newsletter (fwd)

Bijoy Misra bmisra at
Thu Feb 13 23:24:29 UTC 1997

I had initiated the request.  I guess some information
regarding the tracks, new findings, interaction with the
traditional scholars would be useful.  I hope someone
might find time to extend on the material below.
I will go as the reporter next time!
- Bijoy Misra.

On Thu, 13 Feb 1997, Mary McGee wrote:

> Someone asked for a summary of the World Sanskrit Conference and I am
> taking the liberty of sharing with you a summary written by Dr. Gary Tubb
> of Columbia University which will be published in the Spring 1997
> Newsletter of the Dharam Hinduja Indic Research Center, Columbia
> University.  
> ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Fri, 7 Feb 97 11:59:54 EST
> World Sanskrit Conference Held in Bangalore
> by Gary A. Tubb
> Columbia University
> The Xth World Sanskrit Conference was held January 3-9 in Bangalore,
> India.  This was the Silver Jubilee meeting of the Conference, which is
> convened every three years in a different part of the world, and which
> had not met in India since the Vth World Sanskrit Conference in Varanasi
> fifteen years ago.   
> The conference is an activity of the International Association of
> Sanskrit Studies, whose President, Professor R. K. Sharma, is also the
> Director of the Dharam Hinduja International Centre of Indic Research in
> Delhi.  In addition to his constant duties as working president of the
> conference, Professor Sharma spoke in his rich and eloquent Sanskrit at
> several plenary sessions, and delivered a major address at the Inaugural
> Session held in the main hall of the state legislative assembly in the
> Vidhana Soudha and attended by the Prime Minister of India and the Chief
> Minister of Karnataka.
> The academic, cultural, and social programs of the conference took place
> mostly in the new facilities of the Taralabalu Kendra, headed by Dr. 
> Shivamurthy Swamiji, who was Honorary President of the Organising
> Committee.  Over two thousand delegates attended the conference, including
> hundreds of scholars from countries outside India.  Academic papers were
> presented in concurrent sessions arranged in twenty-two topical sections
> covering every aspect of Sanskrit studies.  The academic sessions were
> conducted in both English and Sanskrit, with each language accounting for
> about half of the papers and discussions. 
> The massive job of organizing so much activity had been planned with
> considerable ingenuity.  A scheme of assigning each paper presentation
> to a particular time slot was designed to make it possible for attendees
> to move from one section to another so as to hear selected papers on
> different topics during a single session.  
> Some of the excellent planning for the conference proved difficult to
> execute in practice, when very large numbers of previously unexpected
> delegates showed up at the last minute.  The resulting interchanges
> added considerably to an atmosphere of vivacity already established by
> the presence of marching bands, construction crews, and a live elephant
> on full-time duty at the foot of the red carpet leading into the main
> hall.  This huge influx may or not not have been partially provoked by
> the promise of free food, but it certainly made all the more remarkable
> the fact that excellent food and other services were actually delivered
> to extensive crowds.  
> The presence of such large numbers of Indian scholars at the conference
> also helped to make the meeting a uniquely valuable occasion, especially
> for the scholars who had come from outside India.  The Pandita Parisad
> or session of traditionally-trained Sanskrit-speaking scholars that ran
> concurrently with the other academic meetings was exceptionally
> vigorous, and lively discussions in both Sanskrit and English between
> foreign professors and Indian shastris were frequent in the question
> periods following the presentation of each paper.  More generally, the
> conference provided unparalleled opportunities for interchange between
> scholars of Sanskrit from all parts of the world and with all kinds of
> cultural and academic backgrounds.  It was perhaps the largest
> international collection of such scholars the world has seen.
> The next meeting of the World Sanskrit Conference, three years from now,
> will be held in Turin, Italy.

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