History & Culture

Sanskrit in new light

Learning Sanskrit Photo: A. M. Faruqui  

HYDERABAD: Ever heard an entire mundane conversation in Sanskrit? It sounds like music to the ears even if one does not understand any of it Consider one of the oldest languages on the globe being viewed in a new light by not just the cultures of the East but also by the West. Close to 80 schools in UK are adding Sanskrit to their curriculum and Cambridge, Harvard and Trinity College are offering a seat for the language. Schools in Germany too are encouraging children to choose it as an optional subject.

What makes Sanskrit so special? Perhaps the very features that have contributed to it surviving over hundreds of centuries in its original form – perfectly constructed, needing no alteration, its scientific structure, flexible, easy on the tongue and ear, yet profoundly lucid lending itself to crisp communication, music and poetry. The word ‘Sams’ ‘krita’ itself means “well made” indicating refinement. Each word in the language stems from a root and can be combined with a ‘pratyaya’ or form generator to convey a host of meanings making it far from monotonous for both speaker and listener. Since the speaker can place words in any order and make new words speaking the language increases one’s creativity and sharpens the thought process.

Mathematicians particularly find a lot of parallels, Sanskrit too has permutations and combinations and is therefore widely explored for computer usage. Not surprising then that Rick Briggs from NASA says, ‘Sanskrit and computers are a perfect fit. The precision play of Sanskrit with computer tools will awaken the capacity in human beings to utilise their innate higher mental faculty with a momentum that would inevitably transform the mind.”

Speaking the language is known to sharpen the memory and retard ageing, perhaps that’s why villages like Mattur in Karnataka and Jhiri in Madhya Pradesh speak the language to this day.

In the twin cities we also have Sura Bharati, Sanskrit Academy, Samskritam.net holding regular classes.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 6:28:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/history-and-culture/sanskrit-in-new-light/article7586753.ece

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