Language, a combination of sign, speech and writing has been considered as a tool for communication since human evolution. Sign language existed during the Paleolithic age, which advanced to pictorial representations on rocks/caves. The next milestone of advancement was the art of sand writing. Linguistic and Archaeological research works assisted in identifying the languages which prevailed during Ancient times. Such works postulates that Vedic Sanskrit was one among the primitive languages which had its roots from Proto-Indo-European language.

Sanskrit- A Sacred Language

            Sanskrit is also known as Dev-Vani or Dev-Baasha as it was believed to be created by Lord Brahma which was then passed to the sages[Rishis],who then enlightened their disciples about the richness and the treasure of knowledge, the language held. The word Sanskrit is a combination of Sam[Samyak]-Entirely and Krita–Done which means the language is entirely done in means of communication, reading, hearing and vocabulary. Sanskrit is an extremely complex language bestowed with rich vocabulary and grammar which were widely used in sacred texts. Most of the hindu literatures are scripted in Sanskrit which shows the antiquity of the language. Based on the literary work, they are classified into Vedic Literature, Classical Literature and Modern Sanskrit Literature.

Vedic Sanskrit Literature    

         Vedas are a compilation of hymns that explicates the ideology of Vedic religion thus forming the basis of Sanatan Hindu culture. Rig Veda, the headmost of four Vedas, is the earliest literature of vedic sanskrit. The other literary works in vedic sanskrit are Samhithas, Brahmanas and Sutras. Vedas were initially read and remembered orally. To emphasize the tradition of Vedas, a script was required. But the scripts of vedic sanskrit were complex and extensive. Thus, to understand the grammar and vocabulary of language effortlessly, Classical Sanskrit was formulated


Classical Sanskrit Literature

            Panini, a linguistic researcher in 5th century BCE standardized the grammar of Vedic Sanskrit and published in his book ‘Ashtadhyayi’. Ashtadhyayi consists of eight chapters that sets the linguistic standards for Sanskrit language. Sanskrit language has an innate ability to generate unique words for new situations and concepts. The revered books of Hindus-Mahabharata and Ramayana has Classical Sanskrit script. Most of the Puranas were in classical sanskrit which were enlightened to the next generation in the form of poems, hymns, dramas, slokas and mantras. Classical Sanskrit was a distinguished language during the Gupta period and Pre-Islamic era dating between 3rd to 8th BCE. Poetry and dramas were prominent in sanskrit language. Some of the famous poets and dramatists of that time were Shudraka, Bhasa, Asvaghosa and Kalidasa. Their works are eternal and would never fade away with time.


Sanskrit in Contemporary Era

            Apart from a sacred and ancient language that held the culture and tradition of India,Sanskrit language has had its hands on various field in modern era.

  • The Yoga-Sutras of Patanjali is being referred by the yoga practitioners till date.
  • The archaic literary work of the language entrusted with definitive ideals, life principles and ethos has helped in imbibing self-discipline and molding the character of future generations.
  •       Baudhyana had already explained a theorem which relates to the   Pythagoras   theorem in one of the Sulba Sutras. Sulba Sutras explains   the geometry for       constructing sacrificial fire/altar for rituals.
  •       With boundless knowledge in ancient texts relating to astronomy,   mythology, medicine and literature, Sanskrit became a global phenomenon in bridging the gap between east and the west. Historians,cademicians and scions acknowledged Sanskrit for its scientific and    artistic repertoire.
  •       Ayurveda is being widely followed by many people for their ailments. The base  of Ayurveda traces back to Atharva Veda, the last of four Vedas.
  •       The procedure of plastic surgery has been explained by Sushrutha in 6th       Century BCE. The verses that explains the principle and procedure of       Plastic surgery can be found in Atharva Veda, especially about Rhinoplasty    which declared him as the ‘Father of Plastic Surgery’.
  •       The motto of Supreme Court, the three Indian armed forces and several     National Educational institutes are derived from Sanskrit literature. The     motto of Indian army ‘Seva Paramo Dharma’ is a Sanskrit verse from    Bhagavad Gita meaning ‘Service before self’.
  •       In 1970, Sudharma, a Sanskrit daily was published in Mysore. Due to       modernization, the publications incorporated E-Newspaper since 2009       which is now being accessed in more than 90 countries.

World Sanskrit Day

            The language holding a rich heritage, systematic grammar rules and a wide vocabulary has guided the people in various fields. The language which was considered as Pan-Indian during the middle ages turned out to inspire people around the world in modern times. To celebrate the language that lived through centuries, Sanskrit Day is celebrated every year since 1969 as per the notifications of Union Ministry. It is believed that the full moon day of Shravana month was considered auspicious to start the study of Vedas during ancient times. Hence, Sanskrit day is celebrated on the same day every year. Seminars, speeches of Sanskrit scholars and students are being held in various parts of India by Samskrita Bharathi to revive the traditional values of the language.


            The language bestowed with classical wisdom, grandiose of Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas endures to influence the life of people thereby upholding the cultural and spiritual values since ancient times. Later in the modern days, the decoding of Vedas and Sutras have made this language reach worldwide and is being recognized by scholars in various fields. Reminiscing a remarkable thought in Sanskrit ‘Vasudaiva Kutumbakam’ i.e World is one family which is built upon the ideals of integrity, multi-cultural acceptance and universal brotherhood is imperative to progress as a society. The scientific and philosophical treatises which has been an epitome of living tradition should be passed on to generations for the betterment of human race and worldly peace.

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