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Sanskrit Studies in Latin America

Author(s): Juan Miguel de Mora


Reviewed work(s):
Source: Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 103, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1983), pp. 615-
616
Published by: American Oriental Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/602043 .
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DE MORA: Sanskrit Studies in Latin America 615
Sanskrit Studies in Latin America
It would be difficult to pinpoint in which Latin American
country the first Sanskrit studies began, but there is no
doubt that the most advanced one at present in that field is
Brazil, at whose University of Slo Paulo one can find the
full course culminating in a Bachelor's degree in Sanskrit
Language and Literature.
In Uruguay,the first to teach Sanskrit at the University
was Benigno Ferrario in the 1940's, but this endeavour did
not last for soon afterward Ferrario left the institution. In
1951, E. Coserin, then professor of Linguistics at the Faculty
of Humanities and Sciences and director of the Institute of
Philology, invited Dr. Nicolis Altuchow to give a short
series of lectures on Sanskrit to the students of Linguistics.
Dr. Altuchow had studied at the John Kazimir University of
Lw6w, Poland, and had been a student of Professor St.
Stasiak. From that time to the present, Sanskrit and Indian
culture have been taught at the Faculty, at first as an
independent course, then as an elective for various major
fields and finally as an obligatory course of one semester for
the Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature, should Indology or
Chinese Language and Culture be chosen. With a
U.N.E.S.C.O. Fellowship in 1962-63, Doctor Altuchow spent
five months in India. He participated in 1961 in the First
Summer school on the Orient in Santiago de Chile; in the
Symposium on the Orient at Mar del Plata in 1970; in the
First Latin American Conference of Sanskritists at Sao
Paulo in 1981 and in the First Symposium on the Sanskrit
Language at Mexico City in 1982.
In the Argentine, there is more activity in the field of
Sanskrit. On the one hand, the Centre for Philosophical
Research set up a Seminar on Indology two years ago, with
Doctor Fernando Tola as Director and Doctor Carmen
Dragonetti as Secretary. This Seminar is dedicated to research
and has a good library at its disposal. So far, it has produced
fourteen publications and translations, in the form of books
and pamphlets, of philosophical texts used in Doctor Tola's
course at the University. Some of the students at the Uni-
versity use the Seminar's library for their research work,
under the guidance of Doctors Tola or Dragonetti, both of
whom are also the authors of various articles published in
the bulletin of the Spanish Society of Orientalists, in the
Journal of Indian Philosophy, the Wiener Zeitschrift, ABORI,
etc., as well as authors of a great number of books. On the
other hand, the Argentine National Council for Scientific
and Technical Research engages the services of Doctor
Fernando Tola, who is one of its principal researchers in the
exclusive field of Sanskrit language and culture, and of
Doctor Carmen Dragonetti, who works as an independent
researcher on subjects related to philosophy and Sanskrit.
The Philosophy Department of the National University of
Buenos Aires has a Centre for the Study of Oriental Religions
and Philosophies, created by Professor Armando Asti Vera.
Among the courses offered at the Centre,there is one on the
Sanskrit language, inaugurated by Dr. Fernando Tola in
1970. This Centre has published a review bearing its name
("Estudios de Religiones y Filosofias de Oriente"), acquired
the library of Doctor Vicente Fatoul, containing a wide
selection of works on India and organized series of con-
ferences, some of them on India and its culture. For quite a
few years now, Dr. Tola has given the course on Philosophy
of India at the National University of Buenos Aires as well
as a Seminar on the reading of Indian philosophical texts.
The number of students varies around thirty. Furthermore,
also in Buenos Aires, the Universidad del Salvador has an
Oriental Studies Centre where lectures on Sanskrit and
Hindi as well as on Indian culture are offered. Research is
also done in that field. A review entitled "Oriente y Occidente"
is published.
Nevertheless, as we mentioned at the beginning of this
article, Brazil is the only country in Latin America, up to
this moment, which offers a major in Sanskrit Language and
Literature at its University of Sio Paulo. Under the guidance
of Professor Izidoro Blikstein, a distinguished group of
Sanskritists carries on the tasks related to Sanskrit studies as
well as research work in that field. They are Professors
Carlos Alberto da Fonseca, MArio Ferreira, Maria Valiria
Aderson de Melo Vargas, Lilian Proenqa de Menezes Mon-
tenegro and Elisa Fumiko Kikuchi Tamajusuku.
In Mexico, where the first known Sanskritist was Pedro
Urbano de la Calle, the only formal and constant work in
the field of Sanskrit language, literature and culture is being
done at the Institute of Philological Research at the National
Autonomous University of Mexico, with the collaboration of
the Humanities Coordination, by the author of this article
and Ludwika Jarocka, M.A. Most of the work being done is
in the field of research, although the author also gives a
course on Sanskrit Literature, in Spanish, at the Faculty of
Philosophy and Letters. Within these activities, the First
International Symposium on the Sanskrit Language was
organized in 1982, attended by the most outstanding person-
alities in the world in that field.
With most of the Sanskritists of Latin America present,
the Latin American Association of Sanskritists (Asociaci6n
Latino-Americana de Sanscritistas) was founded at the
616 Journal of the American Oriental Society 103.3 (1983)
University of Sao Paulo in February, 1980. The Associa-
tion celebrated the First Latin American Conference of
Sanskritists-also at Sao Paulo-in 1981 and the First
International Symposium on the Sanskrit Language-at
Mexico City and under the auspices of the National Autono-
mous University in Mexico-in 1982.
Following is a list of some of the publications brought out
by the Latin American Sanskritists.
ARGENTINE: Bhagavad Gita, El Canto del Seior. Direct
translation from the Sanskrit, introduction and notes by
Fernando Tola. Monte Avila Editores, Caracas, 1977; Dham-
mapada, El Camino del Dharma. Direct translation from the
Pali, introduction and notes by Carmen Dragonetti. Editorial
Sudamericana, Buenos Aires, 1967; Doctrinas Secretas de la
India, Upanishads. Introduction, selection, direct translation
from the Sanskrit and notes by Fernando Tola. Barral
Editores, S.A., Barcelona, 1973; Gupta, Damodara, Los
Consejos de la Celestina, Kuttanrmatam. Introduction, se-
lection and translation from the Sanskrit by Fernando Tola.
Barral Editores, S.A., Barcelona, 1973; Himnos del Atharva
Veda. Selection and translation by Fernando Tola. Editorial
Sudamericana, Buenos Aires, 1968; Himnos del Rig Veda.
Selection and translation from the Sanskrit by Fernando
Tola. Editorial Sudamericana, Buenos Aires, 1968; Jayadeva:
GrtJ Govinda. Translation from the Sanskrit by Fernando
Tola. Editorial Sudamericana, Buenos Aires, 1971; Tola,
Fernando and Carmen Dragonetti: Yoga y Mistica de la
India. Editorial Kier, S. A., Buenos Aires, 1978; Yogasutras
de Patanjali. Direct translation, introduction and commentary
by Fernando Tola and Carmen Dragonetti. Barral Editores,
S.A., Barcelona, 1973.
BRAZIL:Blikstein, Izidoro, "Hinduismo, Semiologla e
Lingifistica" in "Revista Alfa"; Fernindez Miazzi, Mafia
Luisa: Fabulas do
Hitopade(a;
Fernindez Miazzi, Mafia
Lu'isa: "Compostos Nominais do Hitopadeqa" in "Lingua e
Literatura"; Ferreira, Mario: "Agni/Fogo, nos confins da
Lingua" in "Estudos de Filologlia e Lingii'stica"; Fonseca,
Carlos Alberto da, "A arte da India no Brasil" in "Lingua e
Literatura," "Os assignalados: a prop6sito da fala do Catual
do Malabar a Vasco da Gama" in "Revista Camoniana," "As
biografias de Kalidasa" in Lingua e Literatura," "Alguns
compostos nominais do Meghaduita de Kalidasa" in "Estudos
de Filologia e Linguistica," Cabdagharma, "o fogo interno
do signo " sanscrito. M onografia de mestrado, in~dita; Fon-
seca, Carlos Alberto da and MArio Ferreira, Introdufao ao
Sanscrito Chissico, Textos de Literatura Sfinscrita, "O molde
e a materia: a prop6sito de uma gramAtica da flingua sin-
scrita" in "Lingua e Literatura;" Proenqa de Menezes Mon-
tenegro, Lilian, "Sobre a grafia das palavras sanscritas" in
Cultura Sanscrita 11; Proenqa de Menezes Montenegro,
Lilian: "O universo semantico do jogo de dados no sanscrito"
in "Estudos de Filologia e Lingiistica."
MEXICO: Bhavabhiiti, Uttarardmacarita. Direct translation
from the Sanskrit, extensive introductory study on Sanskrit
theatre and on Bhavabhfiti and his work by Juan Miguel de
Mora and Ludwika Jarocka. Sanskrit-Spanish bilingual edi-
tion. Instituto de Investigaciones Filol6gicas, Universidad
Nacional Aut6noma de Mexico (in press); El Rig Veda.
Translation from the Sanskrit, introduction and notes by
Juan Miguel de Mora, with the collaboration of Ludwika
Jarocka. First edition: Editorial Diana, S.A., Mexico, 1974.
Second edition: Instituto de Investigaciones Filol6gicas,
Universidad Nacional Aut6noma de Mexico, 1980; Levi,
Sylvain, La India y el Mundo. Introduction, critical study
and commentary by Juan Miguel de Mora. Direct translation
from the French and English and notes by Ludwika Jarocka.
Editorial Diana, S. A., Mexico, 1975; Mora, Juan Miguel
de, La Dialictica en el Rig Veda. Editorial Diana, S.A.,
Mexico, 1978; La Filosofia en la Literatura Shnscrita. Uni-
versidad Nacional Aut6noma de Mexico, Mexico, 1968, The
Principle of Opposites in Sanskrit Texts. Pandit Rampratap
Shastri Charitable Trust, Beawar, Rajasthan, 1982; Sam-
skrtasamskrtih. Cultura Shnscrita. Some Aspects of Sanskrit
Culture. Proceedings of the Conversaciones ALAS 80 at Slo
Paulo, Brazil. Coordinaci6n de Humanidades, Universidad
Nacional Aut6noma de Mexico, Mexico, 1980; Samskrta-
samskrtih. Cultura Shnscrita. The Importance of the Sanskrit
Language in the past and today, from China to Latin
America. Proceedings of the First Latin American Conference
of Sanskritists at Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1981. Coordinaci6n de
Humanidades, Universidad Nacional Aut6noma de Mexico,
Mexico, 1981; Samskrtasamskrtih. Cultura Sanscrita. Pro-
ceedings of the First International Symposium on the Sanskrit
Language, Mexico, 1982. Coordinaci6n de Humanidades,
Universidad Nacional Aut6noma de Mexico (in press).
URUGUAY: Altuchow, Nicolas, Gramhtica Shnscrita Ele-
mental. Universidad Mayor de la Repiblica, Montevideo;
"Herasim Lebedeff (1746-1817)" in the Ludwik Sternback
Commemoration Volume of the Indologica Taurinensia, Vols.
VIII-IX, 1980-81; "La Influencia de la India sobre la Cultura
Japonesa" in "Prometeo, Revista Uruguaya de Cultura,"
Vol. II, 1980-81; Bhartrihari: Epigramas. Introduction, trans-
lation from the Sanskrit and notes by Nicolis Altuchow.
Universidad Mayor de la Repiblica, Montevideo; Nikitin,
Afansi: El Andar Mas Alla de los Tres Mares (Un viajero
ruso del siglo XV y su relato sobre la India). Introduction,
translation and notes by Nicolas Altuchow. Universidad
Mayor de la Reptblica, Montevideo; Shankara: A tma-bodha
y Moha-Mudgara. Introduction, translation from the Sanskrit
and notes by Nicolhs Altuchow. Universidad Mayor de la
Repiblica, Montevideo.
JUAN MIGUEL DE MORA
NATIONAL AUTONOMOUS UNIVERSITY OF MWXICO