Vedic pandits clad in dhoti-kurta and with religious marks on the forehead are facing off on a cricket pitch in Bhopal as part of an annual tournament aimed at promoting Sanskrit. The winners of the event, organised to mark the birth anniversary of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who introduced the practice of transcendental meditation to the West, this year will get to visit Ayodhya, where the consecration of the Ram temple will be held on January 22, said an organiser. The four-day tournament began at Ankur ground in the Madhya Pradesh capital on Friday, with players and umpires communicating in fluent Sanskrit. Even the commentators narrated hits, misses and catches on the field in the ancient language.
The organisation founded by the spiritual leader, who was born on January 12, runs Vedic schools and seminaries in some parts of the country.
According to Maharishi Maitri Match Committee member Ankur Pandey, the winners will be sent to Ayodhya after January 22. They will also receive a prize of Rs 21,000, while the runners-up will get Rs 11,000, he said.
Pandey said a dozen teams, including four from Bhopal, are participating in the fourth edition of the cricket tournament.
Another organiser said the event aims at promoting Sanskrit and sportsmanship among the Vedic family. Prizes apart, players are being honoured with Vedic books and a 100-year ‘panchang’ (almanac), he added.
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