(Note: Pawanji conducted a retreat for the teachers of Purnapramati school of Bangalore between 3rd to 11th February, 2024 at Purnaprajna Prakruthi Paathshaale near Mangalore. The Paathshaale is set in a lush forested area near Kudremukh national park. Around 50 teachers from Purnapramati came in three batches to attend a retreat titled ‘Sanaatan and modernity. Photos of the retreat are posted on our Telegram channel.The following is the note written by Pawanji after the retreat.)
I want to thank everyone especially Swami ji, Satyanarayan Acharya ji, Srinivasa, Balchandra, Latha and the entire Purnapramati team as well as other participants for giving me this opportunity to share and organise this event in such an idyllic place. I believe the place, the environment contributes equally to the unfolding that happens.
It was good for me in more ways than one. I could witness rootedness in practice and appreciate it. I could see sahajata in the Anandavana (Purnapramati’s gurukula on the outskirts of Bangalore) students, teachers and many others. I could see the sincerity and, this is important to me, reaffirm my faith in such qualities. Acharya satyanarayan and Swami ji validated many things and that again reaffirms that we are on the right path. So thank you all.
I am getting more and more convinced about the need to challenge and expose the myth of modernity otherwise even tradition is in the danger of getting fossilised.
Also the importance of spaces like the one created by purnapramati through this dialogue, of a discussion forum for people who are rooted and also have knowledge of the devastation caused by modernity, needs to be recognised. And at some point we will have to get rid of our hesitations and fear which makes us compromise by trying to build bridges between modernity and tradition. This is not possible. They are in conflict with each other. Traditions are rooted in the sanatana, irrespective of which tradition. All traditions ultimately have to be based on sanatana—if they are not, they are merely ideologies. And, of course, modernity is not based on anything at all. It is rootless. It is false. Schools like Purnapramati and Udbhavaha and perhaps even traditional institutes like the Purnaprajna Vidya Peetha need to shed their inhibition and come out boldly to challenge modernity, to create such spaces and increase their scope by including not just students, parents and teachers but also lay people uncomfortable with the mainstream systems of education. We need to show all these people that they have the alternative to step out.