In an attempt to preserve Hindu rituals, a Sanskrit University in Rajasthan has initiated a diploma in Hindu priesthood. The diploma would certify that the students can organize and conduct any Hindu ritual.
Pundit Yugal Sharma, Vice Chancellor, of the University believes that there is dire need of good priests for conducting Hindu rituals, and this diploma will enable the university produce good priests.
"People need good priests today to conduct their traditional rituals. But mostly the availability of priests is not adequate as per the demand. So people have to settle for mediocrity sometimes. Neither are they satisfied nor are the rituals conducted in an appropriate manner. Our students will fulfil this need of good priests," he said.
The university authorities believe that this Diploma will not only provide talented priests to the society but would also provide job opportunities for the diploma holders as there are hundreds of vacancies in 'Devasthan Department of Rajasthan', a committee managing temples in various states of India.
"This course will be very useful. It will help the Sanskrit students get employment. They will also get opportunities to go all over the country and abroad. This will help the preserve the Indian culture and tradition," Ashok Kumar Jha, Sanskrit professor at the University.
The course featuring both theory and practicals along with audio-visual demonstrations of religious ceremonies will commence in August this year.
Significantly, the course is open to all without any distinction, especially on the basis of caste or gender. Priesthood has been the privilege of the Brahmins, considered the highest caste amongst the Hindus.
The course involves lessons in various religious practices required as per Hindu tradition from the time of birth to the death of a person. The university will though teach traditional rituals, but will also ensure adequate computer education.
Established nine years ago, the university keeps 50 seats and can add 10 more if need be.