The book entitled "A New Light on Vedic Concepts", as the title suggests, throws light on the unexplored areas of vedic concepts. It comprises 16 research articles concerning different riddles associated with Vedic gods as well as Vedic terminology and attempts to analyse the concepts thread-bare.
In all the articles, attempts have been made to trace the origin of the terms with their derivations from different sources- Samhitas, Brahmanas and Nirukta, just to name a few, and make them relevant in the context of particular god.
Interestingly enough, some of the articles incorporated in the book have found their way into reputed journals published in the country and received accolades from scholars and students alike.
A select Bibliography followed by an Index of key words has been appended to the book for the wider appreciations of the readers.
Dr. S. Mahapatra, ranks among the leading luminaries in sanskrit studies of Odisha, having to his credit a number of research publications that have been widely appreciated by scholars, educationists and students.
Born in 1961, Dr. Mahapatra has an excellent academic track - record, completing his P.G. in Sanskrit & M.Phil. from Kurukshetra University in 1984 & 1985 respectively, with flying colours securing top positions, thereby winning the coveted gold medals. Subsequently, he has also been awarded Ph.D. in 1990 from the afore-said university.
Dr. Mahapatra's foray into the Dept. of H.E. Odisha began in 1987 following his successful qualification through Public Service Commission, Odisha, with his joining as a Lecturer in Sanskrit in G.M. College, Sambalpur (Presently upgraded as a University), followed by his stint in the same capacity in SKCG. College Paralakhemundi and Govt. College, Sundargarh.
At present, he is serving as Associate Professor in Sanskrit, S.C.S. (A) College Puri and continues to evince keen interest in popula-rising Sanskrit across the country and abroad.
During the last couple of centuries there has been substantial progress in the field of Vedic research by various scholars from India and abroad-revealing that aspect of the ancient Indian society which not only unfolds its panoramic grandeur but also through its subsequent manifestation as the Puranic Hinduism, enlightens its thriving trend as seen in laying the solid religious foundation in India as well as promoting the cultural glory in the region of South East Asia.
The present work 'A New Light on Vedic Concepts' by Dr. Sachidananda Mahapatra consisting of sixteen research articles on various topics relating to the social and cultural study of the Vedic society like the Vedic deities, concepts and rituals of is indeed, a humble effort to release those knots of the Vedic religion, which often appear as enigmatic. It is an outcome of his sincere and intensive study on the subject. The dynamism of the ancient Indian thought revealed through the expressions of Vedic and Post-Vedic seers are carefully dealt with here. Deities in the Vedic and Puranic religions are men with passions-but were not subject to death and decay. The details in the work showing how the family of Siva ascends to power and glory are quite interesting. Explorations on the secrets of the transition of the Indian society from the Vedic religion to the Puranic religion make this study all the more enlightening as well. Interpretations of the details by Dr. Mahapatra are the logical outcome of his dispassionate analysis of the references from the original textual sources.
I believe that this work would offer impetus for further thinking on the subjects of emergence of the various concepts and the deities in the Vedic religion and their portrayal during the succeeding periods in the spirit of change and continuity which characterize the vibrant aspect of the oriental mind. I congratulate Dr. Mahapatra for his endeavour through which he sets possible parameters of logical thinking on the subject and sincerely hope that his book would encourage many more scholars interested in the study and research of our ancient religion.
It gives me immense pleasure to present this book entitled 'A New Light on Vedic Concepts' before the readers of Indology. I have been attending the National and International Seminars and Conferences like the All India Oriental Conference and World Sanskrit Conference etc. ever since my student-career and presenting papers there. Some of my papers have been highly appreciated and awarded in these conferences. Besides, I am one of the regular contributors of some referred and learned journals like Journal of Oriental Institute Baroda, Visvesvarananda Indological Journal, Hosiarpur, Research Bulletin of V.V.R.I, Hosiarpur, Journal of G.N. Jha Campus, Allahabad, Vedavidyii, of Maharshi Sandipani Vedavidya Pratisthan, Ujjain etc. Some of these articles have been published in different issues of the above-mentioned journals. In going through those articles, some of my students who have now become teachers of some prestigious institutions and colleges, my friends and colleagues often requested and advised me to collate these research papers and publish them in a book-form so that it may cater to the need as a reference book for the students of Sanskrit in particular and for the researchers of Indology in general.
Keeping the above things in mind, I went on reshaping and editing these articles once again. Necessary additions and subtractions have been made so as to make these articles comprehensive and to the point.
At the end of the book, a select Bibliography followed by an Index of important words occurring in the articles of the book has been presented.
In this connection.
I shall be failing in my duty if I don't remember the sacred name of my revered guru late Prof. Kapil Deo Shastri, who has honed my skills in the method of research, and whose invisible blessings have all along inspired me to carry forward my research activities with effortless ease. Words can seldom express my deep sense of gratitude due to him in making me what I am today. Dr. Sulok Sundar Mohanty, Professor of P.G. Deptt. of Sanskrit and Ex-Principal G.M. (Autonomous) College Sambalpur and Dr. Braja Kishore Swain, Ex-Professor and Head, Deptt. of Dharmashastra, Sri Jagannath Sanskrit University, Puri, Prof. Lambodar Nayak, Associate professor in English, S.C.S. (A) College, Puri have not only constantly encouraged me but also rendered their valuable suggestions in accomplishing the work. Needless to say I am thankful to these learned professors, but for whose ungrudging support and co-operation, the research work could not have been completed. My classmates and friends - Dr. Kamdev Jha, Principal D.A.V. College Pehowa, Haryana, Dr. Biharilal Patel, Dr. Sripati Chinara Asst. professors and Dr. Birendra Kumar Gartia (M.S, FMAS), VIMSAR, BURLA - are fondly remembered in this connection. My wife Smt. Kalyani Mohapatra, son Suman Saurav Mohapatra and daughter Aparna Aparajita have been my constant source of inspiration and their invaluable sacrifice and timely co-operation in fulfilling my objective need not be over emphasized. My speical thanks are due to Dr. R. C. Dash, Principal S.C.S. (A) College, Puri and an ardent lover of Sanskrit gifted with rare ability to speak Sanskrit fluently.
Last but not least, I would like to thank Sri Kailash Chandra Baral for his nice DTP and Dr. Radhey Shyam Shukla, Publisher of Pratibha Prakashan, whose priceless sugesstions have gone a long way in bringing the book to its present shape.
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