Pujya Bhaishri honoured with Doctorate in Literature (D.Lit) by Somnath University

Pujya Bhaishri received the honour of “Vidyavachaspati’ (Doctorate of Literature) from the Somnath Sanskrit University for his special contribution in the field of Sanskrit studies. This is the highest honour possible. The Governor of Gujarat and the Chancellor of Somnath University Her Excellency Dr. Kamla Beniwal conferred the degree on Pujya Bhaishri on 31st January, 2010 at the second convocation ceremony of the university. It was a very proud moment for all.

Speaking on the occasion Dr. Kamla Beniwal informed that she too had successfully strived for establishing a Sanskrit university in Rajasthan to spread the Sanskrit language and asserted that Sanskrit was the best amongst all languages of the world.

Pujya Bhaishri addressed the audience with a beautiful speech, which was very well received.

“The magnificent literature that India and Indians possess is truly a blessing for the world at large. This literature is indeed the key to ensuring that the world and all its peoples can evolve to their highest potential. This of course can be made possible only by the preservation, propagation, learning and teaching of the language of the Gods – Sanskrit.

Having recognised this truth, many institutions in India and abroad are working towards this goal. Which is why, when American professors come to meet me, they are able to converse fluently in Sanskrit. Great strides are being made in this direction even in Germany. One feels delighted to meet these professors and hear them speak in Sanskrit. At the same time, one also can’t help but wonder about the situation in India, the country where this classic language and its rich literature originated.

Often people say that students educated in English medium own two-three cars but the students who study Sanskrit remain unemployed. This however is not the situation, as we see it today. Our students are much sought after. It goes without saying that if a student has studied dedicatedly then wealth and riches naturally come to him.

The challenge of preserving our culture is most important after the question of economic prosperity, for our brethren in foreign countries. And it is for this very reason that temples have become cultural centres at such places. And consequently a huge demand for priests specially educated and trained for this purpose has risen, throughout the world. By the Grace and blessings of the saints, a large number of such specialised priests are presently being trained at various institutions like the Bhagavat Vidyapeeth, Sandipani Vidyaniketan and Brahmarshi Paathshala. The scholars coming out of these universities are becoming ambassadors of Indian culture and are being sent all over the world. Many students are delivering lectures on Bhagavat, Ramayan etc. and are thus nurturing Sanskrit language and Indian culture.

A student learning Sanskrit should be very cautious and ensure that he does not become a seller but a distributor, sharing his knowledge. Otherwise it will become a great disservice to this culture and lead to great degradation of society. The famous Gujarati poet ‘Akha Bhagat’ has rightly commented on such sellers of learning saying “Vyas veshyani ekaj per, vidya beti uchheri gher’ i. e. “One groomed in one’s home a daughter, Vidya (learning) in such fashion as if putting Vyas and a whore on the same plank.” Even sage Vyas has written -”Viprair bhaagawativarta”. Hinting that even in olden times such things did happen.

I wish to tell the students who have received their degrees today and also other students and people who love Sanskrit that Sanskrit is to be studied for the sake of life – it is a way of life. Never remain idle. Though you have received degrees now, do not neglect ‘Swadhyaya’ i.e. self-study. The stream of self-study should not dry up like the ancient river Saraswati. And distribute freely in the society the wisdom that you derive from your studies.

I was a student of science. Hence whenever I studied the scriptures I used to study it with a scientific approach. And what can I say, I was amazed! Our scriptures are so scientific. ‘Karmakand’ essentially deals with the subject of Management. It certainly does not deserve to be neglected or thrown out. Great emphasis is laid today on management studies. .And our scriptures are full of wisdom on management.

I have not even cleared Prathama (First year of Sanskrit), but have managed to reach the present stage through Swadhyay (Self-study). While you are all Shastris – Acharyas (graduates and post graduates). Now, you should be both vigilant as well as persevering in this field. Undertake studious efforts, and like mother Yashoda extract the butter of wisdom from these scriptures. True seekers will then approach you like the child Krishna saying “Maiyya mohe bhukh laagi hai, mohe makhan khilao!” (I am hungry give me butter!) I appeal to all of you to bring back the ancient river Saraswati that is believed to have dried up.

There was a time when it was a common refrain that Gujarat presents very few scholars, however this is no longer true. Whenever one goes abroad, people there fondly remember Pujya Krishnashankar Dadaji.

This university has been founded with the co-operation of all people including the government. Pankajbhai Jani has been achieving commendable progress here. Now it is given to us to ensure that the name of this university resounds around the world. Everyone has very high hopes from us. This is just the beginning. Everyone has expressed a wish for a university like this – Gautambhai Patel, Rajendrabhai Nanavati, and I too wished that the students of Sanskrit should be awarded with university degrees. By the grace of God it has come true. I congratulate everyone for this.

When I was informed that I was to be conferred the degree of ‘Vidyavachaspati’ (D. Lit) I gave my consent because I have been associated with this university right from its inception and I have a special regard for all these people. I feared that by refusing to accept this honour I might inadvertently offend their feelings. Hence I accept this affectionate honour with great pride.
Now I will place this degree at the feet of my Thakorji (God) and seek your good wishes that I might continue to serve Sanskrit and Sanskriti (Culture) throughout my life.

Many thanks to all!”

The governor of Gujarat, Pujya Bhaishri, Dr. Rajendra I. Nanvati and the vice chancellor of the university Pankajbhai Jani handed over the certificates of degrees and medals to 202 graduates, 103 postgraduates and 83 teaching specialists to the students of Somnath Sanskrit University prior to the conferment of the degree to Pujya Bhaishri.

The Vice-chancellor of the university Pankajbhai Jani informed on this occasion that Somnath Sanskrit University has been established with the objective of ensuring the development of Sanskrit language in Gujarat. It is recognised by the state government and UGC. Ex CM of Gujarat Keshubhai Patel and the present Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, both have extended their co-operation and encouragement to this university.

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