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Students help revive ancient Pali language

Mihir Bhanage, TNN Aug 3, 2013, 12.00AM IST

Slowly but steadily Pali, the Buddhist language of communication, is catching the fancy of students and young professionals in the city.

Students and teachers at the Pune University are trying their best to sustain and revive this language that has long gone out of popular usage.
Dharmvir Barsole, who learned the language at the University and is now teaching it there, is happy by the growing interest in the subject. "Though initially there was very little awareness about the language but people's perspective is changing and more and more of them are taking it up now. Also the knowledge of Pali is essential for the students of Buddhist scriptures."
Elaborating on the same Yogesh Ovhal, a diploma student said, "It is easier to understand the Buddhist scripture if one knows Pali and hence I plan to study this language as much as I can."
Working professionals too are showing interest towards the language for various reasons. Shripad Godbole, a chartered accountant, took up the course to find answers to Buddhism related questions in his mind. "After reading a few books on Buddhism, I felt like knowing more about the subject and hence decided to take this course."
Pune University's, Department of Pali and Buddhist studies offers certificate to PhD level courses in the language. Speaking on efforts towards resurgence of this ancient language Mahesh Deokar, head of the department said, "People are not even aware of Pali being a language, leave alone the fact that it is an Indian language. Hence we are doing our best tospread awareness about it."
The university has also introduced a post-graduate certificate course in applied Mahayana Buddhist psychology this year. The course offered last year saw a huge response from various quarters. "It is a much sought after course in the West and we too had quite a few takers for it among youngsters as well as working professionals when we introduced it last year," informs Deokar.



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