By Christina Collins, Jyotish Star E-Magazine
Interview Date: 7/27/2015
This year, 2015, a few select Americans received the Padma awards, the highest civilian awards granted by the government of India. Padma awards are given for outstanding contributions to the country and go to a broad range of individuals including artists, doctors, athletes, scientists, educators, social, political and religious leaders. The great majority of award recipients are from India, but foreigners may be included if their work has had a strong impact in India itself.
Among the Americans, Dr. David Frawley received the prestigious Padma Bhushan award, one of the higher Padma awards, for his work promoting Vedic knowledge. Bill and Melinda Gates also received a Padma Bhushan for their charitable work in India.
The Padma awards were announced on Republic Day, January 26, 2015 and given at a special ceremony at the presidential palace (Rashtrapati Bhavan) on March 30. The awards were conferred directly by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Vice-President and Home Minister attended and were part of the event.
Christina Collins: Congratulations Vamadeva on receiving this monumental and historic award from the Republic of India for your vast body of work and accomplishments and your over forty books of Vedic knowledge. I understand from Chakrapani Ullal that you may be the first American Vedic teacher to receive the Padma Bhushan award?
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