She had a close affinity to all our traditional scriptures from childhood and at the mere age of 15, during a spiritual discourse by Sengalipuram Anantarama Dikshitar in Triprayar, when she was asked by the spiritual guru to give a oratorical speech on Lord Krishna, she didn’t hesitate a bit and gave a long speech on the lord. And that was the beginning of the journey of Prema Pandurang, a renowned preacher of Hinduism.
“I had always loved the scriptures for its relevance with our lives and the immortality of its values, vices and virtues and understanding of human bonds. Whatever be the era that we live in, human nature is the same always. And in our epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, human nature is analysed in great depth,” says Prema Pandurang about her humble beginnings.
The spiritual leader feels that there are four main problems that we are facing in the society. “One is the lack of values. Now husband and wife do not get along with each other but earlier it was not like that. There was a deeper spiritual understanding between the couples. Then our society also lacks in morals. Both men and women are going astray with extra marital affairs and aping western ideologies. I try to bring back those morals to our country which was once known for its specific code of conduct. The third thing is the financial problem. Individuals are becoming more greedy. If a person has four sons, all of them would need a car, a house and other luxuries. And finally, there is a tendency among the masses to achieve their goals through shortcuts, rather than striving diligently for them,” says Pandurang during her third visit to the city.
Pandurang has come to imbibe Valmiki’s insightful thoughts through the Ramayana this time. Ask her why she chose the epic, she says, “The Ramayana being one of the oldest epic in the world is also one of the strongest pillar of Indian society. Another highlight of the scripture is its deep analysis of human nature,” says Pandurang who was a professor of English for Postgraduate students in Presidency College, Chennai.
As per the Bhagavad Gita saying goes, ‘when adharma seeps into the society, God will reincarnate himself to wipe out adharma’. And in this present world where one could mostly see adharma happening everywhere in the form of corruption, terrorism and other social evils, ask Pandurang what is her take on the matter, she says, “God is a benign presence. He is more real and one can sense him through the miracles happening in their life. The presence of God grows strong when good people fight for justice and establish goodness in the society. The problem of our society should not be the problem of our legislation alone but each individual should stand and fight for the good cause,” she says. For her reviving faith among the youth is the aim that she strives to achieve through her speeches. “It is faith that keeps our life together and can take us a long way. If faith in superior power is regained in the heart of young minds, then only our future will be good,” she adds.
One can listen to Prema Pandurang’s public discourse on Valmiki Ramayana in English at Vinayaka Kalyana Mandapam from 5.30 pm till December 1.