By Swami Harshananda
Mythic Society of Bangalore is an institution devoted to the study and research of religion, philosophy, history, ethnology and culture. It is in Karnataka State which was founded in A. D. 1909 primarily by the initiative of F. J. Richards and then Collector of Civil and Military Station of Bangalore. It started with a core of just 17 members which have now expanded to more than 400. The Society is run by a Managing Committee duly elected by the members.
All official proceedings were being conducted at various places in the city until the Society got its own land and building in A. D. 1917. The building has been named ‘Daly Memorial Hall’ in memory of Sir Hugh Daly, then Resident of Mysore State. He had helped the Society in getting the land and putting up the building.
The library of the Society has a very good collection of books about 36,000 volumes including rare and valuable books and manuscripts acquired from various sources like the personal libraries of many savants. It includes the back numbers of many well-known journals on subjects pertaining to Indology.
Some of the rare books in its collection include the ones published in the 17th, the 18th and the 19th centuries. The books and the manuscripts are in various languages like Sanskrit, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Marathi and some foreign languages such as French and English. The Society is also publishing a journal entitled Quarterly Journal of the Mythic Society since A. D. 1909 itself. It contains the research papers read at the meetings of the Society.
The other specialties of the Society are:
- A portrait gallery of eminent personalities closely associated with it since its inception
- Endowments in memory of scholars
- Conducting seminars and symposia on Indological subjects
- A training course in research work
- A certificate course in the history of the Karnataka State
- Exhibitions on our cultural heritage
- Felicitations of scholars
- Hosting All India conferences of academic bodies
On an overview, it can be noted that the Mythic Society’s contribution to oriental studies is significant.
- It is called Cantonment.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore