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कृण्वन्तो विश्वमार्यम्


By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant, VSM

A smiling face with peace writ large all over, her Mangoloid mien pronounced her
personal identity suo moto. I saw her for the first time during the Gurukul Utsav
when she ascended the stage and stood behind a mike. She sang a Vedic bhajan
in a melodious voice like a nightingale in a mango grove. Enchanting indeed
beyond belief.. The audience was spellbound. They loosened strings of their
purses to shower monetary blessings on her. Dr Ved Prakash Arya of Lahore, the
founder Kulpati of the Dronsthali Kanya Gurukul, opined that the singing and
swaying teenager from Mizoram was indeed a doyen of the Gurukul choir. Her
chanting of the Ved mantras was equally melodious and the pronunciation quite
Let us not feel put off by these three outlandish words of the sub-heading here.
That is the original name of the smiling face from Mizoram. Moving up and down
on the undulating Doon terrain from the Yajna shala to Sabha Bhawan and from
Goshala to Bhojan Kaksh, one could not miss her blithe gait and a free from
blemish face. I beckoned her during one such routine march and enquired about
her name."Nandita - that is how Dr Annapurna, Acharya Ji and other
brahmacharinis address me" was her effortless response. That is your Gurukul
name, right, but how do your people back home address you, I persisted, "Lal
San Puyi" said she with a twinkle in the eye assessing my predicament in
pronouncing unfamiliar words. Of course, the unfamiliar words are for record
purposes only and the entire Gurukul knows her as Nandita. She likes it. It is
indeed a Visa to enter the North Indian social set up that is so different from the
North-Eastern milieu. Well, it goes to prove what India, that is Bharat, actually is -
Unity in Diversity. This concept may now be a myth in some parts of our great
nation as there turmoil has practically replaced the rule of law.
A lady assistant to Acharya Ji explained to the Aryas that had come from far and
near to attend the Gurukul Utsav that the ethos of the Vedic education was an all
inclusive one. So, Lal San Puyi, now Nandita, had no problem in learning the Ved
mantras or the Vedic syllabus. She never felt like an alien from another planet.
She took to the Gurukul life like a fish takes to water. She too turned a
vegetarian like the rest of her classmates. Just imagine, a descendent of a head
hunting tribe turning to cabbage and cauliflower for sustenance. Of course, cow
milk from the Gurukul Gaushala was a purifying protein that cleansed her body as
Ved mantras made her soul a sanskari one. Unbelievable but true!
After she became Nandita, the first few days, nay weeks, were indeed trying
ones. Lal San Puyi knew no Hindi at that point of time. And the Gaculty knew no
English, Exasperating at times both for her and for those around her.
Communication was major problem. Communicating by signs and symbols
became the order of the day. At times it developed into comic situations. At times
when Lal San Puyi wished to eat cheese, she was offered a piece of chalk out of
sheer ignorance. Both the giver and the taker laughed it away. A fine sense of
humour saved the situation many times. "A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine
go down in a delightful way, that was the musical refrain of the heroin in the
movie, The Sound of Music Our heroine in focus is from the tribal tract, has a fine
sense of humour and handles difficult developments in a delightful way.
One wonders what caused her exodus from her native state, Mizoram. Well, the
Christian clergy were determined to convert Lal San Puyi and other members of
her family to the flock of Jesus but this Animist family was equally, if not more,
determined to stick to the ancestral faith. This firmness paved the path to Gurukul
for Lal San Puyi and to the tribal belt of Tripura for the rest of the family. The
Vedic way of life has been a boon to Lal San Puyi and she is nursing a plan to
enlighten those who are still in an area of darkness.
Neo- Nandita always lends a helping hand to those who need it. One fine
morning as I emerged out of the lecture hall after delivering a sermon, I found my
new pair of sandals missing. Perhaps someone old enough to distinguish
between own chappals and those of others had mistakenly wore mine. No sweat,
I thought. Or may be, my new sandals were a source of temptation to a pair of
needy feet.. Nandita saw me walk barefoot for a day or so.. Nandita ran here and
there looking for my lost pair of sandals. She confided that she had located an old
pair of chappals lying in a corner for a day or so unclaimed. She brought them to
me and requested me to accept them. I declined. She persisted and eventually
had her way. These old chappals protected my feet from loose pebbles in the
Doon valley and still occupy some space in a corner of my house awaiting their
original owner.
Today Nandita is a sanskari brahmcharini because she has been groomed by the
Acharya, Dr Annapurna Ji. She took her under her wings and provided physical
protection, mental reassurance and spiritual guidance when Lal San Puyi needed
them most. Dr Ved Prakash Arya, the Kul Pita, stood by the new entrant from
Mizoram like a rock and provided her with everything that she needed. Uprooted
from her native place and transplanted in the Doon valley her spirit could have
been shattered but for the Kul Pita and the Acharya Ji. Lal San Puyi had a
smooth sailing to the new uncharted sea. Her passage to the Vedic Dharm was
so flawless that even psychologists found it a good topic of research in human
It will indeed be a great day when she succeeds in attracting, not luring or
coercing like the Christian missionaries do, many of her compatriots from
Mizoram to the Vedic Dharm. The Vedas will indeed show light to those who are
still living in darkness and then the life of Vedic bliss will be lived for ever and
ever. Let us wish our new Nandita god-speed and a true success as a Vedic
missionary. May Param Pita Parmatma be with Nandita in her forward march on
the Vedic path.