Making of a modern-day mantra-śāstra pamphlet

Originally, all mantra instructions were oral, keeping with the spirit of the śruti. But over time, starting probably around the Mauryan age, written manuals began to supplement the oral teachings. Thus, through the ages practitioners of the mantra-lore have made pamphlets for self-use, use by students or more general distribution. Until the English conquest, the Hindu, despite having familiarity with the printed mode of text dissemination, preferred the written mode. However, one of the signs of Hindu modernity was the production of printed and subsequently electronic texts. These mantra-manuals were originally written entirely in Sanskrit but with the decline of the use of ārya-speech outside the ritual, bilingual manuals started making their appearance. What we present here is one such bilingual manual. It is made taking advantage of TeX, the famous and innovative typesetting system of Donald Knuth, which allows you to make nice-looking documents. The TeX distribution used is MiKTeX2.9 and the typesetting engine is XeLaTeX. The text is input using the TeXworks environment, which comes with MiKTeX for editing and typesetting. The Devanagari and IAST conversion from an ITRANS input was achieved using the Sanscript converter (http://www.learnsanskrit.org/tools/sanscript). The font for the Devanagari script is the Siddhanta font of Mihail Bayaryn. The manual presented here is a reasonably comprehensive discourse on “The Sāvitrī and the upāsanā of the Deva Savitṛ” (pdf format). It is primarily aimed at a serious student with some familiarity with the śruti.

The source .tex file may be obtained here.

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