India's UGC to fund jyotissastra

Vidhyanath Rao rao.3 at OSU.EDU
Sun Apr 1 12:12:12 UTC 2001

This is getting far away Indology's official focus, but we all know
who started it :-^).

Arun Gupta <suvidya at OPTONLINE.NET> wrote:
>Being a traditional pandit is certainly a legitimate profession,
>and education should be provided for, and the opportunity should be
>used to expose them to modern science as well.

>I believe that establishing such courses and education is not for a
>government body like the University Grants Commission; it is for
>institutions like the trusts that run the Hindu temples.

There is an interesting angle to this: A few years ago, one of the
priests at the Columbus, OH temple told me that visa aplications
under the ``religious officials'' category were being subjected
to closer scrutiny and evidence of proper training being demanded.
This might be of relevance as the cited articles specifically
referred to NRI demand.

I believe that Thirupati does run such courses, and also some
pathasalas asociated with some maths. Perhaps the demand is to
``open up'' the process more.

Also, note that the large temples in South India are under the
direct control of the state govts. Sometimes, it is necessary
to do an end run around them. Unfortunately, Americans, and often,
Western Europeans, don't understand how far government controls
extend into religious affairs in India. This is attributable to
socialist/marxist attitudes from Nehru days, which probably
explains why the reaction gets such bad press. Unfortunately, the
image of India as a democracy with ``basic freedoms'' blunts the
demand for reforms which even the East European contries can
carry out in peace: Would an article of constitution that explicitely
restricts the right to >freely< establish educational institutions
to ``minorities'' be tolerated, let alone defended, anywhere else
in the world?

Bhadraiah Mallampalli <vaidix at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Is it that only useful parts of the ancient practices(like grammar)
> must be studied and other stuff(like ritual) must be discarded?

Actually, just how useful is traditional grammar? Such things as
text processing or translation software may need comparative (as
distinct from historical) syntax/morphology, but I think that
studying Sanskrit or IE linguistics is actually inimical to that.
[Compare how the two groups treat aspect.]

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