Monday, June 13, 2005

The Upanishadic Commencement Speech

The MIT commencement ceremony, held on June 10, resonated with Sanskrit prayers. A swami then offered an invocation in Sanskrit.

This brought to my mind the Sīkshā chapter of the Taittirīya Upanishad, which contains an address by the teacher as the student departs from the gurukula. It begins thus:
satyam vada (Speak the truth.)
dharmam chara (Follow dharma.)
svādhyāyānmā pramadaḥ (Do not neglect studies.)
And contains the well-known
matr devo bhava (Treat your mother as a god.)
pitr devo bhava (father)
acharya devo bhava (teacher)
atithi devo bhava (guest)


Sunil said...

Very apt..

Wonder how many students anywhere follow these sayings.

charu said...

Interesting - the invocation in sanskrit at the convocation - the article says 45% of the students are Asians - but forget following these - wonder how many people understand it?!

Srikanth said...

Sunil, I wonder too: Do I?

Hi Charu, How many would have understood it - good question, indeed!
I am not sure of that, but let's hope that it would have atleast kindled some curiosity about their (our) own traditions and heritage.

tilotamma said...

did you graduate from MIT?

Srikanth said...

Hi Tilotamma,
Not from MIT, but from Carnegie Mellon. This post was based on the news article linked to from here.