About the Book
Vedamrtabindavah (Drops of Vedic Nectar) is a modest tribute to those who are genuinely interested in Vedas' universal message. It is a collection of select Vedic statements with Hindi and English translations intending to communicate the Vedic wisdom to the young people of modem age. This book, with fairly accurate translations from Vedic Sanskrit, aims to acquaint the modem readers with their most ancient, richest literary heritage so that they can comprehend its worth and bring value to their life.
In spite of numerous translations available, this volume has some novelty in its content and freshness in its presentation, and stands witness to the fact that in representing Vedas, there still exist infinite possibilities.
About the Author
Prof. Dr Shashiprabha Kumar is currently the Vice-Chancellor of Sanchi University of Buddhist-Indic Studies, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Formerly, she has been Chairperson, Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and Vice- Chairperson, Delhi Sanskrit Academy, Delhi.
She had also been nominated as a member of the Second Sanskrit Commission by Government of India and convenor of Sutra Smrti and Sastra Section by the International Association of Sanskrit Studies (lASS) for 16th World Sanskrit Conference held in Bangkok, Thailand (2015).
Recipient of President's Certificate of Honour in Sanskrit (2014), Prof. Kumar has won many more awards and acclamations in her distinguished academic career. She has been teaching Sanskrit and Indian Philosophy for more than forty-three years and has twenty-five books and about one hundred and twenty research papers to her credit. More than fifty scholars have earned their PhD and MPhil under the guidance of Prof. Shashiprabha Kumar.
I had the privilege of going through Vedamrtabindavah, a collection of select sayings from the Vedas that propound some fundamental truth or the other. The term Veda with its derivation based on vid (to know), vid jnane would make it a repository of knowledge of all kinds, Sarvajnanamayo Vedah. A compiler who goes about his/her task of tracing words of wisdom from Vedic literature finds it rather onerous, there being an enormous number of them requiring on his/her part all the diligence, patience and perseverance. This would go up manifold if he/ she were also to give their translation, not in one but in two languages, one Indian and the other foreign with their varied dictions. The Vedic language being very old, one attempting to translate the Vedic mantras or parts thereof would have to be called upon to undertake yet another onerous task of interpretation of Vedic words about which there could be, as indeed there is, vast difference of opinion among interpreters, there having developed schools of interpreters in days of yore as testified by Saunaka in his Brnaddevata who refers to them as historians, or etymologists or inheritors of the age-old traditionalists, ity Aitihasikah, iti Nairuktah, iti Pauranikah or of the medieval period like Sayana and Venkatamadhava and those of the modern one like Kapali Shastry and Dayananda Sarasvati among Indians, and Wilson, Peterson, Karl Geldner, Paul Thieme and a host of others among the Westerners.
It is to the credit of Prof. Shashiprabha Kumar that she successfully faced the pressures of these onerous tasks and presented the readers with a fine and comprehensive collection of vedic sayings with fairly accurate translations Hindi an English with a view to, communicate the wisdom to the people of the modem period as effectively as possible who need this more than ever, beset as they are with problems disturbing enough. To revisit our past is indeed the need of the hour. We have to get connected with it to discover our moorings. The ancient sages and seers had wisdom revealed to them and they in all compassion passed it on to successive generations moulding their thought and actions. It is unfortunate that, somewhere in between, this tradition of transmitting the revealed knowledge got snapped. The generations it is more true of the modem generation - that followed, lost this wisdom. It is time the tradition is revived. It is not necessary to do it through the ancient medium. That simply would not be possible. Even classical Sanskrit is getting unintelligible now. What then one is to say of the Vedic Sanskrit with its plethora of archaic form that had started raising hackles in the very ancient period itself, the "raison d'etre of compiling the lexica of Vedic words, the Nighantus, as they are called, if the authorities like Yaska were to be believed. Since the Vedic wisdom has to be transmitted to modem India or for that matter modem society everywhere, to connect it with its moorings to rediscover the panacea for its ills, it is necessary to put it in the modem expression to make it available to modem man.
With this voyage of rediscovery and the findings that go with it, the present compiler has attempted in this volume with the noble intent to pass Vedic sayings on to the modern generation that needs them the most. Prof. Shashiprabha kumar deserves the warmest plaudits for attempting the noble task with clinical precision. I have every hope that her work will receive warm welcome not only of scholars but also of people at large.
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|Foreword-Satya Vrat Shastri
|Key of Transliteration
|Index in Sanskrit
|Index in Roman