This excellent volume of great substance represents the sum total of the contributions presented at the three day National Seminar on 'Indian Theories of Hermeneutics' Organized by the Department of Sanskrit-Sahitya, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady In January 1999 and as such it is the second grand conference with an international significance and participation of Scholars.
The deliberations of the conference centered round a most significant and rather neglected field of interpretations of Sanskrit texts whether it be Vedic literature, Scientific literature, Technical literature or pure literature. The scholars of international reputation have contributed not a little to the field of commentarial aspects of the facts of Indian literature. In the said Conference.
The papers dealt in the conference include Vedic exegesis, Tantric literature, Philosophy, Literary criticism, Darsanas, Theatre studies, Linguistics, Social sciences, Ecology, Lexicography, Vastu Vidya. Ayurveda, Indian Astronomy, Ancient Indian Jurisprudence etc.
Dr. P. C. Muraleemadhvan (1952) is the son of late Prof. P. C. Vasudevan Elayath, the veteran Sanskrit Scholar. Poet and critics. He took M. A. Sanskrit (University of Madras 1974), Vidyavaridhi - Ph. D. in Sanskrit Sahitya (Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan 1987) and Ph. D. in Sanskrit - Nyaya (University of Calicut - 1993). He has been a teacher for 27 years and now he is Professor and Head of the Department of Sanskrit literature in Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit Kalady, Kerala. He has guided many doctoral students, and discovered seven unpublished works in Sanskrit. He has organized National. International Conferences with commendable contributions in the field of indological research. He has presented papers and delivered lectures in World Conferences and International Seminars organized by Universities of Australia, Japan, United States of America and Canada. He has published 10 books and several research papers. He is the Conener research papers. He is the Convener of Nikhila Bharata Samskrta Samiti, Howrah (Bengal) and Secretary to Kerala Sanskrit Academy, Thrissur. He has won Awards (1) Guruvayoorappan Keerthi Mudra, (2) Mallinatha Puraskar (3) Vijayasree Puraskar and Honorary title 'Aksaraslokatilaka'.
C. K. Geetha (wife), Seethalakshmi (daughter), Vasudevan (son), Sabarinath (Son).
This excellent volume of great substance represents some of the contributions presented at the three-day Seminar on Indian theories of Hermeneutics organized by the Department of Sanskrit - Sahitya in January 1999 and as such it is the second grand conference with an international significance and participation of scholars. The first conference has its focus on the 'Facets of Indian Culture' (New Bharatiya Book Corporation, Delhi, 2000) while the deliberations of the second centered around a most significant and rather neglected field of interpretation of texts whether it be pure literature, technical literature or scientific literature. As on the previous occasion the organizers could get the cooperation of scholars from different Universities and Research institutes in India and abroad. These scholars have through their papers dealt with the commentarial aspects of the facets of Indian literature from the Vedic period to the modern time
The subjects dealt with include Vedic literature, Tantras, Philosophy, Literary criticism, Poetics, Ayurveda, Art, Architecture Puranas etc. the participants are authoritative persons in different subjects and it is not easy to compare their merits. Scholars of an international stature like Prof. Rits Stall. Dr. K. Kunjunni Raja, K. Raghavan Thirumulpad, Dr. Tapasvi Nandi, Prof. V. N. Jha, Pascale Haag Bernede, Kalpagam Sankaranarayanan and others have presented their views through their illuminating papers. For the first time they have pointed out the neglect of the modern writers in this field of understanding the poet, through different periods of appreciation. For instance, Kalidasa has been the subject of scholars like Vallabhadeva of Kashmir, Mallinatha of Andhra, Daksinavartanatha of Kumarasambhava has attracted not less than 40 commentatators prove the point. His Raghuvamsa was the target of nearly 45 commentators while the Meghaduta was appreciated by not less than 64 scholars of different ages and nativity. But the modern scholar does not even know the names of even commentaries of considerable merit and he just gives the excuse that the commentary is not available in the print or that he could not locate them in his native place or regional libraries. Even senior professors are contented with whatever is available in the form of a gloss. One of the significant achievement of the conference is that many a scholar highlighted this aspect of the neglect of commentarial literature that have sprung around works of different kinds whether it be pure literature or technical and scientific literature.
The conference stressed on the need to give preference to unpublished manuscript materials of an interpretative nature still remaining untouched by the searching hands of inquisitive scholars. The attention of young rather than dealing with aspects of literature that have already been dealt with several time and in different languages. The significant observation of Abhinavagupta that "sarasvatyastattvam kavisahrdayakhyam vijayate"- the ultimate principle of literature is the rapport between the poet and the critic or connoisseurs. I am sure that this aspect was well discussed and understood against the present conditions.
The Sree Sankaracharya University could really be proud of what is being done for the promotion of Sanskrit studies and research and I congradulate the organizers, especially Dr. P. C. Muraleemadhavan of the Dept. of Sahitya for his untiring efforts to make the conference a success.
The Department of Sanskrit Sahitya was started in the year 1993, from the very inception o the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, to carryout the post graduate studies and higher researches in Sanskrit, and to achieve international standards in various branches of Sanskrit learning. During the last seven years the Department has contributed not a little to the field of Sanskrit studies. Apart from the individual research works and publications of the faculty members; Department has made commendable contributions in bringing forth University Publications like Keraleeya Samskrta Sahitya caritram of Vadakkumkur Rajaraja Varma in 6 Volumes, 'Sreesankaradigvijayam' etc.
Department could collect a good number of rare manuscripts and procure personal libraries of Veteran scholars. Now the Department has taken up a prestigious Project on Indian Poetics. Its Essence and Relevance in 3 volumes.
The first International Conference organized by the Dept. in 1997 had its focus on the various facets of Indian culture. The Department could get the co-operation of scholars from different Universities and Research institutes in India & Abroad.
The proceedings of the Seminar has already been published as an authoritative reference book last year.
The present volume contains the papers presented in the three day National Seminars on 'Indian Theories of Hermeneutics' during March 99. The Conference focused its attention on the most significant yet rather neglected field of interpretation of Sanskrit texts whether it be pure literature, Vedic technical or scientific literature.
Hermeneutics originated in Europe in the Hellenic period. It was in the form of study or analysis of classical texts. Later it has developed into exegesis of Scriptures. Modern scholars developed this into a Hermeneutic Science. Indian Scholars has exegetical exercises on scriptural texts and gradually their efforts embraced almost all branches of learning.
Modern contemporary Indologists general accept the nineteenth century objective principles, and forgot the creative aspect of interpretation. Textual criticism and higher criticism and exegesis are taken to be objective and scientific and an ideal approach, which, if correct will produce the result irrespective of the scholars who take up problem of interpretation.
The scholars met in the said conference, arrived at the conclusion that types of interpretation can be brought under the canopy of Hermenutics is a decoding exercise rather an intellectual activity of bringing to light the hidden meanings of cultural texts. Anyway a chronological expansion of meaning took place in the case of the word 'Hermeneutics', and it gradually developed and covered the areas of Vedic exegeies, commantics or scientific technical and pre literature.
The conference lasted for three days with tight schedule of sessions on (1) Vedic Exegesis, (2) Literature, (3) History, (4) Theatre and Art form, (5) Cultural studies, (6) Linguistics, (7) Technical Literature, (8) Philosophy. (9) Jurisprudence and (10) Ecology.
The present volume comprises 46 papers read and discussed in the various sessions of the seminar. Many of them are illuminating, presented by veteran Scholars of international recognition. This does not mean that the other authors or papers are not of comparable qualities. Scholars of three different stages have been invited to present papers in the Conference. ie, authoritative Scholars of international repute, researchers those who have proven their scholarship and young scholars initiated to the field of Indological Research.
In editing the papers I have been assisted by two of my revered teachers - Dr. Kunjunni Raja and Dr. N. P. Unni. Both of them spared no pains to go through the entire material and their aditional skill has been a blessing for the turnout of the present volume.
Dr. N. P. Unni the then Vice-Chancellor and Dr. V. P. Unithiri the then Principal dean of studies gave me necessary advices and extended all possible helps officially and otherwise for the grand success of the conference. I am indebted to both of them.
My collegues in the University Prof. G. Gangadharan Nair, Prof. P. Chithambaram, Dr. T. Aryadevi, Dr. N. K. Sundareswaran and Dr. T. Vasudevan were helping me sincerely to organize the seminar and also for bringing out this excellent publication.
Prof. K. N. Panichker Vice Chancellor of the University gave instinct support encouragement and scholarly advice for all serious ventures launched by the Dept. of Sanskrit Sahitya. Pro. Panicker Blessed this publication with his valuable forward I am indebted to him Dr. N. K. Sankaran, Principal Dean of Studies use to give valuable suggestions. And help for all activities of the Dept. Thanks are due to him. But for the sincere Cooperation of the galoxy of scholars whose paper and included in this volume, it would not have been possible for me to bringout this substantial Volume.
I thank all of them, those who directly or indirectly helped to organize the seminar and to bring out his volume.
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