SANATAN DHARMA COLLEGE (LAHORE), AMBALA CANTT.
(Under the Veda Vyaasa Restructuring Sanskrit Scheme)
ON THE OCASSION OF THE RETIREMENT OF
- DESH BANDHU, PRINCIPAL, S.D. COLLEGE (Lahore), Ambala Cantt.
ONE DAY INTERDISCIPLINARY NATIONAL SEMINAR
CRITICQUE OF SANSKRIT TERMS, CONCEPTS, IDEAS & MYTHS IN ENGLISH WRITINGS (PART-2)
अंग्रेजी साहित्य में संस्कृत शब्दावली, अवधारणाओं, विचारों एवम् मिथकों की मीमांसा (भाग-२)
Organized By – Department Of Sanskrit
Jointly Funded By – Sh. Ajay Gupta, Popular Traders, Ambala Cantt. & Department Of Sanskrit
Academic support- S D Adarsh Sanskrit College, Amabala Cantt.
DATE- 29 OCTOBER, 2014, Wednesday Time- 9.30 A.M.
Venue – New Seminar Hall, S D College (Lahore), Ambala Cantt.
There is no denying the fact that the relationship of Sanskrit and English has remained tense but interactive through out the history to the modern times since the English came to do business and moved on to rule India and the Indian mind. At the same time, they started exploring (distorting, misinterpreting and at times genuinely knowing) the Indian art, culture and languages etc. Subsequently many of them were fascinated by the non-regional language and literature of Sanskrit. Their sincere business adventurism was mesmerized by the dynamic thoughts & multiple undercurrents, multi-level processes of Sanskrit language & literature. They immediately started translating Sanskrit texts and introduced these works to the West. Moreover they also started expressing myths/ concepts/ ideas of Sanskrit in their language and literature. Whatever may have been their intentions but slowly and surely they were fascinated, influenced by the culture of Sanskrit language & literature, right from Max Muller to Eliot and others who borrowed, used thoughts, expressions of Sanskrit in their writings. Then slowly but surely emerged a new class of Indian English writers, starting with Tagore, Ghosh, Naidu to modern writers. In this class there were two sections of writers- one who targeted to condemn or humiliate Sanskrit language & literature and its contents, like- N.C. Chaudhary and others. This large section of writers/ thinkers has made a place in the market by denouncing the very basics of Indian way of life and living which have their roots in Sanskrit. These writers generally focused on two issues, namely- man woman relationship and oppressed class or caste. By condemning/ negating/ humiliating Sanskrit, they tried hard to make India a worth living place.
The second section of Indian writers writing in English belong to Aurobindo, Raja Rao, Arun joshi, U. R. AnathamMurti etc., who not only tried to understand the sources of Sanskrit tradition but also expressed themselves in a more sensible and meaningful manner. It is not that they were biased or obsessed by the very ethos of Sanskrit. It was the basic inputs of healthy mind and life which forced them to make a right / positive query about the very basic meaning or purpose of life.
So this Love- hate relationship has influenced the English Literature but acknowledging Sanskrit as fact has remained an illusion. Sanskrit mindset which has been time and again assaulted, insulted, looked down upon with contempt by the pseudo-secularists modernists capitalists communists that has created blunders not only by mistranslating the basic terms or concepts, like- Dharma as religion, Brahaman as God, Brahmin/ Purohit as Priest, Adhyaatam as Spiritual etc., but also played havoc with the cultural ethos of India since English does not have the concepts of Moksha, Purushartha, Stri (352 words) etc. That is why questions of self/ identity/ relevance are popping up in the present day literature of English, Hindi and other regional languages.
On the other hand English and other regional languages have forced Sanskritists to re-look, re-evaluate their position critically in the changing scenario of the society. Present day compulsions have made Sanskritists to think in English frame work.
Therefore to bring Sanskrit and English on one platform to open up a meaningful dialogue on a positive / progressive note, a one day seminar is being organized. Scholars, teachers and academicians from English and Sanskrit streams are cordially invited not only to interact but also to find out the answers to the outstanding questions of self denial or condemnation, a trend which has been pampered in the name of progress, modernism, consumerism and globalization. We as Linguists/ humanists must have an open mind for a better human future in Indian terms, if possible.
Following are main outlines of Sanskrit-Shastric tradition and under currents which have been neglected/ ignored/ misrepresented/ distorted by various writers of English literature for the reasons best know to them. So before we venture into this seminar idea we must have a fair view of Sanstrik Shastric tradition.
- They (संस्कृत शास्त्र) are revealed, universal and eternal.
- They have come out of the realization of the most basic truth — एकं सद् विप्राः बहुधा वदन्ति” and underlying motivation is ’सर्वभूतहिते रतः’ so these texts reiterate ’वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्’. No revealed or prophet-oriented religion ever does so or can even afford so.
- They amount to be non-religion in the sense that they are prophet-less, book-less, temple-less.
- They believe in the autonomy of man through the agency of karma (कर्म).
- They believe in the celebration of life and to them death is not the end of life but is only a necessary stage to be able to renew life again and again until one is liberated.
- They have complete and infallible concept of history and hero. This concept is based on a dialectical conflict between Dharma (धर्म) and Adharma (अधर्म) and this conflict resolves in a synthesis of Brahma- Gyaan (ब्रह्म-ज्ञान).
- They have their own cosmology (ब्रह्माण्ड-विज्ञान) running into billions of years.
- Here theory, as a rule, comes before practice in all spheres of human endeavor e.g. knowledge came before form, grammar came before language, poetics came before poetry and principles of dramaturgy came before drama. What it means is that in Dharma-Shastras time also appears to move backward — a phenomenon being accepted as possible by study of sub-atomic physics.
- They grant even to ordinary man total intellectual freedom (स्वतन्त्रता) but then in the social and moral fields, they impose all kinds of checks and balances on the individuals.
- They allow maximum freedom to think or philosophize.
- They lay great emphasis on knowledge and unity of all knowledge.
- They fundamentally divide humanity into two parts — (i) those that believe in the cyclic time-frame and (ii) those that believe in the linear time-frame. The underlying idea seems to be like this — which the followers of these timeframes are constantly at loggerhead with each other, which may be known as “Devasur –sangraam”(देवासुर-संग्राम)
- Right in the beginning of time they gave birth to a scientific sociology i.e. four folds varna-Dharma (वर्ण-धर्म) and ashram-dharma (आश्रम-धर्म). In fact it stands against the linear sociology that gives birth to economic man who is tied up in different classes.
- They are not expansionist in their group thrust. They neither convert nor ex-communicate or persecute on the basis of religion.
- They accord nature the status of a manifest deity (देव). That is why worship of Mother Nature is so much fundamental to Dharma-Shastras.
- They believe truth in the world of affairs to be relative and, therefore has no absolute concept of merit or sin, good or bad- ’सत्यं ब्रूयात् प्रियं सत्यं ब्रूयात्’
- They accord more equal status to women and places them before their men even in general order of precedence — “wherever are the women worshipped, the deities come to reside there. (नार्यस्तु पूज्यन्ते रमन्ते तत्र देवता)”
- They believe that every man on earth takes birth with his “स्वधर्म’ which includes swabhava (स्वभाव), karam (कर्म) or to say- “jaati, aayu, karma and bhog. (जाति, आयु, कर्म, भोग)” The word “स्वधर्म” is all inclusive.
- They have no concept of original sin. Even sex or Kaama (काम) has been granted a status of legitimate means of liberation.
- It appears to be atheistic because of four cardinal Sutras (सूत्र) or aphorisms i.e. (i) I am Brahman, अहं ब्रह्मास्मि (ii) You are the same as He, तत्त्वमसि (iii) the entire manifest world is Brahman, सर्वं खल्विदं ब्रह्म and (iv) knowledge or truth is Brahman. ज्ञानं ब्रह्म
- Most of the venerated thinkers or priests (पुरोहित) have to be living humbly and without wealth so that they should not suffer from conceit or arrogance.
- Experience and intuition scores over observation and experiment but that does not mean that Sanskrit-shastras were not interested in science. The point is that there are two kinds of sciences – (i) exploratory (जिज्ञासितव्यम्) and (ii) revelatory or intuitive (प्रातिभ) and both are equally valid.
- They uphold the primacy of the voice of conscience and that explains why they have in their fold saints, sinners, atheists, agnostics, hedonists, materialists, thinkers, scientists, pagans — all living together with equal ease and freedom. Strangely Sanskrit-shastras have no concept or laws of blasphemy.
- The system of Sanskrit-shastras is such that all forms of worship from ostentatious to the ordinary are both permitted and valid but from the point of view of merit, it is intensity of religious experience gained that gets precedence over the rest.
- Use of Myths in English writings
- Treatment of Brahmnical view point in English writings
- Traditional women in English writings
- Understanding of Social/ religious/ spiritual/ cultural concepts in English writings
- Man woman relationship in English writings
- Expression of Caste/ class system in English writings
- Meaning of Indian Tradition in English writings
- Statements of Self in English writings
- Defining Dharma as religion in English writings
- Exploring KAAM in English writings
- Concept of Purushaartha in English writings
You can choose any relevant other topic / issue of your choice.
PS – 1. Confirm your participation latest by 25-10-2014 positively otherwise last minute arrangement will not be possible. 2. It is humbly requested that before using any Sanskrit word or concept in your scholarly paper, do check etymological meaning and root. 3. If you wish to share your ideas then please submit your paper / ppt. latest by 25-10-2014 otherwise last minute adjustment will not be made. 4. All teachers/ scholars/ academicians from any discipline are welcome to join. 5. No TA?DA is admissible. 6. Kindly be punctual.
For further details, please contact the undersigned.
Ashutosh Angiras Dr. Vishnu Dutt Sharma Dr. Desh Bandhu Convener Principal Principal Dept. of Sanskrit. S D Adarsh Sanskrit College S D College (Lahore) 09896394569 09896356235 09812053283 Email – firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.sanatnsanskrit.in