Radhakrishna Gollapinni Seshappa does not think that faith consists of believing what reason cannot. Instead, the Bengaluru-based Vedic practitioner believes that faith has to have a reason. The 62-year-old, who speaks impeccable English and Sanskrit, is striving to streamline priesthoodby asking the government to give recognition to qualified pundits.
“There is no organised growth of Vedic schools, and only a few are affiliated to universities,” says Radhakrishna. “So even though there are people who are post-doctoral research scholars in our religious scriptures, they are not recognised by any educational institution. The time has come for universities to recognise pundits.” He is now planning to bring together schools that teach religious scriptures and create a federation to get government recognition.
Radhakrishna has conducted over 1,800 marriages, including inter-religious ones, in India, the US, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, London, etc., and an equal number of housewarming and other religious ceremonies.
“There are four Vedas—Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda. Yajurveda is divided into Krishna Yajurveda and Shukla Yajurveda. In the recent past, nobody has mastered all four Vedas completely. It is a rigmarole. If one spends 18-20 hours a day to specialise in one Veda, it may take 20 years to do so. Very few people have mastered two Vedas. I have studied Krishna Yajurveda, but I have to learn a lot more,” he explains.
Radhakrishna became a chartered accountant after his BSc in 1974, only to give it up. “Although I was born into an illustrious family of Vedic pundits and purohits, after my graduation I ventured into chartered accountancy. I did not practice for long since my passion was in classical music and dance. I got into event management and used to organise dance and classical music festivals,” he says.