Dr Nalini Sadhale obtained MA in Sanskrit with distinction from the University of Poona, Pune, India and PhD in Sanskrit from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India. She has had a distinguished professional career and she retired in 12994 as Professor and Head of the Department of Sanskirt, Osmania University, Hyderabad. She distinguished herself by serving on several prestigious organizations, committees, and boards. She worked which include Katha in Sanskrit Poetics, Sanskrit Verse Translation of Hindi Tulasiramayana, and Translations of Urvashi and Vasantsena from Sanskrit to Marathi, Sitajosyam, from Telugu to Marathi and Surapala’s Vrikshayurveda and Krishi-Parashara from Sanskrit to English. She was recently honored by the Asian Agri-History Foundation with the AAHF Gold Medal- 2002 for her significant contributions to the Indian agricultural heritage.
The Asian Agri-History Foundation (AAHF), a nonprofit trust, was established and registered in 1994 in Secunderabad, India, to facilitate dissemination of information on agricultural heritage to promote research on sustainable agriculture in South and Southeast Asian regions. These regions provided food security to its population for several millennia, with occasional famines that too in limited pockets, primarily due to drought. Farmers here had evolved some of the most sustainable agricultural management techniques suitable for different agroecoregions. There is a great deal to be learned from the traditional wisdom and the indigenous, time-tested technologies that sustained the farmers of South and Southeast Asia in the past. One of the major objectives of AAI-TF is to disseminate information on ancient and medieval agriculture by translating old texts/manuscripts its into English and publish these translations with commentaries on the scientific content of the texts. The aim of these commentaries of the experts is to stimulate research to verify old practices.
The AAHF has so far published four bulletins: Vrikshayurveda (The Science of Plant Life) by Surapala (c. 1000 AD), Krishi-Parashara (Agriculture by Parashara) (c. 1 century AD), Nushka Dar Fanni-Falahat (The Ant of Agriculture) (a Persian manuscript) by Dara Shikoh (c. 1650 AD), and Kashyapiyakrishisukti (A Treatise on Agriculture) by Kashyapa (c. 800 AD). This bulletin has the translation of a Sanskrit manuscript written by a scholar, Chakrapani Mishra, around 1577 AD. He worked under the patronage of Maharana Pratap, the great ruler of the Mewar region of Rajasthan in Western India, who refused to surrender or be a vassal of the Mughal ruler Akbar, despite having lost substantial territory of Mewar. Even when his kingdom remained a small territory in the Aravalli mountain ranges, Maharana Pratap offered his patronage to scholars such as Chakrapani Mishra.
Who was Maharana Pratap? According to Devilal Paliwal I Maharana Pratap—Mahan (in Hindi) published by Rajasthani Granthagar, Jodhpur, Rajasthan], Maharana Pratap was born on 9 May 1540 as the eldest son of Maharana Udai Singh (1538—1572), who was the ruler of Mewar in Rajasthan. Maharana Pratap succeeded his father and ascended the throne of Mewar on 28 February I 572. A substantial territory of Mewar had already been conquered by Akbar in 1568, and constant pressure on him to surrender continued. Through the rest of his life, Maharana Pratap successfully protected his territory against repeated invasions by Akbar’s armies. Finally in I 586 Akbar decided to leave Maharana Pratap alone. During his reign, Maharana Pratap developed Chavand as his capital and his kingdom flourished from 1586 until his death (i9th January 1597). Maharana Pratap protected his own honor as well as that of his people all through his life.
And who was Chakrapani Mishra? As pointed out earlier, Chakrapani worked under the patronage of Maharana Pratap. He wrote three treatises: They are, Rajyabhishek Paddhati, dealing with administration, Muhurtarmala covering astronomy, portents, etc., and Vishvavallabha describing the art of agriculture in arid, semi-arid, and hilly regions. According to Mr B M Jawalia (Maharana Pratap and his Times, published by Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti, Motimagri, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India), Chakrapani was a Brahmin of the Mathur subcaste and belonged to Nasavare Chobe family, enjoying the ancestral title of ‘Mishra’. Chakrapani was well versed in the Vedas, the 6 systems of philosophy, and also other religious treatises and several branches of science.
Recently (in 2003) a scholarly book containing Hindi translation of Chakrapani Mishra’s three texts mentioned above has been authored by Dr. Shri Krishan “Jugnu” (published by Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti, Udaipur, Rajasthan). The book indeed is a fine contribution to Sanskrit literature. However, its utility to agricultural scientists seems to be limited.
In this bulletin the manuscript (5861-22) reproduced and used was procured from the Rajasthan Prachya Vidya Pratishthan, Jodhpur, Rajasthan through the tenacious efforts of Dr S L Choudhary, Advisor to AAHF and Founder Secretary of The Rajasthan Chapter of AAHF.
The text has been translated and commented upon by Professor (Dr) Nalini Sadhale, Hyderabad, once again without charging any fee. The AAHF is highly grateful to both Dr Choudhary and Professor Sadhale.
Two commentaries have been written; one by Professor Sadhale and the other by Dr Y L Nene. Both the commentaries hopefully would stimulate scholar’s arid researchers to provide additional notes on the literary and scientific value of Vishvavallabha. I believe there is a great opportunity for Indian agricultural scientists to relate heritage to the present-day agriculture.
The handwritten text obtained from Jodhpur as well as a typed version of the same have been printed for ease of reading. An index of plant names has been prepared by Dr Y L Nene.
We hope this publication will prove useful to all those interested in agriculture, not only in India but elsewhere in the world.
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