Inauguration of Narad Pancharatra
at National Seminar of Agamas
Bhagwan Swaminarayan has shown a novel way to understand the true nature and form of God by bringing together and harmonizing the essential elements of Sankhya, Yoga, Vedanta and Pancharatra scriptures.
Nityanand Swami, a contemporary disciple and scholar saint mentions in his book 'Haridigvijay' (45/14-16) that Bhagwan Swaminarayan had studied the Pancharatra Agamas from His father, Dharmadev. Another disciple and saint-poet, Adharanand Swami, in his epic-work 'Hari Charitramrut Sagar' (24/65-66) states that Bhagwan Swaminarayan had sent Nityanand Swami to Junagadh to find the manuscript of Narad Pancharatra, also known as Samkarshan Samhita.
This important Narad Pancharatra, i.e. Samkarshan Samhita, was in the 'Grantha' script. Thereafter it was changed into 'Devnagri' script in 1677 CE. After much research the scholar sadhus of AARSH - Akshardham Center for Applied Research in Social harmony, a post-graduate research center of BAPS at Akshardham, Gandhinagar - found this scripture, and it was decided to publish it. There are 147 known Pancharatra Samhitas, out of which only 35 are published. Others remain unpublished, housed in the traditional libraries of India.
The editor of the present work, Dr. Vrajvallabh Trivedi, states in the preface that 'among all the Pancharatra Samhitas, the Narad Pancharatra is outstanding' and he quotes references to prove his statements.
This publication was blessed by H.D.H. Pramukh Swami Maharaj at the time of consecration of the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Houston, USA. It was formally presented to the academic world during the inauguration of the National Seminar on Agamas, held at the Rashtriya Sankrit Vidyapith in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh on 20 August 2004, by well-known Sanskrit scholar and economist Dr. V.R.Panchamukhi, Chancellor of Indian Council of Social Science Research, director of Research & information System for non-allied countries and trustee of Tirumala Tirupatiji Devasthanams. Others present on the dais were Dr. N.S. Ramanuj Tatacheri, ex-vice chancellor, Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapith, Tirupati, Dr. L.N. Bhatt Director, Agamkosha Project and the coordinator of the seminar, Dr. S.K. Ramchandra Rao, great Sanskrit and Indian classical music scholar, Dr. Haripriya Rangrajan, Agam scholar and wife of C. Rangrajan, ex-governor, Andhra Pradesh & Reserve Bank of India, Dr. K.E.A. Govindan, vice-chancellor, Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapith, Tirupati and Shri Prahladacharya, ex-vice chancellor, Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapith, Tirupati. Other well-known scholars of Pancharatra, Vaikhanas, Shaiva and Shakta Agamas were also present.
The author of the English preface of this book, Dr. K.K.A. Venkatachari, who was the founder director of Anathacharya Indological Institute, Mumbai and former director of AARSH, Gandhinagar gave a brief introduction of the Narad Pancharatra. He congratulated and praised both the research scholars of AARSH and the publishers, Swaminarayan Aksharpith, for their valuable contribution to the study of Pancharatra Agamas. After the inauguration, Sadhu Shrutiprakashdas (Shad-Darshanacharya, Vidya Varidhi, Ph.D) of AARSH, BAPS, presented his research paper on 'Pancharatric Brahmatattva' in Sanskrit.
The scholars participating in the National Seminar on Agamas were impressed with the presentation and the research activities of BAPS.