Indian Literary Works Added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register

Indian Literary Works Added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register

The three literary works of India has been added by the Memory of the World (MOW) UNESCO's, The names of the works are - Ramcharitamanas, Panchatantra and Sahrdayaloka-Locana into the Asia Pacific Regional Register.

This has happened while the 10th meeting of the Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific (MOWCAP), held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. India has nominated the works and it is the first successful since the inception of MOWCAP in 2004.

About the Texts

Ramcharitamanas, which is written by Goswami Tulsidas, is a epic read across Southeast Asia. The Ramcharitamanas is popular and read beyond the Indian borders, in the countries like Cambodia, Thailand, Srilanka and Indonesia.

The Panchatantra has moral lessons while Sahdayaloka is the Kashmir Scholarly work written in the 15th century.

Memory of the World Program

The program had been launched by UNESCO in the year 1992, which aims to safeguard the heritage of humanity against the collective amnesia.

It promotes the protection, preservation, library collections and dissemination of valuable archival holdings.

This program recognizes and maintains the records of the importaint heritage which are significant for the regional, national, and international levels and facilitating preservation, education and research.

Global and Regional Registrations -

As of May 2023, there are total 494 inscriptions globally on the International (MOWR). The MOWCAP focuses on the achievements in science, literature and genealogy in the Asia-Pacific region.

In its 2024 cycle, the MOWCAP has recognized the contribution from the various Asian countries, and highlights the key scientific discoveries and regional literary traditions.

Ramcharitamanas -

Author/Written by - Goswami Tulsidas

Year/Time - 16th Century (during the reign of Akbar)

Dialect - Awadhi

Comprise of seven Kands, with Luv-Kush Kand (exclusively).

Note - This work is quiet different than the Valmiki's Ramayana, it starts with the curse on 'Lord Shiva's' attendants.

Goswami Tulsidas claimed that he had visions of Shiva and Hanuman, which make him to write the Ramayana. However, the work is embedded of philosophies of Bhakti and Vedanta.

Panchtantra -

Attribution - Vishnu Sharma

Time- 3rd century BCE

Versions- more than 200

Languages- more than 60 languages

It was purporting as a Political Science manual based on the Niti teachings. Originally it was not a children's book but it's stories were designed to instruct on statecraft.

The work translated into more than 50 languages.

The work influenced world folklore, and it directly inspiring 'The Arabian Nights', 'The Cantebury Tales', 'The Fables of La Fontaine' and 'The Decameron'.

Sahrdayaloka-Locana -

It is ancient Indian text.

It is attributed to the Rajasekhara

Time Span - 9th to 10th centuries AD

The works discusses on poetics and dramaturgy which is attributed to: Rājaśekhara (9th-10th centuries AD)

Focus: Aesthetic theories and performance arts in Sanskrit literature.

Significance: Explores the 'rasa' theory from Bharata’s ‘Natya Shastra’ and provides in-depth analysis of emotions in historical performance arts.