BISM, Bharat Itihaas Sanshodhak Mandal, of Pune is working on indexing and cataloguing 40,000 manuscripts in the Devnagari script. All these manuscripts, dated back to 350 years, offer great insight into text on spirituality, religion, and the arts.
Laxmi Biraidar writes for Times of India:
Written in the Devnagari script in Sanskrit, Marathi and a few in South Indian languages, the manuscripts are based on 32 different subjects short-listed under the NMM, namely Ved, Vedang, history, grammar, Ayurveda, astrology, politics, Ashva Shastra (science related to horses), ‘stotra,’ ‘sahitya shastra,’ architecture, gemmology, prose, poetry, drama and other art forms.
Entirely hand-written, the manuscripts have decorated pages, some of them with pictures painted in vegetable dyes. The festival of Sankrant as per the Hindu ‘panchang’ in the year 1831, spiritual texts like ‘Dasbodh,’ ‘literary gems like ‘Shakuntala,’ ‘Meghdootam,’ ‘Rukmini Swayamvar’ and ‘Kumar Sambhava,’ are among the manuscripts.
As per her study of these manuscripts so far, Dharap has made some interesting observations. “Fasts and rituals like ‘Kadali vrat’ ‘lalita panchami,’ are some of the many ‘vrats’ mentioned in these manuscripts that people don’t know these days. The spiritual texts, too, offer a guide to proper conduct that requires correct interpretation,” Vrinda Dharap, supervisor of this initiative said.