VISAKHAPATNAM, INDIA, October 16, 2010: Reciting or reading 24,000 slokas in Valmiki Ramayana might take a few weeks or months, but writing them on Palmyra Leaves within six months is no mean task.
This treasure of ‘Ramayana on Talapatra’, about 200-years-old, is one of the books on display at the domestic ritual of entreating Goddess Saraswati by Sanskrit scholar Vedula Subrahmanya Sastri.
“We have many occasions in a year to remember the Gods and Goddesses, festivals to ensure we concentrated our thoughts on self-discipline, adhering to Dharma — a word that has no parallel in other country or religion,” he observed. A tradition followed for centuries, to perform a Saraswati Puja using as a murti all books available in the house, continues religiously in this scholar’s house with the help of his granddaughter.
Most attractive among the books are ‘12 Talapatra grandhalu’, which has been in the family for a long time, with a tale. “The condition for my great-grandfather’s marriage was a gift of Valmiki Ramayana was completed in six months flat,” he recounts.
Penance is an essential part of Hindu Dharma, and in the case of Goddess Sarasvati means also improving concentration towards studies for children and the grown-up alike, the retired professor from Andhra University Sastri told The Hindu.