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When worldly life matters less

Swami Tatvavidananda Saraswati in Kakinada to deliver discourses on Kathopanishad . — Photo: K.N. MURALI SANKAR

Swami Tatvavidananda Saraswati in Kakinada to deliver discourses on Kathopanishad . — Photo: K.N. MURALI SANKAR  


Swami Tatvavidananda Saraswati, a scientist-turned monk, says being a monk is not about religion but about lifestyle

“Monks are a living example of simplicity and selflessness. Those who are tired of being a breadwinner in the family can take a cue from the monks and start thinking about leading a simple life,” says Swami Tatvavidananda Saraswati, a scientist-turned monk who was in the city to deliver discourses on Kathopanishad organised by Sri Ramakrishna Seva Samithi.

The 67-year-old monk has been honoured with the award ‘Mahamahopadhyaya’ by Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidya Peeth for his contributions to the field of Vedanta. Interestingly, he is the second person from the same family to receive the honour for the same subject. Born as Rani Ramakrishna at Narendrapuram in Konaseema region of East Godavari district, he completed his Ph.D. in organic chemistry with a gold medal before joining the Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited. He decided to become a monk at the age of 48 and quit his job after working for 22 years. “I didn’t plan anything in life, but accepted whatever came my way. I strongly believe there is a superpower that’s ruling the universe,” says Tatva Vidananda, a disciple of Swami Dayananda Saraswathi.

Mr. Ramakrishna, eldest son of ‘Mahamahopadhyaya’ Rani Narasimha Sastry, cleared the Civil Services, but did not join the job as he found that science was closer to his heart. However, after a couple of decades, his strong desire to become a monk won over his love for science. “I still read all the science magazines and love to listen to the speeches of scientists in conferences. But, after becoming Tatvavidananda, I never visited any laboratory,” reveals the Swami, who goes abroad for six months every year.

He has penned over 70 books, both in Telugu and English, on Vedanta. “My books are the outcome of my lectures, which are in Telugu and English, depending on the audience. My original contribution is in all those books,” he says. Mentioning that people listen to his lectures with rapt attention in the United States, European and African countries, the seer attributes the credit to ‘Bharatiya Vedanta’. “It is not a religion, but a lifestyle. As we were under foreign rule for thousands of years, we lost many of our native qualities and were subsequently alienated. This is the reason why we do not feel proud about our own knowledge and inherited talent,” he points out.

Taking objection to the use of the term ‘saffronisation’ in a negative way, the seer says saffron is the symbol of knowledge and sacrifice.

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2018 3:23:22 PM |