Sanskrit was born and nurtured in India and in course of time became the mother of many languages worldwide besides a host of regional languages it continues to be a source of inspiration treasure trove of knowledge and a symbol of universal brotherhood. These virtues of the great language need to be taken good care of.
There is hardly any region or district in India where Sanskrit is not studied in some form or the other. This volume 1 of Sixty years of Sanskrit studies presents a comprehensive view of the status and trends of Sanskrit studies in India (Volume II takes up the scenario of Sanskrit studies in some other countries of the world. It is compilation of expert papers that survey the state of Sanskrit studies in the different states/ union territories of the country in a systematic manner.
The individual papers begin with an analysis of the position of the Sanskrit language in the states of India. They cover various aspects of teaching spread of popularity research and publications in Sanskrit language and literature. They also deal with the Sanskrit academies established by the state governments and discuss the indological research journals being brought out by various academies and institutes as also journals in the Sanskrit language. Scholars herein explore attempts made at investigating the inter relationship of Sanskrit with medieval literatures in other languages or the regional literatures. They particularly focus on grammar epic literature Sanskrit religious and secular literature besides the manuscripts of other kinds. They also examine the evolution of great centers of Vedic studies in India such as pune and attempts made to rediscover the corpus of the lost sakhas and later Vedic texts.
Radhavallabh Tripathi is one of the senior most professors of Sanskrit in the century. At present he is working as Vice chancellor of the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan at Delhi. Widely acclaimed for his original contributions to the study of Natyasastra and Sahityasastra he has published 129 books, 187 research papers and critical essays as well as translations of more than 30 Sanskrit plays and some classics from Sanskrit into Hindi. He has received more then 25 national and international awards and honors for his literary contributions. He has been authoritatively referred in various research journals on Indology. Research for PH.D. has either been completed or is being still carried out on his creative writings in Sanskrit in a number of universities. Some literary journals have published special numbers dedicated to his life and writings.
It is almost an impossible task for a single person to present a comprehensive view on the status and trends of Sanskrit studies in a vast country like India. What is being done here would just appear to be a sketchy account, containing snippets of information that is to be further corroborated properly analyzed and explored.
India is divided into 28 states 7 union territories and 644 districts. There is hardly any district or region where Sanskrit is not studied in some form or the other. Sanskrit is mentioned in the list of 22 Major languages officially accepted in the constitution of India and it is also one of the three languages there that have an all India character.
Teaching Education and Research
In India there are 282 universities as per the records with the AIU at least 112 of which have postgraduate and research departments of Sanskrit. The number of colleges teachings Sanskrit is around 10,000 Modern Methods are adopted in these institutions for teaching programmes in Sanskrit. Apart from these universities and colleges there are 16 Sanskrit universities and a number of Sanskrit pathasalas or Sanskrit colleges where traditional method also known as pathasala paddhati is practiced.
As per a recent state wise survey conducted by the Rashtriya Sanskrit Santhan the number of Sanskrit pathasalas in Madhya Pradesh is 644 in Chhattisgarh 32 in Uttar Pradesh 1347 Uttarakhand 115 in Karnataka it is 290 in Orissa 433 Punjab 8 Rajasthan 1698, Sikkim 36 Tamil Nadu 55, and in Himachal Pradesh 129 Andhra Pradesh 509, Assam 83, Bihar 717, Goa 4, Gujarat 63 Haryana 74 , Jammu & Kashmir 43 Jharkhand 3, Kerala 31 Maharashtra 63 Manipur 8. There are also 21 Model Sanskrit colleges under the RSKS. In the state of H.P. there are 27 Sanskrit colleges apart form the two model Sanskrit colleges in the state of Uttharakhan. More than 1000 Sanskrit vidyalayas function under the supervision of Bihar Sanskrit Shiksha Board.
All in all there are approximately 8000 Sanskrit pathasalas in the country with around 1.8 millions students pursuing their studies in them. Apart from these a number of the vedapathasalas are being run across India for cultivating the tradition of chanting and studying some particular sakha of Veda. The MSRVVP has supported 54 vedapathasalas during 2009-10. in addition to this the MSRVVP has also been funding 187 unites of traditions Vedic learning. In each units one guru of a particular vedasakha imparts training to the disciples (all male). These unites are spread over in remote areas even in such far of provinces as Sikkim. Besides the vedapathasalas aided by the MSRVVP, Several independent organizations are running their own vedapathasalas or gurukulas in Maharastra itself there are more than 25 vedapathasalas preserving the tradition of the oral transmission of the Vedic texts. In additions to those pathasalas there are vaidikas that are not running the vedapathasalas formally but teaching the students privately in a temple or in their house. Vedapatasalas or veda vidyalasyas are also functioning in the states of Assam and Tripura.
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