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Manuscriptology and Palaeography


The IGNCA aims at, inter alia, bringing out critical editions of texts, based on manuscript material, alongwith English translations, and interpretations, of ancient and medieval seminal works related to Indian arts in their broadest connotations. The Kala Kosa Division is entrusted with taking up various research projects with a view to fulfilling these objectives.

In the course of working with these projects, it has been found that the scholars who are well-conversant with the scientific methodology of textual criticism, using manuscript material and different scripts in which ancient and medieval Sanskrit and Prakrit manuscripts are written, are not too many. Far less are the number of young scholars knowing Sanskrit language and different Sastras, in both, the traditional and modern institutions, they are not equipped to take up text-critical editions or read old scripts. There is very reason to full that this important aspect of Indian classical scholarship will further decline in the near future. Keeping this alarming situation in view, the Academic Director of the Centre contemplated a plan to inspire awareness among young Sanskrit scholars and to train them in manuscript methodology of textual criticism and palaeography, all over Indian by was of organizing a chain of workshops. The coordinator of the Kala Kosa Division has been entrusted with the job to organize such workshops.

The first Workshop was held in Delhi, in May 1994, in collaboration with Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rastrya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth. This first effort was quite successful.

On a proposal from Dr. Saroja Bhate, Professor and Head of the Department of Sanskrit and Prakrit Language, University of Poona, the second Workshop was held by this Centre in collaboration with University of Poona at Pune from 3rd to 24th January 1995.

The Workshop was inaugurated by the eminent Vedic scholar Prof. C.G. Kashikar under the chairmanship of Prof. A.R. Kulkarni, Vice Chancellor, Shri Tilak Maharasthra Vidyapeeth, Pune. Twenty-nine trainee participants including students and research personnel of IGNCA were enrolled Thirteen resource persons were imparted training in Sharda, Grantha, Newari and Modi scripts as well as textual criticism, collation, reconstruction of text as also fixing dates, decoding of chronographs, orthography, etc. Prof. M.N. Mahandale, Dr. T.N. Dharmadhikar, Dr. G.C. Tripathi, Dr. Ratna Basu and Pt. Satkari Mukhopadhyaya were among the resource persons.

The workshop concluded with a valedictory function presided over by Prof. M.P. Rege, President Prajna Pathsala, Wai. The valedictory address was delivered and certificates were distributed to the participants by M.C. Joshi, Member Secretary of IGNCA. The workshop was coordinated by Dr. Saroja Bhate and Pt. Satkari Mukhopadhyaya, Coordinator, Kala Kosa Division, IGNCA.

Satkari Mukhopahdyaya

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