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Ashok and others - Thanks. Very useful information, will take some time to digest,

Looks like someting wrong with 'my ' computer (Word-processer/font/OS)


Both computers are faily standard and 'vanila' (Mine is tightly controlled company PC with only 'approved' software/fornts etc.. and son's is also what came out from standard MS office software etc..)

I see every thing correctly except behaviour of 'i" and some composit letters (where a 'halant' is put insead of 'half' letter)

So I tried some standard internet sites (bbc.co.uk/hindi or google.co.in) and sure enough my IE output has the same errors.. (I tried other computers in my house, and all XP's work ok.. but the one I have Winndows 98 - does not..

Annoying....disappointed that the .. the output depends on the software layer..hmm my good documents may not look the same a few years from now on some other software.. even if I try to select the most standard software...

Did some googel search (and looked at the links given above) and found that this sloppyness on the part of MS is very bad.,..Would have prefered if the "interface" was as relaible as "looking at printed" paper.. can't take anything for granted..

Anyway - thanks... (Well atleast the gif or pdf output looks the same .. so if my son e-mailed the pdf copy (after printing it to acrobat) it would look the same here..)

Again thanks for lot of good info and sites. Connsulted a good Sanskrit Dictinary and yes, found, gir = Mountain as well as song...
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Not necessarily so. Please check if the TTF (True type font) is installed correctly on both machines. If I create a document using XDVNG, or Sanskrit98 on my machine, and send it to you, it will not show up correctly on your machine if you do not have these fonts available. MS Word will default the font to the first available one on the list (perhaps Arial Unicode.)<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I think I mention above, all were standard aril unicode ms ..If fonts are not correctly installed its generally not readable.. here, everything is ok except a small error .. Just discovered that you can no longer update these font's from Microsof's website .. but reloaded the font from other computer ... Its the upper layer (MS word - release difference or XP/98 difference)
TrueType fonts are not Unicode. They are based on ASCII standard and represent chracters by 8 bits.

New 'OpenType" fonts include Unicode support with 16 bit characters, but are not widely used as of now.

One disadvantage of Unicode text files is that they are twice in size for regular texts due to 16 bit characters. But normally text files don't tend to be that big in size anyway, so this is not a big problem.
Sorry to continue "font" discussion here, but I hope this (above discussion) is helpful to those who are looking at these excellent sites reffered above and trying to cut-paste/save sanskrit doc's in HD..... or even just looking the text (for utf-8 encoding).. a few letters and 'i' type matra's would look strange if your computer is running older system...

Found the ITRANS site very helpful in writing the term paper (or small letter ) in devnagri script for those who are not too familier with sanscrit script etc..

Also, if you prepare, the doc in pdf or gif file the output is more or less standard.. but WFW doc would not.. The irratitating part is it almost does and at first glance you may not see the difference,.,,

Ashok, you are right - I found this: In one of the site which deals with Hindi fonts;


Many of you have enquired us about why Aksharamala does not work with Word 2000 and earlier versions. Before I explain why, I would like to remind everyone that this limitation applies to all Unicode based schemes such as "Hindi Transliteration Scheme (ITRANS -> Unicode)".

Even though MS Word 2000 is a Unicode application it is what I refer to as "Indic-blind". This means that it does not handle Unicode Indic codepages properly. Unfortunately, this is also the case with some other 2000 and earlier versions of Microsoft products such as Excel and PowerPoint. One notable exception in the whole lot is Microsoft Outlook, which works well not only in Outlook 2000, 98 versions but also as back as Outlook 97. (I have not personally tested Outlook 97, but heard reliably from a user). FrontPage is another contender for being very compatible. Even though I have quickly switched to FrontPage XP once it is released I have used FrontPage 2000 for creating several web pages using Aksharamala. MS Access on the other hand works well internally while handling Indic (Unicode) content but only Access XP displays Indic content properly in its data-entry and other screens. Microsoft’s free products, specifically, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express also work very well with Indic text. And so is WordPad (Except for NT 4 version), which handles Indic content well, but I suggest that you save it in .rtf (Rich Text Format) for maximum compatibility across multiple Windows platforms.

In summary, if you are looking for a feture-rich editor for putting in Indic content then move to Office XP / Word XP (Don't forget to enable Hindi support from 'Office XP Language Settings'). If your budget is tight, consider writing it in WordPad or may be simply put it in Outlook Express and save it!

In any case I hope the information is useful ...
And Yes! the term paper looks fine in word pad!!!
Neglect Affects Sanskrit Academy

HYDERBAD, INDIA, April 14, 2004: The Sanskrit Academy and Research
Institute continues to be neglected even after the Rashtriya Sanskrit
Samsthan, a wing of the Ministry of Human Resource and Development,
took over its management. The institute, which is one of its kind in
south India, has not received any grants for the past four years. With
no financial support from either the State government, Osmania
University or the HRD Ministry, the officials have rented the first
floor of the premises to eke out the maintenance costs. The first floor
of the institute was meant for the Telugu Academy. In 2000, the
institute received a grant of US$11,000, but from then the institute
has been struggling to keep itself afloat due to the lack of funds. The
HRD Ministry took over the maintenance of the institute in the same
year by bringing it under the Rashtriya Sanskrit Samasthan. In spite of
this, the condition of the institute has been deteriorating. The
arrears of the staff working in the institute have been pending for 15
years. The total number of staff including the director of the
institute is just six. Presently, the institute has managed to publish
as many as 62 publications which have been recognised by the HRD
Ministry. "This is the only Sanskrit research institute in South India.
We are just about managing to do skeletal work. The lack of funds has
broken the back of the institute," an official from the institute said.
sanskrit is also called

Gir_vana Basha.

Giri_ja --. that which is is born out of mountain hence Parvathi

padma_ja --- that which is born out of lotus hence Laxmi

ambu_ja --- that which is born out of water
There are many instances of extinct species named by Hindu figures:
Eg Ramapithecus and Sivapithecus: Two early apes.
Garudimimus- an ornithomimosaur (A kind of dinosaur)
Vinayakia- a basal member of carnivora
Vishnucyon- a basal member of carnivora
Vishnufelis- a basal cat
Sivaelurus- a basal cat
Sivapardus - clouded leopard like cat
Sivapanthera - primitive Indian cheetah
Vishnuictis- a primitive civet
Sivanasua- basal lophocyonid (carnivora, mammalia)
Stegodon ganesa- A primitive elephant
Sivatherium- A 4 horned giraffe. (Griffith believes that this was the
Mrigonahasti of Vishvamitra in his translation of the RV. Others say
it may have been the Kakuha mentioned in the RV).
If you get a chance to go to HP you can see some of these fossil in
the Saketi museum. i have wandered around these fossil beds in the
1990s- still lots to be described.

That is of the top of my head there may be more.

An Indian mycologist called Subramanian coined many formal taxonomic
names for Fungi using sanskrit instead of latin. Many of these fungi
were discovered first by him.

Tharoopama mississippiensis
Kutilakesa pironii
Bahusutrabeeja dwaya
Bahusakala longispora
Bahusandhika caligans
Bahupaathra samala
Dwayaangam heterospora
Dwayamala prathilomaka
Dwayabeeja sundara
Kramasamuha sibica
Kumanasamuha novozelandica
Koorchaloma okamurae
Narasimhania alismatis
Nalanthamala squamicola
Peethambara sundara
Sutravarana samala
Vanakripa minuteellipsoidea

If anyone does not get the sanskrit meanings of any of these then they
may ask. Subramanian was largely forgotten despite is efforts in
discovering many of these fungi and very few followed up many of these
species that are unique to India. But he did get a fungal genus named
after him:
Subramaniomyces fusisaprophyticus

I feel using sanskrit is great for taxonomy, though I am ambivalent
about the direct use of the names of the gods as in the earlier list.

I have a question: I believe there is a short Sanskrit saying on the ideal
student-teacher relationship that essentially says that "may the interactions
between the two be such that the parting is on amicable terms, and each learns from the other" --- is there such an aphorism? If so, could someone please post
the relevant verses here? Thanks in advance!
<!--QuoteBegin-Samudragupta+May 1 2004, 12:24 AM-->QUOTE(Samudragupta @ May 1 2004, 12:24 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> I have a question: I believe there is a short Sanskrit saying on the ideal
student-teacher relationship that essentially says that "may the interactions
between the two be such that the parting is on amicable terms, and each learns from the other" --- is there such an aphorism? If so, could someone please post
the relevant verses here? Thanks in advance! <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Is this the one you wanted??

Shanti Mantra – Om Sahana Vavatu

Om Sahana Vavatu Sahanau Bhunaktu
Sahaveeryam Karavavahai
Tejas Vinavati Tamastuma vidhwishavahai
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi

Sanskrit to English Word Meaning

Saha- both; nau-us; avatu- may he protect; bhunaktu-may he nourish; viryam karavavahai-may we acquire the capacity; tejasvi-be brilliant; nau-for us; adhitam- what is studied;astu-let it be; ma vidvisavahai-may we not argue with each other.


May He protect both of us. May He nourish both of us. May we both acquire the capacity (to study and understand the scriptures). May our study be brilliant. May we not argue with each other. Om peace, peace, peace.

Brief explanation

At the beginning of a class, the teacher and students generally recite this peace invocation together. Both seek the Lord’s blessings for study that is free of obstacles, such as poor memory, or the inability to concentrate or poor health. They also seek blessings for a conducive relationship, without which communication of any subject matter is difficult. Therefore, this prayer is important for both the teacher and the student.
<!--QuoteBegin-nachiketa+May 1 2004, 09:05 AM-->QUOTE(nachiketa @ May 1 2004, 09:05 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->
Is this the one you wanted??

Shanti Mantra – Om Sahana Vavatu

Om Sahana Vavatu Sahanau Bhunaktu
Sahaveeryam Karavavahai
Tejas Vinavati Tamastuma vidhwishavahai
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi
Brief explanation

At the beginning of a class, the teacher and students generally recite this peace invocation together. Both seek the Lord’s blessings for study that is free of obstacles, such as poor memory, or the inability to concentrate or poor health. They also seek blessings for a conducive relationship, without which communication of any subject matter is difficult. Therefore, this prayer is important for both the teacher and the student. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Thanks, Nachiketa! Yes, that was the one I was looking for.
Thank you again.
Here is an open question for anyone who can give me the answer to the following:

In the Vishnu Sahasranamam, one of the names is CHATHURATMA. To this, Sri Adishankaracharya gives the following explanation in his bhashya.

<b>Sargadhishu Pruthag-vibhoothayas-chathasrah Aathmanah Yassya Saha Chathuratma.</b>

Is there a website that translates Shankara bhashyam into english?

While on the subject of Sahasranamam, I am looking for a copy of Soubhagya Bhaskaram (The bhashya of Bhaskaracharya on Sri Lalitha Sahasranamam.), is it available in North America?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sargadhishu Pruthag-vibhoothayas-chathasrah Aathmanah Yassya Saha Chathuratma.

The literal translation is:

In the beginning of creations (sarga), the Self (Atma) who has four distinct "vibhootis" , is Chaturatma.

Right now I don't know what these four "vibhootis" are. By the way are Shankha, Chakra, Gadaa & Padma called vibhootis? One meaning of vibhootis is decorations, so these may fit the meaning, especially when referring to Vishnu. But most probably Sri Shankaracharya had an esoteric meaning in mind related to Atman. Nirguna Atman, when seen from the Maya of created world can at best be described by a Saguna version where it has three attributes of Sat-Chit-Ananda. But this doesn't fit into four 'vibhootis'.
<!--QuoteBegin-Ashok Kumar+May 6 2004, 09:30 AM-->QUOTE(Ashok Kumar @ May 6 2004, 09:30 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sargadhishu Pruthag-vibhoothayas-chathasrah Aathmanah Yassya Saha Chathuratma.

The literal translation is:

In the beginning of creations (sarga), the Self (Atma) who has four distinct "vibhootis" , is Chaturatma.

Right now I don't know what these four "vibhootis" are. By the way are Shankha, Chakra, Gadaa & Padma called vibhootis? One meaning of vibhootis is decorations, so these may fit the meaning, especially when referring to Vishnu. But most probably Sri Shankaracharya had an esoteric meaning in mind related to Atman. Nirguna Atman, when seen from the Maya of created world can at best be described by a Saguna version where it has three attributes of Sat-Chit-Ananda. But this doesn't fit into four 'vibhootis'.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Thanks Ashok, the literal meaning is quite evident <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo--> I was looking for the "figurative meaning". For example, the name <b>Chathur-vyuuhah</b> has the following explanation:

<b>Vyoohyatmaananam chathurdha vai Vaasudevaadi-Moorthibi.h</b>

Literally, they are four "formations", of Vasudeva etc.. but figuratively the meaning is as follows:

<i>The Bhagavatas say that Vaasudeva whose nature is pure knowledge is what really exists. He divides Himself fourfold and appears in four forms (Vyuhas) as Vaasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. Vaasudeva denotes the Supreme Self, Sankarshana the individual soul, Pradyumna the mind, and Aniruddha the principle of egoism, or Ahamkara. Of these four Vaasudeva constitutes the Ultimate Cause, of which the three others are the effects.

They say that by devotion for a long period to Vaasudeva through Abhigamana (going to the temple with devotion), Upadana (securing the accessories of worship). Ijya (oblation, worship), Svadhyaya (study of holy scripture and recitation of Mantras) and Yoga (devout meditation) we can pass beyond all afflictions, pains and sorrows, attain Liberation and reach the Supreme Being. </i>

Incidentally, I found this explanation while reading the Brahma Sutra.
puShTi, vR^iddhi, vistAra, saMpatti= chatur vibhUti

saubhAgya bhAskara :

Go to the mypurohit site for the partial Sb if you can read the telugu script.
<!--QuoteBegin-Hauma Hamiddha+May 6 2004, 09:22 PM-->QUOTE(Hauma Hamiddha @ May 6 2004, 09:22 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> puShTi, vR^iddhi, vistAra, saMpatti= chatur vibhUti

saubhAgya bhAskara :

Go to the mypurohit site for the partial Sb if you can read the telugu script. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> Go to the mypurohit site for the partial Sb if you can read the telugu script. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Incidentally, I ussed to know the founder, Anand P, and the team behind this excellent site - mypurohit.com. At one point, I was asked to be on the Board of Directors for it, but had to turn it down as it was quite a huge commitment. It has been a while since I had been in touch with them. Thanks for reminding...

Unfortunately, while I can speak telugu very fluently, I cannot read telugu fluently. I can only read it alphabet by alplabet (Aksharalu kalipi chaduvagalanu.) I have to look around for Devanagari version.. If I get hold of one, I plan to type it and upload it to Sanskrit Document list.

This is a good site for scientific studies on sanskrit.
You can try out the samdhi-viccheda software developed by Heut, who is director of R&D at INRIA, french equivalnet of Bell Labs.
Quite inspiring article... It's worth a read.

<b>Enchanting Sanskrit</b>

Scholars, priests, villages, young and old are part of an all-India movement to revive our sacred language


Soothing tones of sanskrit waft through the air as you walk past the spacious two-storied school in the interiors of Bangalore's Girinagar. Enter the building and it reverberates with the rich traditions of this land. You are at Aksharam, the organization that teaches spoken Sanskrit in ten days! People thus initiated are all set to commence their wonderful journey in the world of Sanskrit. Aksharam is an offshoot of Samskrita Bharathi, a voluntary organization devoted to the revival of Sanskrit ( www.samskrita-bharati.org/). It seeks to restore Sanskrit to daily life in India and re-establish it as a common man's language. [clor=blue](Sunder
Adds: I remember, the Navaratri vacations of 1987, Sri Guravarujulu was my teacher from Samskritha Barathi.. the words, "Mama nama Guravarajah, Bhavaaan naama kim?" still rings in my ears..)[/color]

<b>At Aksharam, everyone, including toddlers, converse in the ancient language. You speak to the little ones in English or Kannada, and precisely comes the reply in Sanskrit.</b> I was unable to converse in Sanskrit, despite some study of the language. Honestly, the little children gave me a complex. Unlike at other homes, <b>parents here translate the English rhymes children learn at school into Sanskrit.</b> These children in turn are able to teach Sanskrit to their teachers and friends! Sanskrit sounds so pure and divine as it emanates from the innocent mouths of little children. It's a unique experience.

When I called Aksharam at ten one night, I was surprised to hear the solemn chanting of slokas in the background. Even at this late hour, the senior research students were learning the nuances of spiritual Sanskrit from Guru Vishwas. He told me, "Sanskrit is the most ancient, highly developed, literature-rich language. It is a treasure house of ancient Indian wisdom. It is certainly the vehicle of our culture and key to the heritage of this great civilization. Speaking the language not only helps in learning, but also gives the students pride in their civilizational values. Speaking this language generates energy."

<b>Why do people think Sanskrit is difficult to learn? "The answer is simple. They don't follow the natural way. The first step in learning any language is to converse in it, because speaking and listening to a language takes you closer to it," explained Vishwas.</b> He has been conducting the ten-day speak Sanskrit courses in India and abroad and is the chief editor of the Sanskrit monthly Sambhasana Sandesha, which is published by Aksharam.

Speak Sanskrit Movement

The decline of Sanskrit in modern times worried people like Sri Krishna Sastry. He knew the wealth of knowledge we were losing by forgetting the language. He proposed, "Let service to Sanskrit not stop at worshiping with the language; everyone should be able to speak the language. Conversational Sanskrit has to be taught and popularized." In 1981 Sri Krishna Sastry, with a group of like-minded friends at Tirupati Sanskrit College, founded Samskrita Bharathi and evolved the "Speak Sanskrit Movement."

They launched the movement through the Sanskrit unit of Hindu Seva Prathisthana. Organisations like Bharath Samskrita Parishad, the Sanskrit unit of Vidhya Bharathi, Vishwa Samskrita Prathisthanam and Swaadhyaaya Mandalam contributed to accelerating the propagation of Sanskrit. To keep pace with the rapid growth of the movement, a centralized institute of Samskrita Bharathi was formed at New Delhi in 1995. Aksharam in Bangalore became its international center.

"Our mission is to engender a cultural renaissance of India by bringing Sanskrit back to the mainstream, to propagate the great scientific truths hidden in our ancient scriptures, attain social harmony by removing barriers of caste, creed and race, and achieve national integration through Sanskrit," Sri Krishna Sastry told me.

In 15 years, Samskrita Bharathi reached impressive heights through its sevavratis (Sanskrit missionaries), who relentlessly work towards resuscitating the language. <b>Now more than two million people around the world can speak simple Sanskrit. Nearly four million people have learned Sanskrit through correspondence, and 25,000 teachers have been trained to conduct spoken Sanskrit workshops.</b>

As a result of their efforts and the efforts of many others, <b>30 million students in India are studying Sanskrit.</b> There are 1,500 mahapatashalas (Sanskrit colleges), with 100,000 students, and 3,500 patashalas (primary and secondary schools), where students learn Sanskrit in its traditional form. Premier scientific and technical institutions such as the <b>Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, have introduced the study of Sanskrit.</b>

The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, C-DAC, has been conducting research on Sanskrit and computers. Sanskrit is also taught in about 250 universities in 40 countries. Over 400 universities promote Sanskrit Studies and Research. India has ten Sanskrit universities and 250 institutions involved in Sanskrit research. Eighty Sanskrit journals are circulated in the country.

Among the most unusual results of the Speak Sanskrit Movement are the two villages of Mathoor and Hosahalli in Karnataka. The movement adopted them as a means to promote spoken Sanskrit, and <b>today everyone in them-from the menial laborer to the merchant, to the brahmins-speaks Sanskrit with élan.</b> These two villages are known throughout the country. More recently, Samskrita Bharathi has succeeded in teaching conversational Sanskrit to the entire tribal village of Mohaka, near Jabalpur.

Sanskrit's checkered history

Yes, Sanskrit is regaining its lost grandeur in India, but how did it ever get relegated to such a low position in the first place? Sanskrit was the lingua franca of India before the country was invaded by aliens. It was the medium of administration, commerce, trade and education. Cultural, religious and intellectual transactions were in Sanskrit. Then in 1835, Lord Macaulay produced his "Minute of Indian Education" in which he stated, "What we spend on the Sanskrit colleges is not merely a dead loss to the cause of truth; it is bounty money paid to raise up champions of error [that is, Sanskrit scholars]." He said Sanskrit literature is, "barren of useful knowledge" with "the most serious errors on the most important subjects." His recommendation, adopted by the British administration, was to no longer fund any Sanskrit education, save the Sanskrit college at Banaras.

The knowledge and use of Sanskrit became limited to the priestly class and a small number of pundits who used it for religious practices. "Thanks to that priestly class, the language was preserved. They must be given credit that their continued use of Sanskrit helped its survival," avers Shri Shivamurthy Swamiji, pontiff of Tarabalu Math in Bangalore.

"After independence, the Kothari commission sacrificed Sanskrit by not including it in the three-language formula," states Sri Krishna Sastry. He is referring to the system whereby students would learn English, their regional language and Hindi. Those already in Hindi-speaking areas would learn another Indian or European language. "Compelled by political and economic pressures and fascination for the West," he went on, "India continued learning foreign languages, especially English. The elimination of Sanskrit for the majority of Indians resulted in the loss of the rich traditional knowledge. Macaulay killed the ancient traditional education system of India. It created a land in which we do not inherit our traditional knowledge," said Sri Krishna Sastry.

Dr. Ashok Aklujkar of British Columbia, Canada, concurs. "I am strongly in favor of the Speak Sanskrit Movement," he told Hinduism Today. "However, it and other similar movements will have only band-aid successes until Hindus realize that they have to have a long-term, comprehensive vision for their way of living and plan how to bring about the desired changes in 50 or 100 years. The Indian education system needs to change from the present three-language formula to one which teaches the regional language, the classical language (e.g., Sanskrit) and an international language (e.g., English)." Aklujkar (aklujkar@interchange.ubc.ca) is author of an innovative course, Sanskrit: an Easy Introduction to an Enchanting Language. (Sunder adds: I personally know Shri Aklujkar. He is <b>pretty knowledgeable</b> on the subject, although, there are not many *indians* around here who are motivated enough to take up samskrit. It's sad to see such a good resource underappreciated.)

Sanskrit, however, was not a pariah in Europe and America, where its status as one of the most ancient Indo-European languages was appreciated by Western academics and promoted by Indian scholars in the West such as Aklujkar. Thus Indian students studying in the West have found a more positive treatment of Sanskrit than they can in India. Dr. Kamat, an educator, told me, "Our traditional knowledge systems flourish in the West because they are looking towards India for wisdom. The Indian student, once abroad and out of the claustrophobic clutches of Indian environs, starts looking for his roots. That's how Indians abroad take to study of our traditional systems and Sanskrit. There is a paradigm shift in their thinking."

When I attended the Tenth World Sanskrit Conference, held in 1997 in Bangalore, I found a number of non-Indians who presented papers on complex topics such as grammar, medical literature and navigational terms. I met an Australian professor who was an authority on Vishnu Purana, a topic unknown to many Hindus.

Dr. Garry A. Tubb, a professor from Columbia University and former professor at Harvard University, who was at that conference, expressed regret that there is no systematic Sanskrit education in India. "Indians should develop love and respect for their ancient culture and rich heritage. If they neglect the ancient manuscripts, the rich, millennia-old knowledge will perish," he predicted. Dr. Tubb has written a critique on Kalidasa's Kumarasambhavam as well as a guide to Sanskrit teaching for Western students. Dr. Rahul Peter Das of Martin Luther University in Germany believes that "studying Sanskrit will help students understand mathematics better." Dr. Das has studied the Vedas from their original texts and is an authority on Sanskrit grammar.

Dr. Robert Goldman, head of the Sanskrit department at Philadelphia University, says, "Learning Sanskrit and its grammar will help one easily understand world civilization and literature." Dr. Goldman, who has traveled extensively in India, can recite the Vedas, Upanishads and mantras and speak fluently in Sanskrit. He has also translated the original Valmiki Ramayana into English.

Better teaching methods

Another factor that contributed greatly to the neglect and "death" of Sanskrit was the treatment it received at the hands of academics. "Nowhere will you find a language being taught in a foreign language," says Sri Krishna Sastry. The easiest and most effective way is the conversational method. Ironically, Sanskrit was being taught through English and in textbook fashion. As a result, students, instead of learning the language and developing affinity, moved away from it.(anyone remember, "Ramaha Ramau Ramaaha?" I remember a 'class comedian' in my class made fun when "Mundakopanishad" calling it 'munda-koduku-upanishad'. And ppl *laughed* <!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo--> )

For seven years through high school and college I studied Sanskrit through English and yet I do not know the language. Many like me took Sanskrit as an optional language because obtaining marks was easy. Without studying grammar, which accounted for thirty marks, we would answer in English or Kannada for the remaining 70 marks and still score well. Why did we need to know the language when the focus was on the marks? The need to understand the nuances of Sanskrit was not emphasized. My children have been studying Sanskrit from class five and are quite good at it-they know the language. The teaching methods have been wholesome, with complete focus on the language, including conversation.

The teachers have improved along with the method. "Sanskrit teachers today are driven by the promote Sanskrit movement and have a passion for the language. They are no longer seen as tuft-growing men in dhotis," opines Mr. Uday Narayan, a teacher. Decades ago Sanskrit teachers were looked down upon as "pundits." They did not fit into the fashionable English school environs. Today, an increasing number of educators feel that teaching Sanskrit in schools will open up the treasure house of traditional knowledge and wisdom to children.

Sanskrit versus science

Knowledge of Sanskrit is imperative for understanding ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical science, not to mention architecture, statecraft and the many other subjects dealt with in the Sanskrit literature.

The attempts to bring these ancient sciences into prominence in modern India are not without difficulties. Take ayurveda as an example. It used to be that ayurveda students knew Sanskrit. However, in an apparent attempt to upgrade the status of ayurveda, the Central Council for Alternative Systems of Indian Medicine, which administers and manages ayurvedic colleges across India, made a new rule. They said only students with modern science as majors would be admitted to ayurvedic courses. At the same time, the Central Board for Secondary Education made Sanskrit an optional subject up to class 12 for students of science.

As a result, students with a science background who study ayurveda at the college level haven't learned Sanskrit, resist studying it and insist upon using translated texts. Sanskrit, which was compulsory for all the five years during the ayurveda course, was reduced to only one year of study. Now science students are protesting even this one year of Sanskrit study.

The communal issue

Sanskrit still draws resistance from certain castes, especially the economically weaker sections and backward classes. They feel the language is difficult to pronounce and believe it is only for the upper castes, not for them. "The problem of our Dalit brethren is not just economic disparity but also cultural disparity. Providing knowledge of Sanskrit gives them this cultural equality and brings social harmony. But the most important factor is how the language is taught and how the teacher motivates," says Krishna Sastry. It is worth noting that great Sanskrit works were written by non-brahmins, such as Vyasa, son of a fisherwoman and editor of the Mahabharatha; Valmiki, son of a hunter and author of Ramayana; Kalidas, a shepherd and poet; and Jabala, an outcaste and author of the Jabala Upanishad.

Still, Sanskrit was branded a brahminical language and tainted "communal," contrary to its true nature. "Sanskrit is the only language that has a secular policy. See the Bhagavad Gita. It gives a global or universal message. It does not say worship one God alone. This is not so in scriptures of other faiths. India's secular nature is because of the Sanskrit culture, which is the very culture of this land," states Sri Krishna Sastry. "The secular policy practiced by our politicians and so-called secularists has done everything to keep the language out."

Courts rescue the language

<b>The central government wanted Sanskrit to be removed from the higher secondary syllabus, arguing that by allowing Sanskrit, other classical languages [Pali, for example] must be included, and citing the secular policy of the government. In 1994, the Supreme Court came to the rescue, noting the importance of Sanskrit for nurturing our cultural heritage as a nation.</b>

Similarly, in 1994, the Madras High Court held that "Sanskrit is not a dead language," and observed that the reasoning of the Tamil Nadu Government that Sanskrit had ceased to be a language in use "is nothing but ignorance of reality." Justice S. S. Subramani referred to a Supreme Court decision which said Sanskrit is the mother of all Indo-Aryan languages, and it was this language in which our Vedas, Puranas and Upanishads had been written, and in which Kalidas, Bhavbuti, Banabhatta and Dandi wrote their classics. The judge also said that the teachings of Sankaracharya, Ramanuja, Madhvacharya, Nimbarka and Vallabhacharya would not have been woven into the fabric of Indian culture if Sanskrit had not have been available to them as a medium of expressing their thoughts. Dr. Karan Singh, son of the last Maharaja of Kashmir and a prominent Indian statesman, said, "The ancient language has kept our samskriti (culture) alive. We are India as it is today because of Sanskrit."

In 1990, bharata natyam exponent and long-time Delhi resident Justin McCarthy made an impassioned plea for Sanskrit in the Indian Express. He wrote, "Sanskrit is not dead, nor is it merely a language. It is a science and art, and insofar as it is a compendium of a people's consciousness, it is a microcosm of all that is essentially Indian. It is more precise and profound than any of the world's tongues. In literary terms, the expressive power of Sanskrit is unparalleled in multi-dimensional subtlety. My desperate plea for the preservation of Sanskrit may seem to many to be unwarranted. But India's identity as unique amongst the world's nations is at stake. What is that uniqueness? This is a country whose citizens are living descendants of a vibrant past, a tradition which still colors the lives of most Indians today. It is a tradition which, in its ideal state, affords a fertile, holistic approach to living even in the hyped-up, commercial age, inspiring all those, both Indian and foreign, who are at all touched by it."
Checkout Sample pages of Samskrit magazine:

Modern scientists hail the ancient language of the gods as the only
unambiguous natural language on the planet

This interesting article refers to a NASA article on Sanskrit in AI
(Artificial Intelligence) Magazine
in Spring of 1985 written by NASA researcher, Rick Briggs.

In ancient India the intention to discover truth was so consuming, that in
the process, they discovered perhaps the most perfect tool for fulfilling
such a search that the world has ever known -- the Sanskrit language.

Of all the discoveries that have occurred and developed in the course
of human history, language is the most significant and probably
the most taken for granted. Without language, civilization could
obviously not exist. On the other hand, to the degree that language
becomes sophisticated and accurate in describing the subtlety and
complexity of human life, we gain power and effectiveness in meeting
its challenges. The access to modern technology which has been designed
to give ease, efficiency and enjoyment in meeting our daily needs did
not exist at the beginning of the century. It was made possible by
accelerated advancement in the field of mathematics, a "language" which
has helped us to discover the interrelationship of energy and matter
with a high degree of precision. The resulting technology is evidence
of the tremendous power that is unleashed simply by being able to make
the finer and finer distinction that a language like mathematics affords.

At the same time humankind has fallen far behind the advancements in
technology. The precarious state of political and ecological imbalance
that we are now experiencing is an obvious sign of the power of
technology far exceeding the power of human beings to be in control
of it. It could easily be argued that we have fallen far behind the
advancements in technology, simply because the languages we use for daily
communication do not help us to make the distinctions required to be in
balance with the technology that has taken over our lives.

Relevant to this there has recently been an astounding discovery made
at the NASA research center. The following quote is from an article
which appeared in AI Magazine (Artificial Intelligence) in Spring of
1985 written NASA researcher, Rick Briggs.

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 millennia old.

The discovery is of monumental significance. It is mind-boggling to
consider that we have available to us a language which has been spoken
for 4-7000 years that appears to be in every respect a perfect language
designed for enlightened communication. But the most stunning aspect
of the discovery is this: NASA the most advanced research center in
the world for cutting edge technology has discovered that Sanskrit,
the world's oldest spiritual language is the only unambiguous spoken
language on the planet.

In early AI research it was discovered that in order to clear up the
inherent ambiguity of natural languages for computer comprehension,
it was necessary to utilize semantic net systems to encode the actual
meaning of the sentence. Briggs gives the example of how a simple sentence
would be represented in a semantic net.

Example: "John gave the ball to Mary." give, agent, John give, object,
ball give, recipient, Mary give, time, past

He further comments, "The degree to which a semantic net (or any
unambiguous nonsyntactic representation) is cumbersome and odd-sounding
in a natural language is the degree to which that language is "natural"
and deviates from the precise or "artificial". As we shall see, there
was a language (Sanskrit) spoken among an ancient scientific community
that has a deviation of zero."

Considering Sanskrit's status as a spiritual language, a further
implication of this discovery is that the age old dichotomy between
religion and science is an entirely unjustified one.

It is also relevant to note that in the last decade physicists have begun
to comment on the striking similarities between their own discoveries
and the discoveries made thousands of years ago in India which went on
to form the basis of most Eastern religions.

Because of the high level of collaboration required in uncovering the
nature of energy and matter, it is inconceivable that it ever could
have taken place without a common language, namely mathematics. This is
a perfect example of using a language for discovering and designing
life. The language of mathematics, being inherently unambiguous,
minimizes personal interpretation and therefore maximizes opportunity for
exploration and discovery. The result of this is a worldwide community
of scientists working together with extraordinary vitality and excitement
about uncovering the unknown.

It can also be inferred that the discoveries that occurred in India
in the first millennia B.C. were also the result of collaboration
and inquiry by a community of spiritual scientists utilizing a
common scientific language, Sanskrit. The truth of this is further
accented by the fact that throughout the history and development of
Indian thought the science of grammar and linguistics was attributed a
status equal to that of mathematics in the context of modern scientific
investigation. In deference to the thoroughness and depth with which
the ancient grammatical scientists established the science of language,
modern linguistic researchers in Russia have concluded about Sanskrit,
"The time has come to continue the tradition of the ancient grammarians
on the basis of the modern ideas in general linguistics."

Sanskrit is the most ancient member of the European family of
languages. It is an elder sister of Latin and Greek from which most of
the modern European languages have been derived. The oldest preserved
form of Sanskrit is referred to as Vedic . The oldest extant example
of the literature of the Vedic period is the Rig-Veda . Being strictly
in verse, the Rig-Veda does not give us a record of the contemporary
spoken language.

The very name "Sanskrit" meant "language brought to formal perfection"
in contrast to the common languages, Prakrits or "natural" languages. The
form of Sanskrit which has been used for the last 2500 years is known
today as Classical Sanskrit. The norms of classical Sanskrit were
established by the ancient grammarians. Although no records are available
of their work, their efforts reached a climax in the 5th century B.C. in
the great grammatical treatise of Panini, which became the standard for
correct speech with such comprehensive authority that it has remained so,
with little alteration until present times.

Based on what the grammarians themselves have stated, we may conclude
that the Sanskrit grammar was an attempt to discipline and explain a
spoken language.

The NASA article corroborates this in saying that Indian grammatical
analysis "probably has to do with an age old Indo-Aryan preoccupation
to discover the nature of reality behind the impressions we human beings
receive through the operation of our senses."

Until 1100 A.D., Sanskrit was without interruption the official language
of the whole of India. The dominance of Sanskrit is indicated by a
wealth of literature of widely diverse genres including religious
and philosophical; fiction (short story, fable, novels, and plays);
scientific literature including linguistics, mathematics, astronomy,
and medicine; as well as law and politics.

With the Muslim invasions from 1100 A.D. onwards, Sanskrit gradually
became displaced by common languages patronized by the Muslim kings as a
tactic to suppress Indian cultural and religious tradition and supplant
it with their own beliefs. But they could not eliminate the literary
and spiritual- ritual use of Sanskrit.

Even today in India, there is a strong movement to return Sanskrit to
the status of "national language of India." Sanskrit being a language
derived from simple monosyllabic verbal roots through the addition of
appropriate prefixes and suffixes according to precise grammatical laws
has an infinite capacity to grow, adapt and expand according to the
requirements of change in a rapidly evolving world.

Even in the last two centuries, due to the rapid advances in technology
and science, a literature abundant with new and improvised vocabulary
has come into existence. Although such additions are based on the
grammatical principles of Sanskrit, and mostly composed of Sanskrit roots,
still contributions from Hindi and other national and international
languages have been assimilated. For example: The word for television,
duuradarshanam, meaning "that which provides a vision of what is far away
" is derived purely from Sanskrit.

Furthermore, there are at least a dozen periodicals published in
Sanskrit, all-India radio news broadcast in Sanskrit, television shows
and feature movies produced in Sanskrit, one village of 3000 inhabitants
who communicate through Sanskrit alone, not to mention countless smaller
intellectual communities throughout India, schools, as well as families
where Sanskrit is fostered. Contemporary Sanskrit is alive and well.

The discussion until now has been about Sanskrit, the language of
mathematical precision, the world's only unambiguous spoken language. But
the linguistic perfection of Sanskrit offers only a partial explanation
for its sustained presence in the world for at least 3000 years. High
precision in and of itself is of limited scope. Generally it excites
the brain but not the heart. Sanskrit is indeed a perfect language in
the same sense as mathematics, but Sanskrit is also a perfect language
in the sense that, like music, it has the power to uplift the heart.

It's conceivable that for a few rare and inspired geniuses, mathematics
can reach the point of becoming music or music becoming mathematics. The
extraordinary thing about Sanskrit is that it offers direct accessibility
by anyone to that elevated plane where the two, mathematics and music,
brain and heart, analytical and intuitive, scientific and spiritual
become one. This is fertile ground for revelation. Great discoveries
occur, whether through mathematics or music or Sanskrit, not by the
calculations or manipulations of the human mind, but where the living
language is expressed and heard in a state of joy and communion with
the natural laws of existence.

Why has Sanskrit endured? Fundamentally it generates clarity and
inspiration. And that clarity and inspiration is directly responsible
for a brilliance of creative expression such as the world has rarely seen.

The Ancient and classical creations of the Sanskrit tongue both in quality
and in body and abundance of excellence, in their potent originality
and force and beauty, in their substance and art and structure, in
grandeur and justice and charm of speech and in the height and width
of the reach of their spirit stand very evidently in the front rank
among the world's great literatures. 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 and sweet and
flexible, strong and clearly-formed and full and vibrant and subtle,
and its quality and character would be of itself a sufficient evidence
of the character and quality of the race whose mind it expressed and
the culture of which it was the reflecting medium.

Sanskrit after all is the language of mantra -- words of power that
are subtly attuned to the unseen harmonies of the matrix of creation,
the world as yet unformed. The possibility of such a finely attuned
language is only conceivable by drawing upon sounds so inherently pure
in combinations so harmoniously blended that the result is as refreshing
and pure as the energy of creation forming into mountain streams and
lakes and the flawless crystal structures of natural gems, while at the
same time wielding the power of nebulae and galaxies expanding into the
infinitude of space.

But from the perception of Rishis, the source of language transcends
such conceptions. In Sanskrit, Vaak,speech, the "word" of Genesis,
incorporates both the sense of "voice" and "word". It has four forms
of _expression. The first, Paraa , represents cosmic ideation arising
from the original and absolute divine presence. The second, Pashyantii
(literally "seeing") is Vaak as subject "seeing," which creates the object
of madhyamaavaak , the third and subtle form of speech before it manifests
as vaikhariivaak, the gross production of letters in spoken speech.

Sanskrit is a language whose harmonic subtlety, mysteriously sources the
successive phases of creation all the way to origination. This implies
the p ossibility of having speech oriented to a direct living truth which
transcends individual preoccupation with the limited information available
through the senses. Spoken words as such are creative living things of
power. They penetrate to the essence of what they describe. They give
birth to meaning which reflects the profound interrelatedness of life.

It is a tantalizing proposition to consider speaking a language whose
sounds are so pure and euphonically combined. The mere listening or
speaking inspires and produces joy and clarity. And yet it has been
precisely the tendency of humanity as a whole to merely be tantalized
by happiness, but not actually to choose it. It's as though we had
been offered the most precious gem and we answered, "No, I'd rather be
poor." The only possible background for such a choice is the unconscious
belief that, "I can't have it. I can't be that."

Interestingly enough, this is exactly what is triggered in people who are
faced with the opportunity to learn Sanskrit. The basic attitude towards
learning Sanskrit in India today is, "It's too difficult." Actually
Sanskrit is not difficult. On the contrary, there are few greater
enjoyments. The first stage, experiencing the individual power of each of
the 49 basic sounds of the Sanskrit alphabet is pure discovery, especially
for Westerners who have never paid attention to the unique distinctions of
individual letters such as location of resonance and tongue position. The
complete alphabet must have been worked out by learned grammarians on
phonetic principles by long before it was codified by Panini around 500
B.C. It is arranged on a thoroughly scientific method, the simple vowels
(short and long) coming first, then the complex vowels (dipthongs),
followed by the consonants in uniform groups according to the organs of
speech with which they are pronounced.

The unique organization of the Sanskrit alphabet serves to focus one's
attention on qualities and patterns of articulated sound in a way that
occurs in no other language. By paying continuous attention to the point
of location, degree of resonance and effort of breath, one's awareness
becomes more and more consumed by the direct experience of articulated
sound. This in itself produces and unprecedented clarity of mind and
revelry in the joy of language. Every combination of sound in Sanskrit
follows strict laws which essentially make possible an uninterrupted flow
of the most perfect euphonic blending of letters into words and verse.

The script used to depict written Sanskrit is known as Devanaagari or that
"spoken by the Gods." Suitably for Sanskrit, it is a perfect system of
phonetic representation. According to linguists, the phonetic accuracy
of the Devanaagari compares well with that of the modern phonetic

Because of its inherent logic, systematic presentation and adherence to
only the most clear and most pure sounds, the Sanskrit alphabet in its
spoken form, is perhaps the easiest in the world to learn and recall. Once
the alphabet is learned, there is just one major step to take in gaining
access to the Sanskrit language: learning the case and tense endings. The
endings are what make Sanskrit a language of math-like precision. By the
endings added onto nouns or verbs, there is an obvious determination of
the precise interrelationship of words describing activity of persons
and things in time and space, regardless of word order. Essentially, the
endings constitute the software or basic program of the Sanskrit language.

The rigor of learning the case endings is precisely the reason why many
stop in their pursuit of Sanskrit. Yet by an effective immersion method,
fluent reading of the Devanagari script, accurate pronunciation, and the
inputting of the case and tense endings can easily be accomplished. Such a
method must take advantage of the fact that Sanskrit grammar is structured
by precise patterns, and once a pattern has been noted it is a simple
exercise to recognize all the individual instances that fit the pattern;
rather than see the pattern after all the individual instances have been
learned. Color coding provides a tremendous support in this regard.

Learning the case endings through the chanting of basic pure sound
combinations in musical and rhythmic sequences is a way to overcome
learning inhibitions, attune to the root power of the Sanskrit language
and access the natural computer efficiency, speed and clarity of the mind.

Although learning Sanskrit in some ways presents challenges similar to
those of learning calculus or music, it also induces a lubrication and
acceleration of mental function that actually makes such a process
exciting and enjoyable. Perhaps the greatest immediate benefit of
learning Sanskrit by this method is that it requires participants to
relinquish control, abandon prior learning structures and come into a
direct experience of the language.

The actual simplicity and enjoyment of the sounds of Sanskrit provides
everyone with an opportunity to learn a subject which is technically
precise with fluidity and ease. This tends to produce a complete reversal
of the inhibiting competitive environment in which most life education
traditionally took place, by creating an atmosphere in which mutual
support generates personal breakthrough and vice-versa.

One thing is certain, Sanskrit will only become the planetary language
when it is taught in a way which is exciting and enjoyable. Furthermore
it must address individual learning inhibitions with clarity and
compassion in a setting which encourages everyone to step forth, take
risks, make mistakes and learn. Already we have outstanding examples
of this approach in the work of teachers such as Jaime Escalante, whose
remarkable achievements in teaching advanced calculus to underprivileged
high school students in East Los Angeles were featured in the Academy
Award nominated movie, "Stand and Deliver."

Another hope for the return of Sanskrit lies in computers. Sanskrit and
computers are a perfect fit. The precision play of Sanskrit with computer
tools will awaken the capacity in human beings to utilize their innate
higher mental faculty with a momentum that would inevitably transform the
world. In fact the mere learning of Sanskrit by large numbers of people
in itself represents a quantum leap in consciousness, not to mention
the rich endowment it will provide in the arena of future communication.

Sanskrit has always inspired the hearts, mind and souls of wise
people. The great German scholar Max Muller, who did more than anyone to
introduce Sanskrit to the West in the latter part of the 19th century,
contended that without a knowledge of the language (Sanskrit), literature,
art, religion and philosophy of India, a liberal education could hardly
be complete -- India being the intellectual and spiritual ancestor of
the race, historically and through Sanskrit.

Max Muller also pointed out that Sanskrit provides perfect examples of
the unity and foundation it offers to the Celtic, Teutonic, Slavonic,
Germanic and Anglo-Saxon languages, not to mention its influence on Asian
languages.The transmission of Buddhism to Asia can be attributed largely
to the appeal to Sanskrit. Even in translation the works of Sanskrit
evoked the supreme admiration of Western poets and philosophers like
Emerson, Whitman, Thoreau, Melville, Goethe, Schlegel and Schopenhauer.

The fact is that Sanskrit is more deeply interwoven into the fabric of
the collective world consciousness than anyone perhaps knows. After many
thousands of years, Sanskrit still lives with a vitality that can breathe
life, restore unity and inspire peace on our tired and troubled planet. It
is a sacred gift, an opportunity. The future could be very bright.


<b>vish: You might have to drop that "123" in your username to conform with forum guidelines.
If Israel can rediscover long forgotten Hebrew, and reistate it as their national language. WHy can't Indians give their perfect language 'Sanskrit' , its true place?

Cheers <!--emo&:rocker--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rocker.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='rocker.gif' /><!--endemo--> to Sanskrit
<!--emo&:ind--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/india.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='india.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Vish: It's a great idea but not practical. Sanskrit has to revived as a language before it can be implemented as a national language.
What percent of population can read/write Sanskrit?
Also, why should we emulate Israel in everything? Jews (even in US) make a conscious effort to teach their kids Hebrew, we don't - not even in India. At every Bar Mitzvah I've attended, I seen Jews kids read from Torah. <b>Most</b> (personal observation) of our desi kids in US can barely speak their own mother tongue let alone Sanskrit.

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