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LU stumbles on tantra vidya!

STUDENTS OF Generation Y are quickly taking lessons in tantra vidya, karmakanda as an old Indian science. In fact, a chapter on tantra vidya has found its way into the three new courses launched recently by Lucknow University?s Sanskrit Department.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2006 00:28 IST

STUDENTS OF Generation Y are quickly taking lessons in tantra vidya, karmakanda as an old Indian science.

In fact, a chapter on tantra vidya has found its way into the three new courses launched recently by Lucknow University’s Sanskrit Department.

Not just tantra vidya, these courses also deal in naturopathy, herbal beauty and body building exercises. And after completing the course, students may open yoga clinics too. This academic session saw the LU introducing three innovative courses.

They are: Science of rituals and Indian tradition (two years, four semester); PG diploma in traditional sciences (one year) and PG diploma in Indian linguistics (one year). All theses courses are aimed at character- building and educating people on the rich Indian scientific base of our rituals. Admissions are still open in the new courses.

Whether teaching tantra vidya permissible?

Says Prof KK Mishra, the head of Sanskrit and Prakrit Language: “Firstly, there is nothing wrong in it as long as it is being taught with right earnest. Secondly, we’re not teaching tantra vidya exclusively. Since it is inherent and inbuilt in our rituals, hence we cannot part ways with it. Thus there will be a passing reference to it in the curriculum.”

“Instead the course would deal mainly with Karmakanda, traditional sanskaras and household duties. Today there are several purohits who do not know the scientific secret behind particular rituals. But, after completing these new courses one would be benefited immensely and learn the know-how about several rituals,” he said.

However, Mishra was critical of those maligning the new courses by saying that it encourages tantra vidya. “Had that been the case then we would have designed a separate course that deals with ‘tantrik’ and ‘tantra vidya’. Our sole aim was to promote Sanskrit language and encourage people towards this language. Reason: It embodies our culture and we owe much to the language,” the professor said.

The first semester examinations of these courses are over and the response of the students has been satisfactory. Most of them have fared well in the examination, sources in the department said while talking to this newspaper. The faculty members of the department were of the view that these courses have added new dimensions to the department and has opened up job avenue for those who are pursuing the course with right intent.

First Published: Feb 13, 2006 00:28 IST