Kurukshetra University (KU) has completed nine sections of “A word concordance of Mahabharata” - a project aimed at making the Sanskrit epic an easy book for researchers.
The project has been sponsored by the ministry of human resource development (HRD) and was assigned to the university in 1986.
President Pranab Mukherjee will release the latest sections - 7, 8 and 9 - at a national seminar to be organised at the university on April 9.
Talking to Hindustan Times on Thursday, Prof Ranvir Singh of the Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies (ISIS) said it took more than 20 years to complete nine of the total 18 parvas or sections of the epic.
“The concordance project is a research tool supplying alphabetised and grammatically analysed record of every word unit occurring in the full text of all parvas of the Mahabharata. Started in 1986, the project will take another four years to complete,” said Singh, in charge of the project.
He said the critical text of 'Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute', Pune, with nearly 73,000 verses had been taken as the basic text.
“The project will be beneficial to research scholars as they will get segregated minute details from the exhaustive epic presented in the most scientific manner about the Mahabharata, the world's longest epic poem,” he said.
Staff crunch delays project
A six-member team of the Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies is pursuing the long-term concordance work.
“Ten sanctioned posts, including those of faculty members, research associates, librarian and an assistant editor, are lying vacant for years. Had these posts been filled in time, we would have finished the project much earlier,” Prof Singh said.
Plans afoot to digitise data
Prof Ranvir Singh said around seven lakh research cards had been prepared for the convenience of researchers.
To make things more convenient for non-Sanskrit knowing scholars, the research team is simultaneously giving details in English as well.
Also, there is a plan to digitise the data after the completion of the project.