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History

Sanskrit Is the Most Ancient and Perfect Among the Languages of the World. Its S torehouse Of Knowledge Is An Unsurpassed And The Most Invaluable Treasure Of The World. This Language Is A Symbol Of Peculiar Indian Tradition And Thought, Whic h Ha Exhibited Full Freedom In The Search Of Truth, Ha Shown Complete Tolerance Towards Spiritual And Other Kind Of Experience Of Mankind, And Has Shown Catholi city Towards Universal Truth. This Language Contains Not Only A Rich Fund Of Kno wledge Of People Of India But It Is Also An Unparalleled Way To Acquire Knowledg e And It Thus Significant For The Whole World. In Order To Highlight Its Interna tional Significance And To Keep Intact Traditional Scholarship And To Strike A C ompromise Between Indian And Western Outlook And To Conduct Research And Study T he Various Aspects Of Culture And Spiritual Literature This University Was Found ed On 22 March, 1958 By The Then Chief Minister Dr. Sampurnanand And Education Minister Pt. Kamlapati Tripathi At Varanasi, The Oldest Cultural City Of India, With The Name Of "Varanaseya Snskrit Vishwavidyalaya", D. A.N.Jha Being The Fir st Vice Chancellor. It Was Renamed A Sampurnanand Sanskrit University under the U.P. State University Act, 1973, W.e.f. 16th Dec. 1974.

The university has since been proceeding along the set path of the programme whi le trying to achieve its goal. If its former shape Govt. Sanskrit College is inclu ded it has an excellent history of about 205 years.

The history Sampurnanand Sanskrit University includes history of the Sanskrit Education itself. The guideline set by the glorious past of the Govt. Sanskrit College, Benares has been most appropriate for the University. Under a proposal af Sri Jonathan Duncan, the then resident of East India Company and the approval of Governor General Lord Carnwalis, this Govt. Sanskrit College was es tablished in 1791. Pt. Kashinath was its first teacher and Acharya. There was an arrangement for the teaching of subjects such as Veda, Vedanta, Purana, Ayurved a, Sahitya, Astrology, Theology, Mimamsa, Nyaya etc. The college was conducted w ith the surplus revenue of Benares State which was first deposited in a special account and later remitted to the general head of education.

In 1844, Sri J.Muir,ICS, was made its first principal. Efforts were made to develop the college in various aspects. Dr. J.R.Valentine developed the spirit of a comparative study of oriental and occidental classics and specific S anskrit texts were translated into English in order to achieve this goal. Dr. Va lentine established an Anglo-Sanskrit Department with this end in view. In 1861, Dr. R.T.H.Grifith was appointed its Principal. He was the first scholar who tra nslated the Valmiki Ramayan into English verses. A reasonable achievement was ma de in the direction of development, preservation and advancement of Sanskrit lea rning during the principalship. The publication of The Pandit Kashi Vidya Sudhanidh i was launched which contained translations of many rare Sanskrit texts. The publ ication of this magazine continued till 1916. During the principalship of Dr. G. Theibo the system of oral examination was abolished and the system of written ex amination as well the issue of certificates and degree was started.

During the period of Dr. Arthur Venis (1888-1918), the publication o f Vijayanagara series of Sanskrit texts was accomplished. In 1909, the post exam ination controller was created. In 1904, an effort was made to give it the name and form of university. Efforts were made to collect , preserve and publish Sans krit manuscripts which resulted in the establishment of the Saraswati Bhavana libr ary, which is most reputed and well known in the whole world.

During the principalship of Dr. Ganga Nath Jha (1918-1923) the publi cation of Saraswati Bhavana Garnthamala and Saraswati Bhavana Studies was started an d specific Sanskrit texts based on deep research were published which marked a r emarkable approach in the direction of study and dissemination of knowledge inhe rent in Sanskrit texts. Moreover, a Board of Sanskrit Studies was set up to cond uct examination.

Mahamahopadhyaya Pt. Gopinath Kaviraj (Principal 1923-1937) contribu ted significantly through translation and publication of specific texts as well as cataloguing of manuscripts.

In 1937, another effort was made to give it the name and form of a U niversity but it could not materialize until 1956 when Varanaseya Sanskrit Unive rsity Act was passed. It is remarkable that this college performed all those act s which an all India University is expected to do. Convocations were held betwee n 1947 to 1958 every time in the manner of a University. The Sanskrit Colleges o f this country and that of Nepal were affiliated to this college even before thi s University was founded. The number of affiliated colleges in U.P. alone was 14 41. thus this college acted like a University not only for this country but also for other countries. Pt. Kuber Nath Shukla was the last principal of the Govt. Sanskrit College. He was also the first Registrar of the University.

Objective of this University

This University was established an international Center of Study, teaching and r esearch in Sanskrit. Its main aim was-:

(a) To establish an international center for the study of and research in the Sanskrit literature.

(b) To co-ordinate the oriental and occidental currents of thoughts while pre serving the ancient tradition.

(c) To provide for the traditional method of study, teaching etc, of the Sans krit, Pali and Prakrit Languages and the subject connected with them on the anci

ent India. (d) with a view properly to evaluate the Indian culture to gather full knowle dge of the literature in Sanskrit, the basis of Indian culture and the other old and new languages of Asia related thereto, which have taken there from words e ither in original or equivalents form.

(e) To study and do researches in the comparative critical study of Indian cu lture as well as the cultures connected therewith so that is may be co-ordinate, as far as possible, with the human culture.

(f) to produce new and talented scholars who are well versed in the knowled ge of traditional Sanskrit and who are fully acquainted with modern thoughts, an d are capable of carrying on comparative study on modern lines.

(g) To expend, spared and enlarge the Sanskrit language and the Indian cultur e in all directions.

(h) And to collect and publish rare Sanskrit books and to revise, edit, and p ublish important Sanskrit manuscripts.