Temples of Education: Kanthalloor Sala

Temples of Education M G Warrier No intention to mislead the reader. Connecting temple and education came spontaneously. My own relationship with temple and education is purely personal. I happened to stay inside a Shiva temple with my father who was the 'Pujari' there for 7 years of my school days. But the spark to write this piece came from a WhatsApp message I received yesterday from the great grandson of my father's eldest brother. Sankar is in Thiruvananthapuram now. The message was brief: "Would like to know more about Kanthalloor Temple". After I started sending a daily message, which used to be an assortment of whatever came to my mind or whatever I thought was interesting from the messages I read or received, to my contacts, essentially to reduce C-monotony for myself and them, since about an year ago, I am game to receiving short messages like: "Send text of... link not working" "Give me contact details of X...We were together during 90s" "Give my email ID to Y" ***. *** Most of the time, I could help or give a satisfactory answer. Here, I was wondering how I can help Sankar. I was aware, he would have collected whatever information I can dig out from internet. But I opted to provide interim relief by giving a couple of links leading to Kanthalloor Temple and some heritage information about the location of the temple. Meanwhile, I had some discussions with knowledgeable friends about the sources Sankar could tap for the details he needed. Our thoughts travel faster than light. When we start thinking about something, our thoughts get multiplied and branch out and go on tangents in different directions and multiple time zones. My Google search for Kanthalloor took me to ancient Indian Universities and their locations where Archeological Survey of India is active. While preserving heritage is important, I wonder why our thoughts do not travel to the idea of reviving and reforming our Heritage and exploiting their infinite possibilities for solving our current economic and social problems. To give some idea about what I am talking about, let me share with you an excerpt from an internet content I stumbled upon today while searching for Kanthalloor-related links: " Known as the Nalanda of South, the Kanthalloor Shala was once a famous centre of knowledge and due to the quality of education provided by this ancient university, it attracted scholars from other parts of India and Sri Lanka. What set Kanthalloor apart from other ancient Indian universities of that era was the diversity in the subjects it offered." Just think of the changes that can be brought about, if erstwhile Universities are revived one by one with reformed environment, facilities and course content integrating present needs. May be the present thinking at the highest intellectual levels may be on these lines. But, political compulsions and ease of doing popular things and deriving short-term benefits may be distorting Policy Priorities. ***. ***. ***

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