Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Lost Treasure


My next Sanskrit exam is on the 24th of this month. I have been studying for the same. The text books provide, in addition to the chapters that cover the syllabus, valuable information, unknown to most of us.

The following is an extract, straight from the textbook. I am sure you will not find this information in regular history textbooks for obvious reasons! (Don’t even get me started on it…)
Read on…

If you are one of those to whom Sanskrit has never been a subject of interest, I would recommend reading this all the more earnestly...

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Vedic texts and other treaties are steadily being lost.

The great sage Patanjali has written in his Mahabhasya that Rigveda has 21 branches, Yajurveda 101, Samaveda 1000 and Atharvanaveda 9 branches, thus totaling to 1131 branches. Other authors too have classified Vedas into other branches.

According to Sarvanukramanika, the branches of Vedas were 1137. According o Kurmapurana, it is 1130.

The existing branches, that are available today are as follows.
2 branches of Rigveda(actually one), 5 of Yajurveda, 3 of Samaveda and 2 of Athrvanaveda.
Thus only eleven branches of Veda are available now.

Vyadi had composed Sangraha, a treatise on grammar comprising one lakh shlokas. There were many Nirukta works like Yaska’s Nirukta. There were 10 other grammar books apart from Astadhyayi, which have been lost. All the books which were in Nalanda, Vikramashila an Takshashila, were also destroyed along with those universities.

It is known that in the year 1195, Bhaktiar Khilji, a Muslim ruler, invaded Nalanda and burnt three huge libraries. The fire was raging for seven days say historical records. It is difficult to estimate the countless books thus lost.

In the recent past, many rare books have been taken away to foreign lands. It is impossible to even guess their numbers. The loss of invaluable works is continuing and we remain oblivious to it.

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I was extremely saddened by this revelation.
Like they say, “There are things we know and things that we don’t know. And then there are things we don’t even know that we don’t know”.

I feel terribly bad about the loss of something that I did not even know existed!

2 comments:

Nitish said...

"I am sure you will not find this information in regular history textbooks for obvious reasons! (Don’t even get me started on it…)" - I'm going to have to give you a start on this. Come on, shoot!

Sowmya said...

when we meet, we will talk for sure... :)