Sootea, Biswanath, Assam, India
Name of the Book: Puratan Prabha
Name of the author: Dr. Dhundi Raj Upadhyaya
Name of the publisher: Bagamrit Sanskrit Sahitya Samiti
Genre: Article collection in Nepali
Year of publication: 2020
Available: May contact: 91-8638082147.
About the author:
Dr. Dhundiraj Upadhyaya was born on December 12, 1987 at Gamiripal; Jamugurihat under Sonitpur district of Assam. He is the youngest son of Late Khemraj Upadhyaya and Buddhimati Devi. He has started his literary carrier with publication of Nepali one act drama collection ‘Yatra’ in 2008. Dr. Dhundiraj has published five books so far namely ‘Sath Bibhuti’ (collection of essays in English, 2014), ‘Mishrabatika’ (collection of multilingual essays, 2015), ‘Madhuram’ (collection of multilingual essays, 2017), ‘Basundhara Tum Ho Ananya’ (collection of translated Hindi poems, 2019). Dr. Upadhyaya has edited various research based magazines and journals till the date. His well-known edited magazines include ‘Gyandarshika’, ‘Pragya’, ‘Bagamrit’, ‘Baibhav’ etc. Dr. Dhundi is a multilingual writer who writes equally in English, Hindi, Sanskrit, Nepali and Assamese language. He was conferred PhD degree by the Assam University; Silchar for his thesis ‘Student code of conduct in Smriti literature with special reference to the Manusamhita: Contemporary relevance’ in 2017.
About the Book:
‘Puratan Prabha’ is a collection of eight research based essays in Nepali language. Many of the articles are confined to the Vedas, Upanishads, Vedangas, scriptures, dramatic art and literature, teacher pupil relations, Indian philosophy and mythological and cultural rituals or process of acculturation, our heritage etc. The author is seen analyzing rich Indian cultural heritage and tries to pursue the general readers about our dignified and worldly recognized value of Indian scriptures and cultural richness.
The first article of the collection is ‘Veda: Sankhipta Parichay’ meaning ‘Veda: an introduction’. As we all know that there four Vedas namely Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sam Veda and Atharba Veda. The author is seen tracing the origin, source and its value and influence in human life. The writer has explained all pros and cons of Veda and Upanishad in the first text. The title of the second article is ‘Mukhya Upanishadharu: Parichayatmak Adhyan’ which means ‘an introduction to Upanishads’. As we know that Upanishads are the ending part of Vedas that’s why it also known as ‘Vedanta’. The central objective of Upanishad revolves round with the subject of ‘supreme soul’ and ‘self’. There are ten Upanishads, namely: ‘Ishopanishad’, ‘Kenopanishad’,‘Kathopanishad’,‘Prashnopanishad’,‘Mundokapanishad’, ‘Mandukyopanishad’,‘Teiteriyopanishad’,‘Aitariyopanishad’,‘Chhandagyopanishad’, ‘Brihadaranyakopanishad’. Dr. Dhundi Raj has forwarded an introduction of each Upanishads separately for better understanding of common readers. The third article of the collection is ‘Vedangaharu’ which means the parts or limbs of the Veda. There are six limbs of Vedas, they are ‘Siksha’, ‘Kalpa’, ‘Nirukta’, ‘Byakaran’, ‘Chhanda’, and ‘Jyotish’. He has provided an introduction to each sub-section of Veda parts separately. ‘Siksha’ is that scripture of the Veda where the rules of phonological use of the Vedic Mantras are quoted. ‘Kalpa’ is like hands of a man which perform action. The Vedic scripture which states about performing rituals is known as Kalpa. Kalpa has more four sub-sections. ‘Byakaran’ is the Vedic grammar. Like way, ‘Nirukta’ is that Vedic scripture where the etymological history of the Vedic terms are quoted. ‘Chhanda’ is the Vedic meter of writing style. Similarly, ‘Jyotish’ is the Vedic astronomy. ‘Dharma Shastra: Sankhipta Parichay’ is the forth article of the collection which means an introduction to the religious scriptures. During the course of discussion, the author has mentioned twenty religious script writers of ancient times namely Manu, Atri, Bishnu, Harit, Yagnyabalka, Ushan, Angira, Yama, Aapstambha, Sangwarta, Katyayan, Brihaspati, Parashar, Byasha, Sankha, Likhita, Daksha, Goutam, Shatatap, Basistha. The writer is seen tracing the origin, source and objectives of religious scriptures writing. The fifth article is ‘Hamro NatyaKala ra Puratan Shrot’ meaning dramatic art and ancient flow. Here, he describes about the origin of dramatic art and finally concludes that Vedas are the mother of all dramatic art. India is the birth place of dramatization. By the side of this article, the author has discussed about the history of Nepali drama with special emphasis to Assam which seems irrelevant to the article concerned. The inclusion of this part has hampered the title of the book which itself has been claiming as a ‘Puratan’. ‘Guru Sishya Parampara: Ek Sangkhiptavas’ meaning teacher-pupil relationship has been included as sixth article in the text. We are familiar that ancient education system of India had a deep and lasting bond between teacher (guru) and pupil (sishya). In this article, the author has cited many examples of cordial relationship between teacher-pupil. He shows great concern over the gradual declination of that bonding in present day society. The title of the seventh article of the book is ‘Bharatiya Darshan’ which means Indian Philosophy. The narrator states that there are two types of Indian philosophy namely theistic and atheistic. Theistic has six sub-categories namely- ‘Nyay’, ‘Boishasik’, ‘Mimangsha or Purba Mimangsha’, ‘Shangkhya’, ‘Yoga’ and ‘Bedanta’.Like way atheistic has three categories namely- ‘Buddhist philosophy’, ‘Jainism’, ‘Charbak philosophy’. The last and eighth article is ‘Hamra Sodhasa Sanskarharu’ meaning our sixteen sacraments. So far Indian life style and culture is concerned, there are sixteen sacraments in almost every Indian society. They are ‘Garbhadhan Sanskar’ (Conception), ‘Pungsaban’ (quickening a child), ‘Simantonnayan’ (Hair parting), ‘Jat karma’ (Birth Ceremony), ‘Nam Karan or Nwaran’ (Naming ceremony of anew born child),’Nishkraman’ (First Outing), ‘Annaprashan’ (First feeding), ‘Chudakaran’ (Tonsure), ‘Karnabedh’ (Bring the ears), ‘Bidyarambha’ (Learning of alphabet), ‘Upanayan or Bratabandha’ (Ceremony of procurement of sacred thread), ‘Vedarambha’ (the beginning of the Vedic study), ‘Keshanta or Godan’ (the shaving of beard), ‘Samabartan or Snan’ (End of studentship), ‘Bibah’ (marriage ceremony) and ‘Antesti’ (Funeral rituals).
The author has tried his level best to compile this collection. His depth of knowledge can be sensed easily from reading of the book. The central objective of writing the book is to make aware the general reader about the rich cultural heritage of India. Many a time Indian people are seen following the west blindly whereas the west has acknowledged the value of Indian Vedas and Upanishads and Indian philosophy. Principle of look east has well been maintained. But the grammatical side and spelling part are ignored in the book. The charm of reading the book seen lost due to spelling mistakes. Secondly, the inclusion of history part of modern Nepali drama rejects the claim of the title. Finally, the book is a good introductory book for new readers who wish to know and learn about Vedic literature.
(Freelance Journalist, Author: Samar Dalani, Sootea, Biswanath, Assam: 784175, Phone: 7002702268)