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Vishveshvaranand Vishwa Bandhu Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies

About Vishveshvaranand Vishwa Bandhu Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies

 

Location of the Institute
Hoshiarpur (Punjab, INDIA), known for the ancient scripture Bhrigu Samhita and known as the city of Saints, is proud of housing such a world acclaimed Institution of Vedic Researches and Sanskrit Education. This Institution is situated in the eastern part of the town on the National Highway leading to Una & Nangal. The natural surroundings of vast green fields skirted with the high shady trees grown on the foot hill of Shivalik ranges. The peaceful and pious environment enchanted with devout learning multiplies the suitability of the campus for Academic and Cultural activities.

Background of the Institute
In 1903 A.D., two Sannyasins Swami Vishveshvaranand (on whose name the Institute got its nomenclature) and Swami Nityanand launched a project of preparing Word Indices to the four principal Vedic Samhita and ultimately a lexicon of the same texts at Simla. By 1910 A.D. they were able to publish the Word Indices of the Rigveda Samhita (Sakala recession), the Yajurveda Samhita (Madhyandina recension), the Samaveda Samhita (Kauthuma recension), and the Atharvaveda Samhita (Saunaka recension). A great set back to the project was Svami Nityanand's passing away in 1914 A.D. After his demise, Svami Vishveshvaranand, anyhow, persued the project till 1918 A.D at Simla and thereafter till 1923 A.D. at Indore. But he found it very difficult to pursue the project further. In the year1923 he shifted from Indore to Lahore, the main centre of Sanskrit and Indological Studies in those days,. There, Swami Vishveshvaranand met Acharya Vishva Bandhu, a young erudite scholar, who was then working as the Principal of the Dayanand Brahma Mahavidyalaya, established under the management of D.A.V. College Trust and Management Society. Swami Ji decided to place the burden of this project on the young shoulders of Acharya Ji, who acceded to the request. After handing over the project to Acharya Vishva Bandhu, Svami Ji felt a sigh of relief. After a few days he departed from the scene.

In the sacred memory of Swami Vishveshvaranand Ji, Acharya Vishva Bandhu established an institution, named as Vishveshvaranand Vedic Research Institute, at Lahore on 1.1.1924. The aim of this Institute was chiefly to complete the mission of Swami Vishveshvaranand Ji and to conduct researches in Vedic Lexicography and Textual editing of unpublished rare works of Indology, so as to facilitate the researchers with new publications and thus widening the horizons of Ancient Indian Culture. Acharya Ji was the first Founder-Director of the Institute and this position he held till his demise on 1.8.1973. Under his stewardship, the Institute made a considerable progress. Ten years later, in 1934 A.D., the D.A.V. College Management committee placed its Lal Chand Library and the Research Department under the charge of Acharya Vishva Bandhu. The scholars like Pt. Bhagavaddatta, Shri Hans Raj and many others came to assist Acharya Ji in successfully carrying the research projects undertaken by the Institute. Due to the efficient guidance of Acharya Vishva Bandhu Ji and devoted labour of the team of his associates, like Pt. Bhim Dev Shastri, Pt. Amar Nath Shastri, Pt. Pitamber Datt Shastri, Pt. Surya Narain Shastri, and so on, the Institute was able to carry forward its several research projects including the preparation of an exhaustive Vedic Word Concordance and a critical edition of the North-Western recension of the Ramayana of sage Valmiki.

In August, 1947, on the occasion of India.s position the Institute faced a terrible crisis. The Pakistan Government imposed a strict ban on the transfer of the reference Library, manuscripts, publications and academic records of the Institute to India. At this critical juncture putting their life in great danger, Acharya Ji and his associates managed to bring the entire academic and administrative record, as well as the huge reference-cum-manuscript library of the Institute to India, in extremely difficult and dangerous circumstances.

Coming to India, Acharya Ji re-established the Institute at its present premises known as Sadhu Ashram, Hoshiarpur, donated by Shri Dhani Ram Bhalla. In November 1947, the Institute re-started its functioning and in no time expanded its activities both in the matter of research and publications. Besides, the great Vedic Research Series, which had commenced in 1935 at Lahore, the Institute started several new publication series among which mention may be made of Vishveshvaranand Indological Research Series (1950), Woolner Indological Series (1960) and Nityananda Series (1960).

The Vishva Jyoti, a literary cultural monthly in Hindi was started in March 1952, the Vishva Sahitya, a multi-lingual monthly was started in 1959, the Vishveshvaranand Indological Journal (VIJ), the research organ of the Institute, was started in March 1963, and the Vishva Sankritam, a Sanskrit quarterly was started in September 1963. The Institute also re-started its press in the new campus at Hoshiarpur, so as to cater the needs of the publications.

To boost the manuscriptological research activities in general, and with a particular view to transliterating manuscripts written in South Indian scripts, such as Malayalam, Telugu, etc. in Devanagari script, the Panjab University established in the Institute its Devanagari Transcription Department in 1956. In 1959, at the suggestion of the Panjab University, the Institute started a post-graduate Sanskrit Teaching Department, and thus, got also the status of an affiliated college of the Panjab University.

By the end of June 1965, the Institute was able to complete and publish its magnum-opus, viz., the 16-volumes Vedic Word Concordance, which was the result of several years' labour on a universal vocabulary register, with complete references and critical notes bearing on Vedic phonology, accent, etymology, morphology, grammar, metre and text criticism, in respect of over 1,25,000 vocables, in about 11,000 pages (1935-65)

Foreseeing the financial difficulties increasing day-by-day, Acharya Vishva Bandhu.s mind started working on the idea of handing over all the academic departments of the VVRI to the Panjab University, with a view to giving stability to the Institute. Towards the beginning of 1965, the Panjab University also made a proposal, that the latter would be responsible for the maintenance and development of the Institute as its main centre for Sanskrit learning and Indological Studies. The terms and conditions of take-over were finalized and agreed upon, and became effective from 1st July, 1965.

Take over of the Institute by the Panjab University
As a result of take-over of all the academic departments of the VVRI by the Panjab University on 1.7.1965, a new Institution under the name Vishveshvaranand Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies (VIS&IS) with Acharya Vishva Bandhu as its first Honorary Director, came into being. After the demise of Acharya Ji on 1st August, 1973, the Panjab University renamed the Institute as: "Vishveshvaranand Vishva-Bandhu Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies" (VVBIS&IS), in recognition of the meritorious services rendered by him to the Institute for making it an Institution of world-fame.

 
 

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