PONDICHERRY, INDIA, April 13, 2017 (IFP): The French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP) and the Pondicherry Centre of the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Orient (EFEO) have been engaged in the critical editions and studies of the Saiva Agamas for some fifty years. The French Institute of Pondicherry possesses a collection of nearly 10,000 manuscripts (palm-leaf and paper) that was recognized by UNESCO in 2005 as a "Memory of the World" collection. During the same period, some of these Saiva Agamas have been critically edited and published on the basis of these manuscripts which were transmitted for many centuries only through hand-written copies. All these manuscripts have been fully digitized and are available for consultation online.
As a further measure it is essential also to train the next generation of scholars in reading these ancient manuscripts. Many old texts are transmitted in several hand-written copies, each of which contains many differences due to damage, copying mistakes, muddled leaves or deliberate modifications. In order to work with these materials that are written in different scripts such as Grantha, Telugu, old Devanagari, Tigalari, Sharada, etc. intensive training is required. With the team of scholars at present we are planning to offer training for young scholars in this area. One three-year scholarship is being offered.
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