“कुतो न यूयं संस्कृतविद्वांसः भवत ? भारतस्य सर्ववर्णानां कृते संस्कृतशिक्षणाय कुतः लक्षशः रूप्यकाणि न व्ययीकुरुत? तदेव अहं युष्मान् पृच्छामि।” (CW. 3.298)
“Why do you not become Sanskrit scholars? Why do you not spend millions to bring Sanskrit education to all the casts of India? That is the question.”
The Beacon and Source of Inspiration
Swami Vivekananda envisaged a new type of university where modern science and oriental scriptures will be taught hand in hand. Swamiji thundered, “What we want are western Science coupled with Vedanta, Brahmacharya as the guiding motto, and also Shraddha and faith in oneʼs own self.” [The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol-5, p366].
Swamiji also wrote,
“साम्यम्, स्वातन्त्र्यम्, उद्यमः, बलम् इत्येतेषु सत्त्वतः पाश्चात्त्यानां पाश्चात्त्याः भवन्तः तत्समकालमेव धर्मनिष्ठासु धार्मिकप्रवृत्तौ च तत्त्वतः भारतीयाः भवितुं प्रभवन्ति वा? इदं करणीयम्, वयमेतत् साधयाम च।”
“Can you become an occidental of occidentals in your spirit of equality, freedom, work and energy, and at the same time a Hindu to the very backbone in religious culture and instincts? This is to be done. We will do it. You are all born to do it. Have faith in yourselves, great convictions are the mothers of great deeds. Onward for ever!” [C.W., Vol-5, p29].
“ममेयं मनीषा यत् आदौ अस्माकं ग्रन्थेषु निहितानि आध्यात्मिक–रत्नानि प्रकाशं नेयानि… इमानि सर्वेषां सम्पदः स्युः…! अत्र विघ्नायते संस्कृतभाषा – इयम् अस्मदीया ऐश्वर्यमयी वाणी। एषा अर्गला तावन्न शक्यवारणा यावन्न राष्ट्रं संस्कृतपण्डितैः पूर्णम्।…अतः जनभाषया तत्त्वं बोधनीयम्, तेन सह संस्कृतभाषा अपि अवश्यं शिक्षणीया, यतो हि संस्कृत–शब्दानां ध्वनि–मात्रमपि जनेषु आदधाति गौरवं, बलं, तेजश्च।”
“My idea is first of all to bring out the gems of spirituality that are stored up in our books… let them be the common property of all… The great difficulty in the way is the Sanskrit language–the glorious language of ours; and this difficulty cannot be removed until–if it is possible–the whole of our nation are good Sanskrit scholars…Therefore the ideas must be taught in the language of the people; at the same time, Sanskrit education must go on along with it, because the very sound of Sanskrit words gives a prestige and a power and a strength to the race.” [C.W., Vol-3, p 289-90]
This is exactly what the Department of Sanskrit and Philosophy under the School of Indian Heritage aims at. With dedicated faculty shouldering the responsibility to fulfill the words of the Great Monk the department endeavours at producing graduates and scholars well versed in traditional śastric knowledge blended with modern outlook. The department tries to produce traditional scholars who also have the comprehension of modern developments.
To achieve this goal
- First of all Sanskrit is taught in Sanskrit i.e. the medium of instruction is Sanskrit itself.
- Undergraduate students are given exposure to the traditional knowledge along with the modern subjects like Computer Science, Natural Language Processing, English Literature, etc.
- Postgraduate students are offered a course for the deeper studies of the Shastras, especially Paninian Grammar and Advaita Vedanta.
- The students are taught traditional ways of chanting the Gita, Upanishads, etc.
- Research Scholars are encouraged to take up research in Shastras from modern viewpoints.
- Along with this students are encouraged in various co-curricular activities conducive for all-round development like Yogāsanās, Karate, etc.
- Students are encouraged to contribute to journal/magazine published by the department.