"BLESSINGS" FROM PROF. R. R. PANDEY, OF BANARAS H. UNIVERSITY

Currently Head, Dept. of Philosophy & Religion, Banaras Hindu University, Prof. R. R. Pandey took a keen interest in the work of the Movement in 1996 and 1997 while he was in Mauritius on deputation at the MGI. He kindly attended several of our functions and gave us his blessings.

Our last edition carried his message and appreciation of our 20th Jnana Yajna. This time we have pleasure in publishing two summaries of his "blessings" given last year (1) while launching our Arunodaya 1996 during our seminar on Hinduism for HSC students in March, and (2) while lecturing to youths during our Antavãs in April.

 

Prof. R.R Pandey (sitting ) is preparing to launch Arunodaya 1996

while Yogi Rummun is launching Mr. Dhunnookchand's Hindu Samskaras

 Launching of Arunodaya 1996

In a learned speech, Prof. Pandey started by underlining the humility of the scholar before the infinitude of knowledge.

He was glad that our youths are now breathing freedom thanks to our great freedom fighters. A new horizon is opening before them with Hinduism, thanks to Yogi Rummun who has given a new shape to the subject in three decades. He was delighted that Hinduism is spreading here as Vedanta spread in the West and the whole world hundred years ago, for our religion teaches tolerance and universality, as shown by the essence of the Gita — Ye yathã mãm prapadyante …… (As men approach me, so do I accept them), and of the Vedas — Ekam sat viprã bahudhã vadanti (Truth is one though sages call it by different names).

Releasing the Arunodaya, he said it contains cosmic wisdom crystallized through young minds just as Sankara’s famous Brahma satyam jagan mithya ……(Brahman is real, the world is an illusory appearance …..) summarizes his Advaita Vedanta. He ended by wishing that more and more such volumes should come from youths and the Movement and that this subject should gain global importance under Yogi Rummun’s guidance.

Antavãs lecture: Women in India, past and present

After expressing his joy in associating himself with the "wonderful work" of Yogi Rummun whom he called "the rishi of contemporary Mauritius", Prof. Pandey dwelt on the Hindu basic concept of sanatana, eternal, beyond time, associated with God as the Great Lord of Time (Mahakaleswar), referred to in the Upanishads as satyam jnãnam anantam brahma, (God as the real, as consciousness and as the infinite).

This eternity has its own dynamism, one expression of which is creativity. A visible symbol of this creativity is Mother Earth, mother of Sita, and nearer to us, woman. Woman is creativity itself. Sita is Girija.

Hinduism has recognized this power in woman which it calls shakti or creative energy. It is an indispensable and foremost part of divinity, hence we say Sita Ram, Girija Shankar, and so on. Without shakti, Shiva is nothing but shau, a corpse. When this happens, creativity is replaced by destruction, as symbolized by Kali standing or dancing over Shiva’s inert body. Be it noted that Shiva did not accept Parvati until she underwent extreme tapas and became aparnã ("one not accepting even a leaf") to purify herself.

All this is typical of Hindu womanhood. It is seen in the great examples of the past and present, from Ghoshã the Vedic rishikã to Maitreyi, from Mira to Sarada Devi, the consort of Sri Ramakrishna.

After a brief lull due to medieval obscurantism, women in India have today again come to their own as illustrated by the career of Indira Gandhi and others.

Another symbol of womanhood is motherhood before which even Sannyasa bows down. "My dear girls, that power, that tapas and sacrifice is within you all. Waken it up by faith, by discipline, by will activated by yoga, and be yourselves! Your Hinduism courses and the Antavãs will help you. In this upward march, my blessings will be ever with you", he concluded.