Friday, August 13, 2010

Sanskrit news from the web

some sanskrit related news recently found on the web -

Rare Buddhist relics on view -
"The Sanskrit manuscripts are from a cache of Buddhist relics found during the Otani expedition in China’s then Xinjiang province in early 20th century. These are now a part of the Lushun Museum Collection in China. The other documents have been sourced from the Cambridge University Library, Columbia University Press, the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, and the National Archives of Nepal. The facsimiles and panels have been made by the Institute of Oriental Philosophy in Japan."
PS: the sad part is, most of the manuscripts were outside india.

A renowned scholar, but down to earth
CHENNAI: Polite, kind and genteel in manners, Dr Calumbur Sivaramamurti was more of a friend and a resourceful companion to his two children. Sundararamamurti (68), the elder son of the art icon, says his father never behaved like a world renowned scholar. “He was an affectionate father, simple and down to earth. I did not understand till his death that he was a great mahapurusha venerated the world over,” he shrugs.

‘God is not an extra-cosmic personality’
"There is a Sanskrit saying, ‘Tatwa masi’ (God is a spirit within us).”
PS: comedy of errors - sort of - the dangers of writing sanskrit words in roman script with bad compounding (sandhi) points can be hilarious! "tatwa masi" instead of "tattwam asi" changes "that you are" to "essence/gist/core/material ink" !

original = tat twam asi = तत् त्वं असि = that you are
in article = tatwa masi = तत्व मसि = closest translation would be "essence/gist/truth/substance ink!" (masi from maShi = ink)

'Spiritual' Innovation
"It was then that I realised that they were actually sharing the task of conducting the ritual. They were taking turns guiding people through them. The first person started off with new batches, while the second person did the middle portion and the third completed the ritual.
They must have not had the time to memorise the entire set of shlokas and understandably so. But to their credit, they overcame the hurdle by slicing the overall work into smaller chunks that they shared. Coupled with this, their adeptness at getting the timing 'right' was spot on."

PS: an interesting read on necessity is the mother of invention or innovation :)

Rashtriya Sanskrit Kavi Sammelan at Panchkula on August 13

Me Talk Sanskrit One Day
PS: i am not sure if i should smile or cry reading this article. it was funny, except that it also shows that how sanskrit, can be brutalized for fun, half knowledge can give rise to crude humor, and maybe lack of proper teaching can cause more pain than joy! but you might enjoy it! if i was not a sanskrit lover, i would have only laughed it off :)

"Sanskrit letters are far less recognizable, in shape, than popular alphabets, like Hebrew, Arabic, or Cyrillic, which appear obscure yet somehow familiar to our eyes."
"because Arjuna, like every Hindu epic character, has something like a thousand names, one of which, apparently, is Kounteya." 
PS: kaunteya (कौन्तेय) = of kunti (कुन्ति) = arjuna (अर्जुन) (her son)!!

"Therefore, I’d push ahead with my Sanskrit by contacting the American Sanskrit Institute. They’d sent me the folder of death. And then I’d vocalize compound consonants from ancient Vedic texts until my eyes bled."
PS: why do people jump straight to vedas when they think of sanskrit, i could never comprehend. let me climb the everest, after all i can stand now :) :)

Epigraphy up against odds, only 2 colleges in city

Girl forced to take Sanskrit moves Delhi High Court
PS: interestingly, this led to the best side discussion on sweet and sour on Facebook.
question: and what with svAdu (which is etymologically related to the European words meaning "sweet")? and ShADava?
answer: @noc, wonderful question. this itself is worth a post in itself, tracing the origins of the words.

khaNDa (खण्ड) = variation of sugarcane. also: division, country, landmass etc.

khaNDakaH (खण्डकः) = confectioner. apart from one who breaks khaNDa (pieces)
khANDa (खाण्ड) = sugar (jaggaery) in hindi (and marAThI also i think)

in many places, the Sha (ष) is pronounced as kha (ख) , and the kha (ख) is written as Sha (ष). 

pAkhaNDa (पाखण्ड) = hypocrisy is written as pAShaNDa (पाषण्ड) also, but pronounced only as pAkhaNDa (पाखण्ड)
the constellation puShya (पुष्य) is pronounced both as puShya (पुष्य) and pukhya (पुख्य)

khANDa (खाण्ड) -> khANDava (खाण्डव) -> ShANDava (षाण्डव) -> ShADava (षाडव) (for of sugar, sweet)

wow! from where to where! phew! thanks for that Q noc!

H'wood get inked in Sanskrit!
"but his misspelt ‘Vhictoria’ tattoo in Sanskrit came under much criticism" 
PS: the surprising thing is who is doing the transliteration for them? so many errors! wonder how victoria becomes vhictoria with the extra h!

Nalanda: World's Oldest University Poised for Revival in India
PS: the university at takShashilA (तक्षशिला) where chANakya (चाणक्य) taught is much older than nAlandA (नालन्दा) by more than half a millennium.

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