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Search for rare Sanskrit texts begins in Mysore, India
by Global Good News staff writer
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22 May 2012
The last few articles in this series have described two ancient Vedic texts which the Reading Vedic Literature programme at Maharishi University of Management was interested in adding to its online collection. These texts, Kaundinya Shiksha and Varuna Purana, were established, after some digging and research, to have only one or two copies available in the world. In both cases, the last-known location of these manuscripts was in India.*
With these two texts as inspiration, Dr Peter Freund and others in the Maharishi Vedic Science department and Reading Vedic Literature programme decided a trip to India would likely be necessary.
Vivek Vaidyanathan, an intern student in the master's degree programme in Maharishi Vedic Science, volunteered to help search for the Sanskrit texts on a trip back to India to visit his family.
Dr Craig Pearson, Vice President of Maharishi University of Management, explained that Mr Vaidyanathan worked with Dr Freund to find and recover these rare manuscripts—'these last remaining texts so that our collection online [at the Vedic Reserve website] will be absolutely comprehensive.'
Mr Vaidyanathan narrated his own story.
'My mission of my trip to India . . . was to get these two very rare manuscripts of Kaundinya Shiksha and Varuna Purana.'
He explained that he had information that the last-known location of Kaundinya Shiksha was in the city of Mysore in southern India.
'Mysore is the home to one of the great centres of learning, due to the patronage of the Mysore Maharaja, the Oriental Research Institute. It was built in 1891 and houses about 70,000 rare works including 22,000 manuscripts of both paper and palm-leaf.'
Mr Vaidyanathan explained that many rare manuscripts were first discovered at the Mysore Oriental Research Institute, including one of the most important texts related to politics and political science.
But both he and Dr Freund had called ahead to the institute and had no guarantee the text they were searching for would be there. In addition to this uncertainty, Mr Vaidyanathan was also acutely aware that there was only one known copy of Kaundinya Shiksha in the world.
The series will continue with Mr Vaidyanathan's account of how his search unfolded in Mysore.
* See related articles:
∙ Three rare Sanskrit texts sought for vast 'Vedic Reserve' online library: Resource for students, scholars
∙ Vedic Reserve website set to add 20,000 pages of rare Sanskrit texts
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