25 January 2013

Join this blog and enrich the sarada script.

Recently i participated in one seminar at Bangalore, which is namely,
Application of Information Technology for conservation, editing and publication of Manuscripts” on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of January 2013, at Multivision Theatre, ISKCON, Harekrishna Hill, Rajajinagar, Bangalore.
Organised by ; Samskriti Foundation,  Mysore .
[Prof .M.A.Lakshmithathachar,President],
It is estimated that there are not less than about 1 million palm leaf / hand-made-paper manuscripts, that are the source works of the Indian Knowledge systems, in various manuscript repositories (both institutional and personal) in India alone. A survey was recently conducted by different agencies to know how many of these manuscripts have been published.  It was surprising to know that only about 5% of these manuscripts have been published and only about 2% of these works in the form of manuscripts are readily available in print-form.  Thus, it can be safely said that most of these works dealing with Indian knowledge systems are yet to see the light of the day.It is well known that these manuscripts are written in different ancient scripts like Grantha, Sharada, Nandi-nagari,Nevari,Tigalari and so on.  People who know these scripts in India are very few.  Thus there is every chance that we may permanently lose the treasure of knowledge that is enshrined in these ancient manuscripts. 
 Generally, one scholar who is an expert in the concerned script and subject can copy the text of about two or three manuscripts if he works continuously for one year.  At this rate, we require about 16,000 man-years of expert scholars well-versed in the particular script and subject just to retrieve the information in these works, if it is done in the traditional manner.  Thus it is humanly impossible to have all the manuscripts deciphered.
However, even in this bleak scenario, one need not lose heart.  Since we are in the age of computers, it is possible to develop tools that can facilitate the retrieval of the texts of the manuscripts at a much faster pace.  A comprehensive plan has to be envisaged for the application of Information Technology for the preservation, propagation, deciphering and ultimately publication of all the manuscripts available in the country. The  seminar proposed to assemble experts in information technology and manuscriptology to brainstorm and after due deliberations, evolve a comprehensive strategy for the application of Information Technology for each of the aspects concerning preservation, propagation, deciphering and ultimately publication of manuscripts. 
    I have inspired by that seminar and started this blog , particularly for propagation of sarada script,so kindly join this blog and share with your thoughts .It also cooperate for sarada script scribes and readers.


  1. Dipak Bhattacharya,
    wrote to me- as ....I have been working with the Śāradā manuscript of the Paippalāda-Saṃhitā for the last 36 years since I learned the script from late Pandit Dunichand Shastri of the Vishveshvaranand Institute, Hoshiarpur. Before that I had worked with a transcription made by the American scholar L.c.Barret.
    Śāradā script is not very difficult to learn. There are a few ligatures like ष्ठ/ष्ट, ण/जा where confusion is possible. Otherwise it is not very difficult to work with Śāradā. Such difficulties exist with every script. I know of at least three Western scholars who can handle Śāradā mss.
    Incidentally, the original manuscript of the Paippalāda-Saṃhitā deposited in the University Library, Tübingen was damaged beyond recovery during the second world-war. As I saw it the pages had been broken into two or more parts.
    Dipak Bhattacharya

  2. Thanks for the valuble and informative comments of Dipak Bhattacharya.