Pune, 25th September 2022: An Open Day program of ‘An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Sanskrit on Historical Principles’ was organized on Saturday, 24th September 2022, by the Department of Sanskrit and Lexicography of Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute (Deemed University), Pune.
This program was a golden opportunity for the students, teachers, researchers, and the public to witness the expanse of this huge Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Sanskrit and to understand the working of such a unique project. The program received an overwhelming response of more than 700 registrations and many on-the-spot registrations. People were amazed to see the working of such a monumental Dictionary.
The program was inaugurated by Prof. Pramod Pandey, Vice-Chancellor, and Prof. Prasad Joshi, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Deccan College ( Deemed University). On this occasion, Dr Pandey said that with the emphasis and encouragement of Sanskrit in the New Education Policy, this Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Sanskrit plays a significant role, and it needs to be used by people.
This Open Day program was aimed to introduce this unique Encyclopaedia of Sanskrit to the common public and to demonstrate and promote India’s intellectual heritage hidden in Sanskrit Literature, said Dr Prasad Joshi while welcoming all the visitors.
This Open Day program was organized for the first time after many years to make people aware of such an extraordinary project. An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Sanskrit is the world’s biggest Dictionary which is an ongoing project at the Department of Sanskrit and Lexicography at Deccan College. Shaped by the vision of Dr Sumitra Katre, a renowned Linguist and Sanskritist, this Dictionary consists of references from 62 knowledge disciplines encoded in the Sanskrit language. From 1943 to 1973, Sanskrit scholars and Shastris from the country extracted millions of words spread over 1500 Sanskrit books. Over 10 million references containing these words from the texts of Vedas, Vedanta, Darsana, Polity, Mathematics, Agriculture, Chemistry, Architecture, Dramaturgy, and many others were collected and stored in the form of slips in the Scriptorium, one of such kind in the country and the world. The participants got a golden opportunity to see the Scriptorium and various slips stored therein.
In 1976, under the editorship of Dr A. M. Ghatge, a distinguished linguist, the first volume of this monumental dictionary was published. So far, 35 volumes of this dictionary spread across 6,000 pages have been published, and the 36th volume is under publication.
Visitors also visited the editorial hall and witnessed the process of dictionary making, the steps involved in the meaning analysis of various words, and the library. On this occasion, all the 35 volumes of this dictionary, along with the other books published by the Department of Sanskrit and Lexicography, were made available to purchase.
Dr Bhav Sharma, the Secretary of the Encyclopaedic Dictionary, conveyed that the dictionary will soon be made available online, and a special website for the Dictionary will be launched soon.
The response from Pune, Sangamner, Satara, Solapur, Mumbai, and Nashik showed love, respect, and curiosity about Sanskrit among the people, said Sanhita Joshi, the Coordinator of the program. The program received positive feedback from visitors from all fields, such as students, teachers, engineers, businessmen, housewives, and others. The program was a success due to the collective efforts of all the Staff of the Dictionary, said Prof. Joshi, who is also the General Editor(I/c) of the Dictionary.