National Seminar on ‘Children’s Literature in Sanskrit’

The Second National Seminar on “Children’s Literature in Sanskrit” was jointly organised by Samskrita Bala-Sahitya Parishad, SAFIC and Sri Chandrashekharendra Saraswati Vishwa Mahavidhyalaya (SCSVMV) during April 4 – 6, 2018 at the campus of SCSVMV, Enathur, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu.

Our Guiding Light

This seminar like all the activities of Samskrita Balasahity Parishad, SAFIC was guided by the words of Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram: “Every child born in India should know it, just as every child born in France has to know French.” Sanskrit is the language through which the soul of India has expressed itself. And it is through this language that one can make an intimate entry into the heart of timeless India. Learning this language can instil in children a sense of systematic or scientific inquiry which may also be termed as ‘positive curiosity’. As a language it has a vibrant force and natural flow that is capable of generating a creative impact on the communicators as well as the learners.

Rationale for the Seminar

Our current and future generations have the privilege and responsibility to maintain the continuity of past with the future. This can be done primarily through encouraging children to learn Sanskrit and making children’s literature available to them. Currently in the field of Sanskrit there is very limited material available that introduces Sanskrit to the children of various age groups in a systematic as well as fascinating manner. We hardly find a book of rhymes in Sanskrit, a book or any other material introducing Sanskrit alphabets with a scientific approach, a book of puzzles, a set of games or flash cards introducing various aspects of the language or well-illustrated colourful books of stories in Sanskrit. There is a dearth of audio-visual materials which children can listen to and watch, neither are there any Sanskrit children’s magazines that have a wide readership.

Due to the limited availability of Sanskrit reading material meant for children in the Indian market, there is a great need to bring out good quality children’s literature that can be easily available to children of all ages. Creativity, originality, aesthetic and literary style are essential qualities that need to be reflected in Sanskrit literature for children and should cover a range of topics that will be relevant to the interests of children of specific age groups while also giving valuable insights into the human condition.

It is with this need in mind that this three-day National Seminar titled “Children’s Literature in Sanskrit” from April 4 – 6, 2018 was organised with an objective to generate ideas related to the topic and to understand how Sanskrit can be brought to children in various innovative ways through literature.

Prior to the inauguration of the national seminar, the Samskrita Bala-Sahitya Parishad also organised the fourth Poets’ Meet, Balakavita Pathotsava, for children’s poems on April 4, 2018. The poetry sessions were recorded and may be accessed at the following link:

Bala-kavita Pathotsava 2018

The Seminar Programme

The seminar was inaugurated on the afternoon of April 4th 2018 with a small prayer and a welcome address by Dr. Debajyoti Jena, Head of the Department of Sanskrit, SCSVMV. Prof. Vishnu Potty V.S., Hon’ble Vice Chancellor of SCSVMV delivered the Presidential Address, which was followed by an address by the Chief Guest of the event, Prof. S. Ramaratnam, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor of Jagadguru Kripalu University, Cuttack. Prof. S. Ramakrishna Pisipaty, Dean, Faculty of Sanskrit & Indian Culture, SCSVMV and Dr. Sampadananda Mishra, Director, SAFIC delivered their felicitation remarks. After a formal vote of thanks by Dr. G. Sankaranarayanan, the Balakavita Pathotsava commenced with recitation of original Sanskrit poetic compositions by selected poets.

Over the next couple of days seven technical sessions were held, with each session having 3 to 5 paper presentations on several topics concerning children’s literature in Sanskrit. Each session also included concluding remarks and insights from the session chairperson. The papers were presented in Sanskrit, English and Hindi. Some of the topics covered in these sessions included: बालानां मूल्यबोधनिर्माणे संस्कृतस्य प्रयोगः, संस्कृतबालसाहित्यस्य लक्षणं स्वरूपं भेदाश्च, बालसाहित्य और संस्कृत रचनाकार, हितोपदेश में धर्म, लोकव्यवहार व राजनीतिविषयक बाल शिक्षा: एक अध्ययन, संस्कृत बाल-साहित्य में पशु-पक्षी चिंतन, बालानां नाटकशिक्षणम्, चलनचित्रगीतात् संस्कृतम्, आचार्यवासुदेवद्विवेदिशास्त्रिणां बालसाहित्यम्, रचनाशिक्षणम्, बालशिक्षणे हितोपदेशस्य महत्वम् and Teaching Sanskrit Language to the Children through Animations or Cartoon Films.

The seminar concluded with a valedictory session on the afternoon of April 6th, 2018.

All the sessions were recorded and can be accessed at the following YouTube link:

2nd National Seminar on Children’s Literature in Sanskrit

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