Address by Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Honourable Vice President at Poornaprajna Vidyapeetha, in Bengaluru on 7 January, 2020.

Bengaluru | January 7, 2020

“His Holiness Sri Vishvaprasannatirtha Swamiji

Devotees and disciples of Sri Vishveshatirtha Swamiji

Sisters and brothers,

I am overcome with emotion today at this Poornaprajna Vidyapeetha established by Sri Vishveshateertha Swamiji in 1956.

I had the good fortune to be blessed by Sri Sri Pejavara Vishveshatirtha Swamiji. He was a true embodiment of the teachings ofSrimadBhagavata and Bhagavatdgita. His was a life dedicated to purify the cultural, religious and social life of our present day society.

Pejavara Swamiji believed in the Gandhian principle of ‘Service to Humanity is Service to the God’. His great and selfless deedsexemplified this noble ideal.

At the age of 90, till he attained the Haripada, Sri Swamiji had influenced innumerable lives across the length and breadth of the country through his Yatra, discourses, teachings and interactions.

Our nation has a long tradition great Saints, Rishis and Munis. Since ancient times, they have been the guiding lighthouses of society. They always provided succour and solace to the suffering humanity. Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas contain the inexhaustible treasures of this great and timeless wisdom.

Our ancient sages always kept the welfare of society above everything else. The great Puranic sage Dadhichi sacrificed his life to ensure that society remained on the path of righteousness.

Sri Vishveshatirtha Swamiji is a noble soul in this glorious tradition. He was a role-model for those engaged in devoted social service. He always rushed to the help of the needy and poor during natural calamities.

Sri Swamiji was one of the first to rush to the help of the people when a cyclonic storm struck the Hamsaladeevi area of Andhra Pradesh. He built 150 houses for the people who had suffered huge losses.

Again when an earthquake struck the Latur region of Maharashtra in 1993, he was among the first to rush to their help. Similarly, he helped resettle those affected by the Tsunami in the Cuddalore region of Tamil Nadu.

During periods of drought, Sri Swamijiused to open free meal centres in many areas. To say in one word, He saw divinity in every human being and tried to serve the needy selflessly.

Sri Pejavara Swamiji was a progressive visionary. He was among the first spiritual leaders in modern India to consider Dalits as an integral part of Hindu society. He walked into the Dalit colonies in Malleshwaram, Bengaluru, in 1970. Before that he had visited similar Harijanakeri at Ooty in Tamilnadu.

Swamiji’s name is synonymous with service to the scheduled castes and tribes in India and he worked hard to bring them into the mainstream of national life.

I appeal to everyone to follow the path shown by Sri Swamiji and work towards building a castless society in India.

Yet another area of major contribution by His Holiness Sri Sri Vishveshatirtha Swamiji was in the field of Sanskrit. He encouraged academic research in Sanskrit, philosophy and religion. He was one of the pioneers who promoted Sanskrit in this part of country.

This emphasis on Sanskrit is very important to preserve our cultural and shared values.

This Poornapragna Vidyapeetha, a Sanskrit Spiritual Pathashala was established by him. This is one of the first Sanskrit traditional Gurukula Education Centres of free India.

I hope that this Gurukula will take forward the great Indian tradition of learning through Guru – Shishya Parampara.

I hope all disciples passing out from here will follow and spread the message and teachings of Sri Vishveshatirtha Swamiji.

I wish you all the very best and again bow my head in the memory the Great Swamiji.

Thank You.

Jai Hind.”