Dr Uma Chandrashekhar Vaidya, Vice Chancellor of Kavikulguru Kalidas Sanskrit University Ramtek in Nagpur District was conferred with the Sri Adi Sankara Puraskar by the Shankaracharya of Kanchi, Sri Jayendra Saraswati at a function held in Mumbai. Dr Gauri Mahulikar, Head of the Department of Sanskrit, Ramakrishna Bajaj Sanskrit Bhavan of Mumbai University was also conferred with the prestigious ward. The award has been instituted by the Sri Sankara Matham, Matunga, the only temple in the country exclusively dedicated to Adi Sankara.
Dr Uma Vaidya has more than 70 research publications to her credit and an expert in Sanskrit and Pali language. She has presented many papers across the globe in various branches of Sanskrit and Pali studies including Ayurveda, Philosophy, Literature and Human Rights.
Dr Gauri Mahulikar has specilised in Vedanta and Vedic studies and has more than 50 thesis papers to her credit.
The Adi Sankara Puraskar was instituted in the year 2000 with the object of recognizing the outstanding contributions of individuals in the fields of Vedic studies and Advaita Vedanta of Sri Adi Sankara. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh and a citation. This is the first time when two women are selected for the award, a press release said.
Till date, more than 20 Sanskrit scholars (all males) from various cities had received the award. The award ceremony followed the Vedic chants by scholars and reading of the citation. Later the devotees of Shankaracharya showered him with flowers to mark the 60 years of his ascending the thrown as Peetathipathi of Kanchi Peetham.
To promote Sanskrit, the Sankara Matham conducts Adi Sankara slogan competition every year and students from all over the country take part and prizes are given to the meritorious students. The Matham has earmarked Rs 1 lakh every year for this purpose. They are also conducting regular Veda classes in Sanskrit and also Bhagwat Gita classes.