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An Ode to a great teacher, scholar and leader – Prof. VK 2.0 (by Suresh Narasimhan in 2010

The contribution of leaders is the change they cause among those who are influenced by them. Nobody yet in my experience has better represented this leadership quality than that presented by the speaker Professor V. Krishnamurthy (Prof. VK) himself LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVES

Over the many years now, you all (especially my BITS Pilani friends) may know of him as the erudite mathematician (Introduction to Linear Algebra, Combinatorics, “Culture, Excitement and Relevance of Mathematics” to name a few). He was the very effective University administrator (“responsible along with a few others for the entire innovative restructuring and developmental process of BITS, from its earlier run-of-the mill type of traditional Indian university to its modern style of a technological university). And he was the great orator (welcomed incoming student and their parent orientation programme, ran the most cherished Intensive Teacher Training Workshops, and gave very popular lectures on Science and Religion). All of this encapsulated what most of us remember him for. This is Prof VK 1.0.

In 1988 Prof. VK retired at the pinnacle of his academic career. He then told me what he mentioned to his higher management. He had a promise to keep to himself. He wanted to follow on the footsteps of his father, the late Sri R.Viswanatha Sastrigal, a scholarly exponent of Hinduism. During those final years in BITS, I endeared with him as a research apprentice working on weekends and weekday evenings helping him in small bits on his first book in this transitioning phase. This was the first of his prolific writings, highly read and undoubtedly significant literature filling the voids in our understanding of the Hindu scriptures. Starting with the Essentials of Hinduism (1989); he has now authored many more - Hinduism for the Next Generation (1992); The Ten Commandments of Hinduism (1994); Science and Spirituality—A Vedanta Perception (2002); Live Happily the Gita Way (2008); and Gems from the Ocean of Devotional Hindu Thought (2010).

This my dear friends, is Prof. VK 2.0. What triggered this FB note is his email to me recently, sharing with me the publication his latest two new books that are truly the fruits of a life time of study on Hinduism. The first book is on the devotional Hindu thoughts and the second is on the spiritual Hindu thoughts.  These books are the enhanced revision of the materials that he developed in his homepage:

Some Last Thoughts: Over many years now, I have been mentored by some inspiring leaders. They have included bosses in the corporate world and Guru’s in all other human endeavors. They have also been erudite philosophers, thinkers and scholars. And philanthropists, community doers and makers (who have given the gift of their precious time for the good-will of the community they served) and not to forget the denizens of good willed human beings, friends, family members that I am in touch with every day. In many instances, I have gained their good-will and some times their respect. But few things have made me feel as accepted in this entire world steeped in culture, values and rich traditions as VK’s fond embrace, empathy and good-will.

I visited the Krishnamurthys in Bangalore some time ago. They invited me for Dinner. They were warm, treated me as their son as they always do and gave me a peek into this world of Prof VK 2.0 life. They continue to be in body and in spirits as young as I have always known them. Here’s to wishing the Krishnamurthys many many more years of healthy, abundantly resourceful and truly rich lives. Thank you Prof VK.

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