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Sanskrit: The beginning of knowing the ‘self’!

Language is the soul of any society. Language is a medium of communication and this communication leads to knowledge. Language preserves this knowledge and it is also a tool which keeps this knowledge affluent.

                            From this point of view we can easily understand the importance of the Sanskrit language as this language has been instrumental in generating knowledge, preserving and keeping it flowing for at least the last 4000 years. Besides all this Sanskrit has also witnessed changing cultural, political, economical and religious graphs of Indian society and we can see it’s depiction in Sanskrit literature.

                               Apart from famous literary works there is a humongous amount of knowledge in this language which is still untapped. Though researchers and scholars in various different fields are now developing interest in this language, most people are still unaware about this great heritage. Being the students of Sanskrit, we feel it’s extremely necessary to bring forth this knowledge.

           Historical background is taken into consideration while studying any subject. Even today the historical background for many subjects begins from Vedas.We can find the origins of farming, animal husbandry and warfare in Vedas. While the efforts are taken on an international level to establish peace, this very idea is brilliantly presented in the Vedas. ‘Cosmic Code’ which was pursued by Heniz and Einstein has also been discussed in Rigveda.

                   Researchers are being continuously surprised by the inquisitiveness of Vedic People. In Nasadiya Sukta many questions have been asked regarding the universe around us, it’s creation and scope. Even modern research is considering these questions discussed in Rigveda and Atharvaveda.

                       Vedas were preserved in its original form for thousands of years by following highly accurate oral methods of recitation. Features like structure of language, the intensive study of ‘Varna’ (वर्ण) and it’s pronunciation, prove how linguistically advanced Sanskrit language is. In Pratishakhya texts, there is a detailed discussion on phonology which is relevant even today.

                       In India there is a distinct tradition of dialogue, debate and conversation. Sanskrit language has also treasured the great heritage of logic and philosophy. What is Dharma? What is salvation? Do the concepts like truth or ultimate truth really exist? Is there any reason behind the existence of a human on this earth? Is there any perpetual link which can connect us better?  We still fight with such questions even in today’s era of artificial intelligence.What if we get to know that the Upanishads, Aranyak texts and Darshana have already discussed them millenniums ago in a simple dialogue form!

                  We find some valuable insights on the topics like law of gravity and theory of relativity in Rishi Kanad’s Vaisheshika. Modern researchers believe that Ayurveda, Charak Samhita, Sushrut Samhita can lead us towards a healthy lifestyle even today.

             Sanskrit is highly inflectional language (प्रकृति-प्रत्यय प्रधान). Hence, one sentence can be written in many ways and still means the same.

E.g. ‘देवदत्त: काष्ठै: स्थाल्याम् ओदनं पचति।’. Sanskrit students can phrase this sentence in more than 100 ways and that too without changing its meaning.

              According to Max Müller, ‘The discovery of the Sanskrit language is the greatest discovery of 20Th century.’ Western world was mesmerised by this language. Hemingway’s theory of ‘Concise and Precise’ was not very new for Sanskrit as Ashtadhyayi and Mimansa had already established it successfully years ago. Aryabhatta discovered zero and the whole world got a valuable prefix and suffix. Bhaskaracharya composed Leelavati, a brilliant treatise on Mathematics. Shulba Sutra mentions a formula which can be applied similarly like Pythagoras theorem.

                  Well known Western scholar, L. Bloomfield described Panini’s grammar as ‘one of the greatest monuments of human intelligence’. Dramas written by Bhasa and Kalidasa achieved incomparable titles in the literary field. Bhagvad Geeta still holds the whole world spellbound . As Exegesis predicts Bhagwat Geeta is the most frequently translated Asian book. One survey conducted in 2001 shows that more than 40000 books were written on Veda throughout the world.

                 Tradition of Yajna is one more secret preserved by Sanskrit. It is a tradition which helps us to understand how Indian society originated and developed. The characters of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata breathe the sentiments of Indian people. The Puranas are known for their intricate layers of symbolism depicted within the stories. The Smriti literature is a corpus of diverse varied texts and a vast post-Vedic canon of “tradition that is remembered”.

                    Now we think it’s pretty clear how the whole world is looking at sanskrit language and its literary works with great respect as well as curiosity. The question is how we Indians look at our own great heritage of knowledge? Nowadays either there are people who find this treasure wasteful or people who waste their time in hollow boasting.

              But all we need to do today is know our glorious heritage which we think is the only way to build up a glorious future.           Being the students of Sanskrit language we will  try our level best to acquaint you with this treasure of knowledge in a lucid style. To serve this purpose we are starting this series. In every month, we are going to upload one article on our website and Facebook page. Visit our website: www.sanskritforyou.com You can also read these articles on our Facebook page Sanskrit for you.

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