CENTRE FOR SANSKRIT - VEDIC STUDIES

BRIEF HISTORY  &  ACADEMIC MASTER PLAN

Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, named after the illustrious Sage and Philosopher, Adi Sankara was established in November 1993.  The University conducts courses (B.A., M.A., M. Phil. & Ph. D.) and different academic/research programmes in various branches of Sanskrit, subjects in humanities and arts like History, Malayalam, Hindi, Psychology, Sociology, Geography, Philosophy, Urdu, English, Hindi, Music, Painting, Dance, Theatre and Physical Education. The University is aiming to preserve traditional knowledge in Sanskrit and at the same time to promote interdisciplinary studies and research in different branches of learning in Sanskrit befitting to the need of modern age.

Centre for Vedic Studies

Similar to other branches of Sanskrit like Nyaya, Vyakara¸a, Sahitya, Vedanta, Ayurveda and Vastuvidya, Vedic Studies is also being promoted by the University.  For this, the School of Vedic Studies was started in 1997, which was renamed as Centre for Vedic Studies later. It successfully completed the research project of the audio/video documentation of the Jaiminiyasamaveda chanting of Kerala style, which has many peculiarities and attracted the attention of scholars all over the world.  Only five scholars (three of them have left us forever and the remaining two are above 90 years now) were able to recite Samaveda in its different modes. After them the tradition of Keraliyajaiminiyasamaveda chanting is going to extinct.  The University, with the whole hearted co-operation of those scholars, recorded the whole of Samaveda chanting in 95 hours, during 1997 2001. This was the first and second phase of the project. In the third phase (2008-2015), the audio/video CDs already recorded was remade into interactive mode (HDD/DVDs) incorporating the text in Devanagari script, transliteration and translation in English, graphics and indices. The remade version is kept in the University library and is available for researches and higher studies.
The Centre for Vedic Studies conducted many seminars, short term courses, public lectures, workshops and guest lectures on various topics connected with Vedas in the different Centres of the University and in selected cities all over Kerala.  These helped to create awareness on Vedas and different knowledge systems included in Vedic literature, among the academic community as well as the public.  
 
  • To take initiatives to promote studies and researches in Vedic topics with interdiscipli -narity and multidisciplinarity with an intention of attracting international academic community.
  • To teach the method of traditional way of Vedic chanting to all irrespective of caste, creed, gender and religion.  
  • To document and preserve Vedic chanting tradition preserved in Kerala with Prakrti and Vikrti Pathas.
  • To organise seminars, workshops, extension lectures, short term courses and certificate courses for propagating Vedic wisdom to the public.
  • To analyse and study the style of traditional Vedic chanting of Kerala in an academic perspective relating the Svaras and Mudras with other branches of learning.
  • To publish important Vedic texts reconstructed from Manuscripts, Transcripts and oral tradition preserved among the scholars of Veda.

Programmes offered in the Centre:

 M.A. in Sanskrit - Vedic Studies

In 2005, the University started M.A. in Sanskrit - Vedic Studies.  The course is the first of this kind in South India.  The course aims at imparting knowledge in Veda and Vedic literature to the student both in the traditional and modern way. All the texts like Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, Upanisads and Vedangas are introduced in the course.  Also modern topics like Linguistics, Interpretation of Veda-ancient and modern, Manuscriptology and Computer are taught as a part of the course either as core course or elective one.
The most salient feature of the course is that one course for M.A. Sanskrit - Vedic Studies is fully devoted for introducing the traditional chanting of all the Vedas.  Traditional scholars in Vedas are appointed as guest faculty for the purpose in the University. This will be the unique example of giving traditional Vedic chanting a place in the University academic agenda and imparting Vedic chanting to all irrespective of caste, creed or gender. Maximum intake capacity for M. A. Programme is seven.

Direct Ph. D. in Sanskrit-Vedic Studies

The University has started Direct Ph. D. programme in Centre for Sanskrit -Vedic Studies from December 2014 admission onwards. Dr. Dharmaraj Adat, Vice Chancellor, SSUS Kalady and Dr. K.A. Ravindran are the supervising teachers.

M. Phil Programme in Sanskrit-Vedic Studies

The University has started M. Phil. programme in Centre for Sanskrit - Vedic Studies from December 2019 admission onwards. Presently, there are no students for this course.

 

There is no permanent faculty in the centre. Modalities for identifying Vedic Studies as a separate department and appointing faculty members in the same are yet to be completed by the University.  Now teaching is being conducted in Vedic Studies by teachers, who are appointed for the purpose from other departments of Sanskrit on work arrangement and as guest faculty. Dr. K.A. Ravindran, Professor of Sanskrit Sahitya is the present Co-ordinator of the Centre.

 Projects Completed

 Projects Financed by the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India.  

This was a major project sanctioned to Vedic Studies by the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India. An amount of Rs. 13, 30, 000/= has been sanctioned as part of the project of which 75 % (Rs. 9,97,500/=) was released as the first installment. The heads in which the amount sanctioned was: 

  1. Strengthening of the institution : This aims at building up of Dept. Library in  Vedic  Studies. 
  1. Training support: This includes financial assistance to the M.A. Students of Sanskrit Vedic Studies. 
  1. Research: This is for printing and publishing the text of Kerala version of Jaiminiya samaveda with translation in English.
  1. Workshop: Conducting a National seminar on Vedas and allied topics. 
  2. Documentation As mentioned earlier, remaking the audio/video CDs of Samaveda already recorded by Vedic Studies into interactive mode incorporating the text in Devanagari script, transliteration and translation in English, graphics and indices was the third phase of the project. It started in 2008 and completed in 2015. The name of the new document is Jaiminiyasamavedasamhita Kerala Namputiri Version An Interactive Multimedia which has got copyright from Govt. of India. 

Participation in National Level Festivals / Seminars 

International Vedic Workshop - 2014 

    
Teachers and students participated in the International Vedic Workshop - 2014 held at Calicut, Kerala from 7 to 10, January 2014, organised by VIth International Vedic Workshop committee, chaired by Dr. Michael Witzel, Professor of Sanskrit, Dept. of South Asian Studies, Harvard University, USA.


At present, five students are doing research. Their details are given below:

Sl. No

Name of Student

Reg. No.

Year of Admn.

Topic

Supervising Teacher

1.

Vijisha R.

15KA06VS01

2015

Kerala Vedic Tradition and Its Impact on Vacika in Kutiyattam

Dr. K.A. Ravindran

2.

Mithuna A.

15KA06VS02

2015

Identity of Vasistha in Vedic and Post Vedic Literature

Dr. Dharmaraj Adat

3.

Reshma P.

16KA06VS01

2016

The Sunassepa Episode in Aitareya brahmana : A Study on its Undertones in Vedic Discourse.

Dr. K.A. Ravindran

4.

Arun M.N.

17KA06VS01

2017

The Cult of Snake-worship : Study Based on Vedic and Tantric Traditions in Kerala

Dr. K.A. Ravindran

5.

Lakshmi K.M.

21KA06VS01

2021

The Works of Sadgurusisya on Vedic Literature

Dr. K.A. Ravindran

Endowments instituted

(i). Panditar E.V. Raman  Namboothiri Memorial Lecture

Annual Endowment Lecture in the name of late Sri. Panditar E.V. Raman   Namboothiri has been instituted in Vedic Studies, SSUS, Kalady from 2008 onwards by the sons, daughters and family members of the scholar. 

Pandithar E.V. Raman Namboothiri Memorial Lectures so far:

Year

Topic

Resource person

2009

Inaugural Lecture

Dr. V. R. Prabodhachandran Nair

2010

Vedic Lore A Historians Perspective

Dr. Veluthat Kesavan

2011

Sanskrit and Modernity

Dr. K.G. Paulose

2012

Vedic Tradition and Socio-cultural History of Kerala

Dr. M.G.S. Narayanan

2013

The Relevance of Classics

Prof. M. Thomas Mathew

2014

The Eclectic Paddhatis of Kerala

Dr. S.A.S. Sarma

2015

The Exegetical Tradition of Kerala with

Special Reference to Sanskrit Aesthetics

Dr. C.M. Neelakandhan

2016

Yaskas Nirukta and Linguistic Studies.

Dr. K. P. Sreedevi

2017

Smrti Texts : Ancient Indian Code of Law

Dr. Palanad Vasudevan

2018

Vyakarana as a Vedanga

Dr. P. Narayanan Nampoothiri

2019

The Vedangas : How Do They Matter

Dr. P.V. Ramankutty

2020

Malayalam Literary Criticism and Sanskrit Wisdom

Dr. N. Ajayakumar




(ii). Dr. C.M. Neelakandhan Endowment Lecture

Annual Endowment Lecture in the name of Dr. C.M. Neelakandhan, Former Professor-in-charge and Co-ordinator of Centre for Vedic Studies,  has been instituted in Vedic Studies, SSUS, Kalady from 2013 onwards, jointly by the direct Ph. D. students and family members of the scholar.

Dr. C. M. Neelakandhan Endowment Lecture so far:

Year

Topic

Resource person

2013

History of Vedic Interpretation in India and 

in the West

Prof. G.U. Thite

Honorary Curator, BORI, Pune.

2014

The Philosophy Begins in the Ṛgveda The Concept of Ṛta : From Experience to Abstraction

Dr. Joanna Jurewicz, Professor at the Oriental Studies Department, University of Warsaw.

2015

The Vedic Sentence satyam asmi of Jaiminiya Brahmana and Its Reflections in Ancient Greek.

Prof. Alexis Pinchard, 

Professor of Philosophy, France

2016

Indo-centric Perspective of Vedic Studies : 

Some German Scholars of the 19th Centuary..

Dr. Amruta Natu, Research Assistant, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune

2017

Indra Legends in Brhaddevata and Their Application to the Study of Rgveda

Dr. M. Sivakumaraswami

 Professor of Sanskrit (Retd.) Bangalore

2018

Early Medieval Commentaries on the Aitareyaranyaka: Sankara

Bahvrcabrahmanopanisadvivarana   

Dr. Hugo David

Professor, Philosophy and Sanskrit Studies, EFEO, Pondicherry

2019

Human Rights in Vedas

Dr. K.H. Subrahmanyan 

Chairman, Kshetra Kala Akademi, Kerala

2020

Authority of Veda According to Mimamsa Philosophy.

Sri. K. Jayanarayanan, Asst. Professor in Mimamsa, The Madras Sanskrit College, Mylapore, Chennai

2021

Dialogue Hymns in Rgveda.

Dr. C. Rajendran, Adjunct Professor, Dept. Of Sanskrit Sahitya, SSUS, Kalady

(iii) Sri. R. K. Srikanta Kumara Swamy and Jayalakshmy Endowment scholarship 

An endowment in the name of (Late) Sri. R. K. Srikanta Kumaraswamy, a great Vedic scholar and Formerly, Professor of Metallurgy in IIT, Madras and his wife, Jayalakshmi has been instituted in the Centre by their daughter, Dr. (Ms.) Suma Damodaran, Professor of Economics, XLRI, Jamshedpur. An amount of Rs. 5,00,000/= is deposited in the University for the purpose. The annual interest of the amount is utilized for giving an endowment scholarship to the full time research scholars in the Centre for Sanskrit-Vedic Studies. The 

interest amount acquired yearly may be given to all full-time Ph.D. scholars, dividing equally.

Future plans

  • To develop the centre for Vedic Studies as an internationally advanced centre learning for Vedas, Vedangas and allied topics. 
  • To document and preserve the chanting tradition of Rgveda and Yajurveda and Sama- veda (Tamil tradition) preserved in Kerala with all modes of chanting. 
  • To document the oral chanting of Kerala tradition of Kausitakibrahmana and Taittiriya brahmana.
  • To organise seminars, workshops, extension lectures, short term courses and certificate courses for propagating Vedic wisdom to the public.
  • To publish important Vedic texts reconstructed from Manuscripts, Transcripts and oral tradition preserved among the scholars of Veda.

The whole academic community all over the world related to Sanskrit and Veda is looking to Kerala, attracted by the peculiar Vedic tradition preserved here which is entirely different from other parts of India in several aspects like accent, elaboration of Svara etc., connected with the chanting procedure. This gives scope and opportunity for the centre for further extension and developments. But it is difficult to achieve this goal without developing it as a full-fledged department. Hence, it is requested that necessary steps may be taken to identify the centre as a separate department and to appoint required permanent teaching faculty.

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