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Sri Chandramoulisvaraya Namah:
VEDA DHARMA SASTRA PARIPALANA SABHA (Regd.)

Kumbhakonam


AIMS & OBJECTIVES

As per instructions of Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peethadhipathi Jagadguru Shri Shankaracharya Swamigal, “VEDA DHARMA SASTRA PARIPALANA SABHA” has been registered on 11th September 1942 (S.No. 1 of 1942-43).

Objectives of Sabha

Objectives of this Sabha:

  1. Primarily encouraging and developing Niyama Adhyayana (Study as per rules) of Vedas while staying in Gurukulam.
  2. Developing knowledge of Vedas and Dharma Sastras.
  3. Teaching in traditional manner and spreading of Vedas and Dharma Sastras.
  4. Collecting funds from brahmanas for looking after brahmana upadhyayas (traditional teachers) and brahmana students of Vedas, Veda Bhashyas (commentaries on Vedas), Grihyasutras and Dharma Sastras; giving honoraria to students who pass the examinations and Guru dakshina to upadhyayas.
Administration of Sabha

This Sabha is administered by an executive committee of ten members appointed by Sri Acharya Swamigal. Honoraria are being awarded in accordance with funds collected. As per rules of the Sabha, donations of Rs.50/- and above are added to the Corpus Fund.

Examinations
Details of Examinations conducted by Sabha:
  1. “Dharmagna”: This examination will be conducted in 6 years. Texts on which examination will be held: Veda, Grihyam, Smriti, Jaimini Nyayamala, Tarkasangraha Deepika, Veda Bhashya, Dharma Sutra, Siksha, Koumudi, Darsapurnamasa Sutra, Upanishad Bhashya, Pingalacharya’s Chandovisruthi, Mantraprasna Bhashya, Yaska Niruktam, Vedanga Jyotisham etc.
  2.  “Grihyagna”: This examination will be conducted in one year. Examination will be in Veda, Grihyam, Smriti and Darsapurnamasa Sutra.
  3. “Vedadhyayana”.
  4. “Prayoga”: Two years.
  5. “Dharmasatra”: Two years.

Rules of examinations have been printed and published.
It has been decided that honorarium will be given to students who pass the examination in that year and continued to be given to them for life every year.

Examination Centres
The talukas in Thanjavur District have been clubbed into five groups as under:
  1. Kumbhakonam, Papanasam.   (2) Nannilam, Nagapattinam, Tiruturaipundi. (3) Mayavaram, Sirkali.  (4) Mannargudi, Pattukkottai, Aranthangi.  (5) Thanjavur.

Every year an assembly (sadas) will be held in a centre in the talukas of each group. In those assemblies examinations will be conducted and honoraria will be given to those who pass the examinations, the examiners and vidvans. On the days of assembly, discourses will be held by vidvans on the many dharmas to be observed by men and women. At all centres, examinations will be conducted for Vedadhyayana, Prayoga and Dharma Sastra. Brahmanas in the respective talukas alone will be permitted to sit for the examinations held there. Dharmagna and Grihyagna examinations will only be held in the assembly for Kumbhakonam and Papanasam talukas.

Sammelanams (Assemblies)
As per the above scheme the following Sammelanams have been held so far.

Parthiva year                        Kumbhakonam                       7 to 9, March, 1946
Vyaya year                            Mudikondan                            10 to 14, December 1946           
    -do-                                     Kumbhakonam                       24 February 1947 to 5 March 1947
    -do-                                     Mannargudi                             24 to 26, March 1947
Sarvajit year                          Thanjavur                                 11 to 13, September 1947
    -do-                                     Kuttalam                                   1 to 3, December 1947
    -do-                                     Nagapattinam                          18 to 20, January 1948
    -do-                                     Kumbhakonam                       29 March 1948 to 7 April 1948

A sum of approximately Rs.7000/- has been disbursed in the form of honoraria so far.

It is creditable that in the activities and examinations in the above Sammelanams, persons of the three religious affiliations, viz. Smarthas, Vaishnavas and Maadhvas participate with interest.

With a view to extending such Sammelanams to other districts also, arrangements are now under way to hold them in South Arcot, Tiruchi and Salem districts as soon as possible.

Dissemination


In order to explain the necessity of augmenting the knowledge of Vedas and Dharma Sastras among the public and to inculcate interest in active participation in the Sabha’s activities, discourses are held in many places by reputed Vidvans.

Arrangements to teach Purvaapara Prayogam

One of the objectives of the Sabha is to bring up Astikas (Believers) to perform traditionally established karmas with meditation on the respective Devatas and contemplation on the meaning of mantras and without errors in pronunciation, chanting and svara (accent). In order to teach these aspects to those who seek help in learning them, upadhyayas will be appointed at the Sabha’s expense to teach Vedas, Veda Bhashyas, Grihya Sutras and Dharma Sastras.

At the request of brahmanas in Nagapattinam in this context, a upadhyaya has been appointed there to teach Purvaapara Prayogam (Procedures of performing essential karmas during one’s life and post-death) etc. and classes are being held.

Publications

One of the objectives of the Sabha is to spread knowledge of Dharma Sastras. In order to fulfill that purpose, it is not enough to conduct Sadas and hold discourses in some places. Knowledge of Dharma Sastras should extend to each brahmana family. It is necessary to remind everyone of the dharmas to be observed by him. Towards this end, it has been decided to publish small leaflets dealing with general matters of dharma, prayoga (procedure), mantrartha (meanings of mantras) etc. with the help of experts in the field. Publication of such leaflets is already in progress. The leaflets are being sent to many places where Tamils live. We appeal to all Astikas to fulfill the Sabha’s aim of reaching the information in the leaflets to all brahmana families through circulation, distribution, reading out on occasions where brahmanas assemble like bhajans, special programmes etc. or by any method suited to the particular area. We find from the letters received at the Sabha that many people do read and understand the matters in the publications and look forward eagerly to receiving more such publications.
 
Propagation of Books

A leaflet has been printed and sent to many places explaining the methods of gaining basic Sanskrit knowledge to enable boys, girls and elders in each Agrahara to understand the meaning of slokas (verses) in Grantha script and Tamil songs. For gaining this knowledge one has to get ‘Sabdam’ (declinables of nouns) by heart; one has also to get used to Grantha script. For the convenience of those who cannot procure ‘Sabda’ book, it has been arranged to print ‘Sabda’ book in Grantha script and issue it to them from the Sabha.




Constituent Assembly Matter

Government have asked for opinion of the general public in regard to schemes relating to basic principles of the future State. The Sabha has passed certain resolutions in Sammelanams objecting to the provisions leading to possible interference of Government in matters of religion and also putting forth the necessity of establishing freedom of religious organizations. The resolutions have been communicated to the Constituent Assembly. This matter has also been propagated among the public.

Sri Acharyal has instructed that a sum of Re.1/- must be collected from each brahmana family towards expenses of Sabha on account of honoraria, propaganda, publications etc. It is requested that all brahmanas should give their donations to those authorized by the Sabha and obtain Sabha receipt.

Sri Matham,                                                                                                                                                                                                   V.Subramanian
Kumbhakonam,                                                                                                                                                                                                       Secretary
21.6.1948

Translated from Tamil by: P R Kannan, Navi Mumbai

Click here to access the original article in Tamil


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