New Delhi: HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Thursday strongly batted for inclusion of contemporary concepts into old Sanskrit texts on various subjects including science and medicines to widen the language's scope and make them relevant and useful in the present day situations.
   
Addressing the 15th World Sanskrit Conference, Sibal called for a a "little introspection" on the issue while noting that the study of the rich and vast Sanskrit texts on these subjects has not been continued in the present era.
   
"We all recognise that works in Sanskrit had greatly contributed to subjects like astronomy, astrology, economics, political science, ethics, logic, philosophy architecture, Ayurveda, Botany, Zoology, Physiology to name a few. These were subjects in themselves, which is quite different from studying of Sanskrit language per se.
   
"However, the study of the rich and vast Sanskrit texts on these subjects has not been continued in the present era, as it is more convenient and up-to-date to study them through English," the minister said.
   
Sibal said that in order to ensure that the study of Sanskrit is utilised to protect and expand the knowledge of the different subjects, it will be necessary that the old Sanskrit texts on these subjects are supplemented by bringing in the present concepts and advances in these subjects to them.
   
"Here, therefore, comes the role of Sanskrit scholars and institutions teaching Sanskrit. To the study of Sanskrit, they must follow the hidden past knowledge of the subject and make the students conscious and capable of simultaneously studying the advances in these subjects. Then only the knowledge of Sanskrit can be widened and made relevant and
useful to the present day situations," the minister said.

Noting that Sanskrit is an ocean from which gems and pearls of knowledge and wisdom can be harvested by churning it, Sibal drew the analogy of the mythological 'Amritamanthana' for conflict resolution in modern world.
   
"I believe that the allegory of Amritamanthana has become more relevant in today's world from another perspective too. It teaches us how to resolve conflicting interests for a common purpose or a mission and I am confident that this percept is as much valid in the field of politics as it is to the academic and scholastic fields," he said.
   
Sibal hoped that intermingling of scholars and deliberations of the conference will go a long way towards global understanding and sustenance of Sanskrit studies in the world.
   
About a thousand scholars from India and two hundred from other countries joined the conference.
   
Sibal attributed the unity amidst diversity within India to Sanskrit. He said that not only the Indian government but other countries are also promoting Sanskrit and cited Mauritius that passed a bill for Spoken Sanskrit in June 2011. "While Sanskrit studies are pursued at collegiate level in many countries, some of the schools in England and New
Zealand have recently made provisions for including Sanskrit in their curriculum at primary and secondary school levels too.
   
"A Sanskrit rock band Shanti Shanti in USA has released their sixth album titled "Veda" containing shlokas from all the four Vedas. Recently, a renowned pop singer in China too has been singing hymns in Sanskrit," Sibal noted.
   
He hoped that the synergistic dialogue and collaboration emerging from the conference can help to usher in the much needed vigour and dynamism in revival of interest and study of Sanskrit.

(Agencies)