Extremely shocked and saddened to hear about the passing away of Sri Goda Venkateshwara Sastrigal today morning.
A retired official of the Reserve Bank of India, Chennai, an eminent scholar of the Vedanta Shastra, a ‘Kramaanta-Vidwaan’ in Rig Veda (his swa-shaakha), and a Srividyopasaka, Goda Sastrigal has transformed the lives of many. Fortunate are those who have studied directly under him or at least heard his vaakyaarthas in the Sringeri and Kanchi Mutts.
Brahmaśrī Dr. Goda Venkateswara Sastrigal (61) has the rare double honour of having studied the Vedas and the śāstras in a traditional way as well as having completed his master’s degree in modern Science. As for the ṣāstras, he studied them under Injikkollai Brahmaśrī Jagadeeswara Sastrigal, a renowned scholar and a great exponent of Vedānta and Śrīvidyā. Such was Sri Sastrigal’s zeaḷ in learning the śāstras that he utilized every moment of his spare time for studying the śāstras after returning from his work-place, the Reserve Bank of India, Chennai. Striving hard in this fashion, Sri Sastrigal went on to obtain a Doctorate degree in Advaita Vedanta śāstra from the Rashtriya Samskrit Samsthan, New Delhi. A few years ago, Sri Sastrigal took voluntary retirement from his job to dedicate his entire time towards teaching Advaita-vedānta as well as Śrīvidyopāsana to his students.
Having undergone kramānta (svaśākhā) in Ṛg Veda, Sri Sastrigal completed Veda-bhāṣya of Ṛg Veda as well as Yajur Veda. In addition, he undertook studies in Sāhitya, Nyāya as well as Pūrva-mīmāṁsā. Then he undertook advanced studies in Uttara-mīmāṁsā (Vedānta). Sri Sastrigal has been conferred the coveted title ‘Advaita-siddhi-ratnākara’ by Sudharma Rakshana Parishad,Tenali under the aegis of the Sringeri Shankara Math.
Both the Shankaracharyas of Kanchi and Sringeri Maths have recognized Sri Sastrigal’s talent in expounding the texts and he is regularly invited to speak in the Vidvat Sadas (seminars) organized by these Maths. Sri Sastrigal participates in the seminars organized by the Viśiṣṭādvaita and Dvaita Maths too.
Sri Sastrigal has mastery over Telugu, Sanskrit, Tamil and English. Even though his speeches that are presented in this website are in Tamil, Sri Sastrigal can deliver lectures fluently in all these languages. Sri Sastrigal’s lectures on the Upaniṣads, the Bhagavad-gītā and the like at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore, Chennai, are well attended for almost two decades. In addition, he takes advanced classes in Vedanta for a select audience at Sankara Gurukulam, Chennai as well. Besides, he has also been preparing students in their post-doctoral research in Indology.
Sri Sastrigal has also been giving lectures on Śrīvidyā-related texts viz., Śrī Lalitā-sahasranāma-bhāṣya of Bhāskararāya, Śrī Devi-māhātmya-bhāṣya of Bhāskararāya, Śrī Lalitā-triśati-bhāṣya of Śrī Ādi-śaṁkara, as well as Śrī Paraśurāma-kalpa-sūtra.
Sri Sastrigal regularly contributes articles to various religious magazines. He is the Director of Viswamitra Maharishi Vedic Research Centre, Madipadu, Andhra Pradesh. Sri Sastrigal has been conducting Veda-śāstra-sadas during the dīkṣā-parva of his Guru, on an annual basis. On this occasion, he conducts a Caṇdī-homa to commemorate the contributions made by his guru.
It is a sheer delight to hear Sri Sastrigal lecture on any topic. He intersperses his talks with apt humour and relates examples from our day-to-day life to drive home the tough concepts of Nyāya, Mīmāṁsā and Vedānta.
Thanks to Hari and Sri Guruvayurappan for sharing this news in FB.