A selection of teachings from the discourses of Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal, Sankaracharya of Kanchi, the 68th Acharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, compiled as a book was released at function here on Sunday.

The book titled “Introduction to Hindu Dharma” with an introduction by Arvind Sharma was formally released by Indian Council of Cultural Relations chairman Dr. Karan Singh at the Vivekananda International Foundation. Also present were Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan Vice-Chancellor Prof. Radhavallabh Tripathi and Indian Council of Philosophical Research member secretary Prof. Godabarisha Mishra.

Dr. Singh appreciated the publishers, Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited for their “efforts to promote Indian culture”. He said the reasons for survival of India's culture through millennia were that it was “based on eternal truths” and that “every age in India has seen great men” like Kanchi Sankaracharya who have re-enforced these truths for people.

The book covers topics of prayer and virtue, metaphysical truth and the conflict between traditional Hindu dharma and modernity. Intended to introduce the Jagadguru and his spiritual legacy and Hinduism in today's world, it has translations from more than 4,000 discourses that were transcribed, recorded and translated into English.

Prof. Mishra spoke at length about the concept of dharma as a way of life, and said the teachings of Kanchi Sankaracharya were among those that leave a lasting impression on people's minds.

Dr. Singh added that though the book was an important step towards preservation of our culture, it was important to address the real problems of the country through the intelligentsia. He said it was sad that in a country with the motto of “satyamev jayate”, corruption is rampant. He said it was “important to focus on our weaknesses” and requested intellectuals present at the gathering to “raise a voice against social evils”.

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