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Dr. Shashikala & Dr Gopala Dwarkanath, And Sushree Durgalakshmi Krishnan To Receive The Sanskriti Saurabh Samman Awards

Press Release

The Sanskriti Saurabh Samman Awards Announced :

Dr. Shahsikala & Dr Gopala Dwarkanath, and Sushree Durgalakshmi Krishnan

The Hindu community of New England organizes an annual event to celebrate their rich and diverse heritage. This year the Hindu Heritage Day is on Saturday, May 20, 2023, 3:00 PM at Marlboro Middle School, 25 Union Street, Marlboro, MA 01752. This is a day to celebrate our heritage and culture, expressed via arts, music, dance, stories, food, audio visual exhibitions.

Starting year 2002, the Hindu Heritage Day committee has been recognizing those Hindus, who through their contributions in fields of spirituality, arts, service, science, and technology have brought honor and glory to our Hindu heritage. Such people are considered honorary because they have helped the society and furthered the cause of Dharma. The name of the award is Samskriti Saurabh Samman. Since its inception there are 16 recipients of this award. The award is decided by a sub-committee of HHD. The recipients range from inspiring keepers of our traditions in arts, music, culture, entrepreneurs, community organizers, physicians, spiritual masters, yoga gurus to businessmen.

This year the recipients of the Sanskrit Saurabh Samman award are Dr. Shashikala & Dr Gopala Dwarkanath of Chinamaya Mission Boston, and Sushree Durgalakshmi Krishnan.

Dr. Gopala Dwarakanath was appointed by Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji as President of Chinmaya Mission Boston (CMB) in 1992. From the beginning, Dwarakaji along with his wife, Shashi Ji, had the vision to build a center that catered to the spiritual, religious, and cultural needs in the local area while spreading the message of Vedanta to members of the community. His vision came true in 2003 when the first phase of the current Chinmaya Mission ashram was constructed. It was subsequently completed in 2008.

Professionally, Dwarkaji retired as the Medical Director of the Pain Management Center at Lowell General Hospital. Even after retirement, he continues to help them as and when needed.

Dr. Shashikala Dwarkanath, MD, is a unique person and a physician who is now an Acharya. After receiving her medical training in the United Kingdom and India, she moved to the Boston area to complete her residency at Harvard Children’s Hospital Medical Center, New England Deaconess Hospital and the Lahey Clinic. As the Chief of Pathology at Lawrence General Hospital and subsequently Lowell General Hospital, she oversaw laboratory activity focused on the diagnosis of disease through the study of patient tissue and blood. Her work has been crucial to individual patient care as well as overall public health.

Shashi Ji is the inspirational source behind Chinmaya Mission Boston. She started the Bal Vihar in her basement and pioneered the dissemination of art, culture, and spiritual knowledge to the entire community. She is a community leader who continues to intensely seek the very purpose of life. Naturally, she is one of the most complete human beings in our community, who inspires hundreds of young and grown-up adults with her calming presence.  Her kindness, compassion and positive attitude leaves an indelible mark on everyone who meets her. She has presented talks on parenting and organized women’s retreat centered on “Harnessing the Power of Emotions.” Dr. Dwarakanath enjoys writing poetry and playing the veena.

Although now retired from his role as President, Gopala Ji will continue to serve Boston Chinmaya Mission as President-Emeritus, and Dr. Shashi Dwarakanath, will continue to lead Chinmaya Mission’s Bal Vihar and spiritual initiatives. Says Desh Deshpande, “Their dedicated effort and ability to pull in so many others in their mission have resulted in an institution that has not only a beautiful infrastructure but a closed knit community that really cares for each other and everyone around them.  What is even more impressive is their vision going forward.”

Sushree Durga Krishnan, a Carnatic music and Veena icon in the area is a graduate of Carnatic Music College of Chennai with degrees in music and advanced teacher’s certificate. She is an accomplished performer, a sought-after teacher of Veena as well as Vocals, music composer and a constant promoter of Carnatic music in the Boston area.

She started learning Veena at the age of 9. She is a disciple of the veena legend, late Dr. Chitti babu and has accompanied him on many albums and live concerts. She has also received further training from the violin maestro, the late Padma Bhushan Lalgudi G. Jayaraman.

Over last 5 decades, she has performed in numerous concerts, taught a number of students and has had many successful Arangetrams. Her students have won prizes in competitions run by CMANA and the prestigious Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana. She has composed and directed music for stage productions. Her original composition, “Two Faces of Rain” featured at the international climate conference in 2021. She has collaborated with area institutes and given lecture demonstrations and workshops at Harvard University, Tufts, Berklee College of Music, and others. She is on the board of prestigious organizations that promote music like MITHAS, LearnQuest Academy of Music and is the cultural director of Chinmaya Mission.

The organizing committee invites the community to join the Hindu Heritage Day Celebrations and help felicitate these community icons on May 20th at Marlborough middle school



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