SRINGERI SHANKARACHARYA RELEASES `HEAVENLY ISLANDS OF GOA’

A WARM WELCOME IN GOA: For Jagadguru Sri Sri Vidhushekhara Bharati at the Goa Raj Bhavan on April 20, 2024; the Sringeri Shankaracharya released Governor Sreedharan Pillai’s 221st book titled “Heavenly Islands of Goa.” It also proved to be a happy visit for the Shankaracharya of Dakshinamnaya (Sri Sharada Peetham) as he visited the Raj Bhavan’s garden grounds and dairy farm.

By Tara Narayan

IT was an unusually unforgettable and special occasion at the new Durbar Hall of the Raj Bhavan on April 20, 2024. It also rained copiously to thunder and lightning outside even as inside Governor PS Sreedharan Pillai welcomed his guest, Jagadguru Sri Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji, Shankarcharya of Sringeri. Goa’s very genial Governor PS Sreedharan Pillai was all smiles and there was music and fragrance in the air as all invitees left their footwear outside the Durbar Hall to partake of the Sringeri Shankarcharya’s darshan as also the “pad puja” carried out by the governor and First Lady K Rita Pillai.
Another highlight of the ceremonial morning was the release of Governor PS Pillai’s newest Raj Bhavan publication titled “Heavenly Islands of Goa.” This was something the Sringeri Shankarcharya was happy to do for in his limited speech he said books were something he couldn’t resist for they honored all books. The Shankarcharya comes across as a young, very simply attired and a man of few words, although it may be remembered he was one of those who was against incomplete Ram Temple at Ayodhya being inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi!
Nevertheless, he was happy to accept the invitation of Governor Pillai to visit and bless Goa, especially on the occasion of a book release. The governor who said that we need peace first and prosperity later expressed his joy over the fact that actually four Raj Bhavan publications have been released on that extremely, auspicious day by the much respected Shankaracharya of Shingeri who is the 37th guru and who is also a Vedic scholar. He shared with everyone that although everyone thinks the art of bonsai or “vamanavrikshakala” hails from Japan or China maybe, but the truth is that this is an ancient art from India; he also mentioned the grand trees of Goa and the Kaavi art of Goa which should be written about so that tourists come to see it. There are trees to see in Goa too and they can be tourist attractions.
Goa’s Gyanpeeth awardee and writer Damodar Mauzo, who was a special invitee, said he was doubly privileged to be present on the occasion and praised the governor for promoting Indian concepts, and was happy to receive the first copy of “Heavenly Islands of Goa.” He praised the governor whom he admired for all the good work he had been doing as governor of Goa and was passionate about whatever he did, “He understands Goa’s ethos, its culture…and takes it beyond Goa.”
HH Jagadguru Vidhushekara Bharati Sannidhanam in his talk praised Goa as the land of Gomantak, and said it was blessed with natural beauty. He was happy to be in Goa and also to see the goshala at the Raj Bhavan. He spoke about India where to worship books is a tradition, parampara, “and we respect books.” He said, “Bharat is dharma and this is sanatan dharma, there is nothing greater than this…we must do good for all. There is no reason to bring pain to others…all should be saajan.” Friends. Nobody is big or small, or cheap or expensive, all is relative and we must respect the cost; he reiterated, strive to be friends, “This is our sanatan dharma.”
Indeed, all this and much more worth remembering and imbibing in one’s daily living courtesy HH Jagadguru Sri Sri Vidhushekara Bharati Sannidhanam, the extremely soft spoken and gentle Shankarcharya of Shringeri. After the function everyone was served with refreshments.

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