FRIDAY REVIEW

An inimitable visionary

N.S. RAMAMURTHI

Ravula Suryanarayana Murthy

Ravula Suryanarayana Murthy  

Hindu charitable and religious institutions in the country, including the Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams, would have been paying Income Tax on their hundi collections, but for the untiring efforts of Ravula Suryanarayana Murthy who, as TTD's Public Relations Officer, played a major role to restore I-T exemption for them. During his 16-year tenure as PRO and two-year stint as advisor to the S.V. Central Library and Research Centre, he worked unceasingly for the all-round development of various projects and played a key role in streamlining their activities.

Apart from his administrative and organisational acumen, Ravula, who turned the Biblical three-score-and-ten mark on Thursday, is a multi-faceted personality - a poet, orator and journalist. As head of a number of departments and projects like Dasa Sahithya Project, Alvar Divya Prabandha Project, editorial department, publications department, photography section, broadcasting department and TTD Press, he infused a new vigour into them. He had also made sustained efforts for the establishment of the Vedic Research Centre and digitalisation of the Vedic texts in S.V.L.R.C.

Ravula has been largely responsible for preparing a framework for the financial assistance to the authors who were unable to publish their books by themselves. A critical edition of the Bhagavatam, Puttaparthi Narayanacharyulu's Bhagavata Sudha Lahari, Potana Bhagavatam and the massive Bharatam project, with the text and commentaries on the classic works of Nannayya, Errapragada and Thikkanna are a tribute to Ravula's unflagging enthusiasm. His flair for writing in simple, lucid style has made him one of the foremost writers in Telugu literature. Sri Ravula Ramayanam and a translation of the Bhagvad Gita in simple Telugu became a runaway success. Ravula will be remembered for his enormous contribution for the propagation of the Vedas. When TTD proposed to set up a project for the preservation of the Vedas and promotion of Vedic studies, he became the rightful choice to take up the recording of the Vedic recitation under the Veda Tape Recording unit.

Another scheme to encourage Vedic studies was the appointment of scholars to recite the Vedas in temples, giving them suitable remuneration. For aged scholars who cannot even do that provision has been made by way of a substantial honorarium to pursue their Vedic studies in their own homes. Ravula identified these scholars and secured recognition and assistance to them from TTD.

Alwars of Tamil Nadu were the great devotees of Lord Srinivasa. Their compositions in sweet and sonorous style prescribe absolute surrender to Lord Venkateswara. Ravula remained the heart and soul of the project set up for promotion of Alwar Pasurams, until his retirement. A challenging task taken up by him as TTD PRO was production of documentaries on Tirumala Temple. Millions of devotees enjoyed the tele-film produced by TTD telecast on the national network of Doordarshan.

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