Tribute was paid to Dr. Raghavan.

Better to live on beggar's bread with those we love, alive,

Than taste their blood in rich feasts spread, and guiltily survive!

(From Sir Edwin Arnold's The Song Celestial, a translation of the Bhagavad Gita)

Arjuna confronts Lord Krishna, thus. His dilemma on the battle field is symbolic of mankind's dilemma — To be or not to be; to do or not to do. Dr. Goda Venkateswara Sastrigal brought out this conflict between the mind that interacts with the external world and the mind that resides within (the Buddhi) carrying with it all those 'past impressions', as vividly as a scholar would. He delivered this lecture at an event organised to celebrate the 102th birthday of scholar Dr. V. Raghavan.

"The nectar of Gita (Gitamritha) is the summary of the Upanishads," he said. Krishna understood Arjuna's predicament and recommended the Vedic cure for him. Arjuna was told that he was in such a state because of his ignorance and that no problem existed without a solution.

This lecture was held at the Tattvaloka Hall. Two books were also released to mark the occasion, “Readings from the Bhagavad Gita” by Dr. Raghavan and “Journey through a Tradition,” the English translation of the Tamil text by Raghavan. The latter dealt with Kandappa–T. Balasaraswathi's (Bala) Bharatanatyam Technique. The former was released by Dr. N. P. Unni, former vice chancellor of Sri Sankaracharya Sanskrit University and the first copy was received by Dr. Goda Venkateswara Sastrigal. The latter was released by Prof. Sudharani Raghupathi, and the first copy was received by Janaki of Sruti.

Association recalled

Dr. Unni recalled his association with Dr. Raghavan, who was his teacher and a role model.

Venkateswara Sastrigal said Raghavan was clear in his analyses, and was the resource person for all issues relating to music, dance or Sanskrit.

Sudharani remembered Priyamvada, Raghavan's daughter, with whom she had danced way back in 1958. She felt that translated versions of such invaluable books become necessary for the younger generation. Janaki was amazed at the prolific work done by Raghavan.

Sensitive singing

The invocation for this event saw Sumithra Vasudev chant slokas from the Gita in rakti ragas. She was accompanied on the veena by Ramani.

Nandini Ramani compered the show. Jayant Kastuar, secretary, Sangeet Natak Akademi was present at this event.

(sivakumar2004 @gmail.com)