Instituted by the Sri Sankara Mattham, Matunga, the only temple in the country  exclusively dedicated to Adi Sankara, honoured Dr Uma Chandrasekhar Vaidya, Vice Chancellor of Kavikulaguru Kalidas Sanskrit university in Nagpur and Dr Gauri Mahulikar, head of the department of Sanskrit Ramakrishna Bajaj Sanskrit Bhavan of Mumbai University on Thursday.

The Adi Sankara Puraskar was instituted in 2000 with the object of recognizing the  outstanding contributions of individuals in the fields of Vedic studies and Advaita Vedanta of Sri Adi Sankara.The award carries a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh and a citation This is the first time when two women are selected for the award, a release said.
Till date, more than 20 Sanskrit scholars (all males) from various Cities had received the award.The award ceremony followed the Vedic chants by Vedic scholars and reading of the citation. Later the devotees of Sankaracharya showered him with flowers to mark the 60 years of his ascending the thrown as Peetathipathi of Kanchi peetam.

Vaidya has more than 70 research publications to her credit and an expert in Sanskrit and Pali language. She has presented many papers across the globe in various branches of Sanskrit and Pali studies including Ayurveda, Philosophy, Literature and human rights.
Mahulikar has specilised in Vedanta and Vedic studies and has more than 50 thesis papers to her credit. To promote Sanskrit the Sankara Mattham is also conducting Adi Sankara Slogan competition every year and pupils from all over the country are taking part and prizes are given to the meritorious students. The Mattham has earmarked Rs 1 lakh every year for this purpose. They are also conducting regular Veda classes in Sanskrit and also Bhagwat Gita classes.

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