Bibliography of Prof. V. S. Agrawala’s Works

The IGNCA library, as part of its aim of facilitating meaningful exchange between the Centre and other art and cultural organisations, has started the publication of an Occasional Bibliographical Series. This programme is directed towards catering to the multifarious needs of research scholars of preparing critical editions of fundamental texts and interpreting and evaluating Indian art and culture.

The IGNCA has made a beginning of this ongoing programme with the publication of a Bibliography of Prof. Vasudeva Sarana Agrawala’s (1904-1966) works. Prof. Agrawala, D. Litt., started his career a a Curator at Mathura Museum in 1931, and in 1940 he came to Lucknow as Director of the State Museum. In 1946 he took the charge of Central Asian Antiquities Museum at Delhi. Finally, in 1951, he joined Benaras Hindu University as Professor and head of the Department of Art and Architecture. Prof. Agrawala loved ancient antiquities both as source material and as the best manifestations of Indian culture. He was one of the architects of Mathura Museum and procured many antiquities and properly catalogued them.

He studied Indian antiquities and wrote numerous articles in Indian and international Magazines/Journals. His versatile experience, studies and vision made him realise the need of a National Museum at Delhi.

Prof. Agrawala was a very sound scholar of Sanskrit, which is also evident from his famous studies on the Astadhyayi, and so Vedic, samskrta, Prakrti, Apabhramsa literatures were easily accessible to him. His thorough knowledge of Indian history and culture prompted him to make cultural interpretations of literary works. His knowledge of ancient Indian literature and various modern dialects made him a great practical etymologist and an equally great cultural commentator.

The last decade of his life was mostly dedicated to Vedic studies. He wrote on the Vedas both in Hindi and English and his studies in the field are available in the form of collections of papers and original works. He aimed at reinterpreting the four Vedas but he had completed only the first mandala of the Rigveda. However, he has left a few works such as ‘Rigvedic Mythology’, An Introduction to the Rigveda’, ‘An Indian Window on the Cosmos’ etc. more or less complete.

In order to preserve the monumentous works and to facilitate further study the IGNCA has published “Prof. Vasudeva Sarana Agrawala: A Bibliographic Survey of his Published Works”, which contains 616 entries. This bibliography offers a survey of Prof. Agrawala’s works, published between 1925 to 1987. It contains:

(1) Books, (2) Articles published in various journals, 93) Articles published in anthologies, commemoration and felicitation volumes, (4) Edited works, (5) Translated works, (6) Forewords, Prefaces and Introductions, (7) Obituary and minor writings and (8) Letters. It covers publications in English as well as in Hindi and Sanskrit.

— T.A.V. Murthy


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