[Advaita-l] Patronage for learning

Ravisankar Mayavaram abhayambika at gmail.com
Sun Feb 13 17:28:49 CST 2005

On Sun, 13 Feb 2005 11:14:03 -0800, Vidyasankar Sundaresan
<svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> politics. And there are constitutional freedoms ensured too. Anyway, what is
> important is to realize that old patterns of patronage of learning have
> dried up. While pundits schooled traditionally are unable to find patrons,
> we have scores of new Babajis and Matajis buying up land and setting up
> Ashrams and Veda pathashalas with posh buildings ...

With time, many things change, and some offset the other. With modern
technology in the form of internet and cheap telephone lines, we can
do some help by networking. The key is to identify such needs and
support them.   There are many existing small scale organizations
which needs help and support. Just to mention a few:

* Mylapore veda adhyayana sabha -- they have over 50 books which
explain the meaning in clear Tamil (with original in devanAgari) for
important vaidiika rituals. Their office does not even have a
telephone, the way to contact them is via the Manager's cell phone. 
We can translate them, make them available as PDF and charge a dollar
for each copy and send it to them, They were distributing these books
for free and expecting some voluntary donation. Now they have started
charging nominal fee (Rs 20-30) to cover the printing costs.

* Veda Patha Nidhi Trust, which helps  old and disabled veda paaThis
with a monthly support. If you think these people cannot survive in
the inflated India (thanks to MNCs) while they are active -- think of
their state after they can no longer work. In a city like Madras you
need 3000 to 5000 Rs to live modestly. This organization is run by
eminent people from different walks of life.   You can read about it

* While was at Mayavaram recently, we were sitting in the shrine of
abhayaambikaa and it was evening. Suddenly that atmosphere was
electified when a group of 50 students marched in chanting rudram. All
were wearing panchakacha and with proper south indian style shika.
These young boys join the "Shivapura veda-shaivagama paaThashaala"
paying one time fee of Rs. 5000 and then for years to come  they are
trained in veda-s and shaiva agaama-s. They are also taught some
English and other subjects.  Most of them would end up looking for
some prohitam or related work. Their education and  other needs (food,
etc.) are taken care by  donations -- often from wealthy members of
vaishya community.   It is amazing that these things are happening in
nAgapaTTinam district, which is slowly changing into a muslim

* The chatur  veda paaTha shaala in Chidambaram. They train people  in
all 4 veda-s and probably some of you would have known/heard the name
Sri Parmeswara Dixitar.

We have to use our networking to find  out list of such activities
going on and make it available in a form that  so that some of us
(those who can) help them on a regular basis.

It is true that some modern day saints are able to collect large sums.
That  became possible for many reasons and lot of it comes from
abroad.  For instance, I trust the work that goes on with mAtA
amRitAnandamayI's charitable activities and her  tireless effort in
comforting people from all walks of life. I have been immensely
benefitted by her in many ways over the last 7+ years.  When we
decided to contribute for the Tsunami related effort, we had no doubt
in our mind and no second thought on were to send the money.  Even
though personally we do distribute our  budgeted amout for such
activities to different groups -- each person develops trust with
different organizations.

Another thing we should take heart is, most of us have another 30 to
50 years ahead of us.  Even few hours a week dedicated to learning our
sampradaya and associated works should carry the torch forward.  True,
modern times allow only part time effort. But think of it, moden times
also allows you save time out of some of the day to day activities
which used to be taxing.

Overall, I am very confident that things are getting better and we can
help that in whatever little way we can.  One of the action items we
have for ambaa.org is find and list all possible organizations and
teachers on the website and make them well known. I think with lists
such as advaita-L, ambaa-L, shrouta etc. we can create an efficient
network for learning and supporting good causes.


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