HYDERABAD: Exposed to the philosophy of Vedanta from early childhood, a deep interest for the knowledge took priority in her life. From the age of 16, Sunanda Leelaram, affectionately known as Sunandaji, has followed a programme of study and research under the guidance of her father and guru, Swami Parthasarathy.
Under his guidance, Sunanda has been researching and propagating the philosophy of Vedanta for over three decades. “Vedanta has been the one changeless aspect of life. It has helped lead a complete life. Vedantic principles give clarity, objectivity and efficiency in all aspects, personal and official,” says the international lecturer, whose discourses range from explanations of the ancient philosophical texts, like Bhagavad Gita, to modern day topics, such as formula for success, inspirational leadership, life in balance.
It is a scientific system of principles that govern human life - the digest of great thinkers and philosophers over countless generations. In the world, there are two distinct classes of people. “One class is active, productive and prosperous. But by their own admission they have lost their peace of mind. While the other class of people is relatively peaceful and happy but without much action. Since they lack action they are not productive, prosperous. The philosophy of Vedanta provides the answer. It gives the technique for a dynamic life of action while enjoying perfect peace and happiness within,” says the educator.
Objective of the Vedanta
Vedanta is a philosophy which enunciates the eternal principles of life and living. The objective is to disseminate the knowledge of Vedanta for the benefit of people in different parts of India and the world. This involves annual discourses on the Bhagavad Gita for large public audiences in India and abroad, corporate workshops, seminars, educating the young through the literature researched and written by Swami Parthasarathy. A structured programme is available for students enrolled in the three-year residential course in the Vedanta Academy. The education is focused on the development of the human intellect and not merely providing intelligence on a subject.
“Vedanta is a systematic knowledge that gives you the true insight into life. It helps you identify your divine self. Attain your absolute state of peace and bliss. That is the goal of all religions. Furthermore, Vedanta excels in its scientific exposition. It expounds the truth methodically, logically. Its universal application appeals to all lovers of truth,” says the philosopher.
Vedanta is the ancient philosophy of India, dating back several thousand years. “It is known as Sanatan Dharma, eternal principles. These principles of life do not change with time and age. The knowledge of scriptures are as relevant as they were thousands of years ago and will continue to be applicable for all future generations,” she says.
Effect of Tech on spirituality
While the world has been improved by science and technology. Amenities and facilities are provided for human comfort and well being. “The paradox today is that inspite of all the technological developments around, the human race is not necessarily happy. People are riddled with worry, anxiety, suffering and sorrow everywhere.
The ancient sages of India investigated the cause of this paradox. They discovered that while the world was well taken care of by science, the individual was unattended, neglected to a point of fault. The solution lies in developing oneself,” she says adding, “A strong intellect has the ability to control distractions and attractions of the mind. It enables one to make right choices and decisions. To be master, not slave to the demands of one’s own mind is key.”
Incorporate Vedanta into lives
Vedanta teaches one to fulfil obligations in life. To do what one ought to do. To carry out work objectively with a strong intellect. “Maintain an impersonal, detached attitude, proportion and fulfil different roles in life. The intellect is developed and strengthened through a daily study of Vedanta philosophy. Of 11 books written by Swami Parthasarathy, four provide the required material for people with obligations in the world. The recommended time of study is between 4 am and 6 am. Duration of study should be 45 minutes to a maximum of one hour.” advices the Vedanta philosopher
Discourses in English
Bhagavad Gita Ch IX by Sunanda Leelaram from November 19 to 22 from 6: 30 pm to 8 pm at Shankarji Memorial Hall, Exhibition Grounds, Nampally.