Manuscripts Temple in the Temples City || LIVE IMAGE

 


Refer to anyone about the City of Temples , in the state without batting an eye lid at once anywhere in the Subcontinent .Abrupt response shall come the Jammu Tawi Winter Capital of the state. But very few know that it possesses one of the greatest Storehouse of Sanskrit manuscripts of rarest nature lies now in obscure in the city of Temples . It is now almost a scores of the months passed that while in Delhi for the routine Check Eye up, had a chance to recollect old days of Jammu city and around with one of the acquaint from the State. Deliberating upon various issues, recollecting gone by days, sweet and sour which carry life forward as cherished memories. Continuation of tradition and relevant irrelevant matters. Here in abruptly status of the Sanskrit Library cropped .Presumed this writer lived most of the time nearby must be well acquainted with it. To the utter disbelief of this writer, was quite ignorant about it. What was most surprising that had lived for about close vicinity at City Chowk for decades beside at least once visit the premises daily to pay obeisance to the Place quite ignorant of the Greatest abode of Literature. Back home first thing did visited the Library in the premises of the Ragunath Temple... Except one Lt –Gen Goverdan Singh who was once President Dharmarth Trust, or present officials hardly anybody knew about it even not from the Department of History Jammu University, other institutions beside cross section of the society. So much so even Shopkeepers of Hari Market tenants of the Ragunath Temple, know mostly the temple is constructed by the Maharaja Rambhir Singh and the liberary. What is left here is dedication of lower staff who guard it on petty sum.A painting Raj Ragani, written in Golden letters was stolen, thief found but not retrieved. Dr Karan Singh the Sole Trusty Observed during one of this visit to this library on 4th week of Dec 2017, As This Library represents a unique heritage not only of national but of international scholarship. Its history give back well over a centaury The Dharmath Trust has the proud privilege of his great collection. We must look after it Place of It once boasted to focus Sanskrit students world over posses six thousand Sanskrit manuscript catalogued ‘Credited to any public library of the west” .History in making of one of the best manuscript libraries of” Gods language’ Sanskrit as Stein put on the planet. Credit goes to Late Maharaja Ranbhir Singh as a solid monument of the qualities in his remarkable character for justice, good governance and inculcate the yearn for education and knowledge. Out of 6 thousand books it has only 4 thousand left rest taken away by the people who are called respectable ones. Inquest was conducted how many of the locals know about it and why no interest is taken to keep it to the international standard, which it once was A true follower of Rig Veda which emphasis that let Noble thought come from anywhere. A desire to revive the study of Vedic text in his dominions .which had practically ceased for centuries in the land of Sages. Soon after ascending to the throne of the State of Jammu and Kashmir in 1857. Extensive search began under his orders to procure the original or copies of all Kashmir Sanskrit Works .From anywhere at any cost. Assignment was given to Pandit Rajkaka. Who entrusted his Scholars with the task of to acquire the manuscripts books from all over the India beside neighbouring places. According to Stein “ The beginning was made by Pandit Assanada who by order of Maharaja is reported to have spent Rupees fifteen thousand in procuring the manuscripts. Indicative of the fact his zeal to enlighten not only his subjects but makes it available who seeks it. This led to the formation of the Ragunath Temple Library. Collections belonging to Pandit Goplarama and Pandit Ramama krishna were added. With the death of Pndit Vayasa a distinguished Scholar especially in medical lore in 1869.His widow parted with on consideration the extensive collection of strong in Medical and Kriya texts. Initially manuscripts thus procured were safely stored in the adjustment room where Statue of Rama has been installed. Stein when first visited it in August 1888 found eight thousand manuscript wrapped in cloth as bundles . He rightly called it a Sardh Khana as the store room had neither any provision for natural light to peek in of any sort of ventilation but secured from privy envious eyes .Later on his suggestion to Prince Amar Singh to build the new library in Jammu to house the Sanskrit manuscript collection in a form of a Temple. Access to this

Temple of rarest manuscripts was not a cakes walk for him. He had heard about it from his master George Bhuler, about collection of manuscript in Dogra capital. Under him he did masters Degree in Sanskrit, Persian at Brilin. And Doctor of literature he received from three British universities Oxford, Cambridge and London. And at the age of 23 he was appointed Registrar of University of Lahore beside addition charge of Principal of Orient studies. George Buhler arrived Kashmir on 11 th August 1875 and got an order issued from the Maharaja Ranbir Singh to allow him to search Saharda Manuscript. Armed with a letters of recommendation by the Resident Mr.W.F.Prideaux and State Secretary for the Maharaja for an access to the private library of Sanskrit manuscript of Maharaja Rambir Singh in Ragunath Temple ,Jammu. Was grated subject and asked his to describe his farher’s treasure and the state of European Sanskrit studies. Discourse should be in Sanskrit and recite Vedic verses from the books printed in Europe. An audience was given in an open Darbar with the Maharaja Partap Singh Stein was given a seat on the right side and Prince Amar Singh to the left.Maharaja had summoned the twelve most learned Pandits including Pandit Damodar, Pandit Govind Kaul, Pandit Sahaz Bha from kashmir, Pandit Gokulachandra from jammu, Pandit Harijalal from Jaiput and Pandit Bhaskra the Royal priest. Afte half an hour the audience was over .Maharaja was pleased and Guards fired a salute to him. After winning confidence and permission the high priest of the temple was upset at the desecration of the treasure entrusted to him. Stein master of protocol manipulated the process of officialdom and struck a good report with the priest. After examining the treasure he was of the opinion that this should be accessible for research. With the help of the new Resident Mr R.Paarrey Nisbet he submitted a plan for the preparation of

systematic Standard catalogue of manuscripts. State council by a resolution dated October 19, 1889 approved the plan and entrusted him the work. He was aware that similar cataloguing to Sanskrit

manuscript has already been carried by Professor Weber’s Catalogue of Chamber’s Manuscripts of Indian Office’s Manuscripts Oxford , Dr Brunel’s Classified Index, Professor Aufrecht and Dr Eggeling at Berlin, Oxford and Peterson. He sought and got the services of two Kashmiri Pandit scholars Pandit Govind Kaul and Pandit Shaz Bhat of Srinagar. whose knowledge and scholarly qualification he knew from their assistance I on working on Rajtranghni. Six copyists were placed at their disposal. The preparation commenced on in December 1889 and completed it in 1894.. Stein did pay a visit on December 18,1940 fifty half a century after cataloguing the manuscript. And found well

preserved till then. A few years back an offer had come as told to bring it in the Heritage status of the Libraries in the World which was turned down by the management headed by Dr Karan Singh a beacon of knowledge but to maintain the treasure leave much to be desired. It could be made international study centre. A project has been undertaken for some time with dedication to digitalise the left over manuscripts, by one Mr Pandey from Malaysia, which seem out perturbing beside why 2000 rich manuscript are not being retrieved who have taken them is duly recorded. Some of them has been taken away to the Dogra Art Gallery subject to verification. Many rich paintings artefacts are tucked away in trunks. Basic principle of a Library is it should be open for 24/7 and no book allowed to be taken out. Hastily adding staff gives best within resources

 

(Feedback at: blparimoo@gmail.com)


 By- Bushan Parimoo

 

( the author is jammu based Environmentalist)


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