Mahāmahopādyāya Bhadreshdas Swami, the head of the BAPS Swaminarayan Research Institute at Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi, was felicitated in Varanasi by Śrī Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣada – an esteemed scholarly council on Vedic studies. Eminent scholars of the council revered Bhadreshdas Swami for his recent creation of the Svāminārāyaṇasiddhāntasudhā, a vādagrantha that offers an exposition, justification, and defense of the Akṣara-Puruṣottama Darśana’s philosophical principles.
Prominent committee members of Shri Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad that felicitated Mahāmahopādyāya Bhadreshdas Swami included Mahāmahopādyāya Acharya Shri Ramyatna Shukla, Adhyaksha of Shri Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad; Mahāmahopādyāya Acharaya Shri Vashistha Tripathi, Upadhyaksha of Shri Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad and Former Vice Chancellor of Sampurnanand Sanskrit University; Mahāmahopādyāya Pandit Shivji Upadhyay, Mahamantri of Shri Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad and the Former Vice Chancellor of Sampurnanand Sanskrit University; and Acharaya Ramnarayan Dwivedi, Mantri of Shri Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad.
Also present were the members like Acharya Shri Ramkishor Tripathi, Upadhyaksha of Shri Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad and Head of the Vedanta Department at Sampurnanand Sanskrit University; Acharya Shri Jayprakash Narayan Tripathi, Upadhyaksha of Shri Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad and former Head of the Vedanta Department at Sampurnanand Sanskrit University; Acharya Shri Gopabandhu Mishra, Upadhyaksha of Shri Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad; Acharya Shri Prabhunath Dubey, Koshadhyaksha of Shri Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad and a renowned poet and writer; Acharya Dr. Ramakant Pandey, Mantri of Shri Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad and Head of the Vyākaraṇa Department at Banaras Hindu University; Acharya Dinesh Kumar Garg, Pravakta of Shri Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad and a renowned vyākaraṇi and Rajshastri; Acharya Shri Baleshwar Jha and Acharya Rampujan Pandey.
Shri Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad Committee heralded the Prasthānatrayī-Svāminārāyaṇabhāṣya and the Svāminārāyaṇasiddhāntasudhā (Parabrahm Svāminārāyaṇa Prabodhitum Akṣarapuruṣottama Darśanam) as a new and unique contribution to the field of Vedantic philosophy.
The Śrī Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad is a time-honored council that has been formed for the protection of Vedic dharma. This council is considered authoritative not just in Kāśī, but throughout India. This council is viewed honourably and with great admiration throughout India on matters regarding each faculty of study, including Vedic dharma and philosophy. It serves a decisive role in matters concerning Vedic principles and its research. Only exceptional pundits in scholarly disciplines such as those of the Vedas, Vedānta, smṛti texts, nyāya, and vyākaraṇa may participate as members of this council.
Mahāmahopādyāya Acharaya Shri Ramyatna Shukla, President of the Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad, called for this historic event while Acharaya Ramnarayan Dwivedi, Mantri of the Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad conducted the event. Commencing this event with mangalacharan, members of Kashi Vidvat Parishad performed pujan and aarti of the sacred murtis of Akshar Purushottam Maharaj, Guruparampara and the text Svāminārāyaṇasiddhāntasudhā. Further, Kashi Vidvat Parishad members welcomed Bhadreshdas Swami with garland and puja. Members of the Kashi Vidvat Parishad were offered respect with garlands and offered shawls by Bhadreshdas Swami.
On this historical occasion, Mahāmahopādyāya Pandit Shivji Upadhyay announced the following declaration:
- The Prasthānatrayī-Svāminārāyaṇabhāṣya and the Svāminārāyaṇasiddhāntasudhā are sacred texts on Parabrahman Svāminārāyaṇa’s revealed Akṣarapuruṣottama Darśana. These sacred texts are in every manner the protectors of the eternal Vedic religious tradition.
- Acclaimed by all scholars, respected Mahāmahopādyāya Bhadreshdas Swami is an ācārya and a contemporary commentator in the lineage of commentators on the Prasthānatrayī.
- Within philosophy, just as Śrī Śaṅkara’s Vedānta is identified as the Advaita Darśana, Śrī Rāmānuja’s Vedānta is identified as the Viśiṣṭādvaita Darśana, Śrī Madhva’s Vedānta is identified as the Dvaita Darśana, Śrī Vallabha’s Vedānta is identified as the Śuddhādvaita Darśana, and others are respectively known; it is in every way appropriate to identify Sri Svāminārāyaṇa’s Vedānta by the title: Akṣarapuruṣottama Darśana.
- Therefore, we all collectively endorse that this Akṣarapuruṣottama Siddhānta that has been revealed by Parabrahman Svāminārāyaṇa is distinct from Advaita, Viśiṣṭādvaita, and all other doctrines and is a Vedic siddhānta.
Addressing the gathering, Mahāmahopādyāya Acharaya Shri Ramyatna Shukla – President of the Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad explained the importance of the Vādagrantha by saying, “Upon humbly welcoming you, I wish to announce that I have surveyed this text. I speak having reviewed its significant sections. I regard it be well authored. I have seen the commentary that he has written. It is in every aspect Upanishadic. References have been placed throughout this text. References from the Upanishads have been given. I have seen all of this, bore witness to it, and have spoken of it. Therefore, as the president of the Śrī Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad and by all of your consent, I commend this text. Let us all put out hands together and applaud this sacred text.”
Pundits of the Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad highlighted that Bhadreshdas Swami is the only Sanskrit scholar to write both a commentary on the entire Prasthānatrayī and a vādagrantha, which substantiates the philosophy propounded in the commentary.
Concluding the event, Mahāmahopādyāya Acharaya Shri Ramyatna Shukla, Mahāmahopādyāya Pandit Shivji Upadahya and Acharaya Ramnarayan Dwivedi signed and offered the declaration to Bhadreshdas Swami.