Sanskrit : The Real Issues
By Mr. S. Jagannatha, Mysore, E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
At last, Sanskrit and Vedic University is established in Karnataka as the government ordained the same. This is not a matter of dance even to the Sanskritists because of its facing so many unreasonable problems. Furthermore, the name Vedic does not sound good. The officials could have called it Karnataka Sanskrit University. This point is brought to the notice of the Government several times. But the Government is acting deaf and blind.
Moreover, the lobby to become VC s of Sanskrit University is simply disgusting. It is open secret that the persons with influential background are in the queue and not the real scholars.
The hatred waves against establishment of this Sanskrit University in Bengalore are in wide circulation. ‘‘This University is nothing but white elephant’’ antagonists aver. ‘‘There are already some ten Sanskrit universities. Is there any need for one more? ’’. Some gentlemen are trying to tie up the issue with cast and creed. Even indecent remarks are being done. It seems that anybody can talk loosely regarding Sanskrit University according to one’s own will and wish. According to some, Sanskrit is dead language.
The Sanskritists are not silent. They refuse to call Sanskrit a dead language. ‘‘Thousands of the words of Sanskrit have made the non-Sanskrit languages opulent. But for Sanskrit, all the languages of our country will be in a void not only in the opulence of the words but also literature.’’
Some irresponsibly contend, so much so they say that all the literature of our country is carbon copy of Sanskrit. ‘‘Take any walk of life in our country. Everything is permeated and pervaded with Sanskrit. Not only philosophy but also religion, grammar, logic, medicinal science, law, polity, science are in Sanskrit. Modern inventions have clear traces and references in ancient Sanskrit literature. All parts of our country have Sanskrit names. Wrong pronunciation and influence of other regional languages compelled the people to change their names’’.
Unfortunately, the Sanskritists’ reasoning to prove living status of Sanskrit is illogical which ignores these facts:
1.All the words of non-Sanskrit Indian languages are not from Sanskrit.2.The Sanskrit words entered into these languages are mainly abstract words.3.All Indian languages have their own identity of opulence in the words regarding the equipments of daily use, food, flora and fauna etc..4. The Sanskrit words entered into other languages are mainly nouns and not verbs. 5.Anybody who wants to understand classical works of non-Sanskrit Indian languages have to study seriously taking help of a dictionary. Carelessly assuming ‘‘all the old words, after all, have come from Sanskrit’’ won’t do. 6. Sanskrit’s entrance in other languages through some words is not at all proof of its living status in modern times.8.Most important thing is, no Linguist agrees with the contention, ‘‘Sanskrit is the mother of all Indian languages.’’
If anybody wants to show the world that Sanskrit is not a dead language, he/she either shall speak in Sanskrit itself and show modern Sanskrit literature. These are only two ways to shut antagonists’ mouth up. Generally, Sanskrit scholars can talk in Sanskrit. If there is any exception, that is because of idiosyncrasy. We don’t want to chat always even in our mother tongue. Under the aegis of Aksharam, Bangalore, thousands of people have learnt Sanskrit conversation techniques in Sanskrit conversation camps.
Creating modern literature in Sanskrit is very common. Many scholars are writing good poems, lyrics, short stories, articles, dramas and novels. Even the journalism is not strange to Sanskrit. Sudharma from Mysore and Samskrita-sambhashana-sandesha from Bangalore are very well known. More than 35 periodicals are being published from various parts of our country. Interestingly, a Jain scholar (Vijayasheelachandraji) has started a magazine in Sanskrit called Nandana-vana-kalpataru from Paladi, Ahamadabad. Innumerous research articles are being written in Sanskrit. Sanskrit departments are allowing producing Ph.D. thesis in Sanskrit itself. Research journals are aplenty in Sanskrit. Saagarikaa (MP) and Saarasvatii-sushamaa (Varanasi) are famous for their high standard. All the Sanskrit Universities have been publishing journals and books. English journals on Indology are welcoming Sanskrit articles now-a-days. Works from other languages are being translated. Every year, Sahitya Academy confers awards to the literature produced in Indian languages including Sanskrit. Since Sahitya Academy does not bestow award to a ‘dead language’, Sanskrit shall not be considered dead.
I myself have written Dve Mukhe (=two faces), a humorous Sanskrit poem published at internet (Serene Woods.com). Another work Aabhaanaka-Jagannaatha, a work of 1300 Sanskrit proverbs that are my OWN creation(It is published in the recent past).
Sanskrit department of Dr. Harisimh Gowr University, Sagar, Madhya Pradesh has been making laudable job: Professors of this department encourage the Ph.D students to select modern Sanskrit literature for their research.
It is sad that Sanskritists, being well aware of all these facts, don’t highlight these points while raising their voice in protest of illogical nonsense of Sanskrit’s ‘deadly’ argument. Instead of doing the needful ie., showing modern Sanskrit literature to the antagonists, they always quote from old literature. They invite the ones to preside over the Sanskrit festivals who don't know ABC of Sanskrit! These guys are either mayors or politicians or bank employees or factory owners or ‘‘well-wishers of Sanskrit cum Sanskrit-fans’’! They sing in the same rotten tune:
‘‘My uncle insisted me a lot to learn Sanskrit. But I am now repenting that I didn’t study Sanskrit. The ones who say Sanskrit is dead themselves are dead. All the foreigners praise Sanskrit but Indians don’t have least knowledge of Sanskrit(?!)’’
Gibberish. Foreigners write About Sanskrit, not IN Sanskrit. They write In Their Own Languages.
In the first place, why these guys are invited on the stage to talk? I can not understand how the Sanskritists applause shamelessly to the nonsense talking like the one mentioned.
If you want to see the real living status of Sanskrit, visit Vidyaapithas/ Gurukulas/Paathashaalas. In our country even new commentaries on pure literature as well Shastric works in Sanskrit itself are being produced by Sanskrit scholars.
At present, Sanskrit is living in Our Nation, not in America or Europe or Australia. Practice of Yoga, reading / reciting Shlokas / mantras, worshipping the deities and adhering to religious functions that are Indian in nature- writing research articles or thesis In The Languages Other Than Sanskrit, editing Sanskrit works with translations - these are not proofs of living status of Sanskrit which does depend upon Creative Writing In Sanskrit.
It is different matter that I sincerely hope this scenario will be changed in near future. I have been dreaming to see the Shastric/literary works written afresh in Sanskrit Itself by the foreigner writers in foreign countries.
Now, a few words about the utility of proposed Sanskrit University. If all the Pathashalas (Traditional schools of Sanskrit learning) will be affiliated to this University, Vidwat (highest degree conferred to the students of Shastra) holders will be eligible for Ph.D degree. (It is not possible at present). Scholars will have best research projects. Good library facility they can have. (Currently, the library facility is very poor in Pathashalas. Purchasing new books is almost nil.) Some Pathashalas don’t enjoy good buildings. The class rooms are not spacious enough. The less said the better regarding furniture.
In spite all these short-comings the traditional pundits are promptly doing their duty.
Most of them are terrible scholars. They can perform shaastraartha / vaakyaartha (traditional debate on Shastric subjects) in Sanskrit itself. Some of them produce high quality works on Shastras.
Is it offence to demand official node for betterment of academic environment in Pathashalas?
It is public secret that in spite of applause by NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council), some universities are not functioning on expected lines. It is already known that some ‘Deemed Universities’ have roused ire in the eyes of top level educationists. It is good that now the education department have cancelled these white elephants.
Centre government’s nod for establishment of other Universities is not being opposed by the self styled rationalists. Their focus is on spewing venom targeting Sanskrit under pretext of opposing Sanskrit University.
The argument that the Sanskrit University will harm non-Sanskrit Indian languages is based on ignorance- if not, foolishness. Well. Let the arguers visit to Rashtreeya Sanskrit Vidyapitha, Tirupati and notice if Sanskrit studies there have impacted badly on Telugu.
No public debate is arranged while creating other education institutions. But before setting up the Sanskrit University, public debates were arranged in so many places.
It is very sad that in spite of lack of Sanskrit knowledge, some guys are trying to get free publicity from the forums.
Article Courtesy : Dr. Balaji Ganorkar
Director : B. L. Institute of Indology, Vallabh Smarak Jain Temple Complex
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