out toward our mentality in the three heavenly luminous worlds of Swar, the domain of Indra. Below is ranked the triple system in which we live. This cosmic knowledge can be represented as that of seven worlds in principle but grouped under following three groups:
|1. The Supreme Sat-Chit-Ananda||The Triple divine worlds|
|2. The Link-World of Supermind||The Truth, Right, Vast, manifested in Swar, with its three luminous Heavens|
|3. The triple lower world|
|Pure Mind||Heaven (Dyaus, the three heavens)|
|Life-force||The Mid-Region (Antariksha)|
|Matter||Earth (the three earths)|
This pavilion should begin with presentation of the Dawn (Usha) with the following verse, I.113.8,10, which is as follows: “She follows to the goal of those that are passing on beyond, she is the first in the eternal succession of the dawns that are coming, ― Usha widens bringing out that which lives, awakening someone who was dead. …What is her scope when she harmonises with the dawns that shone out before and those that now must shine? She desires the ancient mornings and fulfills their light; projecting forwards her illumination she enters into communion with the rest that are to come”.
At the end of the pavilion, the following prayer of Vamadeva could be a fitting close of the yoga of the Veda, namely, IV.1.7; Iv.2.1; IV.4.5: “Three fold are those supreme births of this divine force that is in the world, they are true, they are desirable; he moves there wide-overt within the Infinite and shines pure, luminous and fulfilling. That which is immortal in mortals and possessed of the truth is a god and established inwardly as an energy working out in our divine powers. …Become high-uplifted, O Strength, pierce all veils, manifest in us the things of the Godhead.”
At the final concluding point of the pavilion, the following message of the Veda to humanity may be imprinted in a striking manner so that the viewer leaves the pavilion fully bathed in the Vedic message: X.191.2-4
“Join together, speak one word, let your minds arrive at one knowledge, even as the ancient Gods arriving at one knowledge partake each of his own portion. Common mantra have all these, a common gathering to union, one mind common to all, they are together in one knowledge; I pronounce for you a common Mantra, I do sacrifice for you with a common offering. One and common be your aspiration, united your hearts, common to you be your mind, ― so that close companionship may be yours.”
“saṁ gachadvam saṁ vadadhvam ….”
Pavilion III: This pavilion may be devoted to the exhibition of Brahamanas and Shatapatha Brahamana (in particular). It will also exhibit the Vedic karmakanda and different kinds of shrauta-yajna. Stories such as those of King Harischandra, the story of Shunahshepa and the story of Itara which are in the Aitareya Brahamana can suitably be illustrated. Similarly, the story related to the greatness of Gayatri and that relating to Purodasha, sacrificial cake, can also be illustrated. The story of Manu and the fish given in the Shatapatha Brahamana can also be illustrated, since it explains the universe and symbolism of sacrifice. The richness of the Brahamana literature has recently been emphasized in the works of Pandit Madhusudan Ojha. These works can be utilized for organizing this pavilion. Prof. Dayananda Bhargava has made a detailed study of these works, and his services can be utilized for creating the contents of this pavilion.
Pavilion IV: This pavilion may be devoted to the synthesis of yoga in the Upanishads. This pavilion may concentrate upon the following Upanishads:
Isha, Kena, Katha, Prashna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittiriya, Chhandogya, Aitareya, Brihadaranyaka, Shwetashwatara, and Kaushitaki. The synthesis of yoga of the Upanishads is based upon the integral vision of the ultimate reality which is consistently presented in all the above Upanishads, but particularly in the Ishopanishad, Kathopanishad, Mundaka Upanishad, Mandukya Upanishad, Shwetashwatara Upanishad and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. Suitable quotations from these Upanishads on the nature of the ultimate reality may be highlighted in this pavilion.
Essential pre-requisite of the yogic methods may be highlighted. In this connection, the distinction between the good and the pleasant and the distinction between knowledge and ignorance may be presented with striking vividity in this pavilion. The following statement of Yama in Kathopanishad which relates to adhyatma yoga in I.2.12 may also be highlighted. Similarly, the psychological process also, of self-control given in the Kathopanishad II.3.10-16 may also be highlighted. The central point of this pavilion may be that of knowledge of immortality. Finally, the continuity of Vedic yoga and Upanishadic yoga may be brought out in order to show why the Upanishads are called Vedanta. Towards the end of exhibition in this pavilion two verses of Ishopanishad (6 and 7) may be brought out with striking emphasis, since they contain the quintessence of the integral realization that is the object of the Upanishadic yoga.
In addition, this pavilion may underline the following seven episodes of the Upanishads, namely,
1) Dialogue between Svetaketu and his father (Chhandogya Up.);
2) The story of Rishi Ghora and Krishna (Chhandogya Up.);
3) The statement of the Shwetashwatara Upanishad which affirms the reality of One and yet the originator of the multiplicity and that reality itself as multiplicity. This statement also includes the famous parable of two birds clinging to the same branch, IV.4.5,6,7 (V.10, V.1, V.8, V.12, VI.10, VI.21, VI.23);
4) The famous question put by Shaunaka in the Mundaka Upanishad: “By knowing what does all this that becomes known?” and the answer given by Angirasa in I.3-9 and II.1.1,2, II.1.10, III.1.3-3 and III.1.5-7;
5) The passage from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad which describes the horse as symbolic of cosmic life-force (I.1.1,2);
6) The dialogue between Gargi and Yajnavalkya in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad in III.1.1,2 and III.6 as also the great riddle that Yajnavalkya puts forward at the end of the third chapter; finally
7) The dialogue between Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi, II.4.1-14
Pavilion V: Pavilion of the synthesis of yoga in the Gita. This pavilion will highlight the following:
(1) Recovery of the Vedic knowledge that was lost (IV.1,2,3);
(2) That lost knowledge was the knowledge of the synthesis of yoga; hence the Gita is known as Yogashastra ;
(3) The Yogashastra as a solution of the most difficult human dilemma when adharma collides with dharma, and when one dharma collides with another dharma;
(4) Exposition of the dilemma through the Vishada yoga of Arjuna;
(5) Analysis of Arjuna’s argument: the dharma of battle for justice collides with the adharma that was upheld by grandsires and teachers and brethren; dharma of battle for justice collides with the dharma of protecting kula-dharma; what is the solution?
Sri Krishna’s answer in three steps:
a) Performance of action to be preferred to the renunciation of action provided that one renounces the enjoyment of the fruits of action.
Here arises the knowledge of the immobile Purusha and immortal Soul as distinguished from the mobile movement of Prakriti of three gunas.
The process of Buddhiyoga through which mind is controlled and intellect is concentrated on the immobile Purusha.
As a result, the state of equality is attained, and one becomes sthitaprajña.
Description of sthitaprajña (II.55-72).
During this first step of the solution, which is the first step of Karmayoga which, in turn, is synthesized with the knowledge of immobile Purusha and immortal soul, the following two important messages are to be underlined:
(1) “To action alone thou hast the right but never to the fruits of action. Never consider thyself the cause of the results of thy activities, nor shouldst thou be attached to inaction.” (II.47)
(2) “Equality, that is the meaning of yoga.” (II.48)
“Yoga, that is the meaning of skill in actions.” (II.50)
b)The second step of the solution rises to a higher level. Here action itself is offered as a sacrifice to the Supreme Lord of sacrifice” (III.9). The secret of sacrifice: The law of sacrifice (III.14-20).
The ideal of Lokasangraha ― the ideal of solidarity and harmony of people (III.20).
Example of ideal man exemplified by the supreme Lord Himself (III.21-25).
The law of sacrifice leads to the knowledge of the divine birth and divine action, the secret of which, when known, leads to liberation (IV.9).
The secret of the divine birth: the process and purpose of the avatarhood of the divine birth (IV.6, 7, 8).
The ideal of divine action (divyam karma).
The secret of divine action rests upon the synthesis of Karma yoga and Jnana yoga (IV.19-33). “O Arjuna! All actions culminate in knowledge” (IV.33).
Description of the divine worker who synthesizes Karma yoga and Jnana yoga (V.3-29).
Perfection of the synthesis of Karma yoga and Jnana yoga reaches a peak in the realization of the immobile Brahman: Dhyāna yoga that combines with Rāja yoga as the means of this attainment of oneness with the Brahman (VI.11-15). This process also includes concentration on the Supreme Lord (VI.14).
The divine worker, who combines Karma yoga with Jnana yoga, Rāja yoga, and Dhyāna yoga for concentration on the immobile Brahman and also concentration on the Supreme Lord, attains to that peace of Nirvana and also abides in the Supreme Lord (VI.15-32). The culmination of this realization is described as follows:
“He who comprehends oneness of all, worships Me abiding with all beings, whatever work he may be doing, such a yogin abides in Me. O Arjuna! He who sees everything with eye of equality and the likeness of his own self, be it pleasure or be it pain, he is considered a perfect yogin” (VI.31,32).
The synthesis of Karma yoga and Jnana yoga prepares the way for the synthesis with Bhakti yoga. (Full exposition of this synthesis in chapters VII-XII). This synthesis has its foundation in integral knowledge (jñānaṁ savijñānam) (VII.2).
Contents of integral knowledge: (a) The Supreme Lord has two natures: 1)Apara Prakriti or lower nature, which is also known as astadhā prakṛti or eight-fold Prakriti. 2) Para Prakriti or higher nature which is the stuff of the individual souls (VII.4, 5).
The nature of the supreme reality is that of the immobile Brahman but there is also mobility, the seed of which is in the Supreme Lord (VIII.4, 8, 9, 22).
The integral knowledge of the Supreme Lord unites Karma yoga, Jnana yoga and Bhakti yoga. The great pronouncement of this synthesis is in VIII.22: “This is the Supreme Person, O Arjuna! In whom abide all existences and by whom all this is pervaded, who is attainable by unswerving single minded devotion.”
The secret of secrets of integral knowledge (described in chapter IX) declares the mystery of the Transcendence of the Supreme Lord: “All beings abide in Me but I do not abide in them. Yet these beings do not exist in Me, behold my divine mystery. Although my spirit is the source of all beings and sustainer of the beings, yet I do not abide in them. As the mighty wind moving everywhere abides always in the sky, in the same way all created beings abide in Me” (IX.4,5,6).
The synthesis of Karma yoga, Jnana yoga and Bhakti yoga is expounded in IX.16-34.
Integral knowledge includes the knowledge of a distinction between the birth and the life of an avatar (X.8), birth and life of the individual souls (IX.8), and the birth and life of vibhutis (IV. 6).
Description of vibhutis in chapter X (X.8, 20-42).
But the centre piece of the solution of the problem of Arjuna, which involves the highest synthesis of Karma yoga, Jnana yoga and Bhakti yoga, is expounded through the vision of the Supreme Lord (Ch. XI).
The pavilion may have as its centre the most dazzling depiction of viswarupa darshana. The dazzling light of this presentation should aptly bring to the viewers the truth of XI.12 which states: “If a thousand suns were to shine forth in the heaven and if these suns were to radiate simultaneously their light, then may that radiance have resembled the radiance of that Supreme Being.”
This vision has several aspects and these aspects can be presented through several distinguishing images (XI,16-30, 33, 34, 36-44, 50-55).
The answer to Arjuna’s problem is contained in vishawarupa darshana: “Be the instrument of the divine action, since the divine himself, even when above all action and entirely immobile is in constant action in the world for purposes of lokasangraha, solidarity and harmony of people. It is by the knowledge of this divine action (Jnana Yoga), it is by union by the divine action (karma yoga) and it is by complete self-surrender to the supreme divine and his action (Bhakti yoga), that the right action can be performed, the right action that resolves the conflict between dharma and adharma and between one dharma and another dharma.
c)This leads us to the third step of self-surrender in the yoga expounded by Sri Krishna. This third step is expounded in chapter XII – XVIII, which ends with the mahavakya of the Gita, namely, “Fix your consciousness in Me, be devoted to Me, offer adorations to Me, verily you will attain Me – this I truly promise to thee because thou art dear to Me. Renounce all Dharmas, take refuge in Me alone; I shall release thee from all sins whatsoever. Do not grieve.” (XVIII.65 – 66)
The path of this third step is prepared by the following steps:
i) Attainment of devotion that is rooted in integral knowledge and which is the motive of compassion for all people and action that is one with the divine action (XII.6 – 20).
ii) Attainment of the integral knowledge of Purushottama (who is mobile and immobile and Beyond) (XV.7, 16 – 20).
iii) Attainment of daivi-bhava (XVI.1,2,3).
iv) Attainment of the status of trigunatita, one who is above the three gunas (XIV.20) (description of the trigunatita XIV.22-27)
v) Methods of transcending three gunas:
a) Sattvic Shraddha, - luminous faith and beyond (XVII.3)
b) Sattvic Yajna, - luminous sacrifice
Sattvic Dana, - luminous gifts
Sattvic Tapas, - luminous austerity and beyond (XVII.11,14-17); (XVII.20); (XVII.27)
c) Sattvic Tyaga, - luminous renunciation as distinguished from Sannyasa, and beyond
d) Sattvic Jnana, - luminous knowledge, Sattvic Karma, - luminous action, Sattvic Karta, - luminous doership and beyond
e) Sattvic Buddhi, - luminous intelligent will, and beyond (XVIII.30) ―
f) Sattvic Dhriti, - luminous steadiness and beyond (XVIII.33) ―
g) Sattvic Sukha, - luminous happiness and beyond (XVIII.37) ―
vi) Action born from swabhava: brahma karma (action devoted to knowledge), kshatra karma (action devoted to heroism), vaishya karma ( action devoted to protection, exchange and harmany) and shudra karma (action devoted to obedience and service), and beyond (XVIII.41-48)
vii) Attainment of brahmic consciousness beyond all gunas and attainment of devotion that ends in knowledge and attainment of action that is reposed in the Supreme Lord (XVIII.53-57)
viii) Attainment of eternal and imperishable abode by divine grace and attainment of immortality by identity with the Divine Nature, attainment of sadharmya mukti (liberation that comes by identity with the Divine Nature (XII.20, XVIII.56,57,62,65).
At the exit point of the pavilion, the final message of the Gita may be reiterated: “Fix your consciousness in Me, be devoted to Me, offer your sacrifice to Me, offer adoration to Me, verily you will attain Me – this I truly promise you because you are dear to Me. Relinquish all dharmas or human standards of action, take refuge in Me alone; I shall verily release you from all sins whatsoever. Do not grieve.” (XVIII.65-66)
Pavilion VI: This pavilion may be devoted to Vedic Sciences. (This can be expansion of the exhibition already mounted by Prof. Panchamukhi and presented in Delhi and elsewhere.
The above pavilions are essential, but in due course of time, the following pavilions can be added:
Pavilion VII: Pavilion of History of Vedic yoga and Vedic knowledge up to the present day.
Pavilion VIII: Pavilion of Vedangas.
Pavilion IX: Pavilion of Ayurveda
Pavilion X: Pavilion of Dharma shastra and Niti shastra
Pavilion XI: Pavilion of Vedic poetics, Indian poetry and history of Indian poetry which has been influenced by Vedic poetry
Pavilion XII: Pavilion of Gandharva Veda and development of Indian music and Natya shastra.
The following two additional pavilions can also be added in due course of time:
I. Pavilion of Sri Venkateshwara temple: its history and activities
II. Pavilion of Sri Venkateshwara Vedic University: its foundation, its vision and its programmes.