NATIONAL SEMINAR on “CHILDREN’S LITERATURE IN SANSKRIT”
Date: April 4 – 6, 2018
Venue of the Seminar: Sri Chandrashekharendra Saraswati Vishwa Mahavidhyalaya (SCSVM), Enathur, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
Outline of the Seminar: For the complete outline of the National Seminar in English and in Sanskrit, please click the following links:
Registration for the seminar: https://goo.gl/forms/oKKa39wCmztTDM2m1
Giving her views on Sanskrit, the Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram once said: “Every child born in India should know it, just as every child born in France has to know French.” Sanskrit indeed 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. It is one of the most systematic languages of the world and 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. Learning Sanskrit is always a holistic process – it involves the energy, memory, interest, communication and concentration of the learner. When it comes to children learning the language, it is all about a constant inner growth; Sanskrit learning enhances their voice quality, learning moods and the faculties of observation and awareness. Another vital aspect of the language is its ability to encourage children to become silence-conscious in some way or the other.
The best of Indian culture, lifestyles and philosophy, such as Yoga, languages, religions, dance, music, architecture, food, and customs have their origins in Sanskrit, which would be lost if Sanskrit loses its existence. 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 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 the Samskrita Bala-Sahitya Parishad, an initiative of Sri Aurobindo Foundation for Indian Culture (SAFIC), and Sri Chandrashekharendra Saraswati Vishwa Mahavidhyalaya (SCSVM), are jointly organising a three day National Seminar titled “Children’s Literature in Sanskrit” from April 4 – 6, 2018 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 will be additionally organizing the fourth Poets’ Meet, Balakavita Pathotsava, for children’s poems on April 4, 2018.