Vedic manuscripts have found an ally in technology. If one company is considering scanning ancient manuscripts, another is teaching Vedic scholars to use computers. These views were discussed at a thought conclave on Vedas and its teachings, held in the city on Sunday.
Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) has proposed to create a central repository of the manuscripts and launched online training courses.
It is now looking for trained personnel to transcribe palmscripts, said P. Ramanujam, associate director, stressing the relevance of Vedic education.
At the conclave, organised by SathSamhita and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, panellists discussed methods of teaching Vedas in schools, imparting life skills to students of traditional ‘patashala’ system.
The panellists included Krishnaraja Vanavarair, president of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Coimbatore Kendra, S. Gurumurthy, founder and trustee of SathSamhita, P. Ramanujam, associate director of C-DAC, Tatvamasi Dixit, managing director, Ojas Foundation, and N. Ravi, editor-in-chief of The Hindu.
Mr. Ravi lauded Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam for being custodian of the Vedas and SathSamhita and spreading knowledge of the Vedas.
He said schools could introduce Vedic learning to a section of students. Alternatively, the Vedic curriculum could be offered outside school hours for mainstream students. “We need both systems to run parallel, with public support and recognition and respect for Vedic experts,” he said.
According to Mr. Vanavaraiar, the Vedas offered scope for a person to follow his passion, thus building his confidence.
“We have responsibility to convey the message of Vedanta to the world for humanity to embrace the Vedic vision of life,” he said.
If the Vedas have survived, it is not because of government support, said Mr. Gurumurthy, pointing out that the great Roman and Greek empires with strong governments had vanished without a trace.
The Vedas need organisations and people who are devoted to Vedic education, thus helping us retain our culture and tradition, he said.
A book on Veda Patashala education Timeless Education, Modern Times was released on the occasion by Harikatha exponent Krishna Premi. Former chief election commissioner N. Gopalaswami and M. Murali of Krishna Sweets received the first copies.
Kanchi acharya Jayendra Saraswathi spoke about the Mutt’s efforts to promote the Vedas by starting patashalas across the country. He acknowledged some individuals had started patashalas to propagate the ancient texts.