A first-timer would love to classify Mathur, about 10 km from Shimoga in Karnataka, as yet another “sleepy village with lush green fields’. But, there is more to this village than stately arecanut farms, winding roads and friendly people. For more than 25 years now, the village has been in the forefront of a movement to keep spoken Sanskrit alive. And, you notice the difference from the minute you step into the village.
Influenced by the spirituality and Hindu way of life, 23 Italians, including a couple from the Vatican, underwent a crash course in learning Sanskrit hymns and mantras at the Veda Patashala in Karuvadikuppam on Sunday. Amid vedic chants, A. Raja Sastrigal gave diksha to the Italians.
A major exercise in ‘linguistic archaeology’ has set out to complete a comprehensive survey of Cambridge University South Asianmanuscript collection, which includes the oldest dated and illustrated Sanskrit manuscript known worldwide. Written on now-fragile birch bark, palm leaf and paper, the 2,000 manuscripts in the collection at the University Library express centuries-old South Asian thinking on religion, philosophy, astronomy, grammar, law and poetry.