Sanskrit - An ancient global language

Written by Arvind Kamath on 07 August 2017

Sanskrit - An ancient global language


Why am I terming Sanskrit a "global" language and not restricting to just being an Indian language? It's because Sanskrit is the "Mother of all Languages" and even great European philosophers like Voltaire, Immanuel and others acknowledged that Sanskrit was the root of all Indo-European languages. How many times have we unknowingly used words from the Sanskrit vocabulary, even while conversing in English. Its because Sanskrit words got embedded into Greek, Latin and Persian languages during the peak usage of Sanskrit in ancient times and these words have today formed a vast majority of the English language. Mother is derived from "Mathru", brother from "Bratha" are just couple of examples. When people all over the world watched the mega hit Hollywood movie - Avatar, little did they know that the word to describe "alter ego" was borrowed from Sanskrit !!


It is a widely acknowledged fact that grammar first evolved from Sanskrit before any known language in the world. It was widely spoken in most parts of the world for centuries, both in direct or indirect form. A lot of ancient literature (Vedas, Upanishads, Epics etc) was written in this language. Scriptures written on subjects as varied as Medicine, Economics, Yoga, Mathematics, Astrology etc, written in Sanskrit, were later borrowed by Persian, Greek, Latin and Arabic scholars. Sanskrit gave birth to many languages and even gifted the script (Devanagari) to many popular languages spoken and read in India.


Somehow the Mother of all languages also considered to be the "God's Own Language" has not got the due credit and respect it deserves in the land of it's birth - India. It is heartening to read about European nations like Germany, Netherlands etc encouraging the usage of Sanskrit language in their country. It will not surprise us, that one day we will find more and more Europeans conversing in Sanskrit than Indians. Maybe that's the time when we would start adopting Sanskrit and give the language the right due, thanks to our typical mindset of following western practices.


Today when we hear of people living in some of our villages in rural India speaking Sanskrit in day-to-day conversations, it becomes News. Mattur village in Karnataka is one such example. Even news of Sanskrit being introduced in schools or colleges becomes news, but for the wrong reasons. The only Sanskrit daily in India that is published from Mysore called "Sudharma" is on its last legs. Appeals were made through social media to revive the newspaper due to the imminent threat of the Press being closed down. Funding was certainly one of the issues but the prime concern was the lack of readership. How many people in India can really understand the language today, that was once used by every Indian many centuries ago. Today, when a Hindu Priest chants the shlokas in Sanskrit, you may not follow even a word and lose out on the significance of the Ritual, unless the Priest explains the Ritual process to you in the language you both understand.


To encourage "Spoken Sanskrit", Jnana.com is making a small yet genuine attempt, by offering Live Virtual or Online course that can be accessed by anybody living on this planet, having access to internet enabled computer or smartphone. People across age groups (8 to 80) can access the course online from the comfort of their home without looking for excuses like "have no time; have to travel long distance" etc. The course is designed in such a way that students can start conversing in Sanskrit from Day 1, with subtle introduction to the grammatical aspects.


To encourage "Spoken Sanskrit", Jnana.com is making a small yet genuine attempt, by offering Live Virtual or Online course that can be accessed by anybody living on this planet, having access to internet enabled computer or smartphone. People across all age groups (8 to 80) can access the course online from the comfort of their home without looking for excuses like "have no time; have to travel long distance" etc. The course is designed in such a way that students can start conversing in Sanskrit from Day 1, with less focus on the grammatical aspects initially.


Next time you speak your mother tongue and hear people speak other languages, you will immediately understand why Sanskrit is called the "Mother of all Languages" and only then you will start appreciating the language much more.

 

 Author: Arvind Kamath