Sunday, 5 February 2017

Epilogue of Marathi Mahabharat Reprinted After A Century

श्रीमन्महाभारताचे मराठी सुरस भाषांतर उपसंहार या ग्रंथाचा भाग १० वा

लेखक चिंतामण विनायक वैद्य

A Pune publisher has created a history of sorts this week. He brought out the second edition of 
श्रीमन्महाभारताचे मराठी सुरस भाषांतर उपसंहार या ग्रंथाचा भाग १० वा: लेखक चिंतामण विनायक वैद्य  the Epilogue of Shri ManMahabharatat a function at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) that also has completed its existence of a century.
The Shri ManMahabharat  was published as a nine volume set beginning with the first one brought out in the year 1904.
The उपसंहार (epilogue) volume was authored by the late Mr Chintaman Vinayak Vaidya at the instance of Lokmanya Tilak who had by then brought out his critique on Mahabharat, titled Geetarahasya. The late Mr Vaidya was a renowned scholar and a disciple of the Lokmanya who conferred him the honorary title of Bharatacharya. He was the Chief Justice of the then Gwalior princely state of the British rule. He took it as an honour when the Lokmanya entrusted him with the task of writing an epilogue of Mahabharata.

The speakers at the launch of the second edition, Prof. Sadanand More and Prof. Shrikant Bahulkar, the honorary Secretary of the BORI, lauded the Bharatacharya for the pains he took to  study the voluminous text of the nine volumes. They pointed out that the critical edition of the Mahabharata was not brought out during that period when the Bharatacharya began the work of the Upsanhar. The nine volumes were already published by the publisher Ganesh Vishnu Chiplunkar by 1912.

The Bharatacharya took up the assignment to bring out the conclusion (epilogue) of the nine-volume 
श्रीमन्महाभारताचे मराठी सुरस भाषांतर. He studied over one lakh ovis and wrote last, the tenth, chapter of the work. Within four years the manuscript was ready. The Mahabharat scholars of today find it difficult to believe that a single scholar could produce such a mammoth work within such a short period. This was at a time when the modern tools of research for oriental studies, and the compter-aided writing/editing tools like desktop publishing were not available.

The speakers and other veterans like Mr Wa. La. Manjul, lauded the painstaking efforts of Mr. Gulab Sapkal, the Founder Director of the Prafullata Prakashan, that brought out the volume, released now. For him, this 1032-page book was a mission and not a commercial proposition. He decided to bring out the volume as this was a very important publication for the scholars and lay readers of Mahabharat. He had to spend a considerable time and energy, and money, even to procure a copy of the volume that had remained out of print for several decades and begin work. He retained the text without any addition, except a colour map of Bharatvarsh during the period of the Mahabharat. In addition, the new volume includes a colour family tree of the Chandrawansh.
It was a stupendous effort indeed. What struck me more was that Mr. Gulab Sapkal does not belong to the contemporary book publishers who could invest a fortune into such a publication. For him, profit or loss was not a consideration. He is a retired school teacher with a passion for work on the ecology of the Western Ghats. He has published over a hundred Marathi titles on topics such as history, adventure, education, science. 

His contact details:
Mr. Gulab Sapkal
Prafullata Prakashan

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