The Advaita Academy, Hyderabad, organised the 'Global Festival of Oneness 2020,’ to celebrate one of the foremost thinkers and socio-cultural architects in the history of mankind from the Indian sub-continent — Jagadguru Ādi Śaṅkarācārya. The online festival was held from 28th April to 27th May.
The Advaita Academy was founded in August 2010 with a vision to make the profound teachings of Advaita Vedānta, which is the zenith of the Vedas, to reach one and all.
It was a privilege for CVV to be associated with this event. Dean of Faculty Prof. Gauri Mahulikar and Academic, Campus Director of CVV Smt. Pramodini Rao and Assistant Professor Tulasi Kumar Joshi were invited as speakers.
Prof. Mahulikar presented a live talk at 6:30 pm, on 23rd May 2020, on the topic "लौकिक न्याय to अलौकिक वेदान्त through ब्रह्मसूत्रभाष्यम्" (Laukik Nyāya to Alaukik Vedānta through Brahmasūtrabhāṣyam).
‘The one in all and all in one’ presented by Smt. Pramodini Rao was a musical reflection of Śrī Ādi Śaṅkarācārya’s Advaita philosophy, seen through the works of other great masters. The concepts of ‘Jīva, Jagat, Īśwara’ were explained through the musical compositions of Saint Sadashiva Brahmendra, Swami Tejomayananda of Chinmaya Mission and the stotram ‘Nirvāṇa-ṣaṭakam’ of Sri Sankara himself to name a few.
‘Sarvaṁ brahmamayam’ — a very popular composition of Sadashiva Brahmendra talks about the Supreme Brahman in all that is spoken and unspoken, seen and the unseen, written and unwritten. In short, even in the minuscule of the entire creation. It is this abidance that leads us to salvation. This same thought is well brought out in the Marathi composition ‘Tuca tu dahi disi’ by Swami Tejomayananda. ‘I see only You in all directions, water bodies, stars and planets. You alone pervade all.’
The Īśwara to Jīva connection was enumerated through another composition by Swami Tejomayananda, ‘Aap ki man mein lagi hai’. The import of this composition being ‘the day I recognised your presence in my life, O Lord! My whole vision changed. I find everything in me and me in everything. Your presence in me has taken away my jīva -bhāva and its associated fears.’ When one turns inward, then the shift from jagat to Ishwara is very smooth and automatic, was the idea beautifully presented in her next song ‘Kaun ye chitrakār hai?’ The poet looks at this creation in wonder—so precise, perfect and praiseworthy; saying the Almighty is the greatest creator, illustrator and the painter of this universe and beyond.
Smt. Rao concluded her session with two verses from ‘Nirvāṇa-ṣaṭakam’ in which Acharya Sankara, through this deeply meditative hymn, answers the most pertinent question ‘Who am I.’ He negates all the ephemeral factors of life of a jīva and says what remains is the ultimate Truth—the One without a second—Ekameva advitīyam’. ‘This is my very nature, the Self,’ he says. Through the lyrical content, the choice of ragas and her melodious rendition Smt. Rao’s presentation aided the listeners to abide in the eternal Truth of ‘Ahaṁ Brahmāsmi.’
Asst. Prof. Tulasi Kumar spoke on ‘Association between adyhāsa-bhāṣyaṁ and the first bramhasūtraṁ’. He elaborated on a resolution that was presented by Śrī Ādi Śaṅkarācārya to wipe out the conflict between worldly experiences and the tenets of Advaita Vedānta. He explained how the study of Brahmasūtras which are written by the Maharṣi Bādarāyaṇa cannot be started without the contribution of adhyāsa-bhāṣyaṁ of Śrī Ādi Śaṅkarācārya.