close logo

INDICA Facilitating Shravana, Manana and Nididhyasana

INDICA Facilitating Shravana, Manana and Nididhyasana

INDICA’s scholarship program for Chinmaya International Foundation CIF, has enabled remarkable journeys of spiritual and academic exploration for a diverse group of students. One such standout is Kavita Varma, currently immersed in her 5th year Integrated Masters Advaita program. Her multifaceted talents extend beyond academia, as evidenced by her captivating performance of an original Hindi poem on “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” at the C20-Kochi Conference and her participation in Sanskrit Vakyartha Sadas during her visit to Tirupati. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Kavita remained steadfast in her commitment to spreading the message of Vedanta through various artistic endeavors, including conducting Geeta classes for the Geeta Pariwar organization.

Joining Kavita are five other dedicated students who recently completed the Vedanta Sadhaka Course for 2021-22. Among them is Mepurathu Sreedharan Pillai Harindranath, a retired defense service veteran from Bangalore with a Masters in Engineering. Harindranath’s journey into the world of Sanskrit and Vedanta is fueled by a deep-seated desire to formally study the Shastras under the guidance of revered Acharyas. His extensive exploration of Tattvabodha and the Bhagavad Gita reflects a profound commitment to traditional learning methodologies. In his words, “The Vedanta Sadhaka Course offered by INDICA has provided me with the opportunity to delve deeper into the sacred scriptures and study them in a traditional and systematic way.”

Pragnya Madhusudan Anglay was also among the beneficiaries of the scholarship. She couldn’t respond due to a family emergency.

Suravaram Srinivasan Naidu, a postgraduate in business from Hyderabad, embodies a harmonious blend of academic excellence and spiritual dedication. Actively involved in Balvihar activities and regular attendance at Chinmaya camps, Srinivasan’s spiritual journey is characterized by diligent practice of Japa and immersion in Dhyana. His decision to enrol in the Vedanta Sadhaka Course stems from a deep-seated yearning to pursue spiritual growth under the compassionate guidance of experienced teachers. He describes the course as a “blessing,” adding, “The Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita classes, along with the basics of Sanskrit and chanting of important shlokas, provided a holistic learning experience. The gurukula system allowed us to observe and imbibe the qualities of our Acharyas, making it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

In an interview to INDICA, he described the course in one word as a ‘blessing’. ‘I am continuing to reflect on what I have studied in the course by taking a class for 40 children from 5 years old to 16 years old every Sunday by teaching them Bhagavad Gita chanting and Bhagavatam stories, thereby hoping to spread Hindu culture to the next generation. I am also conducting a study class for elders on the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads that were taught in the course. In the future I would also like to start a study group for the youth.’

Describing the course, he says that the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita classes were conducted between 7am to 8 am and 4 pm to 5 pm every day. Along with thi,s students were taught the basics of Sanskrit and also chanting of important shlokas. They were also taught how to perform pooja and homas. ‘The bonus of the course was the gurukula system where we could stay with the acharyas, observe them and imbibe their qualities. On the whole it was an amazing experience and once in a lifetime opportunity. This was my dream project.’

Sugandha Agnihotri, a postgraduate in environmental sciences from Lucknow, finds solace amidst life’s challenges through daily mantra japa and a profound yearning for spiritual enlightenment. Inspired by the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, and Swami Vivekananda, Sugandha’s decision to pursue the Vedanta Sadhaka Course reflects a deep-seated desire to delve into the sacred scriptures and find guidance under the tutelage of a knowledgeable Guru. “I have faith in our ancestors, sages, and our spiritual education system. I want to learn Sanskrit and study and understand our scriptures,’ she says. 

She says the idea of getting an opportunity to study the scriptures, learn Sanskrit and get guidance from a guru made her reach out for the Vedanta sadhaka course. ‘I have been yearning to find a guru for so long. There are so many paths and feelings which I cannot comprehend by myself alone. When I meditate, I feel peace which I don’t find in any other place or work. But at times I feel stuck as if a wheel is stuck in mud. I will need guidance from a guru to be free at such times.’

Rounding out the cohort is Mahesh Kumar Meena (Sadhu Sri), a seasoned practitioner of Yoga and disciple of Swami Padmanabhananda. Mahesh’s journey into Vedanta is marked by a profound appreciation for traditional learning methodologies, as evidenced by his transformative experience at CIF, Kerala. Despite initial perceptions of tradition being restrictive, Mahesh acknowledges the course’s role in fostering greater flexibility in applying and sharing the knowledge of scriptures. 

Speaking of his experience at CIF, Kerala, he says, ‘changed my perception of taking up study of scriptures. The syllabus was very meticulously planned and executed by the faculty members. Regular question answer sessions and doubt clearing techniques helped me understand the theoretical aspect. The karma Kanda portion of the course helped me understand its practical applicability.’

Reflecting on his experience, he shares, “I consider myself extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to study in the maternal birth home of Bhagwan Adi ShankarAcharya, and this has not only been a course, but a pilgrimage on my spiritual journey. I would agree that this course transformed my spiritual journey.”