Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages known to us. It is also believed to be the most systematic and technical language of all. It is also referred to as the mother of all languages and is the only language that is used in holy functions and ceremonies of the Hindus, as it has always been regarded as the sacred language of the religion. Sanskrit mantras, when recited in combination with sound vibrations, have a specific effect on the mind and the psyche of the individual.
Sanskrit is the vehicle through which we have been fortunate to be gifted with the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and the two great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. It is the only language that is used in holy functions and ceremonies of the Hindus, as it has always been regarded as the sacred language of the religion. Sanskrit mantras, when recited in combination with sound vibrations, have a specific effect on the mind and the psyche of the individual.
10 Most Interesting Facts About the Sanskrit Language
Sanskrit language when recited is no less than a beautiful melody and is a mystery in itself. Here are 10 interesting facts about the Sanskrit Language.
1. The Language of the Gods
Sanskrit was considered as ‘DEV BHASHA’ or ‘DEVAVANI’, the Language of the Gods by ancient Indians. The script is called DEVNAGARI which means used in the cities of the Gods. It was believed to have been generated by the god Brahma who passed it to the Rishis (sages) living in celestial abodes, who then communicated the same to their earthly disciples from where it spread on earth.
2. The oldest language in the world
Sanskrit is believed to be one of the oldest languages in the world. The Vedas, the oldest extant texts in any language, were written in Sanskrit. The earliest form of the Sanskrit language was Vedic Sanskrit which came approximately around 1500 B.C., a period when knowledge was imparted orally through generations.
3. An innovative language
An old, yet, highly technical, systematic language of the world. Following research, a report given by the NASA scientist, Rick Briggs, Sanskrit is one of the most suitable languages for computers. It is considered to be very efficient in making algorithms.
4. A language without a default script
Sanskrit did not have a “default” script (like Devanagari- Hindi) until very recently, i.e. less than 200 years back. It was written by everyone in the regional script of their region, in over two dozen scripts. This may make it the language that has been written in the most number of scripts.
Sanskrit culture had a great reluctance towards writing, and this continued for at least a millennium before the first texts were penned. Yet there are as many as 30 million Sanskrit manuscripts with around 7 million manuscripts preserved in India itself. This precisely means that the magnitude of work in Sanskrit surpasses that of Greek and Latin put together!
5. Sanskrit Newspapers and Radios
Sanskrit daily news and newspapers exist even today. It is the language of more than 90 weeklies, fortnightlies, and quarterlies published across India. Gujarat started publishing Vartman Patram and Vishwasya Vrittantam five years back and an all-India Radio has been broadcasting daily news in Sanskrit once a day since the year 1974. ‘Sudharma’, the newspaper is published out of Mysore, a historic city in Karnataka, India. It has been running since 1970 and is now available online as an e-paper.
6. Sanskrit-speaking hamlets
There are still many villages in India where Sanskrit is still the primary language of communication. The villagers also insist the visitors converse in Sanskrit with them. Banter, greetings, quarrels on the streets, teaching – it’s all in Sanskrit here.
7. A Spiritual Language
The word “Sanskrit’ is a combination of two words – “Sanskar’ and “Krit’; “Krit’ means “Inculcating’ and “Sanskar’ means “Essence of Moral Values’. Thus Sanskrit means a language that has the capacity to indoctrinate higher values in an individual, the self.
8. A highly versatile language
Sanskrit has the power to say something using the minimum amount of words. There are numerous synonyms for each word each with specific meaning in the language of Sanskrit. For instance, a simple word like the elephant has about a hundred synonyms. English has only one word for love, Sanskrit has 96.
Sanskrit has an amazing wealth of words and synonyms to give great versatility. It has in fact over 70 words for water whereas English has just got one. Amazingly the Sanskrit language has over 122 words for the action to go each with a specific meaning.
9. The Master of Phonetics
Sanskrit is perhaps one of the most accurate languages in pronunciation. It makes use of 49 types of sounds that make pronunciations of different kinds of words very distinct. The attention devoted to grammar, phonetics, and linguistics in Sanskrit is believed to have been unprecedented until the 20th century.
10. Increases brain power
Sanskrit has also been proven to help in speech therapy. Research suggests that learning the language improves brain functioning and students improve academically; they get better marks in subjects like Mathematics and Science which some people find difficult. It is because Sanskrit enhances memory power and concentration.
James Junior School in London has made Sanskrit compulsory. Students of this school are among the toppers in various fields and worldwide exams year after year. Some schools in Ireland also have made Sanskrit compulsory.