☆ Sanskrit is an amazingly rich and efflorescent language which sounds flowery and musical to the ears. Yet it is very precise and strictly structured or constructed within the framework of grammar which was laid down by expert grammarians about 300 years ago.
☆ It is as ancient and as antique as Latin & Greek, all 3 of which are believed to have sprung or originated from "some common source" (root language) which no longer exists.
☆ During the years of the decline of Sanskrit literature, it lost some of its power, sheen and simplicity of style and became involved in highly complicated forms with elaborate similes and metaphors. The grammatical rule which enable words to be joined together (sandhi), became a tool and a mere device in the hands of mischievous & arrogant scholars to show off their cleverness by combining whole strings of words running into many lines.
☆ Expert philologers (language scholars) have opined that Sanskrit language is wonderfully structured which is more perfect than the Greek and more copious than the Latin and definitely more exquisitely refined than any language in the world.
☆ Many European scholars including English, French, German, and other western scholars studied Sanskrit and laid the foundations of a new science namely "comparative philology". German scholarship forged ahead in this new domain and it is to these German scholars of the 19th century that the greatest credit must go for research in Sanskrit. Practically every German university has a Sanskrit department with one or two professors in charge of it.
☆ Sanskrit is full of words which have poetic beauty and a deep significance combined with a host of associated ideas which makes it impossible to be translated per se (literally) into a foreign language. Even its grammar and philosophy have a strong poetic content ; in fact the first ever dictionary of Sanskrit is in poetic form.
☆ All our modern languages in India are the products or children of Sanskrit and owe most of their vocabulary and forms of expression to Sanskrit. Many rich and significant words in Sanskrit poetry and philosophy, untranslatable in foreign languages, are however very much evident & existent in popular Indian languages. It is no wonder that Sanskrit, although long dead as a language of the people, has still an astonishing vitality and persistence.
☆ Simple spoken Sanskrit is not very difficult to follow for those who are familiar or conversant with present day Indo-Aryan languages. The modern Indian languages which have descended purely from Sanskrit and which are therefore referred to as Indo-Aryan languages are : Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Oriya, Rajasthani, Assamese, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto and Kashmiri.
☆ Even the present day Urdu language, spoken by few sections of people, is wholly an Indo-Aryan language and contains 80% words which are derived from Sanskrit. It is often difficult to say whether a word has originated from Persian or Sanskrit, as the root words in both these languages are alike.
☆ It is believed that any person who has command over Sanskrit can easily become conversant in all modern Indian languages. It therefore comes as no surprise that our former Prime Minister of India, Mr P.V. Narsimha Rao, could speak 11 languages at ease including Urdu because of his fluency in Sanskrit.
☆ Curiously enough, the Dravidian languages of the south, with exception of Tamil, have borrowed and adopted such masses of words from Sanskrit language that nearly half of their vocabulary is almost entirely allied to Sanskrit.
☆ Pashto, one of the Indo-Aryan languages derived from Sanskrit, is the popular language in the North West Frontier Province as well as in Afghanistan. This frontier area has in the ancient past produced a succession of brilliant thinkers, scholars, and grammarians in Sanskrit.
☆ The language of Sri Lanka is Sinhalese or Singhalese which is also an Indo-Aryan language derived directly from Sanskrit. The Sinhalese people or Sri Lankans have not only got their religion, Buddhism, from India but are racially and linguistically akin to Indians.
☆ It is now well established and recognised that Sanskrit is allied to the European classical and modern languages. Even the Slavonic languages have many common forms and roots with Sanskrit. The nearest approach to Sanskrit in Europe is made by the Lithuanian language.
☆ My Parting shots
● Although Sanskrit is essentially the language of Aryans and the mother (origin) of North/West/East Indian languages, it has been widely practiced, mastered, and popularised by South Indians. As a result, Sanskrit is now associated and identified with South Indians !
● Just imagine what could have happened if amalgamation or
inter-mixing of Aryans & Dravidians had not taken place and had there been no smooth & peaceful takeover by Aryans in the aftermath of their mass migration to India, then there would have resulted 2 nations or countries namely North India & South India !