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Vladimir teaching Sanskrit in Centre for Further Learning


Sanskrit ought to be the national language of India
The Mother

 

Both Sri Aurobindo and Mother have suggested that Sanskrit should be the national language of India, while the Mother also foresaw that in Auroville Sanskrit would be one of the four main languages to be taught in the schools. Hence, Sanskrit classes and programmes are regularly taking place. There are courses on Vedas, Vedanta, the Bhagavad Gita, as well as classes in grammar and spoken Sanskrit. There are also chanting classes. The main challenge is to create a linguistic environment, where people could learn and use the language.
Presently there are several teachers of Sanskrit in Auroville who run these courses: Sampat (Indian), Vigyan (Indo-Canadian), Joy (Indian), Jyoti (Indian) and Vladimir (Ukrainian). It is the latter who shares here his love for and understanding of the language.

A tongue of all peoples

The tongue of the Vedic Rishis, spoken by Aryan people, was the origin for many modern languages of India. It was a tongue of all peoples and not only of higher castes.

From very ancient times, and especially in the medieval period of India's history, Sanskrit was prakritised (assimilated by common people) many times, bringing to birth all the major Indian languages as 'Prakrits', though Sanskrit itself remained apart. Already from the times of Panini, 6th century B.C., the language was known to have many dialects, which Panini tried to reconcile into one common form. To do this, he fixed its usage in terms of grammar, while still allowing various dialectical options. Panini was dealing with Sanskrit as Bhasha, a spoken language, distinguishing it from the poetic Vedic speech, called Chandas. Usually Sanskrit was referred to as Arsha-Bhasha, the language of the Rishis, and later as Deva-Bhasha, the language of the Gods.

Special inner concentration

The word samskrita comes into use later (from the times of Shikshas and Natyashastra), meaning 'put together', 'perfected', 'polished', 'accomplished', 'highly elaborated'. This was the language of a special inner concentration, developed and consciously perfected during thousands of years, instead of being developed by a natural selection process, as has normally been the case with other languages.

By preserving its own pure existence over several millennia, Sanskrit gave birth to the Indo-Arian family of languages, and influenced them from its own, so to say, detached state of existence. The world does not know any such similar phenomenon in the history of languages! This is to be seen as a miraculous event in the history of human civilisation.

Powerful instrument of expression

The preservation of the original system of etymons, simple root-sounds, and a clear, highly elaborated derivative system, grammar, made Sanskrit a powerful and steady instrument for the expression of the widest and deepest possible ranges of man's consciousness and existence.

With the discovery of Sanskrit in the West, a new era in the history of mankind began. Branches of science like comparative philology, mythology, psychology, the history of religions, etc, came into existence, with their target being discovery of the common ground of the world's civilisations. This new perception has become a unifying force of knowledge towards the future realisation of human unity.

Parent language

Seen from this viewpoint, Sanskrit can already be considered as the national language of India, being the parent of the country's main modern languages, standing behind them, so to speak, inspiring and watching their mergence, their growth and development, while influencing them all the time. The only thing to be done now is to bring Sanskrit itself to the forefront, and to make it more active and living again, so that it becomes the language of common use for all people throughout India.

 

Contact: vladimir@auroville.org.in

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