SYDNEY Veda Pathshala is a unique school of its kind in the world. Managed by the Vishva Hindu Parishad of Australia Inc. (i.e, World Hindu Council of Australia Inc.), the school is involved in preserving and promoting the “Vedic Chanting” which is considered as the outstanding oral cultural tradition and declared by UNESCO as “World Intangible Cultural Heritage”.
Sydney Veda Pathshala, was started in 2008 under the guidance of Swami Vigyananand, Joint General Secretary, VHP. Now, there are three such schools in the suburbs of Baulkham Hills, Carlingford and Liverpool where over 75 registered students learn and practise the “Vedic Chanting” from traditionally trained Veda teachers.
The second anniversary of Sydney Veda Pathshala was celebrated in a grand manner at the Crestwood High School, Baulkham Hills, Sydney on April 17, 2010 where more than 200 people attended to hear, participate and appreciate the unique “Vedic Chanting” programme.
A traditional welcome was given to the chief guests, Swami Vigyananand, Clr. Wendy Waller, Mayor of Liverpool Council and Clr. Mike Thomas, Deputy Mayor of the Hills Shire Council. Smt. Subhashree Balachandar, Treasurer of VHP of Australia Inc, welcomed all the guests and participants. She highlighted the achievements of Sydney Veda Pathshala students over the last 12 months.
History was created on April 19, 2010 during the welcome ceremony of the Queen’s Baton relay for XIX Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010 in Sydney (Australia). The welcoming of the baton began with auspicious “Vedic Chanting” by Sydney Veda Pathshala students invoking the blessing of the supreme divine for the successful completion of the Commonwealth Games.
While speaking on the importance of studying Vedas, Swami Vigyananand said “Pyramids have been eroded by desert wind, the marble broken by the earthquake and gold stolen by robbers while the Veda is recited daily by unbroken chain of generation travelling like great waves through living substance of mind.”
He also said, “Precious stone or durable material gold, silver, bronze, marble and granite have been used by most ancient people in an attempt to immortalize their achievement no, so however the Hindu. The Hindu turned may seem most volatile and substantial material of all the spoken word and out the bubble of air fashioned a monument which for more than 60 century later stand untouched by the time or element.”
Swami Vigyananand acknowledged the selfless commitment of the teachers in promoting and preserving this ancient knowledge and wisdom.
The Liverpool City Council Mayor, Clr. Wendy Waller praised the Hindu’s contributions and stated that the Hindu Australian community has been an integral part of the Australian community for more than 150 years. The Hills Shire Deputy Mayor Clr. Mike Thomas stated that there are more than 5,000 Hindus living in the Shire Council. During his speech he said “I am impressed by the Hindu society initiative, and community participation in revival of this outstanding oral tradition.
Pooja Sashi, a student of Sydney Veda Pathshala, presented the scientific significance of “Vedic Chanting” and its potential in enhancing the memory and revitalising the neurons.
Another highlight of the programme was Bala Samskar Kendra (school). The school has been operating for over 10 years at Liverpool, teaching the “Hindu Dharma” for young children under the able guidance of Smt Saraswathi Sashi. Currently the school has 100 students with 12 voluntary teachers. Smt Saraswathi announced opening of Bala Samskar Kendra branch in the suburb of Toongabbie.
On this occasion, Smt Rani Sundar, coordinator of Hindu Dharma classes in New South Wales public schools, mentioned that currently under this programme organised by the Vishva Hindu Parishad of Australia Inc., more than 2,000 children are benefitting in over 40 schools in Sydney suburbs. As a part of the anniversary celebrations, the voluntary teachers and the teachers of Bala Samskar Kendra were felicitated by Swami Vigyananand.
This was followed by honouring of Veda Pathshala teachers (Shri Subramanian, Shri Ramarathinam, and Shri Narayanan), and certificates were given to students by Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller and the Hills Deputy Mayor Mike Thomas in appreciation of their efforts in preserving this Heritage for Humanity.
The vote of thanks was proposed by Shri Vijayendra Rao. He mentioned that without the help of volunteers, and support from the community, such important initiatives and activities cannot be possible. At the end, the participants enjoyed a sumptuous vegetarian dinner, coordinated by Smt Subhashree Balachander and her team.