The Executive Committee of the Bihar Puravid Parishad, Patna, in its meeting held on 15 Feb. 1997 decided to bring out Gustav Roth Felicitation Volume in appreciation of the immense contributions made by Dr. Roth to the study of Indology and his close connections with Bihar and Patna. This is first Felicitation Volume of the Parishad and is being presented to him on the auspicious occasion of his eighty-second birthday falling this year in January.
Dr. Gustav Roth hardly needs any introduction to the scholarly world. He is known not only through his writings but also through his personal contact with a large number of celebraties in Patna and elsewhere. Born on 22.1.1916 in Silesia (Germany), Dr. Roth took keen interest in indology, specially Jainism and Buddhism. He visited India several times, stayed for long in Patna and Bihar, devloped close contacts with the Department of Ancient Indian History and Archaeology, Patna University, the Bihar Research Society, K.P. Jayaswal Research Institute, Khuda Baksh Oriental Public Library, Patna and Shri Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, Nalanda. In appreciation of his outstanding scholarship, the Government of Bihar honoured him by appointing as the Director of Nava Nalanda Mahavihara. Roth adorned this chair from 1982 to 1985.
Gustav Roth is a scholar par-excellence who possesses vast knowledge and commands mastery over several languages including English, Latin, French, Sanskrit, Persian, Urdu, Pali and Prakrit. He is also a prolific writer who has penned innumerable research papers and monographs on history, art, religion and philosophy. He took great pains in editing the Bhiksuni-Vinaya of the Lokottaravada sub-school of the Mahasanghikas, published later by the K.P. Jayaswal Research Institute, Patna and deciphered several Buddhist Sanskrit manuscripts brought to Patna by Mahapandita Rahul Sankrityayana. Roth's contributions were duely recognised and as a token of appreciation and affection he was conferred on the honorary degrees of Jaina-Itihasa-Ratna (1954) and Vidya Varidhi (1981). It is heartening to note that even at this advanced age, Dr. Roth is busy in his academic persuits. May god give him a long life.
The present Felicitation Volume is a modest attempt of the admires of Dr. Roth and Bihar Puravid Parishad to express its deep sense of appreciation and gratitude to an iridologist who has spent his entire life in the persuit of knowledge and historical research. It contains sixty-three research papers arranged thematically into four sections. The first section, consisting of 22 articles, deals with political and socio-economic history. These cover a wide spectrum ranging from archaeology to historiography. Some Of the notable papers included in this category are "Agricultural and Non-Agricultural Economy of the Early Farming Culture of the Vindhyas-Central India", "Continuity and change from Neolithic to Chalcolithic phase : A Case Study of Senuwar", "Iron and State Formation in India (From Earliest Times to the Second century B.C.)," "Early Greek Historians on Urban Development in North-West India", "State, Society and Economy in Kalinga (5-6th centuries A.D.)", "An Eighteenth Century Indian Historian on Early British Administration" and "Magadha's Cultural Relations with Sri Lanka". Papers relating to art and architecture have been placed in the second section which contains 14 articles. Some of the interesting articles in this section are "Prehistoric Rook-Art in Magadha", "Fish in Indian Art", and "Some Rare Sculptures from Modhera". Section third of the volume deals with Buddhism and Buddhist philosophy. 21 enteries have been includeed in this category, some of which are "The Concept of Man in Early Buddhism", The Concept of Monarchy in the Jatakas," "Studies in the origin of Sarvastivada" and "Buddhism : A Religion for Everbody". The Hindi section has 6 research papers on varied themes like "Puranakalin Bihar Ka Lokjeevan", "Mughal Chitra Shaili mein Nari Chitran" and "Gandhi Vichar ki Prasangikta".
On our reqiiest Dr. Roth obliged us by sending a short sketch of his early life, his association with Azad Hind Fauz, his study and research at Patna, to be included in this volume. For this kind gesture, we are very thankful to him. We expect that this volume would be well received by the scholarly world. However, we are quite conscious of our limitations and sincerely crave the indulgence of the readers for short comings and errors which might have crept in despite our best efforts.
We feel it our pleasant duty to acknowledge the valuable help and cooperation received from different quarters particularly from Sri Rajendra Prasad in more than one way in the prepration of this volume. We also express our gratitude to the contributors to this volume and members of the Bihar Puravid Parishad. We shall be failing in our duty if we conclude without thanking Sri Vipul Shankar Pandya of the Ratna Offsets Limited for his cooperation in this endeavour. May God grant Dr. Gustav Roth a long life with good helth to enable him to serve the cause of Indological studies.
The volume entitled "Facets of Indian Culture", a collection of essays and tributes in the honour of Dr. Gustav Roth, a German national, who treats India, especially Patna, as his second home, is a unique venture in the sense that the Bihar Puravid Parishad has, for the first time, published a Felicitation Volume in honour of any scholar. Dr. Roth, a doyen and savant among Indologists, who has kept the tradition of Max Milner alive, needs hardly and introduction to the world of scholars. In Patna with which he has had long forty years association, his is a familar face among the intellactuals and the elite.
The Parishad feels proud in presenting this volume to Dr. Gustav Roth on completion of his 82nd birthday.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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