Pandit Madhusudan Ojha and his Legacy
Born on September 2 in 1866 in the village Gadha of the district Muzzafarpur in Bihar State, Pt. Madhusudan Ojha was taught and educated up to the elementary level by his father, Pt. Vaidyanath Ojha , a renowned scholar of his time. When he was just eight years, he was adopted by his father’s elder brother Pt. Rajeev Lochan who was the Raj Pandit (Head Priest) in the court of Sawai Ram Singh of Jaipur. He moved to Jaipur along with his adopted father and studied under the guidance of the best Sanskrit teachers available at Jaipur during those days. As a child he exhibited extraordinary talent but his study was interrupted on account of the death of his foster father. He returned to Bihar and joined Darbhanga Sanskrit Pathshala at Kashi at the age of sixteen. He was taught by Pt. Shiva Kumar Shastri who was recognized as an eminent teacher of his time. He completed the study of Sanskrit grammar, logic analysis, literature and Vedant and became an authority on them.
Having come to know of his extraordinary genius the Director of Education, Jaipur State, invited Pt. Ojha to work as the Head of the Department of Sanskrit at Maharaja Arts College, Jaipur. Soon the fragrance of his scholarly genius reached far and wide. When Maharaja Madho Singh of Jaipur heard of his brilliance, he included him in his inner circle and appointed him as the Head of his Royal Library (Pothikhana). He was also made the president of the assembly of religious scholars. He was considered one of the nine jewels of the then Maharaja.
Maharishi Ved Vyas who authored the Gita and the Mahabharata and compiled the Vedas is considered God because he was a seer gifted with divine power, to see the past, the present and the future. With the help of his infinite knowledge and transcendental wisdom he wrote invaluable treatises with the sole objective of doing good for humanity. After Ved Vyas we do not come across any other person who has created such prolific literature with a broad outlook as that of Pt. Madhusudan Ojha. In recognition of his seminal contribution to the cause of scientific interpretation of the Vedas many Acharyas unanimously bestowed on him the title of second Ved Vyasa or an incarnation of Ved Vyasa.
Pt Madhusudan Ojha was inspired by his Guru Pt. Shiv Kumar Shastri to study the scientific aspect of the Vedas and simplified the obscure Vedic terminology. He presented it in simple language which elucidated clearly the recondite thoughts of the Vedas.
Instead of writing a commentary on the Vedas he gave a new interpretation of the words and mantras depicting the science of creation. He did not leave any aspect of the Vedas untouched. He wrote separate treatises on each of the ten concepts as expounded in the ‘Nasdiya Sukta’ of ‘Rigveda’ and also created a single volume encompassing the ten concepts. Pt. Ojha also wrote critical analyses of all the six parts of the Vedas i.e. ‘Vedang’.
The Vedic literature created by Pt. Madhusudan Ojha can be classified into the following five categories:
- Brahma Vigyan (The Science of Cosmology)
- Yajna Vigyan (The Science of Yajna)
- Puran Samikshayen (Reviews of the Puranas)
- Vedang Samikshayen (Reviews of Vedang), and
- Agam Rahasya (Secrets of Sacred Literature) Each category consists of several principal treatises which are forty in number. Pandit Ojha’s treatises number 229. In addition to them he also authored 59 treatises on different subjects. Thus, Pt Ojha has authored around 288 ‘granthas’ (treatises) in all. It is an incredible feat which baffles the modern scholars since they find it humanly impossible.
Impressed by his amazing scholarly genius Maharaja Madho Singh took Pt. Ojha to England where he attended the coronation of Edward VII in 1902. In England Pt. Ojha met the renowned Sanskrit scholars of Oxford and Cambridge Universities and exchanged views with them. He left an indelible impression on their minds.
Pt. Madhusudan Ojha was a resplendent luminary in the horizon of Vedic literature and his contribution would go down in the annals of human history as something unique, innovative and original.
Mr. Karpoor Chandra
Mr. Karpoor Chandra ‘Kulish’, the man who started Rajasthan Patrika as an evening newspaper and took it to the great heights of glory was a visionary par excellence, a many-splendored genius who had lived the ideal as embodied in the oft-quoted puranic aphorism ‘charaiveti-charaiveti’ (move on and on and rest not) and above all a man of extraordinary versatility as reflected in his ability to convert a small newspaper into an unmatched daily of Rajasthan. He was a brilliant journalist, a scholar of Vedas, a thinker, a philosopher and a poet. His insatiable quest for knowledge was endless despite his advanced age and falling health. When he was in his early twenties, much before he had achieved anything worthy of mention, he had awarded himself the appellation of ‘Kulish’ the Invincible One.
The man who strode across the land and dreamt of hitting the sky had a humble beginning. He was born on March 20, 1926 in a relatively unknown village called Soda which was a part of the erstwhile state of Diggi and Lawa of Tonk District in Rajasthan. The seeds of greatness were sown at his emotional plane when he experienced a phase of uncertainty after passing his Matriculation Exam. Like Joseph Pulitzer, he pledged to tread the path of struggle for survival.
Mr. Kulish continued his journey uninterrupted despite tumultuous tempests and hailstorms that hampered his path. His indomitable will and indefatigable courage stood him in good stead. The sapling of Patrika that he planted in 1956 has now grown into a mighty banyan tree. Its branches are not confined to the frontiers of Rajasthan but they have percolated into the territories of Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh with 29 editions and more than 10 million readers. Rajasthan Patrika is reckoned to be one of the top ten Hindi dailies of India. It has won a number of national and international awards for its journalistic excellence.
When Kulishji attained the age of sixty on March 20, 1986 he decided to relinquish his position as the editor bidding ‘namaskar’ to his readers in his column. But he had not taken a back seat; he just wanted to switch tracks to undertake an in depth study of the Vedas, the treasure of ancient wisdom. He travelled around the world addressing Indologists and Vedic scholars. He gave talks at the universities of Bonn and Hamburg, the Institute of Indology in Frankfurt and the International Forum for a Better World, Cologne. His talks had also been serialized by the BBC, Voice of America and Voice of Germany. Kulishji was credited with having brought Pandit Madhusudan Ojha’s work to light. He not only publicized Pandit Ojha’s books through a series of scholarly articles on them but also wrote copiously in the language of the people. It was on account of his missionary zeal that Pandit Ojha’s legacy could be brought to light. Rajasthan Patrika has so far published 60 books on the Vedas under his direct guidance.
The story of the life of Shri Karpoor Chand ‘Kulish’ is a saga of courage, fearlessness, candor and determination. He was a beacon of hope for those who wanted to achieve success in life.
Pandit Devidutt Sharma Chaturvedi
Pandit Devidutt Sharma, the son of an illustrious scholar Mahamahopadyaya Pandit Girdhar Sharma Chaturvedi, has inherited the scholarly genius that distinguished his family from others. When he was just eight years old, he underwent Yagnopavit Samskar, a ceremony of giving a sacred thread to a young boy to wear for the first time in life. This ceremony of Yagnopavit was attended by Pandit Madhusudan Ojha as well. As a child he was admitted in a Sanskrit school. He also received regular lessons from his father at home. He was subjected to rigorous religious discipline by his father which included a thousand recitations of Gayatri Mantra very early in the morning every day. He passed Upadhyay Examination which included the study of Sidhant Kaumudi and Nyaya Muktavali. When he was doing Shastri at Sanskrit College, he had the opportunity to study Patanjali Mahabhashya and other analytical treatises on Sanskrit grammar. He left the college and continued the study of the ancient treatises under the guidance of his father. For four years he had a thorough study of such treatises as Sankhya, Yoga, Darshan, Ved, Nirukt, Kavya Prakash, Kuvalayanand.
Later, he moved to Kashi now Varanasi, the seat of learning, when his father left Jaipur and settled there. The greatest advantage of his stay at Kashi was that he had an opportunity to listen to the conversations between his father and the legendary scholar Mahamahopadhyay Kaviraj Gopinath every Sunday. Besides, he spent two and a half hours every Sunday to study Mantra Shastra which gave him an insightful understanding of the profundity of Indian cultural heritage.
Later in the eighties he came into contact with Shri Karpoor Chandra ‘Kulish’ who encouraged him to translate the Vedic treatises authored by Pandit Madhusudan Ojha in Hindi. The following books of Pt. Ojha have been translated by Pandit Devidutt Chatruvedi :
- Brahm Sidhant
- Jagadguru Vaibhavam
- Pitra Samiksha
- Bhagvat Gita ka Vigyanmay Rahasya Kand
These books have been published by Rajasthan Patrika. The Hindi renderings of Pandit Ojha’s books elucidating the scientific aspects of Vedas by Pandit Devidutt Sharma Chaturvedi speak volumes of his erudition and deep study. He passed away at age 92 but even during his advanced age at around 90 he exuded refulgence and continued his studies.