Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth, in association with Chinmaya International Foundation (CIF) and Chinmaya International Foundation Shodha Sanstha (CIFSS), celebrated ‘संस्कृतमासः २०२०—Sanskrit Month 2020’ from 21 July to 19 August.
At the inauguration on 21 July, the Chief Guest Dr. Baldevanand Sagar inaugurated the events scheduled through the month and delivered a talk on ‘Journalism in Sanskrit’. In his informative and thought-provoking speech, he threw light on the career opportunity present in the field of Sanskrit journalism.
Online Sanskrit Quiz: It was open from 22 July 2020 to 18 August 2020. Students scoring 50 points and above were issued an e-certificate. 6,517 students participated (2496 in the junior category and 4021 in the senior category). It drew participants even from foreign countries like France, Sri Lanka, UAE and Nepal.
A Five-Day Crash Course in Sandhi was conducted from 24 to 28 July 2020, by Dr. L. Sampath Kumar, Assistant Professor and Head of School of Linguistics and Literary Studies. The course was conducted online via Zoom every day from 10.00 am to 11.00 am. Over 600 registered for this course from different countries like UAE, USA etc. More than 350 candidates attended the course regularly.
A 7-hour Professional Development Programme on Indian Perspective on Health Time and Managing Lifestyles was one of the mega events during this month. The workshop was conducted from 31 July to 9 August (weekends only), from 7 to 8 pm by Dr. Vinayak Rajat Bhat, Assistant Professor and Head, School of Vedic Knowledge Systems. There were 21 participants from across the country and from the US and Australia.
While Dr. Bhat was the main resource person, there were three other speakers as well—Dr. Swarna Ranjita Bhat and Dr. Janani Jaishankar from the Government Ayurvedic Medical College, Bengaluru and Dr. Kruthika Bheemappa from TAMC, Davanagere.
Samskrita Sangita Sandhya: An Evening with Sanskrit and Music was organised on the evening of 3 August, it being Sanskrit Day. There was a concert of Hindustani Vocal by Shri Swapnil Chaphekar, Assistant Professor and Head of School of Kalayoga followed by a talk on Suravāṇyāḥ nūtanāvatāraḥ--The New Avatar of Sanskrit by Dr. Parineeta Deshpande, Honorary Director, M. M. Kane P. G. Research Institute, Asiatic Society of Mumbai. In her talk, she referred to the development of modern literature in Sanskrit.
A ten-day workshop on Avadhāna was held from 5 to 15 August, in association with Indic Academy. 67 candidates participated in this workshop. Reputed artist, Śatāavadhānī Dr. R. Ganesh was the chief resource person for the workshop. Shri Shashi Kiran B. N. was the other eminent resource person. On 15 August an exhilarating Aṣṭāvadhānam was performed by Shri. Soorya Hebbar, Samskrita Bharati, Bengaluru.
A unique Sanskrit Yakshagana Talamaddale was organised on 11 August, in collaboration with Sri Krishna Math, Udupi. Associate Professor Dr. Ramakrishna Pejathaya was the key person behind the success of this programme. He also participated in the same, playing the role of Bharata. Great Scholars like Umakant Bhat, Ganapati Bhat were a part of this performance. The event was co-sponsored by Prof. Nagraj Neerchal, Vice Chancellor of CVV.
Three special lectures were organised as part of the celebration. Dr. L. Sampath Kumar spoke on ‘Sanskrit—A Blueprint for the Future’ on 6 August. He highlighted the relevance of Sanskrit studies in the modern era. On 13h August Dr. Prasad Ramesh Bhide spoke on ‘Sanskrit Theatre: Past, Present and Future’. He spoke on decoding classical Sanskrit theatre and connecting it with contemporary Sanskrit theatre. On 19 August Dr. Sudarshan Chiplunkar, Assistant Professor, gave a talk on ‘Citrakāvya-s—A World of Wonders’. He explained the Indian tradition of writing poetry in visual patterns of familiar things such as a flower, wheel, flag, drum, umbrella, etc.
‘Pratimālā—Akṣaraślokī’ was conducted on 16 August. Dr. Ramakrishna Pejathaya and Dr. Vinayak Rajat Bhat were the moderators of the event and nine Students from different parts of India exhibited their talent in reciting beautiful compositions of Mahākavi-s.
Apart from these events, many competitions like Stotra Kaṇṭhapāṭha (Stotra Recitation Competition), Kāvya Kaṇṭhapāṭha (Poetry Recitation Competition), Kāvyaracanā (Poetry Writing Competition), Prabhandha Lekhana Spardhā (Essay Writing Competition) and a unique Vāṅniveśa Spardhā (YouTube video–Sanskrit Audio) were conducted for both school as well as college students. Cash prizes were awarded to the winners.
On 19 August, the month-long celebration came to an end with a valedictory function. The Chief Guest Dr. Uma Vaidya, Former Vice Chancellor, Kavikulaguru Kalidas Sanskrit University, Ramtek, Nagpur, delivered a talk on ‘National Education Policy and Sanskrit’. Dr. Vaidya explained the opportunities for Sanskrit language in the New Education Policy. She also stressed on the need to initiate Sanskrit research aimed at making the language popular again. Dr. Sreenthan, Academic Director, CIF, revealed in his speech how a person can learn Sanskrit through the Bhagavad Gita. Vice Chancellor Prof. Nagaraj Neerchal announced the names of the winners of the various competitions conducted during the Sanskrit Month.
Though all the events were conducted online, the coordination and participation was encouraging and the divine vibrations of the Sanskrit Language were palpable throughout the month.