On many languages, book circulation, reading and time

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at UCL.AC.UK
Wed Feb 25 17:14:13 UTC 2009

With Professor Pandurangi's agreement, I forward a lightly abbreviated 
form of some remarks he made to me earlier today, that raise good 
questions about models of publishing, the cost and distribution of books, 
problems of scholarship across language boundaries, etc.


> On Wed, 25 Feb 2009, veeranarayana Pandurangi wrote:


But the important thing is the barrier of language. It seems everybody is 
writing is every language: Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Bengali, 
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, not to forget the remarkable 
scholarship in Japanese.  I don't know how many more are there are.

How could anybody read and understand all these languages?  Hence there is 
an urgent need to do something on this front. It is really difficult. For, 
me, personally, writing something in German or French is like writing 
something very important in my own language i.e. Kannada: most of the 
people in North America and India don't understand it. It will not reach 
the target.

If any author thinks his French or German book should be known by all the 
heads of the departments in India, then really it is totally impossible. 
In India there are still thousands of people writing and reading Sanskrit 
texts. But one cannot expect his theory to be popular here in India. He 
should make it reach the majority of Indian scholars either by writing in 
readable Sanskrit or readable English. It should reach Indian universities 
in affordable price surely not be sold in Euros. It certainly reaches the 

Of course I agree there is language compulsion in every country. German 
people need to write in German. I know otherewise they will not be read in 
Germany. But what he will achieve? How many German people will be reading 
his book. How many people have read Prof. Gerschheimer's (sic? but, sorry) 
Shaktivada (what I am working on now) [French] translation? It is a big 
question. May be four or five? Then why to write it?

How many things we have yet to read? This is very important question Prof 
Slaje has raised. Should every head of Dept of Darshans read all the stuff 
of Middle Indic (what it means?). There is barrier. We have been reading 
all the life and still completed nothing more than a handful of works. 
Reading, seriously, is somehow is very difficult task.  I hope I will not 
be able to read not more than three or four works in my future life (I am 
36 now). Reading, as practised for centuries in India, is really very 
comprehensive.  One man can understand only a few works completely if 
works whole of his life for that.

Sorry, it is too much[....]

Thanks, [...]


Veeranarayana N.K. Pandurangi
Head, Dept of Darshanas,
Yoganandacharya Bhavan,
Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Rajasthan Samskrita University,
Madau, post Bhankrota,
Jaipur, 302026.

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