LIFE

Sanskrit learning made easy

Getting it right in Sanskrit.  

IF YOU are curious to know what a mobile phone or gas cylinder or flask or even a PC is called in Sanskrit, the exhibition organised by the Vishwa Samskritha Prathistan, the Kerala chapter of Samskrit Bharati, at the Saraswathi Vidya Niketan, Elamakkara, will prove interesting.

The exhibition, which was inaugurated on Wednesday, is part of the ongoing 10-day training camp organised by Vishwa Samskritha Prathistan (VSP) for teaching the language in Sanskrit medium itself. The exhibits include vegetables, kitchen utensil, furniture, clothes, animals, various tools etc along with posters detailing ancient scientific contributions, in comparison with modern Western contributions.

Over 300 students are participating in the camp. These students in turn will conduct `Spoken Sanskrit' classes at various places.

VSP is a movement to familiarise Sanskrit among the masses by organising 10-day spoken Sanskrit classes. Adopting simple Sanskrit and making the classes lively are its USP (uniqe selling proposition).

Says Santosh Kumar, the secretary of VSP, names for new objects have been coined by Sanskrit scholars in keeping with the language rules. For instance, the computer has been named "Sanganaka Yantram''.

The movement, which started 15 years ago, has its major aim in breaking the prejudice against Sanskrit, according to M.V. Natesan, Sanskrit lecturer, Sree Sankara University, Kalady, who has been with the movement since its inception. That it is a difficult language, that it is a dead language and that it can be used and understood only by a section of the society, are the main arguments put forward by many against its use.

"At the camp, we have Christians, Muslims, Adivasis and others belonging to various sections of the society,'' says Mr. Natesan. The ancient Indian scriptures written in Sanskrit becomes familiar ground once the language barrier is broken, he adds.

By Shyama Rajagopal

Photo: H.Vibhu