Indore: Shrimad Bhagvad that almost reached scrap dealers - Hindustan Times
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Indore: Shrimad Bhagvad that almost reached scrap dealers

Hindustan Times | By, Indore
Nov 07, 2014 08:53 PM IST

Over a century-old handwritten Shrimad Bhagvad, one of the most important Hindu texts, would have been lost to scrap dealers had Dhar's Dev family not visited Indore Sanskrit College in 2005.

Over a century-old handwritten Shrimad Bhagvad, one of the most important Hindu texts focusing on devotion to Lord Krishna, would have been lost to scrap dealers had Dhar's Dev family not visited Indore Sanskrit College in 2005.

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Late Pandit Bapurao Dev, who delivered religious discourses on Shrimad Bhagvad in neighbouring Dhar district till 1950s, possessed the sacred Sanskrit text hand written on hand made paper given to him by his late guru who died in the early 20th century.

Since Bapurao Dev's sons and grandsons were not interested in Sanskrit treasure they possessed, they wanted to give it to scrap dealer or immerse in the Narmada which flows through Dhar district.

It was by chance that one of the family members who came to Indore contacted the guest lecturer at Indore Sanskrit College Suresh Chaturvedi who agreed to preserve it.

"It is part of India's invaluable hand-written literary treasure in Sanskrit which still survives. An error-free manuscript, it's a masterpiece of calligraphy. Imagine the labour that has gone into writing over 500 pages with hand," said Chaturvedi's guru Swami Siyavallabhdasji Maharaj, 75, at whose insistence the former went to Dhar and brought home the manuscript.

"Dev family gave it for free along with other Sanskrit books," Chaturvedi told HT. According to Chaturvedi, the hand-written Shrimad Bhagvad he possesses is one of the few copies left in central India. The entire manuscript is in Sanskrit including the shlokas. However, the person who copied it by hand is unknown.

Along with the manuscript are handwritten Sanskrit commentary on Shrimad Bhagvad and Purush Sukt (vedic text) which is dated Vikram Sanvat 1942. The current year is Vikram Sanvat 2071, which means Purush Sukt commentary and is 129-year old.

"The commentary pages are new compared to those of Shrimad Bhagvad. It means that this hand written Shrimad Bhagvad is older than 129-year old Purush sukt commentary," said Chaturvedi, who is a PhD in Sanskrit.

Explaining its importance, Swami Siyavallabhdasji Maharaj, an alumni of Vishva Bharti University (Shantiniketan), said hand-written Indian scripts are invaluable because they were penned in difficult times amidst foreign rule, poverty and deprivation. "But they had indomitable spirit to preserve the rich legacy," he remarked. Shrimad Bhagvad is first Hindu purana to have been translated in European languages. Its French translation first appeared from 1840 to 1857.

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