8 Interesting Reasons to Explore Sanskrit

  • A straight from the heart piece on the author’s self-discovery of knowing Sanskrit and its benefits.

Growing up in Bengaluru, for me Sanskrit was synonymous with Vedic Chanting in temples. Then, I did not know the meaning of mantras chanted. 


For many years, I thought Sanskrit was only for priests and scholars. Everything changed when my son was learning Sanskrit virtually during the Pandemic. I was spellbound overhearing divine Sanskrit chants and conversations. They instantly uplifted my spirit!


Today, reading and listening about Sanskrit by Maharshi Aurobindo and Prof Sampadananda Mishra have made me a lifelong student of Sanskrit.


I'm enjoying learning Sanskrit on You Tube. My husband and son are learning Sanskrit through Samskritha Bharathi, a non-profit that is dedicated to popularizing ‘spoken sanskrit’. 


Thousands of folks who don't know any script for Sanskrit are also actively learning the language. Each time my husband speaks in Sanskrit, I'm pleasantly surprised as he does not know Devnagari. 


Today, folks from China to Germany and Canada to Taiwan are busy learning Sanskrit. Besides that, everyone from engineers to I.T. Professionals and students to seniors are enjoying learning Sanskrit because it is logical, a structured language and pleasant to hear. 


Here are eight reasons that may entice you to learn and explore Sanskrit.


1. Sanskrit is mother of all Indian languages

Indian languages Kashmiri to Telugu and Bengali to Malayalam, have thousands of Sanskrit words. 


My mother tongue is Kannada, and I come across so many Sanskrit words while talking in Kannada. A few years ago, whilst listening to a Sanskrit speech, I was surprised that I could understand most of it! 

I now enjoy reading Kannada prose and poems, and look out for Sanskrit words in Kannada literature. I personally feel that Sanskrit is unifying factor for numerous Indian languages. 


Now, I understand why Dr B.R.Ambedkar proposed that Sanskrit be the national language of India. Sanskrit and Samskruti (good culture) go hand in hand, and knowing Sanskrit will help understand, everything from Indian philosophy to culture.


2. Sanskrit is the source of world languages 

I heard a Sanskrit scholar proclaim that if you know Sanskrit, you can learn any Indian language or world language, as Sanskrit learners can pronounce all letters and sounds with ease. 


When I heard the Maheshwara sutra, I was astonished to hear unique, hard and soft sounds. I am thus convinced that all sounds from world languages arose from Maheshwara sutra. Just like once one learns to cook rice, it is easy to cook everything from rice casserole to rice pulao, Biryani and fried rice! 


You should be able to talk in your mother tongue and other languages quite easily once you learn Sanskrit! Sanskrit is also a fully Phonetic language. Max Muller, a famous scholar and Indologist said, “Sanskrit is the greatest language of the world.” 


Learning Sanskrit also helps in healthy aging and is great for mental health.


3. Sanskrit is musical and soothing

I have noticed that I feel calm and anxiety reduces when I listen to Sanskrit chants. Whenever I feel overwhelmed or depressed, the mood is uplifted after listening to Bilwashatakam, Krishna Ashtakam and Shiva Tandava stotra.  


Each sanskrit sound when pronounced correctly is filled with positivity and calms the mind instantly.  


4. Sanskrit is a scientific language  

For centuries, many western scholars and scientists have loved Sanskrit.  Like Maths, Sanskrit grammar is logical and follows a set of rules, 


Sanskrit is good for programming and Artificial Intelligence.  There is vast literature about everything from Mathematics to Physics and Astronomy to Metallurgy in Sanskrit.  In Indian universities, there are thousands of unread ancient Sanskrit manuscripts. The Sanskrit and Chinfo Channels on You tube are full of amazing videos explaining why Sanskrit is scientific, and the most sophisticated language on Earth!


Thousands of years ago, Vedas and Upanishads were revealed to meditative sages. Robert Oppenheimer, renowned Theoretical Physicist said, “Access to the Vedas is the greatest privilege this century may claim over all previous centuries." resonatesin my mind. Neils Bohr, a noble prize winner in Physics says, "I go into the Upanishads to ask questions." 


Sanskrit grammar is most logical and precise, and this is the reason Sanskrit is loved by Mathematicians and Scientists. Today, many scientists agree Sanskrit is the most scientific language for computer programing, as Sanskrit grammar is logical.  Sir William Jones (British Philogist) said, “The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined either” resonates when I'm chanting, learning or listening Sanskrit. These quotes are from websites in http://www.goodreads.com


5. Sanskrit is used in speech therapy

After reciting Vishnusahasranama (a popular stotra), I feel so good and also have "Facial workout" experience! According to speech therapist, reciting Sanskrit alphabets uses all facial muscles, and so Sanskrit is used in speech therapy. Mere reciting of Sanskrit alphabets (Swara and Vyanjana) is like a breathing exercise. When I can't meditate, I hear Sanskrit shlokas/songs and feel blissful.


6. Sanskrit literature is outstanding

If Sanskrit is a spectacular gold crown, then Sanskrit shubhashitas (Aphorism) and poems are precious diamonds and emeralds studded on it. I feel like a kid in a candy store while reading enlightening shubhashitas. 


Shubhashitas are motivational tips to lead a meaningful life while facing everyday challenges intelligently with positive mindset! Profound Shubhashitas help us to lead happy life by facing all changes with positive attitude. My favorite Shubhashitas are -  


“Speak Truth. Speak what is pleasant to others. Do not tell Truth that is not pleasant. Similarly, do not speak untruth even though pleasant.”


“The sun looks red both at sunrise and sunset. Great men similarly retain their steadfastness through good and bad times.” 


“Fortitude, forgiveness, self-control, non-stealing, purity, restrained senses, intelligence, learning, truth and non-anger: these ten qualities constitute Dharma.” 


“One who wishes to prosper in this world should get rid of the following six faults : too much sleep, lethargy, fear, anger , laziness, and procrastination." 


Sanskrit poems are splendid. My son recently read a poem - Raghava Yadaviyam (about Rama and Krishna).  This poem describes Lord Rama when read in normal order, and it describes Lord Krishna when read in reverse! I was spellbound hearing this magical and divine poem. 


7. Sanskrit has infinite words 

Sanskrit has word generating power, and this is the reason Sanskrit has the highest vocabulary compared to other languages. Sanskrit has numerous synonymous words because words are context based, unlikeEnglish which is object based.


Dynamic language - Sanskrit has the capacity to produce thousands and thousands of new words by adding suffix to  Dhatu ( root word), and this is the reason for the vast sanskrit  vocabulary!  There are around 2000 Dhatus!  


Water, itself has around 60 Sanskrit words. In Jalam (water), Jal is dhatu which means to harden. In Neeram (water), dhatu Nee means to move ahead.  Exploring origin of Sanskrit words is a fascinating experience as I try to find the dhatu.  I have always loved words, and now exploring Sanskrit words, my passion and respect for Sanskrit has increased exponentially.


The profound word GURU, is made up of Gu (darkness or ignorance) and ru (removes darkness), so Guru means remover of darkness! 


8. Sanskrit, Indian art and Philosophy

All Indian arts - Bharatanayam , Hindustani music , Carnatic music and Yoga can be more appreciated if one has some Sanskrit knowledge.


Learning Bharatnatyam and Indian music will become easier if one has Sanskrit knowledge. The Sanskrit literature for everything from Economics to Chemistry, and Astronomy to Biology is enormous! Today, thousands of unexplored Sanskrit papers are in universities across the world.


Our world will get different perspectives and ideas to face challenging problems such as global warming and pollution when these Sanskrit papers are read and analysed.


Also read

1. Why Sanskrit is always relevant

2. The case for making Sanskrit India’s National Language

3. Sanskrit Tamil Harmony

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