How Paramacharya is inspiring me
or how I am moving to a vedic lifestyle
Today (7 May) is the 118th birth anniversary
of Paramacharya (based on Nakshatra).
I am trying to answer how he has been
inspiring me. This is part 2.
In the last post, I had introduced two
terms without an explanation.
Tapas & Vedic lifestyle.
Tapas is Spiritual Strength (in the context
of Paramacharya's Tapas inspiring me).
Vedic lifestyle is the lifestyle
I am striving for, best explained by
Back to my story ...
So, here I was, Paramacharya's writings
slowly growing on me.
That is when I had an idea.
How about learning Veda ?
At that time, I had no plans for
learning an entire Veda.
Just a small part.
Probably out of curiosity.
Around that time, relatives of mine -
Sekhar & Sukanya were having
the Griha Pravesha (house warming)
ceremony of their new house.
I am thinking to myself - I should
ask the officiating priests, if they
could teach me. So, with that
mindset, I go with my visiting parents
for the Griha Pravesha.
However, I never got an opportunity
to talk to the priests. Turns out that,
I am being given aஔ even better
option than what I sought.
On our return, my mother says that she
had been talking to this nice elderly lady.
That she is a native of a place near
our native village. That she is visiting
her son in the US.
That her husband is a Veda Pandit.
The bulb flashes in my head !
I know instantly, what I want to do.
I get my mother to call and say
that we would like to visit them.
My parents and I go to their place
and I request Shri Nataraja Ganapadigal
to teach me Veda. And he agrees.
I could have asked this over phone.
But this was too important for me.
So, in March 2000, at the age of 28,
I take my first lessons in Veda
not knowing that it is the first step
towards a new direction.
I used to go about four times a week
for the Veda classes. I loved his
sonorous voice. And more importantly,
I loved my own voice repeating after him !
It is this bit of narcissism, that was
a factor in my sustained interest
which eventually resulted in learning
to chant a complete Krishna Yajur Veda
in ten years.
One-on-one Classes with him went on
for about two months before he left for India.
Then, I was introduced to Shri Srinivasa Iyengar,
my next veda guru. We were three of us in his
class. And the motivation and excitement
was many times more than learning alone.
In addition to the Veda classes, I also
went to classes to learn Samskrita and
At the same time, I was not ready
to give up on my then (technical) career.
I enrolled in a computer engineering course
at Stanford University. Sun had a mentor
program where the experienced informally
share knowledge with the new. I enrolled
in that too.
Those were days, I was asking questions.
Asking questions of myself by enrolling
in these activities. Do these activities
make sense ? Are you happily involved with it ?
Rahul, my apartment mate of those days
once said, "Your weekends are more busy
than you weekdays". And so, it was.
(... to be continued)
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