Imaging Technology Restores Damaged Madhva Text


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Researchers who worked on the Archimedes Palimpsest are applying modern day imaging systems to digitally restore a seven-hundred-yr-aged Vaishnava palm-leaf manuscript. The job, led by P.R. Mukund and Roger L. Easton Jr., professors at Rochester Institute of Know-how in Rochester, Big apple, will digitally preserve the first writings often called the Sarvamoola-granthas, attributed on the scholarly preceptor Sripada Madhvacharya (1238-1317). The gathering of 36 functions is made up of his Sanskrit commentaries on sacred scriptures and conveys an exposition of his philosophical procedure (commonly often called Dvaita Vedanta, to emphasise its departure from Sripada Sankaracharya’s before program of Advaita Vedanta).

The document is difficult to tackle also to study, the result of centuries of inappropriate storage strategies, botched preservation attempts and degradation because of improper dealing with. Every leaf on the manuscript actions 26 inches extensive and two inches wide (66cm X 5cm), and is certain together with braided wire threaded by way of two holes. Weighty wooden handles sandwich the 340 palm leaves, cracked and chipped at the edges. Time along with a misguided software of oil have aged the palm leaves darkish brown, obscuring the Sanskrit writings.

It truly is virtually crumbling to dust, claims Mukund, the Gleason Professor of Electrical Engineering at RIT. In accordance with Mukund, fifteen percent in the manuscript is missing. The e book won’t ever be opened again, Except if You will find there’s compelling purpose to do so, Mukund says, for the reason that each and every time they do, they reduce some. Right after this, there won’t be a have to open the e-book.

Mukund initial became involved with the task when his spiritual teacher in India introduced the trouble to his consideration and urged him to uncover an answer. This grew to become a personal aim for Mukund, who scientific tests and teaches sanatan-dharma and understood the importance of preserving the doc for foreseeable future scholars. The accuracy of current printed copies in the Sarvamoola-granthas is unknown.

Mukund sought the experience of RIT colleague Easton, who experienced imaged the Dead Sea Scrolls and is now focusing on the Archimedes Palimpsest. Easton, a professor at RIT Chester File. Carlson Centre for Imaging Science, brought in Keith Knox, an imaging senior scientist at Boeing LTS, as a marketing consultant. Mukund additional Ajay Pasupuleti, a doctoral prospect in microsystems at RIT, and also the crew was fashioned.

The scientists traveled to India in December 2005 to evaluate the doc saved at a monastery-like matha in Udupi, India. Sponsored by a grant from RIT, the crew returned to the monastery in June and put in six times imaging the doc employing a scientific electronic camera and an infrared filter to boost the contrast in between the ink as well as palm leaf. Images of each palm leaf, back and front, have been captured in eight to ten sections, then processed and digitally stitched collectively.

“The imaging is rather straightforward,” mentioned Easton. The leaves, or what remained of them, had been laid out on a movable tabletop. Like an assembly line employee, Pasupuleti put in hrs every day advancing the tabletop a short distance, getting a picture then repeating the method. Every single picture coated a two-inch (5cm X 5cm) sq. of leaf. The summer months was expended digitally stitching the seven,900 photographs collectively – perform overseen in large part by Knox, applying a variety of image-processing algorithms using Adobe Photoshop and Knox’s custom made software.

This is an extremely considerable application of the same varieties of tools that Now we have employed over the Archimedes Palimpsest, Easton suggests. Not By the way, this also has become one of the most pleasurable tasks in my occupation, since the outcome are going to be of fantastic curiosity to a large number of folks in India.

The processed photographs of your Sarvamoola-granthas are going to be saved in a number of media formats, which include electronically, in released publications and on silicon wafers for lengthy-term preservation. Etching the sacred writings on silicon wafers was the thought of Mukund’s scholar Pasupuleti. The method, known as aluminum metallization, transfers a picture to some wafer by developing a detrimental on the image and depositing steel to the silicon area. In keeping with Pasupuleti, Just about every wafer can hold the picture of a few leaves. A lot more than 100 these kinds of wafers will probably be necessary to store all the manuscript. Being an archival material, silicon wafers are the two fireproof and water resistant, and are readable with the use of a magnifying glass.

Mukund and Pasupuleti will return to India at the end of November to offer printed and electronic versions in the Sarvamoola-granthas to your monastery in Udupi in a public ceremony in Bangalore, the largest town within the Karnataka region. We really feel we have been blessed to own this opportunity To do that, Mukund says. It was a fantastic and profoundly spiritual encounter, and all of us arrived away cleansed.

Determined by the results of this project, Mukund is looking for funding to graphic other Dvaita-sampradaya Vaishnava manuscripts during the Udupi area composed since the time of Sripada Madhvacharya. He estimates the existence of close to 800 palm leaf manuscripts, several of that happen to be in non-public collections.


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