I feel happy to place this small monograph Sanskrit Works Rendered into Urdu authored by Mr Shaik Abdul Ghani in the hands of learned readers. Sanskrit Academy, Hyderabad has two kinds of publication in its series – Popular publications that are of common public interest and Research publications. Under the first category many works namely – Gems From Sanskrit literature, Sanskrit Vaijanati, First Book of Sanskrit (Translation), Selections from Prakrit Literature, Astrology: An Authentic Science, etc. – have been brought out. The present work Sanskrit Works Rendered into Urdu falls in this category.
The interest and efforts of Janab Abdul Ghani in Sanskrit studies and research caught my attention at the first meeting itself. Knowledge of Sanskrit and Urdu language besides fair understanding of Islamic and Hindu cultures has placed him in a unique category of research. His acquaintance with Urdu literature created on the basis of Sanskrit and his interest in bringing out such new ideas from this blended literature, which has great impact on cultural harmony and mutual exchanges of ideal, immensely attracted me.
During a meeting with our beloved Vice-Chancellor of Osmania University Prof. T. Tirupathi Rao, I was advised to encourage such studies and research among activities of the Academy. I requested Mr Ghani to write a small monograph on Sanskrit works rendered into Urdu.
He worked hard on this subject, collected the relevant information and finally came up with a monograph. This works has been reviewed and appreciated by Prof. B.V.L. Narayana Rao – an eminent Professor of English and linguistics – and by Professor L. Jayarao, Retd. Professor of English. I thank both of then for their kind suggestions in improving this work and for the words of appreciation.
A also thank Janab Abdul Ghani for his painstaking efforts in preparing this monograph and I wish many such works would come out from him.
I am grateful to Prof. R. V. Tripathiji, Vice-Chancellor, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, Deemed University, New Delhi and Prof. T. Tirupathi Rao, Vice-Chancellor, Osmania University, Hyderabad for their kind support.
Last but not the least, I express my thankfulness to Mr Susheel Mittal of D.K. Printworld, New Delhi for coming forward to publish this work.
Language is the source of expressions and feeling of people, and it is the symbol of culture and civilization. We can learn the culture of different group of people through its language and literature. Thus language plays keyrole in the history of human culture.
What we know has been acquired through our language. Bhartrhari Says in his Vakyapadiya.
(All the secrets of the universe will be know through language only).
There are many languages in the world. Scholars divided them into different families. Among them the Indo-European group of language spreads over Europe, Persia and India. Most of the languages such as Latin, Greek, Persian, Sanskrit and the modern languages like German, French, English belong to this group.
Sanskrit is the oldest and important member of the Indo-European family. The Rigveda is the oldest book in Sanskrit. Further Sanskrit developed itself as a classical language, and it produced a rich literature. In the early Vedic language, the four Vedas (Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, Atharvanaveda), the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas, the Upanishads, the Smriti Grantha and the Vedangas were written between the period 1500 – 500 BC. Further, the great epics the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the Puranas came into existence between 500 BC and 200 BC.
Further, in classical literature a number of poets contributed their writing. Among them, were Kalidasa, Magha, Bharavi, Banabhatta, Bhrtrhari, Chanakya are prominent. This Literature strengthened the cultural heritage of India. It made a lend-mark in the world history, and it was the medium of all literary and intellectual pursuits in India for many centuries.
The Practice of translating Sanskrit literature into other languages came into operation by the 4th century A.D. For example, when Buddhism spread into China, many ‘tantras’ of the Vajrayana Budism were translated into Chinese. Panchatantra’s Arabic Version was rendered by Abdullah Ibn-Al-Moqaffa in 750 AD, and all the western versions are derived from this translation.
“Another important translation was that made from the Arabic in 1142 or 1121 by Abul-Maali Nasrullah ibn Muhammed ibn ‘Abd al-Hamid, for it produced the Persian Anwari Suhaili by Husain ibn Ali al-Waiz between 1470 and 1505, whence came numerous translations into eastern languages, and which became known in France in 1644 by the translation by David Sahid and Gaulmin; this, again, was soon rendered into English, German, and Swedish. Moreiver, the Persian original, was rendered into Turkish by Ali Bin Salih Between 1512 and 1520, and it was rendered into French by Galland and Cardonne, the French then being translated into German, Duch, Hungarian, and even Malay.”
During the reign of Khalifa Mansur (757-774 A.D.) many Indian pandits brought to Baghdad books on Mathematics, Astronomy and ayurveda. Brahmasidhanta and Khandanakhadyaka, which were translated by Ibrahim Bin Al-Fazari and Yaqub Bin Tariq into Arabic.
During the Muslim rule in India, many Sanskrit works were translated into Persian under the patronage of the Mughals. Mulla Abdul Qadar Badaoni translated The Atharvaveda and Ramayana into Persian. The great poet Faizi rendered Lilavati into Persian.
“Prince Dara Shikoh who passionately interested in Hindu [philosophy and mysticism, made the invaluable treasures of Hindu thought, the Upanishads, the Bhagvad Gita and Yoga Vashistha available to Muslim readers in Persian, and himself wrote a book, ‘Majmaul-Bahrain; (The meeting place of two oceans) which is a comparative study of Hindu is a comparative study of Hindu and Muslim mystic philosophy.”
Similar efforts were made to make available the translations in the Indian languages in the 15 century.
“Among the king in Bengal, Alauddin Hussain Shah (1493-1518) and his son Nasiruddin Nusrat Shah (1518-33) won great popularity by among other thing patronising the Bengali language and enriching it with translation from Sanskrit. At the instance of Hussain Shan, Maladhar Vasu translated the Bhagvad Gita into Bengali. The Mahabharata was translated under the patronage of Nusrat Shah.”
Later many Europeans came forward to study Sanskrit and translate the Sanskrit texts into English directly. Sir William Jones translated “Shakuntala of Kalidasa” into English directly from Sanskrit in 1789 A.D.
The Muslim rules of Turkey and Persia invaded India during the 11th and 12th Centuries in the North Western region. Ultimately in 1206 AD the Muslim rule was established as the Sultanat of Delhi. The military chief’s and sub-ordinates of the Muslim rules were Persian and Turkish language speakers. At that time Western Hindi was in use in these places. Therefore the ‘Urdu’ Language was derived from the Western Hindi with the mixture of Persian and Turkish vocabulary. The meaning of the world ‘Urdu’. Till 18th Century, it was still developing. By 19th century Urdu became a full-fledged language and produced a large and note-worthy literature in all genres. This had also influenced the freedom struggle. Urdu language adopted the Persian script. Today it is the general language of communication in India.
As the transmission of culture synthesis began many Sanskrit works were translated into Urdu language in the 18th and 19th centuries. Still this process continues as a part of the cultural heritage of India. The detailed account of the Urdu translations is being given in the next chapters, which is the main objective of this book.
Sanskrit literature is a vast tradition, its literary activity being one of the oldest in the world. In the past, many Sanskrit works were translated into Persian and other Indian languages so as to revel the glory of the Sanskrit language and literary output to all. This book is an attempt to present Urdu translations of Sanskrit literature. The translations include the Gayatri mantra and a few random lines/verse from the Arthashstra, the epic literature especially the Bhagavad Gita, Kalidasa’s plays, Bhartrhari’s Shatakas, the Yoga Darshana of Patanjali and the Kapila Sutras on Sankhya philosophy, in a simple manner and with clarity. It includes a detailed list of various works of Sanskrit translations into English covering the Vedic literature, the Puranas, Sanskrit translations into English covering the Vedic literature, the Puranas, Sanskrit classical literature like the epics, drama. Lyrics, poetry, prose, romance, popular tales and scientific literature on grammar, phonetics, medicine, the law, astronomy and mathematics.
Shaik Abdul Ghani is a scholar of Sanskrit and Hindi who has combined his knowledge of them along with that of Urdu to come up with research works on the contribution of Muslims to Sanskrit literature and inter-lingual translations.
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