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Progress Of Indic Languages Vs English - 2
Can someone who is knowledgeable of sanskrit tell me if vedic sanskrit and classical sanskrit are mutually intelligible, if yes then at what level, and if vedic sanskrit is still taught in the spoken form?
339 (Bharatvarsh):

Acharya Ram Chandra Shukla can be said to be one of the foremost language-literature-scienists Hindi has ever seen. His contributions are three-fold. But before that we should understand the time he lived and worked in. In early 1900s, Hindu Rivival was gaining momentum all over India, and national-awakening was the shade in every walk of life in all regions.

Progress of Hindi language was no different. There were scores of brilliant writers, poets, journalists foraying into the creation of a "new language". But their efforts were in all directions - whichever a writer wanted to take, and there was minimal 'collective literary vision' or standards or even a good, educated evaluation of traditions from which to build further.

Acharya Shukla was not so much creator of literature himself, but a brilliant scholar of languages, historiographer and critic.

1. He was probably the first to have invented and adopted the modern means of collecting and writing the hisory of Hindi languages. Today we recognize Hindi history by 4 yuga-s/kAla-s: veer-gatha, bhakti, rIt, Adhunik - this classification and related authentic history was Shukla's contribution.

With his scholarship into progress of pR^Akrit-s, he was probably the first one to reject that Hindi (or skt-nisTha Khadi Boli - of which he was a devotee) is a 'new' language. He made enthusiastic discoveries of 6th-7th century pkt works of lesser known authors to show that khadi-boli's strains go back at least that far in history. Later I shall try to post some of the examples he sited in ancient northern pR^Akrit-s to show its affinity to modern khadi-boli.

2. He developed novel methodologies to critique a work of literatre, and built 'Quality Assurance' in the Hindi world - which eventually saw the rise of great works and nipped in the bud mediocricity which was just beginning to creep in.

3. Thirdly, with Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya discovering in him a brilliant and youthful scholar, and bringing him to lead the literature departments of BHU, he got all the resurces he needed to institutionalize his thought. With this he worked with many other scholars, of many Indic languages, to help revive the traditions, and build a solid sccientific platform of literature.

With his team, he even traveled all the remote rural and tribal parts of India to collect and repositorize the works of literature which were otherwise lost. Many pre-medieval and middle-ages works, lost songs of Kabir, vriants of Bhakta-maal, some pada-s of Mira, some works about Nath-yogi literature etc came to light due to his efforts.

His contemporary and contributor was Acharya Hazari Prasad Dwivedi who was at the same time leading the Hindi dept of Allahabad Univ, and contributed on the similar lines. Both are of the tallest stature in the history of Hindi critics and scholarship.

Swamy G thanks for the link.

Relates to post 281 & 282.

Ram Prasad Bismil had also written these Hindi booklets:

Bolsheviko.n kee karatoot (black deeds of Bolsheviks)
man kee lahar
kranti geetanjali

first is his criticism of bolshevik revolution.
last two are collection of poetry.

The above were brought to light by Madan Lal Verma, and have been recently re-published by Praveen Prakashan, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, Delhi.

Bismil by the end of his time, had grown out of leftist attraction.

Notice how Communist propoganda only treats Bhagat Singh with respect, and largely ignore other contemporaries who did much more and impactful work, for much longer. In particular RP Bismil and often Chandra Shekhar Azad are overlooked by commies.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>English's Bleak Future (Forbes)</b>
Nicholas Ostler

The status of English as an international language appears unassailable. It is simultaneously pre-eminent in science, politics, business and entertainment. And unlike any of its lingua franca predecessors, it has all this on a truly worldwide scale. There is no challenger comparable to it: Chinese has more native speakers, but every schoolchild in China now studies English. And India, set to overtake China in population by 2050, is avidly trading on its English expertise.

But English is not thereby immune to the principles of language survival. Above all, it is notable that beyond the 330 million or so native speakers, perhaps twice as many more use it as a second language. And this community of over 600 million second-language speakers, who make English pre-eminent as a world language, also make it vulnerable in the long term.

In 5,000 years of recorded language history, a few dozen languages have achieved the status of lingua franca, a language of wider communication among people whose mother tongues may be quite different. Spanish, French, Hindi, Russian and English have been lingua francas in the present age, as have been Latin, Quechua, Persian and Aramaic in the past. But this status does not come about by some utilitarian reckoning, or democratic selection. There is always a reason, be it conquest, trade, religious mission or social aspiration, which has selected a language to have this wider role, and that reason is hard to forget--and ultimately often hard to forgive.

This is seldom clear--at first--to native speakers. They naturally see their mother tongue as a simple blessing for the wider world. Pliny the Elder, writing in the 1st century AD of the then widespread use of Latin, boasted that it almost made the sky brighter; French author Anatole France (1844-1924) thought the French language was such a charming mistress that no one was ever tempted to be unfaithful to her. But neither language would have spread across Western Europe if their use had not once upon a time been imposed--by forces other than lucidity and charm.

There was status or wealth to be gained from knowing these languages, and in their heyday, no one believed they might one day go out of use. After all, they seemed not only useful, but also such exceptional languages. Latin--alone of western languages--had grammatica, an analysis of all its rules; French was regulated by an Academy, which would ensure the quality of its substance. Likewise, English, with its simple sentence-structure and openness to borrowed vocabulary, is often thought well suited to be a global medium.

But far from being disinterested aids to thought and communication, every lingua franca continues to bear the badge of its original spread; and this is often the cause of its ultimate undoing. This moral is as clear--and well-established--as the recorded history of the lingua franca phenomenon, a story as old as international trade routes and multinational empires.

Akkadian spread beyond the Assyrian empire on the strength of its pictograph-based cuneiform writing, but then yielded to Aramaic, a language combining widespread use with an alphabetic script. Sogdian, once spoken by merchants and divines from Samarkand to China, could not survive the decline of the Silk Road trade. And in Europe, Latin in the 9th to 16th centuries and French in the 17th to 20th centuries depended on educated elites. Wide use of those languages declined when power passed into other hands.

Most speakers of a lingua franca speak it as their second language, not their first. This means that their mother tongue is not usually endangered. Only when large numbers of native speakers of the lingua franca move into a region is there a chance that it will become the mother tongue.

So while a lingua franca heightens bilingualism, often this is all it does. It only begins to replace a mother tongue when a growing number of people adopt it as their first language.

So, for example, among the British colonies, North America attracted many English-speaking settlers early on, as did Australia and New Zealand. But large numbers of Britons never settled permanently in India, Ceylon, Burma or Malaya. This explains the different status of English in these places today.

Any trend to political democratization, meanwhile, will diminish the use of English worldwide, because it downgrades the status of elites, the prime users of non-native English. This has already happened. With independence achieved after the Second World War, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and the Philippines all downgraded their official use of English. In India, too, English is beginning to lose its stranglehold on enterprise and education: In February, a major business newspaper in Hindi was launched, likely the first of many. The massive current expansion in Indian higher education (aimed at increasing participation from 10% to 15%) will also lessen the proportion of citizens who are educated in English as opposed to Hindi or another mother tongue.

An economic shift is also affecting the use of English. The language was originally spread by the acquisitive British empire, and was expanded in the late 20th century by the immense economic heft of English-speaking economies. Will it seem so attractive in 2050 when Brazil, Russia, China and India are predicted to comprise four of the six largest economies?

Some will find it hard to believe that the world could ever abandon its common language of science. It is true that the quasi-universal use of English in scientific publishing is a great convenience. But Latin was once just as pre-eminent, at least in Europe. Its fate in the 17th century shows that the language of a scientific tradition--even one that extends over more than a millennium--can be abandoned. Even then, it was unnecessary to settle on a single language as a successor; how much less so now, when ever-improving translation software is making language barriers tumble.

English will not decline as a first language: Indeed for the foreseeable future it will be among the five major mother tongues of the world. Spread out worldwide, it may even change and ultimately split into a family of languages. But it would go against the pattern of world history if alien peoples patronized English for very much longer than necessary. Chinese, Hindi, Spanish and Portuguese--possibly also Russian, Malay, Persian and Arabic--have the potential to increase within their vast regions, and perhaps even globally. The aspirations of some of these languages are already visible, if far from realization. China is a third of the way into its program to establish 100 Confucius Institutes around the world to popularize learning Chinese. They are now present in 23 countries, part of plans to have 100 million people studying Chinese worldwide by 2010.

In sum, the world in the next few generations is likely to see greater multilingualism and less English-backed bilingualism. We can learn the long view from language history, but it may be a hard lesson.

Nicholas Ostler is the author of Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World and Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin, and is chairman of the Foundation for Endangered Languages.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Some other words Savarkar introduced:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->As an offshoot of his movement of purification of Marathi language, he has introduced many new words in Marathi.  Some examples are doordarshan (television), doormudrak (teleprinter), dhwanikshepak (microphone), digdarshak (director), nepathya (screenplay), veshbhoosha (costume), vetan (salary), kramaank (number), vidhi (law), vidhimandal (legislature), sampaadak (editor), keelak rashtra (buffer nation) (*the word dinaank for ‘date’ was coined by Savarkar’s elder brother Babarao).  Verily, one can identify two ages of Marathi literature viz. pre- and post- Savarkar.

carvan = sArtha
Eighteenth IUCAA Foundation Day Lecture
Many Indias : Search for a Centre
U.R. Ananthamurthy

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->You know Ramanujan, once came to Karnataka and did
some research on the Ramayana in Kannada. Not the
written Ramayana but the oral Ramayana. He found
nearly a thousand oral versions. In one version, Sita is
not literate and is a village girl and Rama is also not a
literate. They argue and the question is whether she
should go to the forest with Rama. Rama argues that you
are a princess, your feet are very tender, you should not
be going to the forest with me and there are wild animals,
etc. etc. and Sita also argues that I am your Dharmapatni
and you can’t leave me. But Rama is cleverer and he puts
another argument. You know in oral epics you can make
your own argument, they don’t recite what is given to
them. Then Sita says: <b>"In every Ramayana, Sita goes to
the forest, so how can you deny it to me?"</b>
This is what I call inter-textuality. There are many Indias
but there is still one India because there is an intertextuality.
Every work in India - even the folklore - has
some insight into another text.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->That is why either
Salman Rushdie or anyone like him writes, their English
has a special quality; that special quality comes from the
ambience of an Indian language, because it resides in
the ambience of an Indian language.
But I think we are slowly losing this - which means that
we may have international writers or writers who write
for export. Now we have more and more writers who have
begun to write for export. We have lost the confidence of
Shrivijaya who thought that the language does not
travel but it can mirror the whole world. Rightly so because
when Shakespeare was writing in English, it was not a
language which traveled but Shakespeare came.
I have a feeling that what is happening in India is
something that is happening all over the world also. A
thousand years ago, when Latin dominated Europe, even
Newton wrote in Latin because that was the language
through which they could talk to one another. Later on,
the great book on evolution came in English language
and it created a big stir in Britain. Darwin wrote in English
and Newton wrote in Latin. But English was not a
language which traveled but it produced great writers.
Why? because when Latin, the language of Cosmopolis,
made way for the languages of Europe - the ordinary
languages, the Bhashas of Europe which were always
there.Then we have a Dante, Shakespaere, Tolstoy and a
number of great creative writers. Again when Sanskrit,
which was the language of Cosmopolis, made way for
the Indian languages, we had a Tulsidas, we had a Kabir
and a number of great Marathi writers like Gyandeo and
many others. Sanskrit, thus, made way for them. It was a
great period of decentralization of our kind of knowledge
- the literary, the poetics, and similar kind of knowledge.
But now it looks as if the whole world is centralizing
now. I met a great Physicist in Germany. He said that he
no longer publishes anything in German now, but in
English. It is not because you can express it better in
English but because it is commercially a more successful
language. It is not because the British speak English but
it is because Bush speaks English. So there too it is a
game of power. But I heard another woman who was
talking about this, one Dr. Radha. She said that when she
went to Sweden she found that Europe is also taking to
one language. The Swedish people, it appears, don’t mix
the two languages but most of them know English and
they can happily use English and also Swedish and create
knowledge in Swedish. Not in English but in Swedish.
Create knowledge - that is more important for me.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->We have also now imbibed a lot of Europe in our
languages. I use a term for the Indian languages. I call
them “genagni”- that is digestive fire. The Indian
languages have a digestive fire. Marathi in its great
medieval period when Tukaram and Gyandeo were there,
they took whatever had to be taken - from the essence of
Indian knowledge and Indian spirituality. That was
translated by the Dasas and the Shivacharans in Kannada
and it happened everywhere - through Kabir, Tulsidas.
The medieval movements were not just religious. They
were movements which empowered our languages, men
and empowered women. In the 12th century if you became
a lingayat, if you took the Basava part, the women when
they menstruated did not have to go and sit outside. It
empowered women. So all our languages empowered
women. The first fight against caste system was by
Basava who got a Brahmin girl married to a Dalit boy in
the 12th century.
So it happenend through all these languages. These
languages, were also vehicles of revolutionary thought,
and change. There were also languages, which were like
receptacles. Through their Genagni, they digested
whatever had to be digested from the cosmopolis like all
the European languages did.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
^ acharya i hope you know that this U.R. Ananthamurthy is an commie and is in the forefront of trying to write Indian history with his bloody marxist lenses.

He alongwith Girish karnad was also campaigning with the media that the BJP be not allowed to form a govt in Karnataka in the recent past.

He has an obvious bias towards Hindus and propogating his views by posting them is suicidal and an disservice to all Hindus.

I hope you review your decision of posting his views.

I see that Yugandhar has also posted the same on bharat-rakshak forum. I hope you may be able to contact him and will be able to remove them.

Thank you.
chair/kursi = AsandI
viceroy = uparika
canal/nahar = jalakulya
headgear/pagaDI = uSNISa
blond (-hair) = piNGala
fig/anjIr = udumbara

Above are some of the native words that Rahul Sankrityayan has preferred over foreign-origin words in his novel Jaya Yaudheya.


Surely, the names for currencies must be very deeply rooted, and are of cultural-historical significance.

We use rupiya/rupaya/rupaiya, dAm, paisA, TakA (bangla), kAsu (tamil)...

Prevalant spread of the words 'rupaya' and 'TakA' in South and SE Asia speaks for the influence once the Indian economy had upon the entire region.

Probable Etymologies:

rupaya - Skt rUpa/rUpyaka (meaning minted silver coin)
paisa - ?
TakA - Skt Tanka (meaning verb to mint/stamp/forge. A Mint is still known as TankashAlA)
dAm - ? (some suggest it came from dirham, but I am doubtful.)
kAsu - tamil kAsu which some claim might have lent itself to cassa, cash, case etc in european languages - meaning money or money-box.
<!--QuoteBegin-Bodhi+Mar 23 2008, 10:13 PM-->QUOTE(Bodhi @ Mar 23 2008, 10:13 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->kAsu - tamil kAsu which some claim might have lent itself to cassa, cash, case etc in european languages - meaning money or money-box.[right][snapback]79953[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->On an earlier occasion, had encountered cash and its origins in my dictionary. So here we go, from "The Concise Oxford Dictionary" (1983 reprint, Oxford University Press):
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>cash</b> <i>n.</i> (<i>pl.</i> same). (Hist.) E. Ind. or Chinese small coin. [ult. f. Port. <i>ca(i)xa</i> f. Tamil <i>kasu</i> f. Skr. <i>karsha</i>]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->DMK will go into a fit again. Another word to strike from their Tamizh vocabulary and blame on "oryan impositions" (never mind that kAsu <i>is</i> Tamizh, since all they care about is that it had ever had an origin in Samskritam). Obviously Bishop Caldwell hadn't done enough work in purging Tamizh words from Tamizh... the new christos (the DMK) will have to continue the grand christian task of destroying Tamizh, all in the interests of "protecting Tamizh". (From itself apparently... <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo--> Yeah, I don't get the contradictory christologic either.)
Does anyone know the origin of the names Harappa and Mohenjadaro?

Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Speech delivered at Benares, at the Nagari Pracharani Sahha Conference,
under the Presidency of Mr. R. C. Dutt,
in December, 1905.</b>

Gentlemen, The scope and object of the Nagari
Pracharni Sabha has already been explained to you
by the President. I should have gladly dilated on
the same. But as ten speakers are to follow me
within an hour and a half, I must forego the pleasure
and restrict myself, during the few minutes at my
disposal to a brief mention of the points which I
think ought to be kept in view in endeavouring to
work on the lines adopted by the Sabha.

The first and the most important thing we have to
remember is that this movement is not merely for
establishing a common character for the Northern
India. It is a part and parcel of a larger movement,
I may say a National Movement to have a common
language for the whole of India ; for a common
language is an important element of nationality. It
is by a common language that you express your
thoughts to others ; and Manu rightly says that
everything is comprehended or proceeded from vak
or language- Therefore if you want to draw a
nation together there is no force more powerful than
to have a common language for all. And that is
the end which the Sabha has kept in view.

But how is the end to be attained ? We aim at
having a common language not only for Northern
India, but I will say, in course of time, for the
whole of India including the Southern of the
Madras Presidency, and when the scope of our
labours is so widened our difficulties seem to
grow apace. First of all we have to face what
may be called the historic difficulties. The
contests between the Aryans and the non-Aryans
in ancient, and between the Mahomedans and the
Hindus in later times have destroyed the linguistic
harmony of the country. In Northern India the
languages spoken by the Indian population are
mostly Aryan, being derived from Sanskrit ; while
those in the South are Dravidian in origin. " The
difference exists not only in words but in the
characters in which those words are written. Next
to this is the difference between Urdu and Hindi to.
which so much prominence is given in this province.

On our side we have also the Modi or the running
script character as distinguished from the Balabodha
or the Devanagari in which the Marathi books are
ordinarily printed.

There are, therefore, two great important elements
which we have to harmonise and bring together
under our common character or language before we
venture to go to the Mahomedan or Persian
characters. I have already said that though a
common language for India is the ultimate end we
have in view, we begin with the lowest step of the
ladder, I mean a common character for Hindus.
But here too we have to harmonise the two elements
now mentioned the Aryan or the Devanagari
character, and the Dravidian or the Tamil character.
It should ba noted that the distinction is not one of
character only inasmuch as there are certain
sounds in the Dravidian languages which are not to
be found in any Aryan language.

We have resolved to proceed step by step, and as
explained to you by the President we have at first
taken up in hand only the group of the Aryan
languages i.e., those derived from Sanskrit. These
are Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarathi and
Gurumuki. There are other sub-dialects, but I have
nan/ed the principal ones. These languages are all
derived from Sanskrit ; and the characters in which
they are written are also modifications of the ancient
characters of India. In course of time each of these
languages has, however, developed its own peculia-
rities in grammar, pronunciation and characters,
though the alphabet in each is nearly the same.

The Nagari Pracharni Sabha aims at having a
common character for all these Aryan languages, so
that when a book is printed in that character it
may be more readily intelligible to all the people
speaking the Aryan languages. I think we all agree
on this point and admit its utility. But the difficulty
arises, when a certain character is proposed as best
fitted to be the common character for all. Thus,
for instance the Bengalis may urge that the
characters in which they write their language are
more ancient than those adopted by the Gujarathi
or Marathi speaking people, and that Bengali
should therefore be selected as a common character
for all. There are others who think that the
Devanagari, as you find it in the printed books, is
the oldest character and therefore it is entitled to be
the common character for all the Aryan languages.

I do not think, however, that we can decide this
question on poor historic grounds. If you go to
ancient inscriptions you will find that no less than
ten different characters were in use at different
times since the days of Ashoka and that Kharoshtri
or Brahmi is believed to be the oldest of them all.
Since then all letters have undergone a great deal of
change ; and all our existing characters are modifica-
tions of some one or other of the ancient characters.
It would, I think, therefore be idle to decide the ques-
tion of common character on purely antiquarian basis.

To avoid this difficulty it was at one time
suggested that we should all adopt Roman
characters ; and one reason advanced in support
thereof was that it would give a common character
both for Asia and Europe.

Gentlemen, the suggestion appears to me to be
utterly ridiculous. The Roman alphabet, and
therefore Roman character, is very defective and
entirely unsuited to express the sounds used by us.
It has been found to be defective even by English
grammarians. Thus while sometimes a single
letter has three or four sounds, sometimes a single
sound is represented by two or three letters. Add to
it the difficulty of finding Roman characters or
letters that would exactly represent the sounds in
our languages without the use of any diaqritic
marks and the ridiculousness of the suggestion
would be patent to all.

If a common character is needed for us all, it
should be, you will therefore see, a more perfect
character than the Roman. European Sanskritists
have declared that the Devanagari alphabet is more
perfect than any which obtains in Europe. And
with this clear opinion before us, it would be
suicidal to go to any other alphabet in our search
for a common character for all the Aryan languages
in India. No, I would go further and say that the
classification of letters and sounds on which we
have bestowed so much labour in India and which
we find perfected in the works of Panini is not to
be found in any other language in the world. That
is another reason why the Devanagiri alphabet is
the best suited to represent the different sounds
we all use. If you compare the different characters
given at the end of each book published in the
Sacred Books of the East Series you will be
convinced of what I say. We have one sound for
one letter and one letter for each sound. I do not
think, therefore, that there can be any difference of
opinion as to what alphabet we should adopt. The
Devanagari is pre-eminently such an . alphabet.
The question is one of character or the form in
writing which the letters of the alphabet assume in
different provinces ; and I have already said that
this question cannot be solved on mere antiquarian

Like Lord Curzon s standard time we want a
standard character. Well, if Lord Curzon had
attempted to give us a standard character on
national lines he would have been entitled to our
respect far more than by giving us a standard time.
But it has not been done ; and we must do it
ourselves giving up all provincial prejudices. The
Bengalis naturally take pride in their own character.
I do not blame them for it. There are others in
Gujarath who say that their character is easy to
write because they omit the head-line. The Maha-
rashtras on the other hand may urge that Marathi
is the character in which Sanskrit is written, and
therefore, it ought to be the common character for
the whole of India.

I fully appreciate the force of these remarks , But
we must come to a solution of the question and for
that purpose discuss the subject in a business-like
and practical manner. Whatever character we
adopt, it must be easy to write, elegant to the eye
and capable or being written with fluency. The
letters that you devise must again be sufficient to
express all the sounds in different Aryan languages
nay, must be capable of being extended to express
the Dravidian sounds without diacritic marks.
There should be one letter for every sound and ,cice
versa. That is what I mean by sufficient and com-
plete character. And if we put our heads together
at would not be difficult to device such a character
based on the existing ones. In determining upon
such a character we shall have to take into consi-
deration the fact, namely, which of the existing
characters is or are used over a wider area. For a
single character used over a wider area if suited in
other respects will naturally claim preference to be
a common character as far as it goes.

When you have appointed your committee for the
purpose and found out a common character, I think
we shall have to go to Government and urge upon
its attention the necessity of introducing in the
vernacular school books of each province a few
lessons in this standard character, so thar the next
generation may become familiar with it from its
school days. Studying a new charactei is not a
difficult task. But there is a sort oi reLictance to
study a new character after one's si-idies are
completed. This reluctance can be overcome by the
way I have suggested and herein Government can
help us. It is not a political question as such,
though in the end everything may be said to be-
political. A Government that gave us a standard
time and standard system of weights and measures
would not, I think, object to lend its help to a scheme
which aims to secure a standard character for all
Aryan languages.

When this common character is established it
Would not be difficult to read the books printed in
one dialect of the Aryan language by those who use
a different dialect of the same ? My own difficulty
in not understanding a Bengali book is that I cannot
read the characters. If a Bengali book is printed
in the Devanagari characters I can follow the author
to a great extent, if not wholly, so as to understand
the purport of the book ; for, over fifty per cent of
the words used will be found borrowed or derived
from Sanskrit. We are all fast adopting new ideas
from the West, and with the help of the parent
tongue, Sanskrit, coining new words to express the
same. Here, therefore, is another direction in which
we may work for securing a common language
for all and I am glad to see that by preparing a
dictionary of scientific terms in Hindi, the Sabha is
doing a good service in this line. I should have
liked to say something on this point. But as there are
other speakers to follow me, I do not think I shall
be justified in doing so and therefore resume my seat
with your permission.

<b>History of bharatiya languages as recorded by Bharata in Natyas'astra</b>

This note documents the information related to languages of Bharatam recorded by Bharata in Natyas'astra with particular reference to the use of specific languages by specific characters in dramatic performances and in consonantc with emotions and sentiments related to specific dramatic situations. This is a remarkable historical document of the situation of Prakrits and Samskr.tam circa centuries before the Common Era.

The detailed note is mirrored at http://spaces.msn.com/members/sarasvati97 Entry: history of bharatiya languages as recorded by Bharata in Natyas'astra

Hopefully, this should lead to further detailed researches in language change over time and in reference to other resources such those in Yaska's, Patanjali's, Panini's, Tolkappiyan's works and other ancient texts. The working hypothesis is: the received wisdom about the categorisation of 'indo-aryan' languages as a category needs to be radically revised; it is an artificial, arbitrary, eurocentric construct totally unrelated to the evidence adduced by Bharata in his Natyas'astra. It is unfortunate that during the colonial regimes, we had savants like SK Chatterji, Bhandarkar, Tilak who followed the doctrine which governed their times: the doctrine of 'aryan invasion'. Now that this doctrine is seen to be a myth and hollow, new methods based on bharatiya research method of s'ruti, tantrayukti and anubhuti should be evolved to define a new school -- Bharata school of language change.

Some gleanings are available for over 1000 lexemes which match with Sarasvati hieroglyphs related to the inventory of mints, smithy of vis'vakarma guilds on Sarasvati river basin and in Sarasvati civilization sites of circa 3300 to 1900 BCE. These are briefly presented at http://spaces.msn.com/members/sarasvati97 to complement the 7-volume encyclopaedic work on Sarasvati already published including two volumes, Volumes 6 and 7 on language and epigraphs.

Chapter 17 is titled laks.an.a_lanka_ra_divivekah’ (classification of characteristics and embellishments)

The characteristics related to the use of Samskr.tam by actors are listed as follows:

1. bhu_s.an.a (embellishment)
2. aks.ara samgha_ta (compactness of letters)
3. s’obha_ (brilliance)
4. abhima_na (assertion by reasoning)
5. gun.aki_rtana (encouragement by similitude)
6. uda_haran.a (example)
7. nirukta (etymology)
8. gun.a_nuva_da (transition of qualities)
9. atis’aya (excellence)
10. hetu (causation)
11. sa_ru_pya (similitude)
12. mi_thya_dhyavasa_ya (wrong apprehension)
13. siddhi (accomplishment)
14. padoccaya (verbosity)
15. a_kranda (forceful assertion)
16. manortha (self-expression)
17. a_khya_na (narration)
18. ya_cjn~a_ (persuasion)
19. pratis.edha (prevention)
20. pr.ccha_ (inquiry)
21. dr.s.t.a_nta (illustration)
22. nirbha_sana (prolixity)
23. sams’aya (doubt)
24. a_s’is (blessing)
25. priyokti (friendly speech)
26. kapat.a (deception)
27. ks.ama_ (patience)
28. upapatti (cessation)
29. yukti (argument)
30. ka_rya (assumption)
31. anuni_ti (flattery)
32. paridevanam (censure)

With this brilliant array of oral eloquence which are equal to the figures of speech employed in poetical composition, the author tries to link them to the emotional aspects sought to be presented to the audience through drama.

The term Nirukta as elaborated by Bharata is as follows:

Nirukta is an explanation which is of two types as true and false. The true are where the meaning of the constituent parts of the noun is proved right and in false it remains unproved. (17.13)

The use of gun.as is explained, again in the context of expressing particular emotion or sentiment. ‘The use of prolated letter (when three ma_tra_s occur in conjunction with consonants) shall be used in the case of recollecting something, in the expression of indignation, in lamentation and in the chanting of the Vedas by the Brahmins. The long a_ is suitable for recollection and the long u_ for expressing indignation while in lamentation ha_ is to be employed. In the recitation of the Vedas the letter om is suitable.’ (17.114-115).

Bharata also notes that ‘the use of harsh words like cekri_d.ita are not suitable in the delicate and graceful usages of dramaturgy. They would appear like harlots in the company of Brahmins…’ (17.117).

<span style='color:red'>Nature of relationship between Prakrits and Sanskrit </span>

The next chapter, Chapter 18 is titled ‘Bha_s.a_vidha_nam’ (Use of languages) and begins as follows:

“O best among Brahmins! I have thus explained the modes regarding the Sanskrit passages (assigned to the actors). Now I shall deal with the characteristics of the passages in Prakrit. This (Sanskrit) itself devoid of refinement and subjected to change may be understood as Prakrit passages which are representative of the different situations necessitated by conditions. In dramatic situations they may be understood as belonging to three types such as (i) sama_nas’abda (use of the same Sanskrit words); (ii) vibhras.t.a (corrupted forms); and, (iii) des’i_gata (of native origin).” (18.1-3)

This is a remarkable evidence of the relationship between Sanskrit and Prakrit as perceived by Bharata. Clearly, Sanskrit is delineated as refined Prakrit. In some cases Sanskrit retains the Prakrit words as they are; in some cases, the forms are ‘refined’, obviously with reference to root semantics; and in other cases, the Prakrit words are distinguished and retained as des’I or as of native origin without any ‘refinement’ attempted.

This runs in the face of the IE linguistics which tries to look upon Prakrits of Bharatam as derivatives from Sanskrit as Indo-Aryan category. The ‘Indo-Aryan’ is a mythical category constructed by linguistics and totally unrelated to the reality of the evidence presented by Bharata.

NP Unni adds a footnote to this verse: ‘Abhinavagafupta defines pa_t.hya as ‘pa_t.havis’es.am arhati yatnena va_ pat.hani_yam vis’is.t.ena ru_pena va_ pat.hana_rham, a_ntaracittavr.ttivas’a_deva va_ tatha_ pat.hitum s’akyam, a_ca_rya yatnena va_ pat.hani_yamit pa_t.hyam.’ The word is defined or derived as that which serves recitation, or which necessitates particular effort in recitation, or worthy of special attention in recitation or capable of recitation due to the internal or mental attitude, or worthy of being recited with the help or direction of a preceptor. He derives Prakrita as ‘sams.kr.tameva samska_ragun.ena yatnena pariraks.an.aru_pen.a varjitam, prakr.terasams’ka_raru_pa_ya a_gatam’ – meaning that it is Sanskrit itself devoid of purification in the form of protection or derived from nature without any kind of refinement.’

This explanatory note provide Abhinavagupta’s differentiation of Prakrit and Sanskrit as containing words without refinement and with refinement respectively. The mystic reference to ‘purification in the form of protection’ is intriguing and may relate to the absorption of Vedic forms of words intact which are deemed mantra though it may be difficult to explain the Vedic forms in terms of Sanskrit roots.

Bharata provides examples of sama_nas’abda (having the same form in Prakrit and Sanskrit): kamala, amala, ren.u, taranga, lola, salila. (18.4)

Vibhras.t.a (corrupted forms) are explained: such words in which the combined vowels or consonants change or cease to exist are called vibhras.t.a (corrupted). In Prakrit there do not exist ai after e and au after o and the visarga h after the anusva_ra am. Also there do not exist s’ and s. in between va and sa as also ng n~ na the nasals which occur respectively at the ends of ka ca ta varga-s. [In other words the eight syllables ai, au, h, s’a, s.a, ng, n~ and na do not occur in Prakrit. Abhinavagupta adds four additional syllables which do not in Prakrit: r.r., l and l.] (18.8)

The subsequent verses are similar explanations of letters which occur in Prakrit such as ka, ga, ta, da, ya and va which are slightly audible; examples of cakra becoming cakka, occurrence of ha in place of five letters: kha, gha, tha, dha and bha as in: mukha = muha, megha = meha; katha_ = kaha_; the change of letter s.a into ccha as in s.at.pada (cchappao); the change of dha into d.ha (vardhana = vad.d.han.a). The elucidation and examples provided in 18.9 to18.27 are remarkable and impressive list of evidences of changes in word forms in Prakrit compared to Sanskrit.

Abhinavagupta adds a comment that Bharata has only given an indication. Those who want a detailed account should consult books like Prakritadipika. (The identity of this work has yet to be established).

Then, Bharata proceeds to discuss about different regional languages.

“These are the rules regarding Prakrit and Sanskrit languages (with reference to performances). Hereafter I shall explain the different types of regional languages. In the dramatic performance where Sanskrit and Prakrit tongues are employed four types of languages are to be used. In drama the languages are: 1. atibha_s.a_ (superhuman language), 2. a_ryabha_s.a_, 3. ja_tibha_s.a_ and 4. yonyantari_bha_s.a_ (language of the animals).” (18.28-30)

The use of the terms a_ryabha_s.a_ and ja_tibha_s.a_ by Bharata mirrors the use the terms a_ryava_cas and mlecchava_cas by Manu.

Bharata further explains the four languages (18.31 to 18.33):

Atibha_s.a_ is the language assigned to the gods (in dramas) while a_ryabha_s.a_ is that of the kings. The former is Vedic Sanskrit while the latter is refined and grammatically pure Classical Sanskrit. Ja_tibha_s.a_ is of two kinds in dramatic practice and are enumerated as mlecchabha_s.a_ and language of Bha_ratavars.a – mlecchas’abdopaca_ra_ ca bha_ratam vars.ama_s’rita_ -- Yonyantari_bha_s.a_ is that which is assigned to birds and animals both domestic and wild and it is conceived as na_t.yadharmi_ -- the conventional practice of dramas.

The distinction of ja_ti_bha_s.a_ into mleccha and Bha_ratam vars.a is instructive. Mleccha refers to the languages or dialects of the dvi_pa as distinct from the mainland.

This interpretation is further emphasized by the next verse (18.34-35): Pa_t.hya (the dramatic text) relating to ja_tibha_s.a_ is enumerated as of two kinds, namely, prakrita and samskr.ta and that applies to all the four varn.as. <b>Abhinavagupta adds a commentary: Samskr.ta is that grammatically refined language with proper endings of vowels and consonant and which distinguishes itself from a_ryabha_s.a_ where the vedic words occur in plenty.</b>

While discussing the choice of Samskr.ta and Prakr.ta, Bharata notes that <b>Sanskrit should not be employed to those (characters) who are intoxicated by prosperity, depravd in mind with poverty and those who are illiterate even though they belong to the uttama type. (Abhinavagupta gives the example of Arjuna in the disguise of Br.hannala_ for the last type).</b>

<b>For those who enter in disguise, Jaina monks, mendicants and wandering ascetics, the Prakr.t language may be employed. So also for children, persons affected by evil spirits, ladies, those possessing feminine qualities, persons of low characters, intoxicated ones and mendicants who professed religious marks, the language should be Prakr.t. (18.38-39).

Wandering ascetics, sages, Buddhist monks, uks.as (consecrated Brahmins), s’rotriyas (learned Brahmins) and those who wear religious marks should be assigned the Sanskrit language. For the queen (consecrated as Maha_devi_), courtesans, female artistes, Sanskrit should be employed depending upon the situation. The queen is expected to know the connotation of words relating to matters of alliance, martial preparation, the auspicious or inauspicious movements of planets and stars and the notes of birds foreboding good or bad omens. Hence she should be assigned the language of Sanskrit on the appropriate occasions. (18.40-43).</b> Bharata then goes on to enumerate others such as courtesans who should use Sanskrit, cestial nymphs who come down to earth who should use Prakr.t. He further adds (18.48): In the matter of dramatic performance the people belonging to Barbara ja_ti, kira_ta, a_ndhra, dramila, the regional language should NOT be assigned (by the playwright). O brahmins, for all people of all ja_ti, the variety of Prakr.t called s’auraseni_ is to be employed in poetical (viz., dramatic) compositions. Or it is upto the actors to use the local language at their will; for the text in the drama is but the poetical compositions of the different regions.

This astonishing injunction about the use of sauraseni_ dialect (among the Prakrits) is remarkable and points to the dvi_pa of Gujarat as the epicenter from which the cultures spread out into the Sarasvati river basin and bharata vars.a. Hemacandra’s Des’i_na_mama_la_ becomes a key resource in reconstructing sauraseni_ of Bharata’s times.

In 18.41-42, Bharata notes: the seven languages (or rather principal dialects used in a drama) are enumerated as ma_gadhi_, avantija_ pra_cya, s’auraseni_, ardhama_gadhi, ba_hlika and da_ks.in.a_ya. In the parlance of drama the languages of s’aka_ra, a_bhi_ra, can.d.a_la, s’abara, dramid.a, a_ndhra and low tongue of the forest tribe are referred to as vibha_s.a_ -- meaning a corrupt language or Prakr.t. Abhinavagupta notes that vibha_s.a_ is bha_s.a_pabhrams’a – a corrupted tongue in vogue among cave dwellers and nomads.

Bharata goes on to propound use of ma_gadhi_ by women folk of the royalty, ardhama_gadhi_ by cet.a (merchants, princes), pra_cya_ or eastern dialect for vidu_s.aka (jester), use of avanti for dhu_rta (rogues and gamesters), use of s’auraseni_ by heroines and her maids, use of da_ks.in.a_tya_ or southern dialect by soldiers and gallant citizens, use of ba_hli_ka dialect for gamesters, use of s’aka_rabha_s.a_ for characters like s’aka_ra (one who uses the letter s’ excessively, a frivolous person) and use of ca_n.d.a_li for pulkasa (despised mixed tribe). (18.53-56).

The makers of charcoal, hunters, wood-cutters and those who subsist by collecting leaves should be assigned the dialect of s’abara or other tongue of the forest dwellers. For the inhabitants of regions where elephants, horses, goat (aja), sheep (avi), and camels, exist the <b>dialects of a_bhi_ra or s’abara</b> may be employed. In the case of the dramid.as, the dramid.a language is to be used. The diggers of sub-terranean passages, the guards at the borders of the country, keepers of jail and protectors of horses should speak ma_gadhi_ as also the hero (of a drama) on life-saving situations. For those who live in the regions between the river Ganga and the (eastern) ocean the playwright conversant with their speeches should employ a language in which the vowel e is found predominantly. Abhinavagupta notes that eastern region is referred to by the term <b>ganga_sa_garamadhya</b>. (18.57-60).

In those regions located <b>between the vindhya mountains and the ocean (the south-western sea) one (the playwright) should employ a dialect in which the nasal consonant na is predominant. Similarly in the regions of Saura_s.t.ra and A_vanti and to the north of the river Vetravati_ one should employ the dialect where the consonant ca occurs excessively. On the Himalayan regions, sindhu and sauvi_ra countries the language presented should have the vowel u as prominent. On the banks of the river Carman.vati_ and around the regions of the arbuda (Aravalli mountain) the people speak a dialect in which the vowel o occurs excessively and hence the playwright should use it. In dramas the language should be assigned as in the above-said manner. Whaterver is not mentioned by me should be understood by learned people from popular usages. Thus the eighteenth chapter of the Natyas’astra of Bharata called ‘use of languages’ comes to an end. (18.61 to 65). </b>

In the next chapter, Chapter 19, Bharata elaborates on va_kyavidha_nam (use of sentences) including the appropriate use of addresses such as bhagavan, bhagavati_, a_rya, maha_ra_ja_, upa_dhya_ya, ta_ta, ra_jan. He further elaborates on seven notes, places of articulation, modes of articulation (uda_tta, anuda_tta, svarita, kampita), two types of intonations (sa_ka_nks.a_, nira_ka_nks.a_ -- requiring and not requiring a complement), six alanka_ra,use of ka_ku (ucca, di_pta and druta), delineation of rasa (ha_sya, s’r.nga_ra, karun.a, vi_ra, raudra, adbhuta, bi_bhatsa, bhayanaka), use of layas (time in music –druta, Madhya, vilambita), use of diphthongs (elongation in utterance of consonant in conjuction with vowels e o ai and au). (19. 1-84).

Thus, we have in Bharata’s rendition, a superb documentation of the history of language change as recorded in Bharata’s time. (pre-common era, by common consensus). An elucidation which explains why Samskr.ta inscriptions occur in regions outside Bharata vars.a – what is presently categorized as southeast asia along the Indian ocean rim -- and why Prakr.ta inscriptions occur within Bharatam (including S’rilanka).

The translations are sourced from: NP Unni, 1998, Natyas’astra, Delhi, Nag Publishers. This text follows the Malayalam translation of KP Narayana Pisharoti published in 1971.

The dates of Natyas’astra range from 500 BCE (Manmohan Ghosh) to 3rd century CE (AB Keith). The tradition is that na_t.ya descended at the request of Nahus.a; this tradition is recorded in the last chapter of Natyas’astra, titled Na_t.ya_vata_rah ‘descent of drama’.


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A question for the Telugu speakers on here.

I know that naadu means day (as in eenaadu = today) but this is not used now for days if there is a specific number of days. Let me give examples:

ennaaLLu (how many days?) is used
eenaadu (today) is used
padhinaaLLu (10 days) not used from what I know, instead padhi rOjulu (rOju is persian) is the most common or sometimes padhi dinaalu is used.

Now what I wanted to know is before Muslim rule did old Telugu use padhinaaLLu or such terms, and then the term lost currency gradually because I noticed that Tamils still retain this, for 10 days they say patthu naazh.

Also has it survived in any isolated pockets, I mean has anyone heard such a term used nowadsys anywhere in AP?
I have a question about numbers in Hindi and other non southern languages, I was wondering if Old Hindi or Prakrit numbers were like Telugu or Tamil because I noticed that Sanskrit is closer to southern languages in this regard.


14 = padhnaalugu (padhi = 10, naalugu = 4) in Telugu

19 = navadasa (nava = 9, dasa = 10) in Sanskrit, well the order is reversed because Telugu would put 10 before 9 and say panthommidi (padhi = 10, thommidi = 9).

19 = unnees in Hindi, a totally new word.

Now I was wondering when this clumsy (from the standpoint of remembering, its much more harder to remember all these diff words for each diff number) change took place, were the Prakrits already like this or Hindi numbers continued to be like Sanskrit or Telugu until the medieval period (so 19 would have then been naudas or even better dasnau instead of unnees) and changed recently, say like 400 years ago to take their modern form.
<!--QuoteBegin-Bharatvarsh+May 17 2008, 08:20 AM-->QUOTE(Bharatvarsh @ May 17 2008, 08:20 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->19 = unnees in Hindi, a totally new word.
19 in saMskR^ita is ekonavinsha ("one less than twenty") from where came "unnees"
Bodhi, so this is wrong then:


Thats where I found my term.

Nevermind, there seem to be multiple terms for 19:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->návadashan or ekonavimshatí or uunavimshatí or ekaannavimshatí

I think unnees could be from uunavimshati.
It seems Fiji Hindi has taken up a system somewhat similar to Telugu and English:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Numbers greater than 20 are made up of a combination of the Hindi multiple of ten plus the Hindi number between one and nine. For example, the number twenty-one in Fiji Hindi is a translation of "twenty and one". Thus in Fiji Hindi twenty-one in biis aur ek ( बिस और एक) and thirty - seven is tiis aur saat ( तिस और सात). Hindi numbers lakh (100,000) and karor(10 million) are used.

In Punjabi - Rain = Mei /MeiH
Unable to guess origin

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