[Advaita-l] Fwd: {भारतीयविद्वत्परिषत्} Nirnaysagar Press and Jawaji Dadaji

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon May 22 22:45:30 EDT 2017

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Nityanand Misra <nmisra at gmail.com>
Date: Tue, May 23, 2017 at 8:10 AM
Subject: {भारतीयविद्वत्परिषत्} Nirnaysagar Press and Jawaji Dadaji
To: bvparishat at googlegroups.com

Forwarding the inspiring account of Jawaji Dadaji posted by Sh. Arving
Kolhatkar on the samskrita mailing list.

On Tuesday, 23 May 2017 06:04:51 UTC+8, Arvind_Kolhatkar wrote:
> A book in Marathi, ’निर्णयसागर अक्षर साधना’, authored by PB Kulkarni, was
> printed in 1967 on the occasion of the centenary of the Nirnaysagar Press.
> More than a half of this book is devoted the lives of its founder, Jawaji
> Dadaji, his two sons Tukaram Jawaji and Pandurang Jawaji and Pandurang
> Jawaji's daughter-in-law Laxmibai Jawaji, who, between the four of them,
> guided the printing and publishing business of Nirnaysagar for a century
> from its founding by Jawaji Dadaji in 1867.
> Many of us have seen a text like the following on the first page of a
> Nirnaysagar publication:
> जयपुरमहाराजाश्रितेन पण्डितव्रजलालसूनुना पण्डित-दुर्गाप्रसादेन,
> मुम्बापुरवासिना परबोपाह्व-पाण्डुरङ्गात्मजकाशिनाथशर्मणा च
> संशोधित: ।
> स च
> मुम्बय्यां निर्णयसागराख्ययन्त्रालये तदधिपतिना मुद्राक्षरैरङ्कयित्वा
> प्राकाश्यं नीत: ।
> १८९०
> (अस्य ग्रन्थस्य पुनर्मुद्रणादिविषये सर्वथा जावजी दादाजी इत्यस्यैवाधिकार: ।
> )
> The founder of this enterprise, Jawaji Dadaji, was born in a poor family
> in Umarkhadi, Mumbai in 1839.  He lost his father when he was very young.
> As there was no other earning member of the family, Jawaji Dadaji, whose
> education had not progressed beyond writing his own name in the Marathi
> alphabet, had to look for a job to support his family since the age of 8.
> He started doing odd jobs like selling fruit from door to door.  At that
> time, Mr. Thomas Graham of the American Mission Press in the Bhendi Bazar
> locality took him on for the job of cleaning and polishing the types in the
> Press on a salary of Rs. 2 per month.  Jawaji took it because he had
> nothing better to do but soon started diligently learning what he could of
> the craft of type-casting and matrices.  Graham, who had taken a liking for
> this industrious young boy, taught him all he knew of this work.  In 1857
> the Mission Press was sold to the Times of India and Jawaji went over to
> the Times of India.  He spent five years there and then joined the
> newly-established Induprakash Press of Laxmanshastri Halbe and Keshvshastri
> Gadgil.  After a year there, another press, The Oriental Press, offered his
> a job on a substantial salary of Rs 30 per month.  By now he had become an
> expert maker of matrices and had started earning a name for his skill and
> the beauty of his matrices and types.
> By now the ambition of establishing his own type foundry business had
> taken root in his mind.  In 1864, in partnership with another expert
> craftsman Ranuji Aaroo, he started his own type foundry in his tenement
> with a small capital of Rs 700, loaned to him without any security by a
> Marwari money-lender by name Khuma Seth.
> Ganpat Krishnaji, one of the earliest native printers in Mumbai, had been
> printing by the litho process a Marathi panchang since 1831.  This panchang
> had become quite popular but discontinued after Ganpat Krishnaji's death in
> 1860.  Jawaji in 1867 decided to bring out his panchang, since then called
> the Nirnaysagar panchang by using moveable type, instead of the litho
> process.  The beauty of this panchang soon won over a large market and
> Jawaji's own publishing business took off with a flying start.  He soon
> turned his attention to printing of popular stotras and, from there, with
> the help of scholars like Pandit Durgaprasad of Jaipur, Kashinathshastri
> Parab and Vasudevshastri Panshikar graduated into bring out Sanskrit kavya
> and other shastric literature.  Several volumes of the series of Kavyamala
> bear witness to this.  In the area of Marathi literature, he brought out
> several books like Navaneet, an anthology of Marathi saint-poets compiled
> by Parshuram Tatya Godbole and Kavyethihas-sangraha, a series devoted to
> old Marathi literature and historical accounts.  In this he was assisted by
> well-known scholars of those days like Rao Bahadur KN Sane, Vishnushastri
> Chiplunkar and VK Oak.
> Jawaji died in 1892 but his business was, after his, carried on equally
> ably first by his eldest son Tukaram Jawaji and, after his death, by his
> brother Pandurang Jawaji.  In the centenary year of 1967, Tukaram's
> daughter-in-law Laxmibai was at the helm.
> The centenary volume carries the following note Witten by Dr V Raghavan:
> Nirnaysagar Press, Bombay, occupies a unique position in the history of
> Sanskrit leaving and education in this country. There had been efforts and
> organizations in different centres like Banaras and Calcutta tor bringing
> into print Sanskrit Classics which had been preserved for long in
> manuscripts in paper and palm-leaf; but when we consider the stages of
> improvement from the lithograph prints of the earliest stages in Banaras to
> the excellent and attractive editions of the Nirnaysagar Press, Bombay, one
> can realize the extent of advancement in the art of printing and the
> facility and aid which the printed books gave to the of Sanskrit study, not
> only in the institutions — schools, colleges and Universities — but also in
> the traditional Pathashalas and in the houses of Pandits, In fact, Sanskrit
> study and education in the classics of Sanskrit literature may be said to
> have grown with the publications of the Kavyamala and other Sanskrit works
> brought out by the Nirnaysagar Press.
> The history of the Nirnaysagar Press and its Founder Jawaji would read
> like a romance to those of this generation who do not know how that Press
> came to be founded. Jawaji came of the humblest family which could afford
> no education and what he achieved contributed perhaps most significantly to
> the spread of knowledge in the three fields of Sanskrit, Marathi and
> Gujarati. He started life rubbing types for Rs. 2/- a ninth and became
> eventually the Founder-Proprietor of the most outstanding Devanagari Press
> of the country, having on its establishment 400 workers. With his
> experience in types and type-casting, Jawaji founded a type foundry of his
> own in 1864 and five years later established the Nirnaysagar Press where he
> printed works with the types cast by him. As different from the Devanagari
> of Uttar Pradesh and Bengal, those of Jawaji's had a distinct character,
> shape and beauty of their own in all the sizes and in Roman and Antique.
> These Nirnaysagar Publications - say of the Brahmasutras or of the Bhagavad
> Gita - with several commentaries and the series of diverse types used in
> them, with variations text, quotations, pratikas, etc., had a distinct
> personality of their own with the text and commentaries clearly demarcated
> and the ink-impression very distinct and free frown diffusion and the whole
> thing very pleasing to the eye and helpful to the mind of the reader.
> Through the Kavyamala, both in its works-series and in the collection of
> minor works called Guchchakas, the Nirnaysagar Press had brought into print
> almost all the leading works in poetry, drama and criticism and had also
> unearthed many a rare minor work lying in manuscript collections in Jaipur,
> Tanjore and other centres. But for these publications, the knowledge of
> Sanskrit literature and its contributions, their variety, etc. would not
> have been realized by the scholars. The work of the Press became much
> enlarged by the anxiety of outside bodies and scholars desiring to take
> advantage of its excellent typography and getting their works printed at
> that Press, the most notable example of this being the Valmiki Ramayana and
> the Mahabharata of the Southern recension and works Of Dvaita Vedanta
> undertaken by the pioneers of Kumbhakonam who sought the help of the
> Nirnaysagar Press for their publications. Several Jain works were also
> brought out through the Nirnaysagar Press.  In several Shastras, for a long
> time, the Nirnaysagar editions were the only ones available for teachers
> and students.
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