About Website

What we wish to do is to:

1. Create a repository of Indian philosophical texts on the Internet, and to make these freely available to whoever is interested.
2. Create tools as well as a process that will make the putting up of such texts on the web simple.
3. Explore the different ways in which the content can be presented, in order to enhance the study of these texts.

Our major website is the Gita Supersite. It is not only the first site that we have built, but even today, a large part of our collective effort is spent in improving this site. We see this website as representative of all our work, and also as a model of how we think such work should be done. This website has the aphorisms of the Brahma Sutra together with Sankara's commentary.

The texts are in Sanskrit and can be viewed in any of 11 language scripts: Assamese, Bengali, Devanagari, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Punjabi, Roman, Tamil and Telugu. We hope to put up English translations of the Sutras as well as Sankara's commentary very soon.

An Index to the Sutras is also planned. The 2-Book View allows you to open two copies of the text simultaneously for a comparative study of different chapters/sutras of the book. A list of other websites created by us is available on the home page.

Dynamic fonts have been used on this site, so no download of fonts is required. However, if you face problems viewing the site, first look at the sections on Technical Requirements and Fonts Troubleshooting. If the problem persists, please send us email. We will appreciate any other feedback/comments.

We wish you joy, and invoke the blessings of Vyasa and Sankara on your study of Vedanta!

History

The seeds of this work were planted in the pre-Internet days with a project undertaken by Dr. T.V. Prabhakar, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, funded by the Chinmaya International Foundation (1989). A DOS version of Swami Chinmayananda’s book, The Holy Geeta was hyperised and published as Geeta Vaatika (1992), perhaps the first electronic book in India. After the emergence of Internet standards, Geeta Vaatika was redone in HTML (1996).As the World Wide Web grew, the Government of India (Department of Electronics) funded a project that continued this work. Work began on the Gita Supersite , which included multiple commentaries and translations of the Bhagavadgita. A website was designed and built, with the programming (business logic) initially all on the client side.Subsequently, the Ministry of Information Technology was born out of the Department of Electronics, and Resource Centres for Indian Language Technology Solutions were established throughout the country. Under one such Resource Centre established at IIT Kanpur, work on the Gita Supersite has continued. The technology was extensively reworked and the content was converted into a database, with all the business logic on the server side. Currently work is going on to convert the data into a font-independent ISCII database, streamline the programs, improve the audio content, add many more commentaries on the Bhagavadgita and provide additional features on the site.Meanwhile, the idea of building Heritage Websites related to Indian philosophical texts emerged. A series of websites were planned, including the Upanishads (to include 12 major Upanishads with Sankara’s commentaries and translations in English & Hindi), Brahma Stura, Complete Works of Sankara, Ramcharitmanas  and the Yoga Sutra. Data-entry for all these websites is almost complete and extensive proofreading is underway.The experience of building websites in Indian languages was shared with others and a bi-lingual site was designed and built for the Uttar Pradesh Trade Tax Corporation , Government of India. A site on the life and works of the contemporary sage, Paramhans Rammangaldasji  was also built. Moving in another direction, an all-Hindi site on disease-information and health, Bimari-Jankari  was created.

Our Team

This website has been built as part of a larger effort to create a series of websites based on Indian philosophical texts. Our team works under a project in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

Members

T.V. PRABHAKAR (Professor, IIT Kanpur) tvp@iitk.ac.in
TVP is the heart of the group. Together with VC, he began this work many years ago and, kept it alive and going, even in the occasional absence of official funding. Passionate about learning and teaching, he stays abreast of the latest on technology. Also passionate about Indian philosophy: appears “inspired” to work on the Bhagavadgita and Upanishads, often against great odds!


RAVI S MULA rvsmula@iitk.ac.in
Ravi re-engineered the platform and brought new life to the effort.


T. ARCHNA.
Archna is the Subject Specialist in the group and directs the content, interface and features of the websites. Would rather be an out-of-work-philosopher than be employed in any other capacity. But is interested in exploring technology to see how its use can enhance the study of philosophical texts. She has a huge number of ideas and the technology group can hardly keep pace with them.


HARISH C. KARNICK (Professor, IIT Kanpur).
HK took over the group’s leadership when TVP went on a years’ leave. Putting in enormous energy and reHomeing accessible to the group at all times, he has moved the work towards a major consolidation of effort. The project is now unthinkable without him.


NITIN GAUTAM.
Nitin did lots of interesting things with the site. He brought in a CMS, streamlined Indian language display issues writing converters to the scripts we are using.


MURAT DHWAJ SINGH.
MD is the senior programmer in the group, having worked to build the first version of the Gita Supersite. Quiet and unassuming, he has picked up enormous experience in putting up Indian language websites. His non-confrontationist attitude helps keep peace when tempers run high!


MADHU KUMAR DHAVALA.
Madhu has joined the group Homely to develop and test our sites and softwares. His major assets are his active participation in the group, willingness to learn and a charming smile!


RAJEEV BHATIA.
Rajeev is the local wizard on data-entry and proofreading. The accuracy and speed of his typing, both in English and Devanagari are truly remarkable, and his keen eyes catch errors that the proofreaders miss. Over the years, Rajeev has quietly made himself indispensable to the group.


SAURABH KUMAR.
The latest recruit, Saurabh has joined the group Homely to test our sites and software. His major assets are his active participation in the group, willingness to learn and a charming smile!


Others

DR. VINEET CHAITANYA was the driving force behind the Geeta Vaatika, as well as the inspiration for the Gita Supersite. Now he watches our activities from IIIT Hyderabad, and is still one of the few who truly understand the spirit behind this work.


NAGARAJU PAPPU, the first one, wrote 100,000 lines of C-code for the initial versions of Geeta Vaatika. His DOS version had more features than the current HTML one!

Apart from the current team, those who have contributed to the growth of these websites in a major way include:K. Anil Kumar, Anvita Bajpai, Ashutosh Sharma, Gita Pathak, Rajni Moona,  K. Ravi Kiran, Rohit Patwardhan, Samudra Gupta, Shrikant Trivedi and Tripti Singh.

Sponsors

This work was done as part of the activities of the Resource Centre for Indian Language Technology Solutions, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India. The Resource Centres are funded by the Ministry of Information Technology, Government of India under its programme, Technology Development for Indian Languages. We gratefully acknowledge their financial assistance.