Project for Preparation of a Classified, Electronic Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Manuscripts and Books on Yoga

In the last few decades, there has been a wide acceptance of Yoga in western nations. More and more people from all over the world are also flocking to India to get the Yogic solution to their health problems. As the demand for Yoga is increasing, there is also a corresponding increase in the number of scientists studying and conducting research in the field of Yoga.

Though the number of persons studying and conducting research in the field of Yoga has increased multifold, there has not been a matching increase to facilitate learning and research in this field. Necessary and efficient tools have not been developed to facilitate easy and correct understanding of the Yogic texts.

This is due to the fact that there are an incredible number of Yogic texts that deal with different aspects like the Asana, Pranayama, Hatha Yoga and so on. It is estimated that there are at least 10,000 texts that deal with Yoga and its allied topics in India. These works are predominantly in Sanskrit. Apart from Sanskrit, there are many works written in other regional languages and English also. Out of the ancient manuscripts that are both in palm-leaf, paper and other traditional forms, it is estimated that only about 150 – 200 works have been published. Even expert Yoga practitioners and scholars do not know even the names or other details about the remaining texts. Further there is no ready reckoner to know if a book has been published or not. There is also no Catalogue that readily gives even the basic details like name, author, sub-division of Yoga with which the text deals etc of all the manuscripts / books on Yoga available in the different libraries / collections of India and abroad. This is a big handicap as far as Yoga practitioners, scholars and researchers are concerned.

To overcome this acute and critical problem, it is proposed to bring out a comprehensive, Classified, Electronic Master descriptive catalogue of all manuscripts and books on Yoga. This Electronic Master descriptive catalogue will also contain information about all the works of Yoga, authored in Sanskrit, English and other regional languages of India. This will go a long way in helping Yoga practitioners, scholars and researchers in their respective professions and create awareness in the world about the original contributions of our forefathers to this field. This will also facilitate extensive research into the practical and theoretical aspects of the original texts of Indian systems of philosophy, especially Yoga philosophy.

This project is undertaken with support from the Govt. of India and the execution of the same is under full swing. In a way, this project is a natural progression of the Dictionary of Yoga prepared earlier.