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Seeking the answers

Here's someone who found a new vocation that he diligently pursues



C.V. Gopinath: determined spiritual quest

HAVING EXCELLED in academics, topping his MBA course, it did not come as a surprise to C.V. Gopinath's family when he eventually donned the mantle of the Deputy Director General, Bharatiya Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). He could have taken it easy, looking forward to retirement, and spending the rest of his life with his grandchildren. But Mr. Gopinath was not content with just that. He was in pursuit of something else, something that could satisfy his spiritual quest.

That was when he turned to Indian scriptures. The more he explored the Vedas and the Upanishads, the more involved he got in them. In due course, he became something of an authority on them, capable of reciting and interpreting Vedic hymns even in his sleep. His mission now is to spread his knowledge of the ancient texts.

But how did he, given his educational background, get even remotely interested in Vedic literature? "My father is a Vedic scholar and my grandfather was a Ghanapaathi in the Mysore royal court. So it was quite natural for me to take to the Vedas." When his professional demands increased, his interest in the Vedas took the backseat for a while. But while working in Jabalpur, he came across a person who was looking out for a place to teach the Bhagavad Gita to young children. Mr. Gopinath not only offered his residence as the venue, but was also a keen participant in the classes. This rekindled his passion for scriptures yet again.

"The more I started reading them, the more involved I got. And soon, I was making several trips to the Himalayas to find answers to my spiritual quest," he says. Why the Himalayas? "Because these gigantic mountains have humbled many a great saint. And their quest is recorded in the Vedas. For instance, the Sindhu river and the Kailash mountains are mentioned several times in our scriptures," says this scholar who has read books written by both Indian and Western authors on our scriptures.

Having later undergone training by Pandit Padmanabha Sharma, Principal of Shankaracharya Samskruta Maha Vidyalaya, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, he decided to share his knowledge among his countrymen. "I want to inspire and motivate as many people as possible to take to Indian scriptures," he says, on how he started giving talks on the Vedas.

Gradually, his talks became so popular he was travelling up and down the country. Till date, he has given around 500 talks. That he has a deep and attractive voice also helps. His talks are accompanied by audiovisual clips made by him during his Himalayan journey. "One who listens to my talk feels like a yatri. It's virtually a spiritual journey for them," he says.

He has made three documentary films — Kailash and Mansarovar, Amarnath, and Yajurveda: Cosmic Rhythms in Divine Abodes.

He is also a priest and conducts various homas and pujas. He uses the money he earns thus to promote Sanskrit and for research at N.S. Kashmir Research Institute.

Mr. Gopinath was in the city to give a talk at the Institute of Agricultural Technology. Those interested in contacting him may call 011-23717071/23036808 or e-mail him at ddgts@bol.net.in

SHILPA SEBASTIAN R.

Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

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