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Vikram Varsity launches course on Ramcharitmanas

Ramcharitmanas (reservoir of the deeds of Lord Ram), composed by the 16th century poet Goswami Tulsidasji, considered as one of the greatest devotional Hindu literatures is now launched as a short-term 6-months science and culture certification course in Ujjain’s Vikram University (Estb. 1957). 

Students of 10+2 pass are eligible to apply. There is no upper age limit so that anyone interested can join the course. Vice Chancellor of Vikram University Prof. A.K. Pandey said that he himself being from Ayodhya has an extra attachment to this Hindu manuscript and with the recent findings about Ram-Setu (Adam’s Bridge- a chain of limestone shoals) built by the “Vanara Army” to rescue Sita from Ravana, between India and Shri Lanka is what inspired him to launch this course. Moreover, the new Educational Policy focuses on traditional knowledge.  He added that furthermore similar courses will be carried out and there is no religious preferences or biases in the decision-making process to introducing such courses. Very soon maybe within 6-months we will be launching a course on Acharya Shri Vidyasagarji Maharaj popularly known as Digambar Jain Acharya’s Philosophy. Students who complete this course have great opportunity in research work. The University is starting the course with 20 seats.

However, Prof. A.K. Pandey clarified that Jain Committee will be financing this philosophy course whereas Ramchaitmanas is a self-financed course that is being offered. The reason behind launching this course is to integrate science and culture. “Ramsetu” is an incredible piece of work especially a great learning module for engineering students. He said that our traditional manuscripts and voluminous historical literature related to any of the diverse traditions offer great knowledge but is not studied sufficiently, also “Ram Setu” has surpassed technological advancements, hence it’s very important for students to learn from our ancestors, who were much more skilled than we are now. However, he added this course is at an experimental stage and should not be considered as a religious or political favouritism issue.

Vikram University is also starting a Bharat Adhyayan Kendra, which will incorporate learnings from great traditional manuscripts of various religious backgrounds. Our archaeological museum and art gallery has over 18,000 manuscripts in Prakrit, Persian, Arabic and several other Indian languages. Some rare bark leaf and palm leaf manuscripts are also present here. Vikram Kirti Mandir Museum houses an array of images, inscriptions, copper plates and fossils discovered in the Narmada Valley, along with a huge skull of a primitive elephant. Built in 1965, the museum stores relics daily life objects of the bygone era, especially from the reign of King Vikramaditya; the items narrate the story of the formation of Ujjain. The institute also has a part of an illustrated manuscript of Shrimad Bhagavata, which has used real gold and silver in its paintings. Prof. A.K. Pandey added Bhimbekta rock shelters (near Bhopal) were discovered by accident in 1957 by archaeologist Dr. Vishnu Wakankar from Vikram University who strayed from his path and found hints of a prehistoric culture remains. This resulted in discovery of the cave paintings which dates back to approximately 15,000 years. We also have 400-500 years old paintings collection which are in good state, and we intend to study the paints as to what chemicals have been used which makes it possible to retain such high-quality art works for this length of time. We are basically focusing on traditional manuscripts and the science behind it.”

However, it’s vital to remember here that Bhoj varsity (Bhopal) had already launched a course for ‘scientific study’ of Ramcharitmanas on the request of Ramcharitmanas Trust of Ayodhya, along with other universities in states like Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh in June 2019.