"Everyone should strive to learn and preserve ancient Bharatiya knowledge", Priyavrata Patil who passed 'Tenali' Mahapariskha at 16 and won appreciation from PM Modi
16 year old Priyavrata of Goa passes ‘Mahapariksha’ at Tenali drawing praises from all across including the PM. The exam which takes 5 to 6 years to prepare and appear, the young lad did it in just 2 years becoming the cynosure of the entire country.
The culture of Bharat is multidimensional with torch bearers emerging from time to time. Our Vedas and Shastras are the foundational texts and even to this day there are hundreds of scholars who are studying and mastering them, thereby keeping the traditional knowledge alive. While many rue that our traditional knowledge systems, the Gurukulas, Guru-Shishya parampara is on the wane, there are many who keep the flame of our ancient knowledge systems alive. One among them who gives hope for a bright future in Vedic and shashtra studies is the young 16 year old Priyavrata Patil of Goa.
While many deem teenage to be the period of fun and frolic, Priyavrata has burnt the midnight oil and passed the extremely difficult ‘Tenali Exam’ in Shastras at a young age. The ‘Tenali Exam’ also called the Mahapariksha is conducted under the supervision of Kanchi Math. The examination is conducted twice a year by Shri Kanchi Veda Vedanta Shastra Sabha in Nyaya, Mimamsa, Vyakarana, Advaita, and Veda Bhashya. Priyavrata had taken the examination in all Vyakarana Maha Granthas. The exams consists of both written and oral tests.
The Mahapariksha at Tenali consists of 14 levels and those studying for the same attempt it after 5 to 6 years of efforts. However, Priyavrata has successfully passed the exam after mere 2 years of study. He cleared the exam on 6th September at Tenali. The wonder kid’s achievement was recognized and congratulated by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Replying to a tweet of Samskruta Bharati co-founder and Sanskrit Scholar Chamu Krishna Shastry, PM Modi wrote “Excellent! Congratulations to Priyavrata for this feat. His achievement will serve as a source of inspiration for many!” Priyavrata’s feat is indeed inspiring to all those parents and their wards who aim to safeguard our traditions and culture.
Speaking to the media Priyavrat had said that he is extremely happy and inspired as the PM recognized his feat and congratulated him. He also said that he believes that it is his duty to preserve our ancient knowledge systems as his father told him. His mother Aparna Patil is proud of the appreciation her son has got from the PM. "We are happy and proud that this feat was recognized by the PM who has noticed the achievements of common people like us", she says.
PM Modi congratulated Prayavrata on his achievement
Priyavrata spoke to Organiser Weekly, on what inspired him and the way he prepared for the exam. Below are the excerpts of the interview.
What inspired you to study for the 'Tenali Exams' at such a young age?
Priyavrata (PV): My parents and Gurus inspired me and guided me which helped me throughout. I have been interested in Shastras from a young age. My father used always say that we have to study our Vedas and Shastras to preserve the knowledge of our ancient Bharat. It was because of his inspiration and guidance from my Guru Mohan Shivnarayan Sharma I was able to study and clear the 14 level exams in 2 years.
How did you prepare for Mahapariksha? What was your routine?
PV: I used to study for 14-16 hours for the past many years. The day started at 5AM and went on till 11PM, breaking only ablutions, food and sandhyavandana. I spent rest of the time in studying for the Mahapariksha. My gurus and parents helped me a lot while preparing.
What do you want to do going forward?
PV: I will continue to study our Shastras and teach at the Gurukula just as my father. PM's congratulatory Tweet has inspired me to study further. Everyone should strive to learn and preserve ancient Bharatiya knowledge.
Priyavrata (centre) with his parents Pandit Devadatta Patil and Smt. Aparna Patil
Priyavrata's mother Smt. Aparna Patil spoke on their inspiration as parents to puruse Vedic education for their son and the way ahead.
In these days of so-called modern education, what inspired you to consider Gurukula and Vedic education for your son?
Smt Aparna Patil (AP): His father is an accomplished Sanskrit scholar and I am also a PhD holder in Sanskrit. We as parents had decided that our child, whether girl or boy, would not undergo formal education but we would impart Vedic education to them. Shashtras are our traditional asset and who else other than us would pursue and safeguard them. It is we who have to do it as we cannot expect foreigners to save it. With this in mind we put Priyavrata into Sanskrit education.
He studied Vedas since his young age and continued. Rather than we asking him to pursue, he himself found his interest in Shashtras. His Guru Mohan Sharma inspired him to study more and he did it diligently. He was so interested that he completed the syllabus of 6 years within 2 years.
How do you see his journey going forward?
AP: Our Gurukula in Goa has students from a young age to those in mid-30s. We have both boys and girls in our Gurukula who are pursuing Vedic education. Priyavrat’s Guru Mohan Sharma who is from Ujjain has a MA and could have earned very well if he taught in a university. But he stayed with us at the Gurukula and said that it is his duty to teach at the Gurukula which had given him education. Likewise only if the next generation takes forward the Gurukula it will survive and thrive.
Sanskrit is the heritage of all and it is our duty to preserve it. Just as Ramayana and Mahabharat does not belong to one group or state but the entire country, likewise Sanskrit belongs to all. Sanskrit is the main tool of national integrity. He will continue in this path and study the Shashtras. Even after Tenali exam, there are much bigger Sanskrit texts that are to be studied. He will study them and gain more knowledge. He will involve in further research and also teach at our Gurukula.
(Detailed version of the article will appear in Organiser Weekly)