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Sanskrit - 2

Prof. Dean Brown points out that most European languages can be traced back to a root language that is also related to Sanskrit - the sacred language of the ancient Vedic religions of India. </b>Many English words actually have Sanskrit origins. Similarly, many Vedic religious concepts can also be found in Western culture. He discusses the fundamental idea of the Upanishads - that the essence of each individual, the atman, is identical to the whole universe, the principle of brahman. In this sense, the polytheistic traditions of India can be said to be monistic at their very core.




<b>Greek President greets Kalam in Sanskrit</b> <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->It was a pleasant surprise for President A P J Abdul Kalam when his Greek counterpart Karolos Papoulias greeted him in Sanskrit at the banquet ceremony hosted in honour of the visiting dignitary.

<b>"Rashtrapatm Mahabhaga, sur swagatam yavana dishe </b>(Mr President, welcome to you)," the Greek President said at the start of his speech at the banquet hosted at the Presidential palace on Thursday night, much to the delight of the Indian delegation.

<b>Papoulias had studied Sanskrit in Germany and the reason to study the Indian classical language was to understand India better. </b>

<b>"I wanted to welcome you in Sanskrit, the ancient Indian language that is related to ancient Greek, and which I had the opportunity to learn and love during my time as a student in Germany," </b>the Greek President said.

"India and Greece were the birthplaces of great civilisations, which at a certain point in time, in the era of Alexander the Great, met and formed an entirely particular relationship between them. It is said that the importance of civilisations is indicated, above all, by their ancient history and the beauty of their mythology on creation.

<b>"This criterion is definitely met by our cultures. We pride ourselves on Homer's Epic Poetry and Hesiodus and you are proud of Mahabharata and Ramayana, with their exceptional theological, philological and also philosophical considerations,"</b> he said. 

Papoulias said India played a particularly significant and stabilising role in the world especially during the independence movement, which was one of the most important 20th century events.
Sanskrit Gurus,
What is the difference (if any) between a मार्जारम (mArjAram) and विडालः (viDAlaH)? Generally both are used to mean a cat.
Since HH, AK and Bharatvarsh have clarified the other matter, hopfully this too will get answered. Here is what the dictionary says:

marjAra: [ mârg-âra ] m. [animal that wipes or cleanses itself: &root;mrig], cat (also î, f.)

bidAla: [ bidâla ] m. cat: -ka, m. id., i-kâ, f. kitten, cat;

Where is mArjara used and where bidAla?

Some speculations here: I feel bidAla is a domestic cat, and marjAra is a general word for cat-family, or independent/wild cat.
<!--QuoteBegin-Bodhi+Jun 1 2007, 05:34 PM-->QUOTE(Bodhi @ Jun 1 2007, 05:34 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Some speculations here:  I feel bidAla is a domestic cat, and marjAra is a general word for cat-family, or independent/wild cat.

biDAla is indeed in most instances I have seen used for he house cat. However it has some variants:
birAla, virAla, bilAla, biLala vilAla. It is the cognate of the prAkR^ita billa and Hindi billi/billa and bilAv.

There are Dravidian words that might apparently be related to it:
Tam.: veluku or veruku = cat
Kan.: berku=cat
Bharatvarsh anything in Tel. ?
I am not sure if this relationship is real but we do not have any satisfactory explanation of the Indo-Aryan versions.

mArjara is indeed used in the context of the wild cat:
fishing cat:
jalamArjAra and many other such compounds
<!--QuoteBegin-Hauma Hamiddha+Jun 2 2007, 05:35 AM-->QUOTE(Hauma Hamiddha @ Jun 2 2007, 05:35 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-Bodhi+Jun 1 2007, 05:34 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Bodhi @ Jun 1 2007, 05:34 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Some speculations here:  I feel bidAla is a domestic cat, and marjAra is a general word for cat-family, or independent/wild cat.

biDAla is indeed in most instances I have seen used for he house cat. However it has some variants:
birAla, virAla, bilAla, biLala vilAla. It is the cognate of the prAkR^ita billa and Hindi billi/billa and bilAv.

There are Dravidian words that might apparently be related to it:
Tam.: veluku or veruku = cat
Kan.: berku=cat
Bharatvarsh anything in Tel. ?
I am not sure if this relationship is real but we do not have any satisfactory explanation of the Indo-Aryan versions.
The Telugu word for cat is "pilli".
As said above, the word used most widely is pilli, the other words are maarjaalam, bidaalam & otuvu (all 3 of these are from Sanskrit).
Also Tamil for cat: poonai.
<span style='color:red'>Sanskrit & Artificial Intelligence — NASA </span>
Knowledge Representation in Sanskrit and Artificial Intelligence
by Rick Briggs, Roacs, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffet Field, California

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In the past twenty years, much time, effort, and money has been expended on designing an unambiguous representation of natural languages to make them accessible to computer processing. These efforts have centered around creating schemata designed to parallel logical relations with relations expressed by the syntax and semantics of natural languages, which are clearly cumbersome and ambiguous in their function as vehicles for the transmission of logical data. Understandably, there is a widespread belief that natural languages are unsuitable for the transmission of many ideas that artificial languages can render with great precision and mathematical rigor.

But this dichotomy, which has served as a premise underlying much work in the areas of linguistics and artificial intelligence, is a false one. There is at least one language, Sanskrit, which for the duration of almost 1000 years was a living spoken language with a considerable literature of its own. Besides works of literary value, there was a long philosophical and grammatical tradition that has continued to exist with undiminished vigor until the present century. Among the accomplishments of the grammarians can be reckoned a method for paraphrasing Sanskrit in a manner that is identical not only in essence but in form with current work in Artificial Intelligence. This article demonstrates that a natural language can serve as an artificial language also, and that much work in AI has been reinventing a wheel millenia old.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<span style='color:red'>Sanskrit and the Technological Age</span> By Vyasa Houston M. A.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The extraordinary thing about Sanskrit is that it offers direct accessibility to anyone to that elevated plane where the two —mathematics and music, brain and heart, analytical and intuitive, scientific and spiritual— become one.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Describing the condition of narka, Sri sUta says in Sri skanda purANa :

mUSavasthAm vasAkUpam tathA vaitariNI nadIm, shvabhaksham mUtrapAnam setusnAyI napashyati

{being thrown with rodents, and in the wells of liquid-fat, and the river vaitaraNi (the terrible river of naraka), "shva" to eat, and urine to drink - those narakas - someone who has performed ritual karmas at Setu, does not see.}

is above translation correct?
what is shvabhaksham or shva-eating. meat?
<!--QuoteBegin-Bodhi+Jun 8 2007, 03:25 PM-->QUOTE(Bodhi @ Jun 8 2007, 03:25 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->what is shvabhaksham or shva-eating.  meat?

shvan=dog cognate of greek Kuon a classic satem:ketum dyad
<!--QuoteBegin-Hauma Hamiddha+Jun 8 2007, 05:08 PM-->QUOTE(Hauma Hamiddha @ Jun 8 2007, 05:08 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->dog-eating
shvan=dog cognate of greek Kuon a classic satem:ketum dyad

Thanks HHji.

That reminds me of something that I had intended to ask on Vegetarian thread long time back, but desisted.

In Mahabharata, I have seen one tale of viSwamitra performing the act of eating a dead dog (under pressing circumstances, and after offering to pitRas and devas), after a lengthy debate with a chAnDala who was persuading him not to do such a lowly act. This tale remained a mystery to me. What is its signficance?
sorry for cluttering this thread, but thanks for all the help HHji.

in skanda purANa, Sri sUta further narrates:

<b>gurutalpAyutam</b> tasya tatkhshaNAdeva nashyati
yasyAsthi setumadhye tu sthApitam putrapautrakaiH

(even sins of his who has done the crime of -) "gurutalpa", his (sins) are also destroyed instantly
whose last remains are established in the middle of the Setu, by sons-grandsons}

is above translation accurate?

meaning of gurutalpa:
Guru is Master, but may also mean heavy
talpa is bed, particularly nupital bed. (Sesha-talpa-sukha-nidraNa = Vishnu)

does the sin of gurutalpa mean 'violating the bed of his Guru'? (Adultrous offense towards Gurumata, Guruvanita, Gurubhagini, Gurusuta etc?) Or does it mean 'heavily adulterous'?

if this is what it means, then has such a crime been even heard of? (like Nala-Damayanti probably? was that Gurutalpa?)

what does it mean?
"gurutalpaga" ( or violator of guru's bed ) is a classified as a major sinner.

This was relevant when students used to stay at the "gurukul" for their studies till they were 25 or so. Their meals etc were prepared by gurupatni(s).

Here guru means any teacher of any subject teaching in a residential gurukul, not necessarily a spiritual master.
Thanks AK-ji! So that is gurutalpaga.

That reminds me of an excellent old Hindi movie Jyotishi (Satyajit Ray?) - what you described is shown in that. Anybody seen that?
<!--QuoteBegin-Bodhi+Jun 9 2007, 03:12 PM-->QUOTE(Bodhi @ Jun 9 2007, 03:12 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->In Mahabharata, I have seen one tale of viSwamitra performing the act of eating a dead dog (under pressing circumstances, and after offering to pitRas and devas), after a lengthy debate with a chAnDala who was persuading him not to do such a lowly act.  This tale remained a mystery to me.  What is its signficance?

manu smR^iti 10.106-10.108 mentions the story of vAmadeva gautama and vishvAmitra having to eat dog meat from chANDalas or niShadas to stay alive when stranded in deserts. It mentions that if a dvija eats these abhojya foods in ApadkAla, with a clear knowledge of dharma, to keep alive he does not acquire those ghora pApa-s.
thanks HHji and AKji.

Sri sUta further gets into the topic of bramhaghAta (bramhanicide), and reveals that there is only one place on earth - Setu, that can free one from the sin of bramhaghAta (with exception to mahAkapAlIkapurI vArANasyaH).

But contrary to the common understanding of bramhaghAta, he says bramhaghAta is more than just killing a brAmhaNa:

mArgabhedI svArthapAkI yatibrAmhaNadUSakaH, atyAshI vedavikretA panchaite bramhaghAtakAH

does it accurately translate to:

{These are the five types of bramha-ghatak-s : violating the path/tradition, cooking/eating for oneself without ritual offering, defiling bramhaNa-ascetics, being highly greedy, and selling out the Vedas.}

thanks as always

Sanskrit Literature
Hitopadesha | Jataka Tales | Pali Literature | Panchatantra | Puranas | Upanishads
Classical Sanskrit Literature
Sanskrit Drama
Abhijnanasakuntalam | Malavikagnimitram | Raghuvamsa
Sanskrit Poetry
Kumarasambhavam | Meghadutam | Ritusamhara
Indian Epics
Mahabharata | Ramayana
Sanskrit Poets
Asvaghosa | Banabhatta | Bharavi | Bhasa | Kalidasa | Panini | Valmiki | Ved Vyas

Classical Sanskrit Literature
Sanskrit literature came into being with the making of Vedas and left a rich legacy of literary knowledge for the times to come. However, the language of the Vedas differs from the language used in poetry and drama. Classical Sanskrit literature is found to be in vogue when it comes to writing poetry and dance dramas. This form of classic literature in Sanskrit is a huge contribution in the field of literary knowledge. Sanskrit poetry is different from Vedic poetry. Read on further about literature in classical Sanskrit and check our related sections on Sanskrit plays and Sanskrit poetry.

Sanskrit drama evolved as early as 2nd century B.C. Shudraka, the great Sanskrit writer wrote the earliest play in Sanskrit Mricchakatika around this time. The central theme of these dramas and plays used to be based on heroic tales of the protagonist. The Natya Shastra, which was written by Bharata, literally means the Science of Theater. It contained all the essential elements that go into making a successful dance drama. Other famous dramatists are Kalidasa, Bhasa, Asvaghosa, etc. Check our related sections for further information on their works.

Classical Sanskrit poetry is a varied genre and has many forms of poetry in it. The most famous examples of epic poetry are Ramayana and Mahabharata, the two epics that are held in high reverence by Indians. Romantic poetry was given a boost during the time of Kalidasa, the great poet of India. The epics poems can be recited as well as sung. Thus, one can say that classical music also started from classical Sanskrit literature. Classic literature in Sanskrit is indeed a valuable treasure of Indian cultural heritage.


The holy Puranas are a vast treasure of literary and spiritual knowledge that throw light on past, present and future. It is said that the Puranas are the richest collection of mythological information in this world. In totality, the Eighteen Puranas contain information about ancient myths and folklores that pertain to some form of spiritual knowledge. Each of these Puranas is a book of hymns, stories, knowledge and instructions regarding sacred rituals and the way life should be led. It contains cosmic knowledge and how the universe affects our living.

Traditionally, there are supposed to be 18 major Puranas. They are listed below.

Agni: It contains 15,400 verses and has information regarding the various incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

Bhagavata: It contains 18,000 verses and contains information on the practice of Bhakti Yoga, which helps in the realization of God.

Bhavishya: It contains 14,500 verses and contains information on the fact that past repeats itself in future. It is also called the Book of Prophecies.

Brahma: It contains 24,000 verses and has details about the beginning of universe and cosmos.

Brahmanda: It contains 12,000 verses and contains the Lalitha Sahasranamam, a text recited as a prayer.

Brahmavaivarta: It contains 18,000 verses and describes the creation and purpose of life and the deeds of different Gods like Ganesha, Krishna, etc.

Garuda: It contains 19,000 verses and has information about what happens after a person dies and kind of treatment he gets for his deeds on earth. It is similar to the concept of Judgment Day in Christianity.

Harivamsa: It contains 16,000 verses and has information on the life of Lord Krishna.

Kurma: It contains 17,000 verses and has information on the avatar of Lord Vishnu as a tortoise that came to be known as the Kurma avatar.

Linga: It contains 11,000 verses and it has information on the importance of the holy Linga and the origin of the Universe.

Markandya: It contains 9000 verses and it contains the dialogue between two ancient sages, Jamini and Markandya.

Matsya: It contains 14,000 verses and describes the first avatar of Lord Vishnu as a fish.

Narada: It contains 25,000 verses and contains the description of major pilgrim places.

Padma: It contains 55,000 verses and has information on the essence of religion and cosmos.

Shiva: It contains 24,000 verses and is completely dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Skanda: It contains 81,000 verses and is probably the longest Purana of all. It is dedicated to the life of Lord Shiva and Parvati's son, Karthikeya.

Vamana: It contains 10,000 verses and contains information regarding the Vamana avatar of Lord Vishnu.

Vayu: It contains 24,000 verses and is dedicated to the Wind God, Vayu.

Vishnu: It contains 23,000 verses and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Dear Vedic Scholars,
With the collaboration of a team of scholars including Michel Angot, R. Chandrashekar, Susan Rosenfield, B. V. K. Sastry, and Michael Witzel, Michael Everson and I have prepared a proposal to the Unicode Consortium to revise the Unicode Standard to include characters necessary for encoding Vedic Sanskrit.  We presented the proposal to the Working Group 2 committee in Frankfurt in April and, after gathering comments by the general community of scholars, plan to present it to the Unicode Technical Committee at their meeting beginning 6 August.  Please review the proposal and send your comments.  If you would like to be included in a discussion list concerning the proposal please indicate so.  The proposal is located at the following sites:

where it may be navigated to from the main Sanskrit Library site

It is also posted at:


We are eager to get Vedic characters included in the Unicode Standard and look forward to your comments and contributions.  We are particularly interested in evidence of the marking of Vedic characters in scripts other than Devanagari.  Scholars familiar with Vedic in other Indic scripts are kindly requested to indicate by reference to the code charts at the end of our proposal whether a character there is also used in a particular script or not or if a different character is used instead.  A digital image and reference accompanying such comments would be particularly helpful.  Comments and evidence by surface mail are also welcome at the address below.  Please send email comments directly to me at Scharf@brown.edu.
Yours sincerely,
Peter Scharf
Peter M. Scharf                          (401) 863-2720 office
Department of Classics            (401) 863-2123 dept
Brown University
PO Box 1856                              (401) 863-7484 fax
Providence, RI 02912                  Scharf@brown.edu

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>India to fund Sanskrit studies in Thailand</b>
Wednesday, 27 June , 2007, 01:18

New Delhi: India on Tuesday announced a contribution of 10 million
Baht (Rs 1.27 crore approximately) for construction work at the
Sanskrit Studies Centre in Thailand.

The announcement was made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his
talks with visiting Thai Prime Minister Gen Surayud Chulanont.

The contribution will go for the construction of a building of the
Centre in the Silpakorn University in Bangkok.

The Centre has made significant contributions to the study of
Sanskrit, Indian culture and historical and cultural links between the
two countries, said a joint statement issued after the talks.

Chulanont appreciated the Indian gesture, saying it is a testament to
the significant and valuable historical and cultural ties between the
two countries.

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