Our oriental collections offer works that are useful for the study of religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam and Sikhism. As well as sources in Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, Persian, Chinese, Tibetan and Japanese, they also include a collection of contemporary works in Hindi and Urdu, and in the mediaeval languages of Northern India.
Our collections are an indispensable tool for UNIL’s Chair of Buddhist studies. The Pāḷi, Tibetan (sDe-dge, Lhassa, Pékin and Nar-thang publications) and Chinese (in the famous Japanese Taishō Shinshū Daizōkyō based on the Tripiṭaka Koreana) canons are available at the open shelves, along with the rich para-canonical Theravāda and Mahāyāna literatures.
The core of the Sanskrit collections are the veda, brāhmaṇa, āraṇyaka, upaniṣad and epics (Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa), purāṇa, dharmaśāstra and vedānta. Classical schools of Indian philosophy (darśana) and their tantric extensions are also well represented, along with 3,000 years of Sanskrit literature.
Hindi and Urdu collection
The University of Lausanne has offered classes in Hindi for over two decades. They were originally offered as an option, and later, starting in 2012, as a separate branch of study. Its sister language, Urdu, is also one of the options on the course in southern Asian languages and civilisations. A growing collection now provides access to the extensive modern literature of Northern India.
Indian Islam collection
Since 2012, our collections have also included a section devoted to Islam in India and the rest of the Sub-continent in response to a newly created chair at the University of Lausanne. From the Delhi Sultanate to the present day, via the Moghul Empire and the British Raj, you will find works on Islamic philosophy, religion, society, art and history in India.