Vishveshvaranand Vishvabandhu Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies
By Swami Harshananda
Two sarfinyāsins, Svāmis Viśveśvarā- nanda and Nityānanda, launched a project at Simla (now in Himachal Pradesh) in A. D. 1903 to prepare word-indices for the four principal Vedic Saxhhitās. After the passing away of Svāmi Nityānanda and after changing the place ultimately to Lahore (now in Pakistan) in A. D. 1923, Svāmi Viśveśvarānanda handed over the work and the project to Ācārya Viśva- bandhu.
By now, only the word-indices had been brought out and work had begun on a Vedic lexicon. The Ācārya expanded the scope of the work and finally succeeded in publishing the Vedic Word Concordance in five volumes (subdivided into sixteen parts) running into 11,000 pages, in A. D. 1965.
The Institute was originally known as ‘The Vishveshvaranand Vedic Research Institute’ (at Sadhu Ashram). The Punjab University took it over in A. D. 1965 and renamed it as ‘The Vishveshvaranand Vishvabandhu Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies’ (WBIS & IS).
The Institute then took up the huge dictionary project. As projected, it was to deal with 80,000 basic homonymic entries with 25 lakhs of textual references. After receiving the reactions of various scholars to the specimen fascicule, the project was bifurcated into two streams, the former being renamed as A Comparative and Critical Dictionary of Vedic Interpretation.
An Academic Committee was formed in A.D. 1985 to assist in this ambitious project. This committee changed the name again to: ‘A Dictionary of Vedic Interpretation’. Apart from this project, the Institute is also preparing the critical editions of the Vedic texts with the available, but unpublished, commentaries. The Institute has already published some rare works like the KsudraKalpasutra, Āśvalāyana Srautasutra, Apastamba Sulbasutra and Vādhula Srautasutra.
There are other projects also like linguistic studies of the dialects of North- Western region of India and a glossary of some Himālayan dialects. A few more projects are being vigo¬rously pursued and may be completed soon.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore