Monday, 16 June 2014

On Dr. Mrs. K. Shankarnarayan

I have just returned from Bangalore, where I went this morning,hoping to see Dr. Mrs. K. Shankarnarayan, our Founder Director of Buddhist Studies, before she 'left'.  But she had passed away already, in the morning.

I have known her since the K. J. Somaiya Centre for Buddhist Studies was founded.  It was the same year I joined my father in the family business (1993).  In the past few years, after my father's passing, I had worked with her more closely.

In the past few weeks, there was a particular occurrence that I would like to share.   I mentioned to her, that we would run a competition for a new building for the Centre for Buddhist Studies, and that we would ask His Holiness to lay the foundation stone when he came to campus.  She came back to me, and said, that it would be better to have a building that would house all the three centres, Bharatiya Sanskriti Peetham (Hindu Studies), the Jain Centre, and the Buddhist Centre, along with the centre for Interfaith Dialogue.  She did not have to volunteer to add these centres in this new building, the new building, as I had suggested was for her centre to keep.  But she generously suggested, that the building house all our centres of spiritual learning, and that learning spaces would be better used, if shared.

What a wonderful memory, and what an example.

His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, laid the foundation for the new building 'Sanskriti', when he visited us earlier this month.