Moodubelle: Dr. Vadiraja Bhat - A distinguished past student of St. Lawrence High School

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By Eugene Moodubelle

Moodubelle, 19 November 2009: On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee celebration of St. Lawrence High School this year, it would be worthwhile to know the achievements of some of the distinguished past students of this prestigious institution who have excelled in the field of their choice. Among these students, the achievements of Dr. Vadiraja Bhat are quite significant not only in the field of education but also in different areas such as research in folk arts and literature and spiritualism.

Born on 2nd July 1951 at Kanaradi in Manipura Village, Vadiraja was the second child among two sons and six daughters of Kanaradi Laxminarayan Bhat and Kamalamma. Following his initial education up to 5th standard at Marne, Vadiraja continued higher primary education at the Church Aided Higher Primary School and secondary education at St. Lawrence High School, Moodubelle. He passed SSLC examination in 1966 with first class and was the top scorer in that year. Vadiraja had great interest in writing and while in the high school, he had contributed various articles and stories to the high school magazine. He has fond memories of the high school life as the student and still remembers the Head Master, Sri B. A. Samak and his teachers with great respect and affection.

Vadiraja Bhat was keen to continue his education further and joined the Poorna Prajna College, Udupi from where he acquired the BA degree with Kannada as major subject. Being inspired by his teachers in schools and college, Vadiraja was determined to become a teacher himself and pursued further education completing MA from the Mysore University in 1973.

The teaching career of Vadiraja Bhat began when he joined Smt. Chennamma Junior College at Madapur in Kodagu as Kannada lecturer for one year (1973-74). As he was interested in teaching degree classes, Vadiraja Bhat moved to Shri Sharada College, Basrur where he rose to be the Head of the Department of Kannada and eventually became the Principal of the college in 2003.

Prof. Vadiraja Bhat voluntarily gave up the Principal’s post in order to do research for his Ph.D. degree which he completed and was awarded Ph.D. degree by the Mangalore University in March 2009, for his thesis titled “Dvaita Vedanta and Prajapitha Brahma Kumari Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya-A Comparative Study”.

Besides teaching, Dr. Vadiraja Bhat was in charge of the National Service Scheme (NSS) in the college and also held important positions in the Mangalore University as the Member of the Examination Board, Member of the Board of Studies in Kannada and Editor of the Text Book Committee in Kannada. He had also held important positions in different cultural organizations and attended a number of important conferences.

Dr. Vadiraja Bhat has done research in Kannada and Tulu literature and folklore and has written extensively on Tulu folklore. His research articles and papers have been published in different periodicals and journals. He has also given programmes on Akashvani on various topics and interviews on different Television Channels. His interest in Yakshagana prompted him to act in some of the Yakshagana Prasangas. His memorable roles include Ratnavati, a female character in the ‘Ratnavati Kalyana’, Drona in ‘Ekalavya Prasanga’ and Sanjaya in ‘Gadhayuddha’.

It was at the height of his career in 1980, at the age of 31, Dr. Vadiraja Bhat took a momentous decision to devote himself in the quest of spiritualism and remain single and follow celibacy. The inspiration came from two of his sisters who had earlier had joined the Ishwariya Brahma Kumari Movement. Dr. Vadiraja Bhat is involved in spreading the concept of human values through lectures and workshops. Presently he is writing a book on Human Values. After his retirement in 2011, Dr. Vadiraja Bhat has a desire to involve himself fully in spiritualism and value education.

Dr. Vadiraja Bhat is soft-spoken and simple in his appearance and disposition. He wears white dhoti and kurta and has simple food. He practices yoga and meditation and trains others also in pursuit of spiritual quest. He said that the secret of his happiness is that he feels happy when others around him are happy. After his retirement in 2011, Dr. Vadiraja Bhat wants to involve himself fully in the spread of spiritualism and value education among the students and people.

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