The National Mission for Manuscripts was established in February 2003 by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India with the purpose of locating, documenting, preserving and disseminating the knowledge content of India's handwritten manuscripts, said to be the largest collection of handwritten knowledge documents in the world. While looking ahead to reconnect with the knowledge of the past, the Mission is in the process of trying to re-contextualize the knowledge contained in manuscripts for the present and the future generations.
The Mission launched a lecture series titled "Tattvabodha" in January 2005. Since then, a monthly lecture series is organized in Delhi and other academic centres all over the country. Tattvabodha has established itself as a forum for intellectual discourse, debate and discussion. Eminent scholars representing different aspects of India's knowledge systems have addressed and interacted with highly receptive audiences over the course of the past few years.
This volume, seventh in the series, consists of twelve papers - eleven in English and one in Hindi - presented by well-known and upcoming scholars in different Tattvabodha lectures organized by the Mission.
The volume finds its merit in varied subjects across Indian knowledge system such as Accessing Manuscripts in the Digital Age; Physics in Ancient Indian Knowledge System; Critical and Comparative Review of the Principal Upanisads; The Concept of diva in ,iva-rahasya; The Ramacaritam of Ciraman; Editing of Ayurvedic Manuscripts; The Dravyanamakara Nighantu; Tribal Heritage and Indigenous Philosophical Wisdom of Odisha; Glimpses of Archival Manuscripts; Gandhari: A Key Mother Figure of the Mahabharata; Depiction of Indian Culture in Sanskrit Inscriptions of Cambodia; Phasi. Katha-Parampara aura Arabyayriminr.
The introductions, interpretations, explanations and analyses involved herein should solicit keen interest among academicians, scholars and students of Indology.
THE journey of the National Mission for Manuscripts started in 2003 when it was established by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The Mission's objectives are to explore, evaluate and present the knowledge contained in the manuscripts.
In its attempt to disseminate the traditional knowledge contained in the manuscripts, the Mission organizes the Tattvabodha - awareness of the Ultimate Reality - lecture series all around the country in collaboration with various academic institutions. This lecture series provides insights into different areas of knowledge delivered by eminent scholars who are specialists in their respective fields. The Tattvabodha lectures create a forum for intellectual engagement and subsequently try to re-contextualize the traditional knowledge to make it relevant to the present and future generations.
The present collection is the seventh volume of Tattvabodha series comprising twelve papers presented by well-known scholars in different Tattvabodha lectures organized by the Mission. The lectures are presented in English and Hindi, and cover a variety of topics across Indian knowledge system.
There is a paradigm shift in the medium of knowledge transmission, from handwritten and printed materials to the digital world. This has created both a crisis and an opportunity for the preservation of manuscripts. Computer scientists across the world are trying hard to develop Trusted Digital Repositories to ensure the online accessibility as well as long-term availability of digital data. To enable the Sanskrit scholars to access old Sanskrit manuscripts online, the Sanskrit Library has developed an application to integrate manuscript metadata and images. Peter M. Scharf in his paper describes the process by which similar integrated hypertext access may be created for any manuscript collection, using customized software.
Ancient Indians had the knowledge of basic principles related to Chemistry, Physics and Metallurgy and had conducted "practicals" on these knowledge system. Many works belonging to the Sutra period are testimony to it. The Amsubodhini by Rsi Bharadvaja contains description of cosmology. We had in use apparatuses such as spectrometer, prakasastambhanabhidalauha, usnapaharakalauha and chayapravibhajakalauha. From the Vaisesikasutra of Sage Kanada and in the Padarthadharmasaritgraha of Pragastapada, we get to know many principles of science, especially the material science, popularly known as Vagesika. Newton's Universal Law of Gravity and his equations of motion were known to the VaiSesikas. PraSastapada enumerates in his book three forms of force -mechanical, emotional and elastic. The VaiSesikas were adept in physical sciences, and Shankar Gopal Nene through his article makes us marvel on the scientific acumen of the ancient Indians.
Like the Vedic hymns, the Upanishads, the concluding part of the Vedic texts, have been given a status of divine revelation. The Vedanta school of philosophy per se is based on the principal Upanishads, along with the Bhagavadgita and the Brahmasatra of Badarayana, and are respectively known as grutiprasthana, smrtiprasthana and nyayaprasthana. Dhirendranath Banerjee navigates the reader through the teachings of the principal Upanishads and their role in spearheading Puranic outlooks and philosophical perspectives, making a critical and comparative review of them.
Based on an old unpublished manuscript, the Siva-rahasya, Satya Deva Misra talks about the nature of Siva and His supremacy. The Siva-rahasya is a treasure house of a variety of Saiva faiths, both in Advaita and Dvaita forms right from the pre-historic to the modern times. It declares that Lord Siva is the Ultimate Reality and is incessantly adored by gods and divine beings. Saivism is just like an imperishable asvattha tree which has been practiced continuously from Kashmir to Kanyakumari in India, and in many countries outside.
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