Award Padma Shri 2020
Vidya Mandir is proud to announce that Gloria Arieira has been awarded one of India's highest civilian honors, the Padma Shri Award, on Republic Day 2020, for her pioneering Sanskrit and Vedanta Literature and Education in Brazil.
Asmadacaryaparyantam vande guruparamparam.
On the occasion of being appointed for the Award Padma Shri 2020 by the government of India, I would like to say a prayer: May I, and all of us, be blessed to be tulya-ninda-stutih and vidya-vinaya-sampannah, with the blessings of the teachings of bhagavan Shri Krshna through the Bhagavadgita.
I am very honored, and at the same time surprised, to be appointed to the 2020 Padma Shri Award. It is a very important and significant award given by the government of India.
I offer the award at the feet of my guru-jis – Sri Swami Dayananda-ji and Sri Swami Chinmayananda-ji. Both teachers were very significant for me. Without any of the two I would not be here today, doing the work I have done, I am doing.
Swami Chinmayananda-ji have accepted me, welcomed me since I first met him in Brazil and then when I went to India in 1974. Even though I was very young and western, not knowing anything about India or Vaidikadharma, he received me and allowed me to be part of the on-going course at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, Mumbai. He taught me to focus on what was most important for me and bear with what was secondary, if necessary. He taught me that people will mostly criticize us but that is ok. Adversities give us strength and helps us define what are our priorities and to work for them. All along he supported me and trusted I would do well.
Swami Dayananda-ji taught me all I know of Vedanta and Vaidikadharma, the most precious lessons on Ishvara and our basic relationship with Ishvara which we carry on on all other relationships. Swamiji taught me that Veda is a pramanam, a specific means of knowledge, and therefore it is for everyone independent of background. He taught me Satyam Brahman but also brilliantly made me understand that Brahman is easy to know, to understand Ishvara and bring Ishvara to one´s life is the most difficult, and that makes a big difference in one´s life. Swamiji made me appreciate, understand and love Sri Shanakara and his bhashyams.
These, my three gurus, are daily with me, in my mind and heart. I owe them all I know, all that I am today. Inspired by them I did all this work during these 41 years back to Brazil. But all I learned in India would not be enough if it was not for my three children and now also my two grandchildren. Through them I learned to be human and to accept my humanity, to accept the person I am with its limitations and greatness. I learned to appreciate the beauty of the world that is Ishvara. My parents, family and students have also contributed a lot along these years.
The Award goes to my gurus, my children, parents, family and students in Brazil and Portugal along these years. As also to my gurubhais. We, as students of the same teachers, are equal in blessings from our sampradaya. We are all blessed by the teachings and the teachers. But, as I was not born in India, in Vaidikadharma, I may look special, but it is not different from what is been done by many people of our sampradaya. The award belongs to all of us from this sampradaya. My coming from outside India to study Vedanta and Sanskrit in a traditional ashram and with traditional teachers made my daily life many times very difficult. I had special support from a few gurubhais to whom I am also indebted – my dear friend K. Chandra and her family, Chandramouli-ji, Swami Paramarthananda-ji, Swami Brahmatmananda-ji and Ramasamy. They, and a few others, accepted my being a westerner and the mistakes I did unknowingly; they did not criticize me but helped and supported me all along. They made all the difference in my life and accomplishments.
So, this award goes to many people who are inside me and each one deserves the Award Padma Shri.
I thank each and everyone.
by Aparna Sridhar - February 4, 2020