DELHI UNIVERSITY CONDUCTS A CERTIFICATE AND DIPLOMA COURSE IN PALI LANGUAGE
The department of Buddhist studies, Delhi University, is providing a certificate and a diploma course in Pali, an ancient Indian language of the Magadha kingdom (now Bihar) and its neighbouring states.
Elaborating on the importance of the language, Bhikshu Satyapala, former head of department, Buddhist studies, says, “Pali is a language in which teachings of the Buddha are preserved originally. Students, who take these courses, learn about the Indian languages, culture, geography, rivers, politics, climate, history, philosophy and folk culture. Pali is not just the name of the language; it is the name of a vast literature as well, which caters to information on Buddha. His teachings are very important in today’s world.”
An interesting fact about Pali is that it does not have its own scripture. It can be read or written in any scripture. But for examination purpose, Devanagari or Roman scripts are preferred. The areas covered in this course include Pali language and literature, Buddhist philosophy, especially Theravada (early and later) Buddhism. The duration for both the courses is one year and both courses have a total of 25 seats each.
The faculty for the course comprises six permanent teachers who are specialists in various branches of Buddhism. Apart from this, the department also invites guest lecturers as and when required.
According to Satyapala, students after completion of their course can focus on various field researches. They can also appear for Union Public Service Commission and other State Public Service Commission exams where Pali is one of the optional papers.
“Students who are interested in taking up these courses should first try and read the Dhammapada and Jataka with a Hindi or English translation text. Students who have a Sanskrit background, will find the lessons easy. But they should brush up their Sanskrit skills,” informs Satyapala.
Graduates from Delhi University or from any other recognised university are eligible to apply. Interested candidates have to appear for the entrance test. For the diploma course, admission may be given to those who have passed the one-year certificate course in Pali/Tibetan language and literature or any equivalent degree of Delhi University or any other recognised university. Forms can be obtained from the department of Buddhist Studies from June 15.