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Palm Leaves Manuscripts at lahore

  • Thread starter Thread starter Ramacchandran
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Digitising ancient treasure

Shahzada Irfan Ahmed
14 July 2008

Translating centuries-old Sanskrit manuscripts at the Punjab University in Lahore was proving tough due to dearth of Pakistani scholars proficient in the ancient language. A visit by a Korean professor paved the way for digitisation of the rare documents which are a treasure of information.
In a dimly lit room at Punjab University in Lahore, the library staff sits amidst stacks of centuries-old Sanskrit manuscripts inscribed on strips of palm leaves and faded paper. Mechanically, sheet by sheet, they take high-resolution digital photos of the documents, and transfer the images to computers.
Though oblivious to the wealth of knowledge contained in these manuscripts, they do seem to know that their mundane task is in some way extraordinary.
Rare manuscripts / Photo credit: Himal The digitisation of the Sanskrit manuscripts on which the staffers are working is part of a much larger project to translate and study the long-forgotten texts.
Written in the Nagari, Dravidian, Andna, Sarada, Keral and Prakit scripts, the manuscripts are estimated to date to the 14th century AD. They were stored on the premises of Punjab University before Partition, and there they have lain ever since, almost forgotten and entirely unexplored.
Sea of knowledge
Whether due to conscious neglect or resulting from a lack of capacity, no serious effort was made in the last six decades to put these manuscripts to use.
A large part of the problem – in fact, the biggest current hurdle to scrutinising these documents – has been the complete dearth of scholars in Pakistan able to translate from the Sanskrit.
That the university did not seek any help from India is quite understandable, given that doing so could have been considered tantamount to sharing sensitive information with an unfriendly state.
All that changed in 2006, however, with the arrival of Sung Yang Kang. A Korean professor of South Asian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the University of Vienna in Austria, he immediately realised the potential that lay in the unstudied documents.
On returning to Korea, the scholar focused all of his energy on finding resources and mobilising contacts to get the digitisation and translation project underway.
The institution has subsequently provided the high-tech cameras, digitisation software and other equipment necessary for the preservation work.
He was able to get both the University of Vienna and Geumgang University, a Buddhist institute in Nonsan, South Korea, to support the project. Now, with the first, digitisation phase fully underway, professors from Punjab University will soon be travelling to Geumgang to learn Sanskrit. After they have mastered the language, the exercise of studying the bulk of the manuscripts will finally begin.
The Woolner collection
The collection of Sanskrit manuscripts at Punjab University is named after the late A C Woolner, a Sanskrit professor who was an honorary librarian at the university from 1903 to 1928, who went on to become its vice-chancellor.
It was during Woolner’s tenure that the manuscripts – collected and purchased from a range of sources, including some of the traditional manuscript libraries in Lahore, Delhi and Gujranwala – reached more than 9000 in number.
The manuscripts themselves contain commentaries on a range of 28 disciplines, including nature, science, astronomy, music, ethics and poetry.
Many, of course, also include extensive commentary on religion, both Hindu and Buddhist. Indeed, the significant writings on Buddhism largely account for Geumgang University’s interest in contributing to the project.
The institution has subsequently provided the high-tech cameras, digitisation software and other equipment necessary for the preservation work.
While grateful for the extensive help it is receiving from Geumgang, Punjab University is still very protective of its treasures. “We welcomed [the Koreans], but did not hand over even a single manuscript, or a digital image, to them,” says Chaudhry Muhammad Hanif, chief librarian at the university.
Hamid Ali, a librarian at Punjab University, says that the plan is to publish multilingual catalogues of the manuscripts, in order to familiarise the world with these ancient treasures.
This level of secrecy, he says, will remain until there are sufficient Sanskrit-familiar Pakistani scholars at the university. The wait will likely be worthwhile for the partners, as well, as they will have exclusive rights to publish the content once the translation process is complete.
Despite this element of secrecy, the partners are actively involved in the project. Sanskrit professors at Geumgang University review the progress of the project online, and guide the Punjab University library staff as needed.
The Korean professors also travel to Lahore at frequent intervals, to ensure the quality of the ongoing work. Hamid Ali, a librarian at Punjab University, says that the plan is to publish multilingual catalogues of the manuscripts, in order to familiarise the world with these ancient treasures.
At present, two catalogues in English are available at the library, as well as on the university’s library website, www.publibrary.edu.pk.
Mobile charger - No current needed!

Peepal tree is called as 'Arasa maram' in Tamil. Aswatha tree, vedic tree, king tree are the other names for this tree. The sticks and stems of this tree are used in our yagnams. The smoke coming out of this fire is considered very sacred and capable of giving longevity to our life with good health, even according to Science. When amavasai comes on Mondays, this tree is worshipped specially. Dry Leaves of this tree are used as 'dharvee', instrument to put ghee or the homa dravyam in agni.

A new usage for green Peepal leaves is recently found for charging mobile phones.

I am just sharing a message received by me in this regard, pls.
Probably our ancesters knew about this changing mutual energy into different form of energy and said that circumbulating peepal tree will remove barrenness.

Imagine u r stuck up in a jungle for more than 4 daysand now desperately want to talk to someone. I am sure u will try this trick
now. And Charge mobile with peepal leave
Its very Strange But True Very True.

Now, you do not require any mobile charger to charge your mobiles. Only there is need to use green leaf of peepal tree and after some time your
Mobile will get charged..

It is very good idea and easy to charge your mobile. You would have to open your mobile battery and connect it with peepal leaf. After that without shaking mobile set you should set the battery in your mobile set. After some time your mobile would be charged.

Though it is unbelievable but as soon as the residents of Chitrakoot came to know about the discovery, they could not believe the news. But
when they saw it practically then the incident proved true.

Now hundreds of mobile holders are using this technique and charging their mobiles.

Several persons including Sushil Kumar Shukla, Santosh Verma, principal of Mahatma Gandhi School , Raj Karan Patel, Shyam Patel, Shekhar
Dwivedi, Pramod Gupta, Manager of Gayatri temple, RN Tripathi proved the incident true.

Whereas according to the botanists, it is just changing mutual energy into electrical energy power can be saved in battery. Similarly, it is also possible. They said that it is the subject of research.

Step by Step guide to charge your mobile battery using peepal leaf
1- Open your mobile cover
2- Take out your battery
3- Take two to three fresh leaves of peepal/pipal/ashwattha tree
4- Touch the stub of these leaves on your mobile battery terminal for a
5- Clean the mobile battery terminal with the soft cloth
6- Put your battery again in your mobile and switch it on
7- Now you can see the result
8- If required repeat the process with fresh leaves

"அவரவர் இச்சையில் எவை எவை உற்றவை அவை தருவித்தருள் பெருமாளே!"
_ திருவக்கரை திருப்புகழ்
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