There is an inherent strength in each research institute to grow and spread the gospel of knowledge, retain and preserve the existing work for the posterity. This strength comes with the dedicated services rendered by the men and women, who serve it whole heartedly. A tirtha or holy place owes its pre-eminence to those pious men, who visit that place and offer their services physically mentally and spiritually. It is necessary for the right thinking people to spare time to think of such research institutes and render their bit of service in addition to the services rendered by the regular staff. This effort has been going on since ages.
Sanskrit Academy, a Research Institute, established in the sprawling campus of Osmania University, is one such example. Sanskrit Academy was established in the year 1954, as a result of the collective effort of Prof. Aryendra Sarma, Head, Dept. of Sanskrit, O.U., Prof. Suri Bhagavantam, the then Vice-chancellor, O.U., and Dr. Burgula Ramakrishna Rao, the then Chief Minister, Hyderabad State and President, Sanskrit Academy. They are considered as Munitryam in the context of the establishment of Sanskrit Academy. While writing a foreword to “Gnanachaturvimsi”, a small book containing 24 verses on Jyothisha and Khagola, (the first publication of Sanskrit Academy) Dr. Ramakrishna Rao stated that it is a joint responsibility of the Government of Hyderabad and Osmania University to maintain Sanskrit Academy. This understanding helped the growth of Sanskrit Academy for a long time. Its constitution was framed with the aim of acquiring and publishing rare Sanskrit manuscripts after editing them critically and publishing popular books as well as propagating Sanskrit. Research and popularization are two integral parts of Sanskrit studies. An academic Board was also formed to advise in matters pertaining to publication work.
Initially, this Institute was housed in a room opposite the room of the Head, Dept. of Sanskrit in the historic beautiful Arts College building. Telugu professors and teachers working in Oriental Colleges offered their services to the growth of this Institute. After the publication of “Gnanachaturvimsi”, it was planned to publish the poetical works of Panditaraja Jagannatha. If Prof. Aryendra Sarma planned such a publication, he should be supported with necessary information by all knowledgeable scholars wherever information and manuscripts were available. Dr. B. Ramakrishna Rao was thrilled. Being a writer in his own right, he published “Panditarajapancamritam” in Telugu. Such was the moral support garnered by Aryendra Sarma, who was its founder Director. Sri Vedala Tirunengadacharya, an eminent Sanskrit scholar of exceptional academic caliber, offered his services to this institute. A Catalogue of Sanskrit Manuscripts preserved in the library of Osmania University has been prepared by Sri Kuriganti Sitarama Bhattacharya, a lecturer in Telugu, Osmania University.
Along with “Panditaraja-kavyasangraha” and “Catalogue of Sanskrit Manuscripts”, other two books, namely, “Kriyaswaralakshana” were ready for publication by the end of the year 1956.
Sri D.G. Padhye, a Research Asst. working with dedication and scholarship in Sanskrit Academy, became the back-bone of the institute. Sri D.N. Kulkarni, who retired as Superintendent of this Institute remarked once saying that if another man like D.G.Padhye came, the Institute would have rendered greater assistance to the Directors, who worked relentlessly for this institute. Padhye was grammarian. He knew nothing other than reading and editing books in the Institute and after reaching home also he continued the same work. Mr. Padhye and Vedala Tiruvengadacharya are always remembered as benefactors of Sanskrit studies and research.
Prof. Aryendra Sarma, with the assistance of Sri D.G. Padhye, launched an ambitious project of publishing a Critical Edition of the Grammar Text, “Kasika” of Vamana and Jayaditya of VII Cen. A.D. This Kasika-yaga continued for a long time (1969-1985). Two volumes of “Kasika” were published initially. Sri Khande Rao Deshpande was also involved in this work as Director-in-charge during intervals. “Nyasa”, a commentary of “Kasika” also known as “Kasika-vivarana-panjika, by Sri Bodhisattva Desiyacharya Jinendrabuddhi (A.D. 750) was published in two volumes. Another Vyakhyana of Kasika, namely, “Padamanjari” by Haradatta Misra (1100 A.D.) was published, also in two volumes. These two commentaries were published during the term of Mahamahopadhyaya Prof. P. Sriramachandrudu, who worked as Director, Sanskrit Academy for a decade (1981- 1990). Sri Ramachandrudu could bring out these editions very well with the assistance of Sri Vithaladevuni Sundara Sarma, who worked as a Research Assistant during this period. “Kasika-sutrasuchi” was published in the year 1976 during the tenure of Prof. B.R.Sastri, who was the then Director of the Institute. This was followed by “Kasika-udaharanasuchi”, published in the year 1985 during the tenure of Prof. Ramachandrudu. Thus “Kasika” in two volumes, “Nyasa” in two volumes, “Padamanjari” in two volumes, “Sutrasuchi” and “Udaharanasuchi” were published in eight volumes from the year 1969 to 1985. Three Directors worked on this project. Sanskrit Academy came to be known as the publisher of “Kasika”. At present, the volumes of the original text are not available in print. Sanskrit Academy plans to bring their reprints. The services rendered to Sanskrit Academy by Prof. P.G.Lalye, as an In-charge Director, during this period are note-worthy.
Dr. Anandatirtha Varkhedkar and Shri Anantacharya Devalji worked as Research Assistants during 1968-73 and made a mark with their committed scholarship. The second edition of “Panditaraja-kavya-sangraha” was published in the year 2002, included a hundred additional verses attributed to Panditaraja lent over by Prof. P. Sriramachandrudu, who has an authority of Jagannatha’s works. The book publication cost of Rs. 36,000.00 was met by Dr. Shakuntala Dave, who dedicated the same to the memory of her mother Smt. Kamaladevi Dave.
“Gems From Sanskrit Literature” comprising two hundred Subhashitas with English translation, was published by Prof. Aryendra Sarma with the assistance of E.V.Veeraraghacharya. A second reprint of this book has already been published. “Minor Works of Kshemendra” (1961) was edited by Prof. Aryendra Sarma with the assistance of Vidyaratna Sri E.V. Veeraraghavacharya and Kavyatirtha, Sahityaratnakara Sri D.G. Padhye.
“Narakasuravyayoga”(1961) written by Varanasi Dharmasuri was edited by Prof. Sarma with the able assistance of Sri D.G. Padhye. It was published by Sanskrit Academy, Hyderabad, for the first time.
The immortal drama of Kalidasa “Vikramorvaseeyam”(1966) was published along with three commentaries. Jayadeva’s Geetagovinda”(1969-2003) was published with three commentaries.
There was only a single manuscript of Jayanti in Osmania University Library. Sanskrit Academy published it for the first time. Sri Khanderao Deshpande and V. Sundara Sarma assisted Prof. Aryendra Sarma in bringing out this valuable critical edition adding a feather to the cap of Sanskrit Academy. This was reprinted with a critical introduction in the year 2003.
Kedarabatta’s “Vritharatnakara”(1969) was published with four commentaries. Prof. Sarma was assisted by Sri Khanderao Deshpande and D.G. Padhye in editing this book.
“Sahityaratnakara” of Dharmasuri, a alankara text is also published by Sanskrit Academy for the first time with two commentaries. This book was published in three parts in the years 1972, 1974 and 1981. Three Directors, namely, Prof. Aryendra Sarma, Prof. B.R. Shastry and Prof. P. Sriramachandrudu, assisted by an able scholar, Koride Rajanna Sastry, are credited with this publication.
“Danavivokodyota of Madanasimhadeva” on Dharmashastra was published in three parts during the years 1964, 1966 and 1967.
Prof. B.R. Sastri, who took over the work from Prof. Aryendra Sarma continued the noble work and started publishing a Journal of Sanskrit Academy as well.
A separate building was built in the university campus of Sanskrit Academy, which was inaugurated in the year 1973.
The financial problems of Sanskrit Academy continued for more than a decade during the terms of Prof. M. Gopal Reddy, and Prof. B. Narasimhacharyulu and started troubling when Prof. K. Kamala took charge of the institute in the year 1996. But during such financial crisis also the publication of journals continued. Books like “Prakritasabdapradipika (1991), Trivikrama-pandita’s Harivayustuti with Bhavapradipika Vyakhyana of Kurma Narasimha, Yogasutrasara of Chamarajanagara, Srikantha Sastry’s Dhatu-Karika were published. A reprint of Samskrita-kavijivitam Part-1 by Malladi Suryanarayana Sastry was also brought out.
It was in the year 2002 that Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, working under the auspices of the Ministry of H.R.D. Govt. of India, recognized Sanskrit Academy as Adarsh Shodh Sansthan and extended financial assistance to this Institute. This became a renaissance for the Institute. The staff could breathe freely. Prof. D.C. Reddy, Vice-Chancellor, Osmania University and Prof. V. Kutumba Sastry, the then Director, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi and presently the Vice-Chancellor of the same Institute which is re-named as a Deemed University, breathed new life into Sanskrit Academy by recognizing it as a Research Institute from both the sides. Prof. Sastry was assisted by Sri C.S. Kaniyal, Dy. Director, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, in this work. Their services will be always remembered with a sense of gratitude by Sanskrit Academy. Earlier also a part of the deficit was met with donations from Sanskrit lovers intended to meet day to day expenses and book publication cost.
Dr.V.Srinivasa Sharma joined as Research Assistant in the year 1989. During the tenure of Director Prof. P. Sri Ramachandrudu and under his able guidance he could edit 5 books.
From 1990 to 1993 during the tenure of Director, Prof. M.Gopal Reddy, he edited a good number of books. He, further, assisted Acharya Narasimhacharya, who acted as Director of Sanskrit Academy from 1995 to 1996. From 1996 he assisted Prof. K. Kamala, who rendered her valuable services for the progress of Sanskrit Academy. During her tenure, from 1996 to 2007 Sri V. Srinivasa Sharma rendered greater assistance in editing and publishing many Sanskrit books. When Sanskrit Academy was recognized as Adarsh Shodha Sansthan by Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan under the Ministry of H.R.D. Govt. of India, acknowledging his qualifications and dedicated services to the Academy, in the year 2002, he was promoted to the post of Editor. Sri K.V.Suryaprakash, who joined as Research Assistant, from the year 2002 has been serving this institution with great devotion. Though he joined as research assistant, Sri K. V. Suryaprakash, due to the lack of man –power in the Academy, had to play many roles in the administration. The services rendered to Sanskrit Academy by Sri K. V. Suryaprakash are note-worthy.
To strengthen the institution, new appointments have been made in the month of December, 2007. Two deputy directors namely Dr.K.Varalakshmi and Dr.V.Subrahmanyam have joined in the same month itself. Dr. Shrinivasa Varakhedi, a Recipient of President’s award has taken over as Director of the institution on 1st February, 2007, who is going to play a major role in the success story of this outstanding institution.
Recently he had tendered his resignation to the Sanskrit Academy on
14.06.2013 and has joined as Professor in Sastra in Karnataka Sanskrit
University , Bengaluru.
Sanskrit Academy, established in 1954, is currently basking in its 54 years of glory with many outstanding personalities as Directors. The institution tries to be in sync with the changing trends in the field of Sanskrit research by undertaking a project work, namely, ‘Development of Sanskrit Computational Toolkit and Sanskrit-Hindi Machine Translation System’. Sanskrit Academy added a larger feather to its cap by undertaking such prestigious project work.
Goodwill and help of scholars, munificent grants from Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, spiritual guidance and financial help of teachers like Sadguru K. Sivanandamurty Garu, support of Osmania University physically, morally and financially to meet the needs of matching grants and commitment on the part of the staff can help the growth of Sanskrit Academy. “A step forward is worth an experience.”