Category : Reports

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The pandemic has had it’s toll on the people across the globe in general and in specific on the students studying in schools, colleges and universities. The change of the mode of the lectures from classroom to online classrooms is a difficult thing to adjust to for both the students and the teacher. To top it the examinations are also being planned to be conducted online. This really had a lot of questions and concerns with the current lot of students appearing for the exams in our Department of Sanskrit, Mumbai University. To get a better understanding on the way the exams would be conducted and to ease our fears and stress, Mumbai University Department of Sanskrit organized an online session for the students and teachers सुसंवाद – परीक्षा – समुपदेशन which was attended by Dr. Vinod Patil and Dr. Hemant Belsare on 5th Jan, 2021 from 16:00 – 18:00.

The head of the department Dr. Suchitra Tajane aptly introduced the session by reciting a poem written by her on examinations and how it’s an integral part of our life. This made sense and made the students see a bigger picture of life and examinations revolving around each other. Dr. Madhavi Narsalay introduced speakers present for the programme.

Dr. Vinod Patil, the Director of Board of Examination and Evaluation, University of Mumbai put our concerns to rest by letting us know in detail the mode of the examination along with timelines for the same. He also answered to the queries by both students and teachers on various aspects regarding the exams. The path ahead for the next semester was also made crystal clear and it put many of our concerns at rest.

Dr. Hemant Belsare, a well known psychiatrist guided the students with regards to their anxiety and tensions due to new pattern of examination. He imparted many life lessons to keep stress at bay. It was a very enriching interactive session with multiple takeaways to ease the anxiety of the students.

Dr. Shakuntala Gawde proposed vote of thanks. The efforts taken by Mumbai University Department of Sanskrit to organize this session is commendable and has touched the hearts of many students.

-Hema Kumar
MA part 2, 2019

सुरस सुबोधा विश्वमनोज्ञा ललिता हृद्या रमणीया।

अमृत वाणी संस्कृत भाषा नैव क्लिष्टा न च कठिना।।

          सत्यमेव संस्कृतभाषा न केवला भाषा एषा तु मानवस्य संस्कृति:। भारतसर्वकारस्य शिक्षामन्त्रालयस्य आदेशानुसारं प्रतिवर्षं श्रावण पौर्णिमायां संस्कृतदिनं सम्परिपाल्यते। तस्मादेव सम्पूर्णे विश्वे यत्र यत्र संस्कृतप्रेमिण: सन्ति तत्र तत्र “संस्कृत-दिनम्” इति उत्सव: आचर्यते। केचन संस्कृतसप्ताह: वा मास: वा अपि आचरन्ति।

              एवमेव अस्माकं मुम्बई-विद्यापीठस्य संस्कृत विभागे अपि २०२० वर्षस्य ऑगस्ट मासस्य ३ दिनाङ्के उत्सवारम्भ: अभवत्। प्रतिवर्षं संस्कृतभवने अस्य आयोजनं भवति एव, परन्तु अस्मिन् वर्षे कोरोनाविषाणो: कारणात् जना: त्रस्ता: तथापि ONLINE माध्यमेन उत्सवार्थम् एकत्रीभूता: इत्युक्ते संस्कृते तेषां मातृवत् स्नेह:।

      कार्यक्रमस्य सूत्रसञ्चलनं कुर्वन् आसीत् विभागप्राध्यापकः अजय पेंडसे-महोदयः। ५ वादने मुंबई-विद्यापीठस्य सुश्राव्यगीतेन कार्यक्रमस्य प्रारम्भ: जात: । प्रास्ताविकभाषणं तथा सर्वेषां स्वागतं कृतं विभागप्रमुखया डॉ. सुचित्रा ताजणे-महोदयया। तया एव सप्ताहे अस्मिन् या संस्कृत व्याख्यानमाला आयोजिता अस्ति, तस्या: परिचय: उक्त:। ४ ऑगस्टत: ९ ऑगस्ट २०२० पर्यन्तम् अस्यां व्याख्यानमालायां मुम्बई-विद्यापीठस्य भूतपूर्वा: प्राध्यापका: संस्कृतसंशोधनस्य अन्तरङ्गम् एतद्विषयमधिकृत्य व्याख्यानानि प्रदास्यन्ति।

            अनन्तरं कार्यक्रमे ये नैके मान्यवराः उपस्थिता: आसन् तेषां सर्वेषां परिचय: कारित: विभागस्य मान्यया डॉ. माधवी नरसाळे-महोदयया। अस्माकं भाग्यमासीद्यद्विद्यापीठकुलगुरुः सुहास पेडणेकर-महोदयाः कार्यक्रमे अध्यक्षरूपेण उपस्थिताः आसन्। संस्कृतकार्यार्थं सदैव तत्परः भविष्यामि इति उक्त्वा संस्कृतमहत्त्वं प्रकटयन् तैः वयं उद्बोधिताः।

तदनन्तरं मुंबई-विद्यापीठस्य मानव्यशाखायाः अधिष्ठातारः माननीयाः डॉ. राजेश खरात-महोदयाः संस्कृतस्य प्रचार: प्रसार: नैकेषु देशेषु कथं कर्तुं शक्यते इति विषयमधिकृत्य न: उद्बोधितवान्।

   कार्यक्रमे प्रमुखातिथिपदं भूषितवन्त: संस्कृत-भारती-कार्यकर्तार: माननीया: शिरीष भेडसगावकर महोदया:। प्रधानमन्त्री महोदयस्य tweet सन्देशेन तै: भाषणारम्भ: कृत:। संस्कृतं न केवलं विद्यापीठार्थं मर्यादितम्। प्रतिगृहं संस्कृतं भवेत् इति महोदयस्य आशय: आसीत्। इदानीन्तनकाले सर्वे ज्ञातवन्त: यद् श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता अस्मिन् वतावरणे मानवेषु सामर्थ्यं निर्माति। अतः अधिकाः जनाः संस्कृतं पठितुमिच्छन्ति। महोदयेन एतं विषयं स्वीकृत्य सुमधुरं व्याख्यानं प्रोक्तम्। तेषां शब्दै: वयं नन्दिता: पप्रेरिता: च।

       अन्ते विभाग प्राध्यापिकया डॉ. शकुन्तला गावडे-महोदयया आभारप्रदर्शनं कृतम्। एवं मुम्बई-विद्यापीठस्य संस्कृत सप्ताहस्य उत्सवस्य महता उत्साहेन प्रारम्भ: जात:।

वृत्ताङ्कनम्- नीरज संजय सावंत

Sanskrit Saptah Samaroha
Today, 3rd August, 2020 on the occasion of Sanskrit Dinam, this week long ceremony started. This year due to the pandemic, this programme was held online. Dr. Suchitra Tajane Head of the Department of Sanskrit, University of Mumbai addressed the audience.  It was graced by many dignitaries. Honourable Vice Chancellor Dr.Suhasji Pednekar addressed the audience saying  “Sanskrit is a wealth to the whole world and its literature are the gems in it. It is our duty to hand it over to the coming generations.”
The Dean of the Department of Humanities Shri Rajesh Kharat and Vice Chancellor of the Kavikulguru Kalidas University Shri Shrinivas Varakhedi also graced the occasion. The Chief guest for today’s function Shri Shirish Bhedasgaonkar was introduced by Dr. Madhavi Narsalay Madam.
Shri  Bhedasgaonkar began his speech by quoting Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Tweet commending everyone who teaches and learns Sanskrit. He said that Sanskrit is the language of our culture. Shri  Bhedasgaonkar remarked that generally scholars and teachers are commended for their work but the PM has commended the students which is very encouraging. He said “Today everyone is trying to cope with the pandemic in their own ways. A few days back I read in the news that an American politician has resorted to reading the Bhagavadgita to find mental peace and urges everyone to do the same. Especially the youth.”
The vote of thanks was given by Dr Shakuntala Gawde.

Report by Kashmira Kailashi

          A seminar on ‘Hermeneutics – A way and method in Religious Studies’ was held on 19 December 2019, at Ramkrishna Bajaj Sanskrit Bhavan, at the Vidyanagari campus of Mumbai University. This was organaised by the Department of Sanskrit, Mumbai University in association with Bhaktivedanta Research Centre.

          Prof. Ravi Gupta, Chief Guest as well as Chairperson of the seminar was introduced by Dr. Shakuntala Gawde, (Seminar Coordinator and Assistant Professor, Department of Sanskrit, University of Mumbai).  The seminar was inaugurated by Prof. Ravi Gupta, Professor Charles Redd, Chair of Religous studies, Utah state University, Logan, US. After lighting of lamp and Sarasvativandana. Dr. Madhavi Narsalay, Assistant Professor, Department of Sanskrit, presented the preamble of the seminar. Dr. Sumanta Rudra (Academic Dean, Bhaktivedanta Research Centre) Welcomed all participant scholars.

Prof. Ravi Gupta, began his keynote address with a talk on the topic ‘What makes a good translation’. He explained in depth, what theology, religious study and hermeneutics are. By giving appropriate examples, he demonstrated the use of different hermeneutic principles in the interpretation of a certain passage. He discussed important guidelines of hermeneutics and the precautions that one needs to take while interpreting any text. He continued his explanation on the characteristics of a ‘Classic’ and opined that translating and interpreting classics is indeed a very difficult job. He told at length, the features of a good translation and the factors that affect it. He concluded that a teacher is a translator and hermeneute, as he translates an idea unknown to the students into their understanding.

          Dr. Keith D’souza, Rector, St. Xavier’s College Mumbai, explained the nuances in respect of the principles of Biblical interpretation. He presented different principles of interpretations on the various sub-divisions of Christianity like Catholics, Protestants and so on. He discussed the criticisms which are needed to be studied while interpreting the Bible. The first half of the seminar concluded with Dr. D’Souza’s scholarly presentation. Thereafter, the speakers, delegates and participants had lunch break.

          The post lunch session began with the speech of Dr. Abhishek Bose, Assistant Professor, Department of Indian Language and Literature, University of Calcutta. He spoke on the characteristics of Dharma and varied interpretations of a passage and stated that all interpretations are correct in their own way. Subsequently, he spoke about narratives, their structure and their distinctive features. This was followed by a talk by Prakriti Goswami, Senior Research fellow, Bhaktivedanta Research Centre, Kolkata, on the scriptural hermeneutics of Vallabha. She gave an idea of the epistemology as accepted by Vallabha and importance it confers on Bhagawata Purana and the theistic philosophy associated with it. She explained the means by which, Vallabha tried to synthesise the Vedic texts speaking of concrete Brahman and formless Brahman. She also shared her own experience of interpretation of Vallabha’s commentary on Bhagavata. The last speaker of the day was, Hemant Rajopadhye, Senior Fellow and Head, Centre for the Indian Knowledge Traditions, ORF, Mumbai. He discussed the rituals associated with Datta Sampradaya. According to him, ‘Sampradaya’ is interpreted as an unbroken lineage of spiritual gurus. While explaining the incarnations of Dattatreya, he also compared the modern Datta Sampradaya as against the traditional concepts. In support of his discussions, he showed a small video clip from a contemporary Marathi movie, wherein some ideas from Hindu religion have been interpreted on the basis of modern science.

          The seminar gave a new insight into the theory of hermeneutics and translation studies. Expert and enlightening comments by Prof. Ravi Gupta on each talk enhanced the impact of that topic. All the speakers were felicitated by University authorities. Lastly, all the participants were awarded attendance certificates and the seminar concluded with a vote of thanks by Dr. Shakuntala Gawde

-Shruti Kanitkar

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