The future of Sanskrit in India and beyond

Posted on January 27, 2015 by shantanup

Is it possible for a Hindu person to know who he or she is as a Hindu if they are not taught written and spoken Sanskrit so that they can read and understand the Vedas and write their own religious communications in this language? It is said of the Vedas that the mantras and hymns have got to be written in a script that allows the proper pronunciation of its words and especially its mantras in Sanskrit language. This requires it to be (a) not a translation in English or any of the regional Indian languages; and (b) written in a script that allows the full meaning of the texts to be realised. If this is not done the Vedas lose their religious significance. This consideration would make Sanskrit a sacred language which of course is a matter of faith.

The Devanagiri script ( appears to have been specially developed to meet these objectives for expressing Sanskrit which is why all major works published appear in this script. The Vedas cannot be written in just any script and certainly not in the English script which is just for scholars rather than religion. The script used is sacred. This is why most Indian regional languages have written and taught Sanskrit in their own scripts which have evolved have not endured. Oriya script for example is totally unsatisfactory for expressing the mantras to invoke the divine. So it is not merely the significance of the words. The scripts has to be specially developed by religious authorities. And it has already been done in the form of Devanagiri script. So the script must be learnt by any Hindu wishing to practice this religion. It is therefore essential to foster the development of Sanskrit in Devanagiri script all over India if the objective is to make India a Hindu Rashtra again. To make Hinduism accessible to people who wish to identify themselves as Hindus they must learn Sanskrit using the Devanagiri script. Sanskrit cannot just be expressed in the script of choice for the reader as a matter of convenience. It is vital to restrict the expression of Sanskrit to the Devanagiri script for use everywhere including in the diaspora.

Sanskrit can never be used for anything more than the language for communication on spiritual matters with the divine so that only priests, sincerely devoted religious people and scholars need learn the language. It cannot be modified to communicate on everyday matters. It is to be treated as a sacred spiritual language for study and contemplation only.

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