Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sanskrit as India's National Language

सरस्वति महाभागे विद्ये कमललोचने।
विद्यारूपे विशालाक्षि विद्यां देहि नमोऽस्तु ते॥

Oh Great Goddess Sarasvati! The embodiment of knowledge!
One with broad eyes beautiful like lotus petals! Learning Solidified!
My salutations to you. Grant me the knowledge.

Sanskrit is the fountainhead of all languages on earth that is why Sanskrit is popularly known as the mother of all languages. The word Sanskrit indicates perfection as explained below:
  1. Sanskrit = Sam + Krit
  2. Sam means entirely, wholly OR perfectly; AND
  3. Krit means done
When we add Sam and Krit, we get Sanskrit which means 'perfectly done'. All our scriptures namely the Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas were originally written in Sanskrit which highlights its relevance.

In ancient times, Sanskrit was the preferred mode of communication amongst rishis as well as the common man. During those times, our ancestors used Sanskrit in every field for example, trade, education, research & development and administration. India's glorious past also coincides with a time when Sanskrit was the most dominant language. Sanskrit's original structure and form is still available and prevalent in some parts of India.

It would be naive to underestimate the utility and potential of Sanskrit as many scientists, linguists, and scholars study Vedas and Upanishads in the present times. Sanskrit has been gaining traction due to its practical applicability across different fields such as computer science, energy, nano technology and space programs. 

Sanskrit may have been ignored but it is far from being dead. On the contrary, Sanskrit is reviving all over the world and will soon become the most dominant language.

I would like to highlight the following reasons for declaring Sanskrit as India's national language. They are given below:

Sanskrit is a Scientific Language
In 1985, Rick Briggs, who worked at NASA Ames Research Center, highlighted the suitability of Sanskrit as a perfect language for artificial intelligence. He compared Sanskrit with English and proved that a Sanskrit sentence rendered into triples matches precisely with the analysis achieved through application of computer processing. Through a series of tests and analysis, the author proved that Sanskrit is the most specific and unambiguous language and hence apt for computer programming.

The westerners will not openly admit the supremacy of Sanskrit; however, they are gradually realizing its advantages. 

Don't be surprised if you witness Western Sanskrit scholars visiting India to teach Sanskrit. Such a trend is already visible in other areas such as Yoga and ISKCON.

National Identity and Unity
Sanskrit has the ability to unify people across different states of India. The South Indian languages such as Tamil, Malyalam, Telugu, and Kannada are very similar to Sanskrit. In North India, majority of Indians are comfortable with Hindi which is also a subset of Sanskrit. Adoption of Sanskrit as the national language will effectively unite the different chords of our culture whether in North, South, East OR West. Sanskrit will stimulate a sense of nationalism in our country which will also nurture unity.

India, under the umbrella of unity, will be able to withstand different foreign attacks that may be targeted on our culture, business and religion.

Ocean of Knowledge
It is a given fact that vast knowledge exists in our scriptures such as Vedas and Upanishads. Our scriptures cover almost every topic that is relevant as per the current times  for example, science, literature, poetry, law, economy, philosophy, religion, defense and others. While translations of these scriptures exist, they are not able to convey the same meaning as provided in the original. Therefore, Sanskrit is the key to access, analyse and utilize this knowledge. 

Sanskrit is the bridge through which these oceans of knowledge can be crossed, understood and applied for the welfare of the mankind.

Connect with Culture
Sanskrit will help Indians to connect with India's ancient culture and traditions which will influence our thought, speech and actions in a positive manner. Nation wide adoption of Sanskrit will help India to regain its identity thereby bringing in revolutionary changes in the mindset of every person of the country. Sanskrit will help Indians to transform, evolve and change to become true Hindus. Consequently, one can expect the Hindus to rise and fight for justice, women safety, gender equality, transparent administration and crime reduction.

Sanskrit will transform passive Hindus (those disconnected from their roots due to the influence of Britishers and Muslims) into active Virat Hindus.

Government's role
Our government has failed to leverage the hidden treasures of our scriptures; however, it has been quite pliant towards western culture. Lack of efforts towards understanding our culture has only helped the West to dominate at global level. It has helped Islam to dominate on the basis of oil reserves and not due to any significant scientific achievement. West has borrowed Indian concepts, applied them in their laboratories and then achieved favorable results due to continuous support from their governments. They have re-packaged the already existing scientific discoveries and created products that are acceptable to masses. Obviously, they were smart enough to pocket nice and handsome profits from such ventures. 

Whereas, India which is the original source of all knowledge still continues to languish in business, science & technology and political dominance at global level. This equation needs to be re-balanced in order to rectify the wrongs committed on India. 

India's time to lead, secure and enlighten the world is long overdue; however, many times it has fallen short of its true potential. The change is possible provided we elect leaders who display Will power, Imagination and Courage through their actions.

In the end, I would like to conclude by the following couplets:

"Sanskrit is the mother,
Sanskrit is the root,
Sanskrit is the future,
Sanskrit is the soul of India"

– Gaurav Bhatia