Grants:IEG/Samskrit Shastra Project
Samskrit is one of the oldest languages in the world and is often described as the 'misplaced key' to the 'treasure chest of knowledge'. Humongous literary works are available in Samskrit covering every possible and conceivable aspect of the world- Be it Metallurgy or Astronomy, Logic or Mathematics, Social Sciences or Pure Sciences, Administration or Governance, Accountancy or Medicine, there is just no end to the amount of literary works available in Samskrit. Indepth study of each of these are often referred to as 'Shastras'. The word ‘Shastra’ denotes the scientific treatises composed by Ancient Scholars in Samskrit pertaining to a particular branch of study and is usually used as a suffix. So Chandas-Shastra indicates the ‘Study of Prosody’, Ganitha-Shastra indicates the ‘Study of Mathematics’ and so on. There are hundreds of such Shastra branches. There are thousands of Shastra works in each of these branches. Together they form the most important link to the ancient and glorious past of Sanskrit Literature and are considered the most critical branch of study in Indology. Accessing this invaluable Shastra Collection is the very essence of a knowledge-driven society. It is the dream of every Samskrit-Wikipedian to bring these Shastra-related works online.
What is the problem you're trying to solve?
If Shastras are so invaluable then what is the difficulty in bringing such a content on to the Wiki platform?
- Content generation in Sanskrit cannot be compared to that in other languages. Sanskrit is a very ancient language and there are hardly a few hundred people who can create flawless content in it.
- Creating a content on a particular Shastra requires mastery of that Shastra. It takes years to master even a single Shastra. Such scholars are a rarity. So identifying scholars of a particular Shastra itself is difficult. It is easy to get the original text in Samskrit. For example- Isopanishad. We have the original text, but there are hardly a handful in the entire world who are experts in deciphering the purport of the text. There are also many angles of study pertaining to such texts. Spiritual purport, Historical purport, Religious purport and so on.. So in the normal course such content is inaccessible to common man.
- As of now content pertaining to Shastras in Samskrit are not available anywhere online. There is no platform right now in wikimedia projects itself to capture all the commentaries in one place. For the original text, one may search in wikisource but what about the purports?
- Samskrit Wikipedians need some source to even start generating content pertaining to a particular Shastra. With the absence of such content both online and offline, it is next to impossible to touch these subjects.
This project will overcome all these problems.
What is your solution?
- There are 15 Samskrit Universities in India. Hundreds of other Universities have full-scale Samskrit Departments. Over the last few decades, Samskrit Scholars have brought out thousands of Research Papers pertaining to various Shastras. All these are available in manuscript form and sometimes in typed formats. But they are not available online.
- Our project aims to bring all these contents online through the wikisource platform in a phased manner. This single project will overcome all the problems mentioned here above. Through this project, many such research papers published by various Samskrit Universities can be made available to all the Samskrit Wikipedians for content generation henceforth.
To bring online into Samskrit Wikisource atleast 3000 important research papers for future use of content development by wikipedians.
- The First Phase of the project will be from January - July 2015
- During this Phase, We propose to contact 6 Universities/Patha-shalas in South India.
- Rashtriya Samskrita Vidyapeetha, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh
- Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, Kerala
- Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Viswa Mahavidyalaya, Kanchipuram, Tamilnadu
- Poornaprajna Vidyapeetha, Bangalore, Karnataka
- Shriman Madhwa Siddhanta Prabodhini Pathashala, Udupi, Karnataka
- Rashtriya Sanskrita samsthana, Sringeri, Karnataka
- We will be presenting the project plan to the concerned, seek their permission for the publications. We will also request for a list :of all the papers published year-wise for the last 3 decades.
- Research Papers published from each of these Universities will be categorised, catalogued and topics identified for publication.
- The authors of each of the selected papers will be contacted for permission.
- Each selected paper will then be typed out in Sanskrit published online with due credits to the university and the author.
- The readable content will be uploaded, published in wikisource.
Convincing the Universities to give the content under CC-BY-SA 3.0 license
This is not easy but it is doable. Most of the dissertations submitted by Samskrit Scholars have no readership. There are hardly any chances of these being published. Further we had a informal feedback on the proposed project with the stakeholders and they were excited that they would be given due credit. In these cases, it was not difficult to point out that it is a win-win for both the university as well as the authors on the one side and Samskrit Wikimedia on the other.
Total amount requested: 8460 US $
|1||Salary for 3 Grantees @ USD 400/Grantee/month for 6 Months||$ 7200|
|2||Travel & Accommodation @ USD 45/Centre/Visit for (6X4)24 visits||$ 1080|
|3||Telecom Expenses @USD 30/month||$ 180|
Firstly, the beneficiaries are both Scholars as well as Samskrit enthusiasts. Over the last 3 decades the Samskrit Revival Movement has touched over 10 million people. A part of them are pursuing their interest in the subject and want enough content to read, assimilate and empower themselves. These are the torch bearers and their effort is bound to culminate in expertise and proficiency.They are the future Samskrit Scholars who need this type of content.
The Samskrit wiki community have already been appraised of the project. Most of the volunteering efforts like initial coordination with universities, proof reading, corrections and final scrutiny, all involve the Samskrit Wikimedia community. It is not possible to achieve the target of 7-8 articles per person per day without the community support.
Every student, enrolling for any research topic, in more than 500 Samskrit Departments across the world, will be able to access these contents freely. This paves the way for the hidden treasure of Samskrit literature to be explored for the benefit of the entire humanity. Firstly the Phase 1 is a test phase. While there may be thousands of Samskrit research papers lying around in each of the 500 odd Samskrit departments (200 in India, around 300 outside India, 15 Samskrit Universities, 50 academies etc), the success of the project depends on convincing the institutions to part with the papers. Once this critical phase is crossed, the next successful step would be to segregate quality content and process them for upload. If we are successful in Phase 1 then we would continue with the project and seek funds for continuation. The project is a great value add and should not be terminated at any cost. Based on the inputs gained from this project any institution may take up the project on a larger scale later on.
Measures of success
- When 3000 research papers are published under wikisource within 6 months, the project would have achieved its primary goal.
- Publication of the papers regularly as per the pre determined timeline is critical component for the success of the project.
- Response to Outreach programs held at various universities and research students will be an indicator of the success of the project
- Shubha has an experience of 22 years in the field of Samskrit revival movement. After completing Masters in Samskrit from Mysore University she has taught Samskrit to hundreds of students till date. She was the Senior Editor for Samskrit magazines like Chandamama and Sambhashana Sandesha. She was solely instrumental in the translation of the prestigious book entitled 'Prabuddhātmā' from Kannada to Samskrit. She has coauthored numerous articles and has translated many stories to Samskrit for the Sambhashana Sandesha magazine.She has been a regular contributor for the Samskrit Wikipedia Revival project since its inception from 2011. She has contributed thousands of hours for Wiki Quote and technical translations for translate wiki project. She has been working as the administrator for Samskrit Wikipedia since Jan 2014. She has trained many editors for Samskrit Wikipedia through outreach programs.
- Sayant Mahato is a vibrant, energetic and enthusiastic volunteer for Samskrit Wikipedia since 2 years. He has a Acharya(MA) degree and has completed his MPhil in Manuscriptology. He is a Research Student with Rashtriya Samskrit Vidyapeeta in Tirupathi. He has generated hundreds of articles for Samskrit Wikipedia pertaining to topics of manuscirptology like Sharada, devanagari, grantha scripts which are of a great help to research students. He has created many editors of Wikipedia through many outreach programs.
- Chaitra S.N. is a Management graduate who chose to contribute to Samskrit wikipedia on a full time basis since 2011. Through her dedication and hardworking nature, she has been a source of inspiration for many contributors and is an important pillar for the Samskrit Wikipedia project. She is proficient in typing in devanagari script and has generated hundreds of pages of content for Samskrit wiki.
- Volunteer Support the project in all respects as an admin @sa-ws Sbblr0803 (talk) 17:36, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Community member: add your name and rationale here.
- I am an activist in Sa. Wikipedia, for the last 3 years. The proposed project of bringing the scholars' commentaries on original scriptures to any interested user is an unique idea. Hitherto it was very difficult to access these commentaries. Now thanks to the proposed project, to access and read the commentaries on any (desired)scripture, it would be as easy as opening a wikipedia page. This would surely help in propagating both the Sanskrit Language and a clearer understanding of the ancient wisdom of our forefathers handed down to us through these scriptures. I fully endorse this project, and also wish for its speedy implementation.Narayanan V T (talk) 13:56, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
- The proposed project justly addresses a problem that has been lingering for much too long in the arena of Sanskrit academia. Sanskrit has been a language of intellectual excellence for many millennia. For more than two centuries, it has also transformed its pedagogical methodology conforming to the modern academic systems through the practice of University and collegiate knowledge emanation as practiced in other parts of the world. However, the outcomes of most Sanskritic studies and research have been remaining unpublished and unnoticed merely due to the lack of resources and mechanisms to do so.
- Wikimedia's assistance, by means of monetary aids as well as facilitative supervision will go a long way towards ensuring the rightful placement of such Samskrit documents among the grand collection of mankind's universal knowledge base.
- Both in the capacity of a regular promoter, mentor and editor of Sanskrit Wikimedia projects and that of an individual who aspires true aggregation of all world's wisdom, I wholeheartedly endorse this project. ViswaPrabhaവിശ്വപ്രഭtalk 15:29, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
- I strongly support this proposal. Vishvas vasuki (talk) 16:25, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
- I am teaching Samskrit Language for the last four and a half decades. I have taught children while I was myself a student in the University. I belong to that generation of students who had the good fortune of finding traditional scholars in every possible discipline, who were ever willing to teach. This was one to one teaching that would last for days, months and years depending on the subject / text taught. But, with changing times and a terrible constraint on the time available as also scarcity of thorough scholars in any chosen subject, students are finding it difficult to access any authentic information. In such a situation, in this world of advanced technology Computer knowledge base should be considered as a boon. In this direction Samskrit Wikipedia is indeed a much desired source of information for seekers of Shastraic knowledge. The authentic articles of various Shastraic topics in Samskrit are sure to help seekers all over the world. I fully endorse this most welcome project as very useful to students of all age groups. - Pankaja Rajagopal (talk) 06:51, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
- As an administrator at Samskrit Wikisource, I'd been waiting for such a project to take off at the sa-ws. Sanskrit is such a language, that you cannot ignore for any information you need, be it on any subject or topic. Due to the language's long and unending history, it becomes more and more difficult to interprete the exact essence of the author. The researches that are going on currently help us to understand it better. Such intricate knowledge will be shared through this project. This is just the right ingredient for the Sanskrit language via wikisource to bloom across horizons and make the founder(Jimbo)'s dream come true. I wish the project all success, and also being the admin there, I would support this and help it achieve what it intends. जयतु संस्कृतम् !!! Sbblr0803 (talk) 14:03, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
- I am a self-taught student and teacher of Sanskrit, as well as a scholar of ancient Indian texts, particularly Vedas, Darshanshastras, Upanishads, Manusmrti, Ashtadhyayi, etc. I have also presented papers at national and international conferences. I am unaware of the quality of thesis papers that are presented for PhDs in Sanskrit at the universities mentioned above, but frankly I am disappointed with the level of papers presented at Sanskrit/Indology conferences. I do not think much would be achieved by trying to obtain these papers and spending effort translating them into Sanskrit. What would be better is to obtain rights for commentaries by respected scholars and provide them in Sanskrit. These are typically available in book format, and not as papers. Uttara (talk) 22:09, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
- As an addendum to my comment above, if the papers are of good quality and in Sanskrit to begin with (which I am told is the actual :intent of this proposal), then surely this is a welcome project and should be taken up at the earliest. Uttara (talk) 10:17, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
- It is a laudable proposition to make available papers in Sanskrit on various topics/branches of Indian Darśana Śāstras and Science on the Wikipedia. It is certainly hoped that care will be taken to properly evaluate the papers before publishing here by an expert committee which will consist of renowned scholars from various fields. If this is done then the purpose of making available the treasure generated by the Sanskrit scholarly cream to the various targeted audience will be served eminently. A thought contained in a paper that catches the imagination of a scholar who reads it is very likely to transform into a fine thesis at his / her hands. It is the triggering of this kind of creativity that the Wikipedia is aiming at. - Subrahmanian V (talk) 10:53, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
- Support Its always appreciated to have as much content in Sanskrit as possible. This project, I feel would definitely help improve Sanskrit Wikipedia. --Rahmanuddin (talk) 17:39, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
- Being a student of Ayurved, I support the project strongly.Charunandan16 (talk) 03:43, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
- Samskrit as a language needs all the support possible and I think Wikimedia support goes a long way in that. ----Rsrikanth05 (talk) 11:43, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
- Support This will be very useful project - Arkrishna (talk) 22:20, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
- Support Sanskrit is a court language, standardizing language, documenting language and lingua franca in many ways. In this context, there are a lot of useful scripts present in sanskrit and are even untranslated. All big linguistic groups from India contributed to sanskrit literature and now due to the post-colonial education effects we lost the key to unlock them. This idea sounds very good and may be one of the steps towards unlocking that ancient knowledge treasure. Thanks Sanskrit wiki community for submitting this proposal and I feel this definitely very useful.--Pavan santhosh.s (talk) 11:31, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
- Support --Visdaviva (talk) 11:58, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
- Support --AniVar (talk) 04:40, 23 November 2014 (UTC)