Speakers at a meet call for using the essence of the great epic for a better society

Speakers at the international conference on ‘Mahabharatam’ on Tuesday gave a clarion call to educationalists, researchers and policymakers to use the essence of the grand epic ‘Mahabharata’ to make the society a better place.

The inaugural session of the five-day conference conducted under the joint aegis of Sri Venkateswara University’s Oriental Research Institute (ORI) and Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) saw inspiring speeches of bringing in cultural renaissance by popularising the epic.

Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, pontiff of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, called the grand epic a ‘colossal container of divine wisdom’ which should be passed on to posterity with the wisdom intact. “We have to make short moral stories from Mahabharata for the benefit of children. As western education does not augur well for the country, it is essential to bring the wisdom to the reach of children in order to bring the nation on a virtuous path”, he said.

Calling India the ‘cradle of spiritual civilisation’, S.A.R.P.V. Chaturvedi, founder of Sri Ramanuja Mission Trust, spoke on making available the spiritual values enshrined in epics in simplified form for the benefit of the unlettered masses. “Mere appreciation of the content is of no use. One must have faith in it, draw inspiration from it and undergo transformation”, he told readers. While narration of epics is easy, inculcation of values is a challenging task, he said.

TTD Executive Officer M.G. Gopal spoke on the identity crisis facing mankind. “Having completed a full circle, the technologically-advanced man is now looking to spiritual solutions to treat the ills plaguing the society”, he said, hinting at the need for a new stream of knowledge touching both the realms.

SVU Vice-Chancellor W. Rajendra felt that the Indian society was yet to realise the full potential of the Mahabharata, though the spiritual message in various texts had come out in the form of management lessons. ORI Director V.Venkataramana Reddy explained the conference objectives. Spiritual orator Kandukuri Sivananda Murty, SVU Rector M.A.K. Sukumar, Registrar K.Satyavelu Reddy and SVU College of Arts principal D.Kirankranth Choudary were among the participants.