Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (Pune)
By Swami Harshananda
Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute is often abbreviated as BORI. It was started in A. D. 1917 at Pune to commemorate the life and works of R. G. Bhaṇḍārkar, a distinguished pioneer of scientific Orientology in India. It is a registered body and is managed by a Regulating Council as also an Executive Board. It is financed by the governments of India, Maharashtra and the University Grants Commission.
Bhaṇḍārkar’s personal library, a veritable treasury of Oriental books and research journals, was presented to the institute on the very day of its inauguration. It was further enriched by the transfer of a precious collection of over 20,000 books in Sanskrit and Prākṛt manuscripts from the famous Deccan College by the Government of Bombay Presidency.
The Institute is holding an All-India Oriental Conference every two years in different centers of learning and the proceedings are published regularly. The Institute is also bringing out periodically, the Annals, containing research papers. More than seventy issues of this journal have been published so far.
The library of the institution has now grown to 82,000 volumes of very valuable books. It is available for use and consultation to students and scholars interested in Oriental research.
By far, the crowning achievement of this famous institute is the publication of the critical and illustrated edition of the epic Mahābhārata. The project was started in A. D. 1919 and completed in A. D. 1966. History of Dharmaśāstra by Dr. P. V. Kāṇe and the critical edition of the Harivanśa are the other two illustrious publications that need mention.
The institute has its own printing press. Bringing out descriptive catalogs of the manuscripts in its possession, facilities for post-graduate research work in Indological subjects, work on a comprehensive dictionary of Prākṛt language and a cultural index of the Mahābhārata based on the critical edition are the ongoing projects now.
- He lived in A. D. 1875-1950.
- Harivanśa is an appendix work of the Mahābhārata.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore