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Scientific aspects of Sanskrit not appreciated: Katju

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HONOURED: A. Sivasailam, industrialist (second from right), being felicitated by Swami Dayananda Saraswati (right) at the inauguration of the centenary celebrations of Madras Sanskrit College in Chennai on Monday. (From left) Justice Markandey Katju, Judge, Supreme Court, and S.P. Thyagarajan, Vice-Chancellor, Madras University, look on.
HONOURED: A. Sivasailam, industrialist (second from right), being felicitated by Swami Dayananda Saraswati (right) at the inauguration of the centenary celebrations of Madras Sanskrit College in Chennai on Monday. (From left) Justice Markandey Katju, Judge, Supreme Court, and S.P. Thyagarajan, Vice-Chancellor, Madras University, look on.

Special Correspondent

Not just a language for chanting mantras in temples Not just a language for chanting mantras in temples, says Supreme Court judge

Katju presides over the commencement of the centenary celebrations of Madras Sanskrit CollegeIndustrialist Sivasailam honoured

CHENNAI: Supreme Court judge Justice Markandey Katju on Monday said that the scientific aspects of Sanskrit was in need of greater appreciation in the modern world.

Dispelling popular notions that Sanskrit was only a language for chanting mantras in temples and during ceremonies, he said, "This is only a small part of the language." But the development of the classical language as systematised by Panini in the fifth century B.C. reflected scientific rigour unseen in the past, he said.

Presiding over a meeting to mark the commencement of the centenary celebrations of the Madras Sanskrit College here, Mr. Justice Katju said Panini's systematisation of the language made it possible for Sanskrit to express ideas that were very precise.

Stressing that science was absolutely vital for the country's progress, he said it had been an essential part of Sanskrit that people should have a modern, scientific, rational and questioning mind.

Language of science

Mr. Justice Katju described Sanskrit as the language of science.

The scientific philosophy, which was in the Nyaya Vaiseshika system of philosophy that believed in the system of logic and realistic pluralism, provided the foundation for developing the scientific and rational part of Sanskrit's heritage.

Mr. Justice Katju lauded the Madras Sanskrit College, the 100 year-old-institution, for promoting studies in Sanskrit language.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Madras S.P. Thyagarajan, who presented the centenary address, stressed the need for popularising Sanskrit. He called for efforts to preserve the traditional manuscripts of Sanskrit works. Swami Dayananda Saraswati delivered the benedictory address.

He honoured noted industrialist and president of the V. Krishnaswami Iyer Sanskrit Education Trust A. Sivasailam with the `Dharmachintamani' title.

Former principal of the college R. Krishnamurthi Sastry, principal N.V. Devi Prasad, secretary of the trust B. Madhavan and member of the trust T.V. Ramanathan, addressed the meeting.

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