Worship of Goddess Saraswati in silent meditation for a few minutes before the commencement of classes every day, an earnest effort from an early age to preserve and foster the Hindu religion and its tenets, spread of the study of Sanskrit – these are some of the practices which His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam advised students of the P.S. High School to put into effect, when he addressed them and replied to addresses presented to him.
The following are the other points from the speech:
The Pandits and the boys have read the addresses in an excellent manner pronouncing the words correctly and clearly. There may be nothing strange in the excellence of the Pandits. The manner in which the Tamil address was read by a boy may also be regarded as what we can expect from a Tamilian. But we cannot help appreciating the fluent manner in which the boy who was entrusted with the task of reading the Sanskrit address acquitted himself. The best among the boys may have been selected for the purpose. But the point is that every one of the boys must be able to read Sanskrit with equal fluency. Those who are not so fluent in Sanskrit can take a resolve now and here to become as proficient in a year’s time as the boy who read the address. I am sure that teachers will also help the students to achieve this objective. Only when you fulfill this desire of mine can you treat the address as having been accepted by me. If the boys of the P.S. High School make such a resolve, the boys in other schools will emulate them. When every boy in this land attains that much proficiency in Sanskrit, the country will register spiritual advance and prosperity will follow.
Before you commence your lessons in the morning each day, you should worship Goddess Saraswati for a few minutes in silent meditation. It is not recitation of prayer verses that matters so much. I may tell you that the essence of prayer lies in sincere devotion to Goddess Saraswati and the Guru (teacher) through silent meditation for a few minutes. This practice will develop in you a spirit of homage and aid you to drive away all evil thoughts from your mind.
Hindu religion or Vedic religion is the oldest religion in the world. Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and other religions are of a later origin. It may well be that in the dim distant past, there was only one religion in the world and that religion was Hinduism. It is our proud privilege to belong to that ancient religion. Consequently, a duty is cast on us to make all possible efforts to preserve and foster it. This can be achieved only by practicing and living up to the tenets of Hinduism and learning the truths embedded in the Vedas. It may be that by the efflux of time some cobwebs have formed which have to be removed. Young boys should learn the fundamentals of our religion from the elders and strive to keep aloft the glories of this ancient Vedic religion.
October 12, 1957