Friday, April 22, 2016

S for Sanskrit

Welcome to the "Believe it or Not- That's Incredible India!" series. India is home to some of the most astonishing wonders in the world. The rich culture, heritage, food, scriptures, architectural marvels and scores of known and unknown facts come together to create this multicolored melange that is India. Throughout this month, read about the various believe it or not facts about India and know what goes into the making of this incredible country!


Sanskrit is said to be the language of the gods! It is also the ‘Mother’ of many languages. Sanskrit has maintained its purity in structure and vocabulary from the Vedic times until today. That is why even today, it is easy to interpret literature written in Sanskrit ages ago.

Sanskrit is unique…and vast!

It is perhaps the only language which has a built-in scheme for pronunciation, word formation, and grammar. Sanskrit is vast, really vast. There are six aspects of the language. It deals with the spoken aspect of the language, the pronunciation, the grammar, the root words, the formation of sentences and studies related to space and time.

Sanskrit is derived from root syllables and all words in Sanskrit can be traced back to their roots. To  give an example, the word "guru" consisting of the aksharas "gu" and  "ru" stands for a teacher- one who dispels darkness (ignorance) of the mind (person). "gu" means darkness and "ru" means the act of  removal. 

This is unique only to Sanskrit.

Sanskrit is a complete language.

 It has words to describe every feeling, every activity, every philosophy, every aspect of life and in short everything in the universe. In fact, one word can convey different meanings based on how stress is placed on a particular syllable. Conversely, there are so many synonyms of a single word. For example, the word ‘water’ has 120 synonyms! The ‘shabd kosh’ or vocabulary of Sanskrit is so large!

The ancient scripts like the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the great epics are full of verses that have hidden scientific principles, concepts of Mathematics, philosophy, theology, astronomy, and science. All scientific and mathematical terms, therefore, have specific Sanskrit terms! Sanskrit does not borrow from any language.

Sanskrit is the mother of a lot of Languages.

Most Indo-European languages owe their origin to Sanskrit. Sample this- 'Matr' became mother, 'Pitr' became father, 'navagath' became navigation, 'manu' became man, 'naama' became name or nomen, 'sarpa' became serpent, 'gau' became cow and so on and so forth. The list is endless!

Sanskrit for Computers and AI!

The language is pristine and has zero deviation. It is therefore not surprising that Sanskrit has been voted as the choice of language for Computational Linguistics by NASA. It has also been suggested as the best language to communicate with Artificial Intelligence.

Do you wonder if anyone speak Sanskrit these days?

Apparently people in these districts do!

The residents of Mattur and Hosahalli in Karnataka, Jhiri, Baghuwar and Mohad in MP, Ganoda in Rajasthan, and Shyamsundarpur in Odisha reportedly speak in Sanskrit just like we’d speak in our native tongues.

Believe it or Not - That's Incredible India!

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