New Delhi: Winner of this year’s Bharatatma Ashok Singhal Vedic Awards, Pankaj Sharma, revealed the objective behind his study of the Vedas. Pankaj wants to promote the teachings of Vedas across the world and get the Vedic scripture its due.
Pankaj, who bagged the best student of the year award, said, “In ancient times, India was considered the land of spirituality because the Vedas were held in high esteem. My aim is to promote the knowledge and wisdom of the Vedas in the country as well as abroad. This prize would further encourage me to work with more vigor towards my goal.” Pankaj took elementary education in Madhya Pradesh’s Palsoda Village and took admission in Rajasthan’s Mahadev Shishu Gunjan Ved Sansthan Gurukul to pursue Vedic studies. There he studied Shukla Yajurveda under the guidance of Vedamurti Madhurji Joshi Guruji. Along with the Vedas, Pankaj has also studied modern literature.
In the fond memory of late Ashok Singhal, the former international president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the Singhal Foundation conferred the ‘Bharatatma Ashok Singhal Vedik Puruskar’ on September 25th. The objective behind convening such an award is to promote Vedic education and appreciate the efforts of all those working in this direction.
Maharashtra’s Sadguru Nijanand Maharaj Ved Vidhyalay won the award for best Vedic school, along with Pankaj Kumar – best student. Pankaj was given the best student award and the cash prize of Rs 5 lakh.
The jury chose Shridhar Adi as the best teacher and rewarded a cash prize of Rs 7 lakh. Swami Govinddev Giri Ji honoured the jury on September 25th which chose the winners.
On this occasion, Swami Govinddev Giri said, “Today, Vedas are not getting what they actually deserve. With these awards, efforts are also being made to restore the value of the Vedas among the common people, so it is important for the Vedicists also to be honoured. Today, 34 Ved schools are being operated across the country by the Singhal Foundation. Being Vedic does not mean to be poor, but to be dynamic.”
While 81-year-old Vinayak Badal was awarded a lifetime achievement award for reviving the education of ‘Shatpath Brahmin’ – which was on the verge of extinction and even training two of his disciples. Born on August 8, 1938, in the Vedic family of Kashi, Badal received elementary education in the Vedas from his father. He was also honoured from Shankaracharyas of all four peeths for studying Vedic scriptures and religious texts. He has imparted Vedic education to more than 150 disciples. His six generations have been involved in the education and teaching of the Vedas. Two of his sons are the seventh generation in his family to carry on that legacy.
Shridhar Adi, who received the Best Teacher Award at the function, studied Rigveda from Harihar Ved Vidyalaya. From Madhyama to Atharvavedacharya, he secured a gold medal at Puranand Sanskrit University. He was appointed the professor of Atharvaveda at Shri Meghadakshini Murtived Bhavan Vidyalaya. He went on to be appointed as the Principal of the school.
Satguru Nijanand Maharaj Ved Vidyalaya, set up during the Vijayadashmi festival of 1991 in Alandi, Maharashtra, was selected as the best Vedic school. In just 27 years, 272 students of Vedic schools, 24 teachers of Vedas and 4 Ganpati have been dedicated to the service of the motherland. Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Delhi-based Ved Vidyalaya, and several other such Vedic schools are spreading the light of Vedic knowledge among students.