Commemorating Brahmasvarūpa Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s first year of passing on 13 Aug 2017 at Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi, prominent committee members from the Śrī Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad presented letters of declaration and endorsement for Mahāmahopādyāya Bhadreshdas Swami’s recently authored Svāminārāyaṇasiddhāntasudhā – Parabrahman Svāminārāyaṇa Prabodhitam Akṣara-Puruṣottama Darśana – a vādagrantha that offers an exposition, justification, and defence of the Akṣara-Puruṣottama Darśana’s philosophical principles.
The Śrī Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad is a long-standing esteemed scholarly council and an authority throughout on Vedic studies. Members of the organization, including Mahāmahopādyāya Ācārya Śrī Ramyatna Shuklaji, the adhyakṣa of the Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad; Mahāmahopādyāya Ācārya Śrī Vashistha Tripathiji, the upādhyakṣa of the Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad; and Ācārya Śrī Ramnarayan Dwivediji, the mantrī of the Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad, heralded the Prasthānatrayī-Svāminārāyaṇabhāṣya and the Svāminārāyaṇasiddhāntasudhā as a new and unique contribution to the field of Vedānta philosophy. In addition, Ācārya Śrī Ramesh Kumar Pandeyji, the vice-chancellor of Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit University and Ācārya Śrī Shivshankar Mishra attended the assembly and offered their support.
After a chanting of Vedic mantras, Sadhu Munivatsaldas first paid tribute to Brahmasvarūpa Pramukh Swami Maharaj by recalling his selfless life and meaningful works for society. Eminent scholars were thereafter traditionally welcomed with garlands and shawls by Sadhu Bhadreshdas Swami, the head of the BAPS Swaminarayan Research Institute at Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi. The Śrī Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad then offered a special tribute to Brahmasvarūpa Pramukh Swami Maharaj and expressed their acclamations for the Svāminārāyaṇasiddhāntasudhā.
After sharing the Śrī Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad’s history and significance, Ācārya Śrī Ramesh Kumar Pandeyji asserted, “The renowned scholars of the Śrī Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad have declared the Svāminārāyaṇasiddhāntasudhā – Parabrahman Svāminārāyaṇa Prabodhitam Akṣara-Puruṣottama Darśana – as a distinct authoritative text and have endorsed the Akṣara-Puruṣottama Siddhānta, which was revealed by Bhagavān Svāminārāyaṇa.”
Thereafter, the vice-chancellor of Śrī Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit University stated, “People misunderstand that the Svāminārāyaṇa tradition follows the Viśiṣṭādvaita doctrine. Bhadreshdas Swami has performed admirable work by authoring the first complete epistemological work on the Svāminārāyaṇa tradition. Adorned with Vedic references, pramāṇa mīmāṃsā, prameya mīmāṃsā and kārikās, this vādagrantha spans over 460 pages and is divided into 9 chapters. Reflecting the scholarly style of the ṣaḍdarśana texts and the literary style of Sanskrit, the vādagrantha will become the paramount of the Indian scholastic tradition.” He further emphasized, “Within the history of the Indian academic tradition: from the Vedas till the present day, it has been the first time that a single person has authored both a commentary on the entire Prasthānatrayī and also a vādagrantha of one’s own saṃpradāya. I firmly believe that this vādagrantha will achieve great admiration throughout the world.”
After Ācārya Śrī Ramnarayan Dwivediji read the letter of endorsement aloud, scholars of the Śrī Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad presented it to Bhadreshdas Swami.
Then, Mahāmahopādyāya Ācārya Śrī Vashistha Tripathiji identified the Svāminārāyaṇasiddhāntasudhā as a unique contemporary work. He added, “Inspired by Brahmasvarūpa Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Bhadreshdas Swami framed the Akṣara-Puruṣottama siddhānta, as it was revealed by Bhagavān Svāminārāyaṇa, in the form of a commentary. By doing this, he substantiated the Svāminārāyaṇa saṃpradāya among scholarly circles. Without criticizing others, Bhadreshdas Swamiji has expressed the doctrine in a simple yet thoughtful manner that would appeal to ardent seekers of philosophy. For these reasons, the Svāminārāyaṇasiddhāntasudhā is undoubtedly a distinguished vādagrantha.”
Regarding the scholarship of the Svāminārāyaṇabhāṣya, Śrī Vashisth Tripathi offered in appraisal, “All of the portions of the text that I have read present evidence of concentrated scholarship. There is no instance of plagiarism; it is truly a newly created work. I hope that future generations may further the Svāminārāyaṇa Darśana. May numerous commentaries and discourses on the Svāminārāyaṇabhāṣya be regularly created and organized.”
After Mahāmahopādyāya Acharya Śrī Vashistha Tripathiji read a copper-plated letter of declaration aloud, scholars of the Śrī Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad presented the plaque to Bhadreshdas Swami.
Thereafter, Mahāmahopādyāya Ācārya Śrī Ramyatna Shuklaji, while recalling the recent acclamation of the Svāminārāyaṇasiddhāntasudhā in Kāśī, expressed, “As the president of the Śrī Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad, I gathered all of the committee members. Every member was given a copy of the text. After reading the text, all of the members unanimously endorsed the vādagrantha and had nothing but praises for it.”
Heralding both the Svāminārāyaṇasiddhāntasudhā and the Svāminārāyaṇabhāṣya as exemplary of the scholarly śāstra tradition, Mahāmahopādyāya Ācārya Śrī Ramyatna Shuklaji commented, “I have carefully reviewed all of the texts written by Mahāmahopādyāya Bhadreshdas Swami. After studying these texts, it is evident that the texts are in accordance with Indian philosophy.” Then, by citing excerpts from the text, Mahāmahopādyāya Ācārya Śrī Ramyatna Shuklaji elaborated on the distinct definitions of ‘Akṣara and ‘Puruṣottama.’
Addressing the assembly, Bhadreshdas Swami expressed his immense gratitude to the scholars of Kāśī for being present to pay a special and unique tribute to Pramukh Swami Maharaj and for endorsing Parabrahman Svāminārāyaṇa’s Akṣara-Puruṣottama Darśana. He then humbly credited his scholarly works to the inspiration he had received from Guru Brahmasvarūpa Pramukh Swami Maharaj and the blessings of Guru Param Pūjya Mahant Swami Maharaj.
Bhadreshdas Swami concluded the assembly by stating, “The Akṣara-Puruṣottama Darśana was revealed by Bhagavān Svāminārāyaṇa and propounded by the guru-paramaparā. I am forever indebted to have had the opportunity to serve by identifying the principles of the Akṣara-Puruṣottama Darśana within the sacred texts of the Prasthānatrayī and present them in the form of a vādagrantha. The Akṣara-Puruṣottama Darśana is not only confined to texts but is lived as a way of life by thousands of practising devotees of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.”