Sanskrit Scholar, Ordained Monk arrives in New Zealand

Sanskrit Scholar, Ordained Monk arrives in New Zealand

Public Reception to Bhadreshdas Swami at Mahatma Gandhi Centre on September 13

Ragavan Rengachariar
Auckland, September 7, 2019

Bhadreshdas Swami speaking in Victorian Parliament, Melbourne on August 31, 2019 (Picture from Facebook Pramukhraj BAPS)

The Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads and Brahma Sutras are collectively known as ‘Prasthantrayi.’

These scriptures impart ‘Gnana’ or ‘eternal truth’ to the soul for practice in everyday life.

The Brahma Sutras, in Sanskrit, systematise and summarise the philosophical and spiritual ideas in the Upanishads.

Ragavan Rengachariar

Prasthantrayi mean three sources or axioms that refer to the three canonical texts of Divine Philosophy, especially of the Vedanta Schools. They envelope the Brahma Sutras, Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita. These were written or came into existence thousands of years ago. 

Interpretative Texts

Many Sages, Saints and Acharyas including Ramanujacharya, Shankaracharya and Ekanathar have written commentaries known as ‘Bhashya’ for the benefit of devotees and common people for easy assimilation and practice.

The Bhashya itself evolves as successive saints and scholars revisit the Scriptures.

One such is Bhadreshdas Swami, who is currently on a visit to New Zealand.

Known as ‘Swaminarayan Bhashyam’ the works of Bhareshdas is considered as a significant part of Vedantic Philosophy.

A disciple of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the previous Head of Swaminarayan Sampradaya or Tradition, he is revered by political, religious and community leaders worldwide.

Bhadreshdas Swami being received at Victorian Parliament in Melbourne on August 31, 2019 Picture from Facebook Pramukhraj BAPS)

First in 1200 years

This is the first time in last 1200 years that a new Hindu Bhashya has been written since Shankaracharya’s Advaita Darshan of such proportions.

It is said that for the first time, a Bhashya, founded on all three Prasthantrayi as well as a Vad Granth (critical reflection on the Bhashya) has been authored within one’s lifetime. 

In doing so, Bhadreshdas has achieved a very special and rare feat as an Acharya to the amazement and appreciation of renowned Sanskrit scholars.

Bhadreshdas had to abandon the project since a part of the completed work was lost.

He was inspired by Pramukh Swami to continue his efforts.

Bhadreshdas admits that though he had lost hope, he could rewrite the lost parts as if in a state of trance, with the Grace of his Master.

Bhadreshdas earned worldwide recognition for his studies, works and contributions to Hindu philosophy and scholarly Sanskrit literature.

Promoting traditions

His Bhashya and numerous articles preserve and promote the traditions and values of Hinduism. They inspire people towards a more spiritually-centred life and spark new meaning and perspective to the shlokas and words in the Prasthantrayi. 

Bhadreshdas holds doctorates (PhD and D Litt) and teaches and guides PhD students.

He travels widely in India and abroad to spread the message of the Akshar Purushottam Siddhant of BAPS  Swaminarayan Sampradaya. 

Bhadreshdas Swami presenting his ‘Bhashya,’ to Victorian Parliament Speaker Colin Brooks in Melbourne on August 31, 2019 (Picture from Facebook Pramukhraj BAPS)

Felicitations in Melbourne

He arrived in New Zealand yesterday (September 6) from Melbourne, Australia, where he was received by Victoria Assembly Speaker Colin Brooks, former Legislative Council President Bruce Atkinson and Legislative Council (Northern Metropolitan) Member Craig Ondarchie.

He gifted a set of ‘Swaminarayan Bhashyam’ to Mr Brooks.

Among others present at the event were Indian Consul General Raj Kumar, Hindu Council of Australia President Abhijti Bhide, Hindu Organisations, Temples and Associations Forum President Rajiv Baheti.

The Victorian Parliament presented Bhadreshdas with a Certificate of Honour for his contributions to Hinduism.

Lecture in Auckland

He will be accorded a Special Reception at the Mahatma Gandhi Centre on Friday, September 13. Organised by Swaminarayan Mandir, Avondale, the event will commence at 630 pm with an address by Bhadreshdas on ‘Towards Better Living, through the Bhagavad Gita.

The event is open to all.

Ragavan Rengachariar is our Religious and Spiritual Correspondent. A qualified Accountant and Banker, he is a Fellow of the New Zealand Credit & Finance Institute Incorporated and Associate of the New Zealand Institute of Management. Mr Rengachariar is Founder-Trustee of the RAMS Foundation, a Trust registered under the New Zealand Charities Commission. He lives in Auckland.

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