The Telugu World Column No: 37
Another Telugu scientist who took to spiritualism is Dr. Ramella Avadhanlu, born at Pogadatla in East Godavari district (AP) in September 1948 was M.Sc. in nuclear physics (1969), teaching in a Rajole college. In his spare time he attended a Vedic school to learn Vedas but shifted to Hyderabad in 1969 as he got a job in ECIL the first to manufacture computers in India. He read in a library in the company that Indian scholars found the value of (A+B) square 3000 years ago. That further enhanced his interest in ancient scriptures. After eight years in ECIL, he went back to Vedic studies. He found that many such scriptures had vanished by then and were not digitalized. Telugu could not be used on a computer then and Dr. Avadhanlu and his friends worked for six months to make Telugu script for computers. So in 1976 Telugu became the first Indian script that could be used on a computer.
Vavilala Gopalakrishnayya, then President of the Telugu Official Language Commission of AP, congratulated him. The news of computerization of Telugu was flashed all over the country and figured in Parliament. Several MPs asked why Hindi could not be computerized if Telugu could be. So a Parliamentary panel asked Dr. Avadhanlu to take up the work and praised it. His friend, Dr. Kakarla Subba Rao, director of NIMS, the top medical institution in the state, became and invited him to computerize it. Dr. Avadhanlu worked in NIMS for 18 years and achieved that target.
During that time he read in a Tirumala Tirupati Devastanams (TTD) book that out of 1131 works on the Vedas, only seven remained and were also facing extinction. So Dr. Avadhanlu set out to digitalize them. He saw that the immediate threat was to Rigveda, but he knew only Yajurveda. So he launched a search and found a man in Maharashtra who knew it. Dr. Avadhanlu went there and brought him and his family to Hyderabad, supporting them himself. Just then the TTD organized a national convention on Vedas, which was to be inaugurated by the then President of India, Dr, Shankar Dayal Sharma. Invited by TTD Dr. Avadhanlu demonstrated to Dr. Sharma how ‘C’ computer language could be used to record three mantras of ‘Namakam’ and their meaning. Highly impressed, the President asked him to complete the work.
The task required a more advanced computer and Dr. Avadhanlu could not afford it. His friend Somayajulu came to know it and took him to the owner of Aahwini Hair Oil company, Subba Rao, who donated Rs. 1,20,000, then a huge amount. Dr. Avadhanlu bought a modern computer with it, but could not afford to employ the staff needed as he had to pay them from his own salary at NIMS. So he started the Ved Bharati Trust to collect funds and worked with the staff day and night. During that work he found that the Vedas contained information about medical science, mathematics and outer space. Thrilled by it, Dr.Avadhanlu speeded up the work and by 1995 could index Yajurveda, write seven treatises on it and show a multimedia demonstration on computer to Dr. Sharma. The then Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, unveiled the program and praised it. But the Ved Bharati Trust could record only 700 hours of the program and produce multimedia CDs on it. But covering the entire Veda would need 2500 hours of recording which Dr. Avadhanlu could not do single-handedly. He said it was not an impossible task if all Vedic pandits and joined him. Due to his interest he learnt Yajurveda, but he found that his M.Sc.in physics was not adequate. So he learnt ‘Meemansa’ and did MA in Sanskrit and Astrology. He got a PhD with a thesis on earthquake prediction using Vedic science. He was awarded a patent for the Vedic database design he developed and a title of ‘Sanskritamitra’ by the Government.
Thus a Telugu scientist’s contribution to the field of Vedas made the Telugu land proud of him. (Dr. Avadhanlu inputs from G.M. Sanjeevi, Mimbai)