Mysore Oriental Research Institute
By Swami Harshananda
The Mahārāja (king) of the erstwhile Mysore State was a staunch admirer and follower of religious values of life. He was the founder of this Oriental Institute in A. D. 1891. It was then known as ‘Oriental Library’. Its centenary was celebrated in December 1990.
When the University of Mysore was established in A. D. 1916, the Institute was placed under its jurisdiction. A committee of very eminent scholars started managing its library and the associated activities. The year A. D. 1909 has been cherished in its annals since Dr. R. Shama Sastri (Śyāmāśāstri) (A. D. 1868-1944) discovered, edited and published the hitherto unknown treatise, the Arthaśāstra of Kauṭilya (400 B. C.) for the first time.
Starting with the publication of the Āpastambasutra (with the commentary of Sudarśanācārya) in A. D. 1893, and the Ādipurāna (in Kannada) of the great poet Pampa (A. D. 941) the institution has so far brought out a very large number of books both in Sanskrit and in Kannada. By A. D. 1979, 127 Sanskrit books had been published. Three descriptive catalogs have so far been prepared of the manuscripts in its possession.
- The Institute is concentrating mainly on the collection of valuable manuscripts of treatises in Sanskrit and Kannada, preserving them and publishing some of them in due course.
- At present the Institute has 66,000 manuscripts, with arrangements for microfilming them.
- It has 25,000 printed books also in various Indian languages in it's library.
- It provides a good scope for research work also in the field of Oriental studies.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore