Sanskrit functioned for over two thousand years as the basic vehicle of classical Indian literature. It is the key to a first-hand understanding of the vast field of classical Hindu religion and philosophy, being the language of Vedas and Upanishads, the great epics of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata (which includes the Bhagavad-Gita), and the texts of Vedanta and Yoga. Sanskrit is an important language for the study of Buddhism and is indispensable for the student of Indo-European comparative philology.
It also possesses a rich secular literature, embracing court poetry, drama, and romance, while a knowledge of Sanskrit also opens the way to a direct appreciation of the achievements of the classical civilization of India in such wider fields as aesthetic theory, linguistics, law and political theory, medicine, mathematics and astronomy.
The nature and facility of speech form the basis of human development and aspiration. The grammar of Sanskrit, which forms the very structure and bones of the language, surpasses any other language in terms of its completeness. Sanskrit is rich; rich in vocabulary, rich in literature, rich in thoughts and ideas, rich in meanings and values.
The language itself, as has been universally recognized by those competent to form a judgment, is one of the most magnificent, the most perfect and wonderfully sufficient literary instruments developed by the human mind; at once majestic, flexible and sweet, strong and clearly formed; full and vibrant and subtle.
Sanskrit is still taught in some schools in India, and in a few places in the Western world. With the re-emergence of India as an important player on the world stage, there has been a corresponding resurgence in the interest and appreciation of Sanskrit. There are yearly conferences on Sanskrit and in 2011 there was a World Sanskrit Book Fair in Bangalore which was attended by more than 100,000 people. There are Sanskrit magazines being published in India, the UK and the US.
BENEFITS OF SANSKRIT
An Education in Beauty
The Sanskrit language is full of beauty: the beauty of sound, of structure, of the script, of poetry and of prose. Such beauty opens the heart.
A Language of Impeccable Credentials
Sanskrit is highly respected by the academic community. It often forms a point of interest and admiration when students with Sanskrit qualifications are interviewed for university admission. Sanskrit possesses a remarkably fine grammatical structure giving insights into all language learning
A New View of the World
Sanskrit literature expresses a refreshing and expansive view of human nature and its role in creation. In this era of unprecedented change and uncertainty, it can be a valuable tool to assess and look afresh at society.
Sanskrit literature embodies a comprehensive map of the human makeup: spiritual, emotional, mental and physical. It presents a new way of understanding our relationship to the rest of creation and lays out guidelines which, if followed, would lead to a productive and happy life.
A Systematic Grammar
The word ‘Sanskrit’ means ‘perfectly constructed’. Study of its grammar brings order to the mind and clarifies the thinking. Sanskrit has an ordered alphabet and grammar system which makes it easy to learn.
At the Root of European Languages
Sanskrit stands at the root of many eastern and western languages, including English and most other European languages, classical or modern. Its study illuminates their grammar and etymology. Many English words can be shown to derive from forms still extant in Sanskrit.
A Matchless Literature
Sanskrit has one of the richest and most extensive literature of all languages. It introduces students to vast epics, profound scripture, subtle philosophy, voluminous mythology, exquisite poetry and much else. Sanskrit holds the key to a treasure trove of seminal scriptures, such as the Bhagavad-Gita, the depth, and quality of which are increasingly being acknowledged around the world.