Pundits’ Attitude, Funds Crunch Hit Sanskrit Encylopaedia Work


INDIA, December 2, 2012 (Deccan Herald): The Government of India-assisted monumental project, “Encyclopedia Dictionary of Sanskrit on Historic Principles,” is languishing not only for want of adequate funds, but also due to the over-modesty of the Sanskrit Pundits, laments the eminent 79-year-old Sanskrit scholar and authority on “Vaishnava Agamas,” Dr. Pandurang Prabhakar Apte, now Emeritus Professor, Deccan College, Pune, and of the Academy of Sanskrit Research, Melkote, Karnataka. He spoke to M. R. Venkatesh on a wide-range of issues during his recent visit to Chennai.

Dr. Pune gave the following reply when asked the status of the Sanskrit Encyclopaedia Project.

The “Encyclopaedia Dictionary of Sanskrit” is a massive on-going project under the aegis of the Deccan College in Pune, which comes under the Maharashtra Government, and with Central Government assistance. But the grant is not enough. Previously, the Union HRD Ministry was funding this project. But in recent years all assistance for Sanskrit study projects are channelized through the “Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan” in Delhi. Under this project, they have taken some 1,500 books and Sanskrit words extracted so far is 850,000, which have been arranged alphabetically and 7,000 pages printed. But even under the first “akshara A”, Sanskrit words taken up to three-member compounds, that is all such compound words beginning with A, have not been completed yet.

For example, just under one word, “Agni” there are 500 entries covering 111 meanings and sub-meanings! It is thus a colossal project underway. The project faces a hurdle, not only due to insufficient budget allocations and discouragement of the Government, but also due to the Sanskrit scholars who are too modest and narrow in outlook while asking for funds.

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