There was a time in India, not long ago, when women were not permitted by the Hindu priests to read Vedas, the most ancient scriptures in the library of MAN. Indeed it was heartening to see that at the Gurukul Kangri University, Haridwar, at the Vedic Conference, out of 1500 research papers presented and read, more than half were those of women. Indeed a marvellous show it was. The credit for this socio-religious revolution goes to Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati who opened the doors to the Vedas to the entire mankind, irrespective of caste, creed, region or religion.
The Rishivar who wrote his commentary on the Vedas in Hindi, common man's language, said that the Vedas themselves give the right to ONE AND ALL to read the Ved Mantras and meditate. The Vedas, thereafter, became popular all over the country and later the world too.
The Gurukul was founded by Swami Shraddhanand, a disciple of Swami Dayanand and it has done a yeoman's service in the field of education. It has blossomed into a Deemed University and organises intellectual seminars and literary conferences on all issues and topics that serve the cause of education and ameliorate the living conditions of Man leading the humanity to health and happiness.
The delegates who had come from various universities of India were well looked after. They were well billeted, dined and were given food for thought too. The Ved sammelan was held from 20th November to 22nd November 09 on the premises of the Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar, India. It was a treat to the mind of man.
At the inauguration ceremony the chief guest was Swami Ramdev Maharaj. His august personality and his style of lecture impressed one and all. He was present at the Havan too at the yajnashala and made a short speech there also to bless the intelligentsia and common folks alike. Swami Ramdev Maharaj had invited all the delegates to his Ashram, the PATANJALI YOGPEETH, the campus hosts and boasts of a university too. The great Yoga Rishi regaled them with interesting anecdotes and Vedic tales. The Swami hosted a sumptuous vegetarian dinner and in the Vedic tradition gave a good DAKSHINA to one and all. The celebrites on the dais were honoured with a shawl each and literature on the Bharat Swabhiman Abhiyan and Vyavastha Parivartan was given too. It may be said that it was a unique experience of the Vedic delegates to have seen and heard Swami Ramdev Maharaj from close quarters. Indeed it was an experience of a lifetime, so said many delegates, both men and women.
Swami Satya Mitranand Saraswati was another guest of honour at the inaugural ceremony and his speech was a stirring one. He gave a clarion call to all Indians to rally round the OM DHWAJ to work for the betterment of Bharat Mata and root out corruption and terrorism plaguing the country at present.
The credit for making the Ved Sammelan a grand success goes to Professor Mahavir Ji, Head of the Sanskrit Department, Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyaya and also Acharya of the Vishwavidyalaya, Prof Ved Prakash Shastri whose brainchild the Vishwa Ved sammelan was. Professor Swatantra Kumar, Kulpati of the Gurukul was the guiding hand and the leading light who made it a point to be everywhere where a major activity was going on. Of course, organising such a big event needed a team work and a good team of dedicated soldier-scholars was there working selflessly day and night. The dividing line between departments and faculties was obliterated as the Veda is the guiding light of one and all. Prof Rajendra Kumar of the Engineering Department, Dr Roop kishore of the Veda department or Dr Purohit of the Physics department, not forgetting Harish Gururani, baby of the Sanskrit department and now a Ph.D. himself – they all worked for the Veda sammelan as if they all belonged to the Veda department. Prof Mahavir who doubled as the compere at every function thanked them all and had all selfless team mates honoured at the Samapan Samaroh which was an in-house function.
The three -day Veda sammelan attracted scholars from France, America and some other countries too. Most of them said that they were non-resident Indians and had felt deeply attached to the Vedic dharm as propounded by Mahrishi Dayanand Saraswati. A feedback was taken by the organisors informally and it was found that there was no lacuna worth reporting. Among the delegates were Dr Pratibha Shukla and Dr Aruna Shukla, the former from Hariyana and the latter from the Punjab, who gave similar comments about their experiences and praised the sammelan for letting delegates have an interaction with saints and seers mentioned heretofore and scholars like Swami Govind Giri and a celebrity like Acharya Balkrishna ji, Vice-Chancellor of the Patanjali Yogpeeth Vishwavidyalaya, Maharishi Dayanand gram. Some media persons did go round tlaking to delegates freely about their trails and tribulations during the international Vedic conference but they drew a blank. Both the print and the electronic media had a word of praise for the good work done. Indeed the Hindi press was as supportive as ever and published many photographs and short interviews of non-celebrites too.
The soul of Swami Shraddhanand Ji, wherever and in whatever form it may be, will feel elated that the Veda prachar that he advocated through the Gurukulas from the Lahore days, is being successfully carried on by his favourite Gurukul Kangri that has blossomed into a deemed university where every department is committed to teaching the Vedic Thought enunciated by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati.
On a successful completion of the three-day Vishwa Ved Sammelan, there was not even a single soul who would not say that the Gurukul Kangri gave him the Vedic knowledge and spiritual light and delight in three days what he had aspired for all his life. Indeed it was a delightful Vedic interaction and a gainful experience of a lifetime.
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM