Introducing “Noble Cause of the Month”: The Kuppuswami Research Institute
Dear All, starting this month (as an experiment), I am going to try and post once a month, information & details about an institution or organisation that I believe is doing genuinely uplifting & noble work and needs support and funds. I will try and verify as many details as possible before posting about any such organisation or institution. Further I will myself try and make a modest contribution before I ask any of you to donate to such a cause. Needless to add, institutions or organisations that are well-funded may not be featured here – that should not mean there work is any less noble or beneficial to the public at large.
To start off this series, below is some information about the Kuppuswami Research Institute, followed by a brief write-up about the Madras Sanskrit College by my good friend, Shri Ranganaathan.
The Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute established in 1944, inside the Madras Sanskrit College campus, Mylapore has been doing yeoman service in the field of Sanskritic and Indological research for more than six decades. The Institute has brought out several books on varied subjects like Nyaya, Mimamsa, Yoga, Advaita, Saivism, Vaishnavism, Astrology, Astrtonomy, Literature, Language, Grammar, Arthaº¢stra with two unknown commentaries and so on. The Institute was first to publish Tolk¢ppiyam, the first book of Tamil grammar with Roman transliteration and English translation. Besides, the internationally well known Journal of Oriental Research which was started by Mm. Prof. S. Kuppuswami Sastri in 1927, is still being published regularly by the Institute.
In order to reach both academic and non-academic people, the Institute has launched a new scheme viz., Life Subscription for Publication Fund. Anyone can become a member in this scheme by making a “one-time deposit” of Rs. 2000/- (rupees two thousand only) or more. The donor would receive all the publications of the Institute which are brought out till his/her life time. This benefit would get effected from the date of the payment of the donation towards the publication fund. Besides, the donor can also avail the 100% Income-tax exemption under Sec. 35(1)(iii) of the Income-tax Act. This would also enable the Institute to publish more books in different fields of Indian culture and thereby preserving the treasure of knowledge contained in our ancient literature and pass on the same to the future generations.
One of the major activities of the Institute is to maintain the prestigious library consisting of 50,000 rare books, back volumes of journals and 1500 palm-leaf manuscripts. The library consists of rich and rare personal collections of great savants like Mm. Prof. S. Kuppuswami Sastri, Prof. M. Hiriyanna, Dr. Sir. S. Radhakrishnan, Padma Bhushan Dr. V. Raghavan, Padma Bhushan Sri K. Balasubramania Iyer, Prof. K. S. Rangaswami Iyengar, Dr. S. S. Janaki and others. The books are on varied subjects and in different Indian and foreign languages.
The Institute has made provision for easy access to 30,000 books through internet in our website www.ksrisanskrit.in. Many of the books and journals are very rare and old. We are in the process of preserving them in good condition through the latest technology of photo-lamination. This costs Rs. 6/- ( rupees six only) per page.
We request philanthropists like your good self to help us in this noble cause by sponsoring the cost of photo-lamination of at least one book – under our “Adopt a Book” scheme, so that the book will be preserved for posterity. As it is said : apraptasya praptih yogah, praptasya parirakshnam kshemah. Please contact us for further information through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or in person at: The Director, The Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute, 84, Thiru vi ka Road, Mylapore, Chennai 600 004
Several days ago, Sh Rangaanathan met the Director, Dr.Kameshwari, who heads the Institute. She mentioned to him that the Sanskrit College & this Institute are managed by a private trust without any Govt. Aid. Dr Kameshwari also mentioned that they had applied to Planning Commission for a grant, which was sanctioned but was not disbursed since the Institute trustee Sh Madhavan (now 86 years old) refused to pay any bribe. Sh Ranganaathan has sought additional details in this regard. What really touched me though were these words of Sh Ranganaathan:
We were at the institute on saturday from 11.30 am to 1.40, most of our time was spent in discussing with the director, Smt. Dr. V.Kameshwari , in her office room, Chennai’s summer was taking a toll on all of us. But when the Director offered us to have a look at the Library, we were only astounded, that the library was completely A/C, the temperature well maintained . This made Shridhar ji comment about the sincerity about preserving Samskritam & the books.
I found it very touching that someone will keep their books and manuscripts in A/c rooms while they themselves sweat in the heat – this is true “Sewa”.
On a related note, here is the link to a brief write-up by Sh Ranganaathan on the Madras Sanskrit College – which is more than a 100 years old (and is the parent body of the Kuppuswami Research Institute). Hearteningly, efforts are already underway to preserve this treasure. Please share this post with friends and family who could be in a position to support this noble effort to preserve our heritage. It is up to us to keep this extraordinary language alive and to make sure it thrives. I wish I could do a lot more than just support in monetary terms but hopefully this is a beginning.
Related Post: A Sad Story of Study in Sanskrit