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Manipal, Special talk on ‘Vedic Studies: An Overview’ held successfully

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Manipal, Feb 22: The Vedas, the ancient texts, celebrate life, offering a sense of  optimism and hope; they ,in fact, negate negation and pessimism, said Prof K P Rao, scholar and thinker, here on Saturday.

Delivering a special talk on ‘Vedic Studies: An Overview’ under the auspices of  Centre for Gandhian and Peace Studies, Manipal University, Manipal, P...

Manipal, Feb 22: The Vedas, the ancient texts, celebrate life, offering a sense of  optimism and hope; they ,in fact, negate negation and pessimism, said Prof K P Rao, scholar and thinker, here on Saturday.

Delivering a special talk on ‘Vedic Studies: An Overview’ under the auspices of  Centre for Gandhian and Peace Studies, Manipal University, Manipal, Prof Rao recalled both Jawaharlal Nehru and Rabindrnath Tagore to point out how passionate both of them were, on readings of the Vedas and how much they were all praise for the essence and literariness of the Vedic literature.  Referring to late historian D D Kosambi, he added that Kosambi’s perspective made him look at the Vedas from agrarian/economic point of view as well.

Giving an overview of different interpretations of the Vedas including  those by scholars Sayana, Dayanand Saraswati, Max Mueller and Frits Saal, Prof Rao argued that the Vedas  are not sectarian texts and in fact, they are texts of elegant poetry. The Vedic people did have a sense of wonder and innocence of villagers; they loved every bit of life and philosophy.  While there are different ‘camps’ coming up with different theories regarding the Vedas, it is better to ‘reinvent the Vedas for ourselves’, he felt.  

Mentioning that it was ancient grammarian Panini who developed a ‘descriptive’ structure of the Vedic language which can accommodate any language, Prof Rao reasoned that hence, even Western scholars are all praise for Panini. Later Buddhist and Jaina scholars adopted Paninian structure of language in their writings. However, now the earliest ‘available’ manuscript of the Vedas belong to eleventh century A.D, he added.

Introducing the subject, Gandhian Centre Director Prof Varadesh Hiregange pointed out a Gandhian remark that he (Mahatma Gandhi) declines to be bound by any interpretation if it is repugnant to reason and moral sense and his description of Vedas as ‘wonderful books’. Scholars drown from different fields attended the lecture.   

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