[Advaita-l] Tampering of ancient texts.

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Mon Dec 12 23:41:16 CST 2011

Dear Sharmaji,

Permit to draw the attention of yours and the other members to the following facts and you can draw your own conclusion as to how effective the preparation of the critical editions have been and whether it caused harm to the ancient texts or done any good. 

Dr Sukhtankar, the Chief editor of the Critical edition of the Mahabharata (BORI project) was instrumental giving the guidelines as to the criteria to be adopted in including (ie.retaining) and  excluding (ie.removing) the verses. Before his death Dr. Sukhtankar went to Asiatic Society in Bombay (Mumbai) to deliver a four-part series of lecture on the Mahabharata. He delivered three parts of that on three consecutive days and he passed away in the morning of the fourth day before he could deliver the fourth part. After his death the Asiatic Society brought out the Four-prt lecture in the form of a small book with an editorial comment, where the Editor lamented that in the lecture Dr. Sukhtankar negated all the editorial policies, which he held during the preparation of the Critical edition and he (Dr. Sukhtankar)  validated many of the discarded verses. 

However the damage was already done.


Sunil KB

 From: D.V.N.Sarma డి.వి.ఎన్.శర్మ <dvnsarma at gmail.com>
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> 
Sent: Monday, December 12, 2011 9:10 PM
Subject: [Advaita-l] Tampering of ancient texts.
Critically editing the ancient texts is necessary and a number of
ancient texts have been critically edited. BORI Mahabharata and
Baroda Ramayana are examples of such critical editions. In these
editions if a portion is removed because the editors consider it as
extrapolated, they mention it and give the portion removed separately
for future reference.

But lately I am aware that some publishers including some reputed ones
are simply omitting certain passages because they think that they reflect
badly on hinduism. This is a silly and futile attempt because most of our
ancient texts are available in their full form in libraries
of western countries
and we will only be exposing our weakness and academic dishonesty. I think
this is a very important issue and the members of this forum should express
their opinions about this.

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