Sri Meenakshi Temple Vedic Heritage School Celebrates “VHS Day” by Students

Sri MTS Vedic Heritage School children at the end of the tournament proudly displaying the award Trophies with Teachers and coordinators of VHS, Judges and MTS board.

Sri MTS Vedic Heritage School children at the end of the tournament proudly displaying the award Trophies with Teachers and coordinators of VHS, Judges and MTS board.

PEARLAND: On February 16, Sri Meenakshi Temple’s Vedic Heritage School (VHS) conducted a new event called VHS day that combined the Shlokotsavam (an annual presentation of slokas) and Speech Contest, both by the junior and senior students of the VHS. The VHS program, which started in 2000, is in its fourteenth year at Sri MTS and is run by volunteers, with the objective to teach Hindu values, heritage and culture to the younger generation. The VHS has continuously grown in the breadth and depth of its content and in the number of students enrolled.

MTS Education committee coordinator Meena Subramanian started the day’s proceeding with the traditional lighting of the lamp, followed with an invocatory prayer by a VHS student.  The day ran like a clock-work with the coordinators, Sripathy Karnam, Lakshmi Panchavaty and Garuda Rao constantly on the move to ensure timely completion of all activities scheduled for the day.  The sessions were chaired by the VHS assembly coordinators (bhajan/sloka teachers) Partha Krishnamurthy, Bhavani Iyer, Kiran Partha and Nalini Sadagopan. Several MTS board members lent support through their presence, welcoming the participants, and thanked teachers, volunteers and parents for their service.

The event was broken into two segments: Juniors with ages (4 -10 years), and seniors above 10 years.  The children ages (4-6 years) from the junior segment sang two verses from  invocatory slokas and bhajans they had learnt; children aged (7-8 years) gave a rendition of one Khandam from the Ramayana and children (9 to 10 years) recited verses from the Dashavathara stothram from Bhagavata Purana. It was heartening to experience the enthusiastic rendition by the young children in their inimitable style.

The seniors were divided into two categories, with the younger group reciting Aditya Hridhayam and the second group reciting Vishnu Sahasranamam verses #20 to #40.  Speech contest was open to all and the given topic was based on curriculum.  The pronunciations of even difficult slokas were outstanding by all the children and a real testimony to the efforts of students, teachers and parents.  The speech contest displayed the depth of understanding that the student had, as they tackled a range of topics from discussing their favorite characters in the Puranas, to answering questions such as “what are your universal values? Define it” and “exemplify the relevance of boundaries of Friendship learned in the sacred texts”.  The consummate ease with which they tackled the topics and answered impromptu questions displaying outstanding composure and confidence indicated a deep appreciation of their learning at VHS.

The event concluded with the award ceremony where MTS board members presented the children with trophies for their outstanding performance.  Dr. Venugopal Menon, Dr. Kamalesh Lulla, Nacha Sethuraman, Dr. Tushar Varma, Chitoor Ramachandran, Dr. Subrmaniam, Narayan Dave, Saro Alagappan, Radha Jayakumar and Priya Prasad, who were judges gave their time, energy and enthusiastically challenged and encouraged the children during the competition and selected top performers in each category, based on their pronunciation and stage presence skills.

The multi-faceted dimension of the combined Sloka/Speech performance by the children stands testimony to the fruits of the Seva of the VHS volunteers. As remarked at the opening statement by an MTS board member, the understanding that is imparted through efforts such as Vedic Heritage opens the eye to our rich culture and heritage to the next generation.

For further information on Vedic Heritage School visit