Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
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Dr. Parameswara Aithal

Dr. Parameswara Aithal

Ehrenmitglied des SAI


I. Vedic studies: Auxiliary studies

Short description: Vedic texts are the most important research areas of Indology and are often regarded as one of the bases of Indian culture. There are numerous auxiliary texts on the phonology, grammar, diacritics, pronunciation and recitation, which are indispensable for the critical understanding of Vedic texts and their schools. Many of these texts have not yet or merely insufficiently been published, and there are hardly texts which have been edited according to modern methodology. The aim of this project is to collect and critically edit different texts on the basis of several hand-written manuscripts from various libraries in India and in Europe. Since Dr. Aithal has compiled a descriptive bibliography, he is in the position of selecting and procuring manuscripts suitable for the edition envisaged. A first result of the compilation of these manuscripts has been the PhD dissertation written by a doctoral student of the Department of Indology comprising the edition, translation and interpretation of two selected Siksa-manuscripts. The aim of the project is to edit a larger number of manuscripts of Vedic auxiliary studies, which would otherwise be lost, and thus to make them accessible to Vedic studies.

II. Sanskrit manuscripts in European libraries

Short description: There are a large number of Sanskrit manuscripts in European libraries which have not yet been systematically classified. In Great Britain, for example, there are at present approximately between 15,000 and 20,000 Sanskrit manuscripts with no published catalogues available. Since 1988, Dr. Aithal is participating in a project of cataloguing about 7,000 Sanskrit manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford University. In Germany, there is, since 1962, a project of cataloguing the Sanskrit manuscripts within the "Cataloguing of the Oriental Manuscripts" (Katalog der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland; Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen und Staatsbibliothek Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin). The most important part of the project will be to compile a comprehensive descriptive catalogue of manuscripts available in Indian and European libraries. A preliminary work has already been published: AITHAL, K.P.: VEDA LAKSANA - Vedic Ancillary Literature. A descriptive Bibliography. Stuttgart: Steiner, 1991, pp. ii, 725. The catalogue contains the description of ca. 1,600 works. The introduction to this catalogue provides comprehensive information on the importance of the manuscript collections. The aim of the project is to collect as much information as possible on manuscripts lying in European libraries.

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