Special Lecture on Sanskrit texts and Karmavipakasamhita at PU

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Chandigarh, June 20

Special lecture on Karmavipakasamhita was organised by the Department of Sanskrit in Panini Pustakalaya, Panjab University, Chandigarh, today.

The speaker was Caterina Guenzi, Associate Professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and also a researcher at the Center for South Asian Studies in Paris. She is currently in Chandigarh, working on a rare Sanskrit text called Vrddhasuryarunakarmavipaka.

In the opening comments, Chairperson Prof. V.K. Alankar described how he got acquainted with Guenzi and had several sessions with her where he conveyed and discussed the meanings of various portions of the Sanskrit texts.

 She wished to visit the Department some time back, and her desire to give a presentation about her research project in the Department.

Her lecture and presentation was on the text Karmavipakasamhita, which is in the form of a conversation between Bhagavan Shiva and Devi Parvati on the reasons why a person suffers from a disease in this life and what solutions can be done to end the suffering.  

It discusses cases as per the specific Nakshatra combinations and such other specifications. As per Guenzi, it is a combination of various styles of ancient Indian texts like Jyotisha, Purana, Dharmasastra, Jataka and so forth.

The way diseases and their solutions are mentioned in the Ayurvedic texts and the way karma-phala is mentioned in Dharmasastra, is more like a preventive instruction, whereas the one in Karmaphalavipaka is a retrospective view and the solution is based on it, said Guenzi on the comparison between the other texts which touch similar topics briefly as well as in detail.

She is translating the Karmavipakasamhita into English and has referred to various manuscripts as well as lithographs and printed versions of the text.

She read out and described to the audience, a portion of the Karmaphalavipaka. Her latest research project is on a text called Vrddhasuryarunakarmavipaka, which is a similar Sanskrit text, but with no translations or commentaries. Her presentation was well received by the audience.

The presentation was followed by a question-and-answer session. The faculty members of the department discussed some core issues with Guenzi with regards to her subject of presentation.

Students of MA Sanskrit, Research Scholars and Faculty members attended the Lecture.

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