Spoken Sanskrit

Residential Teacher Training Workshop 

Teacher Training Program: Shruti Foundation conducted a teacher training program for the B El Ed students of JMC College, Delhi University on “Music and Sound for Facilitating Education”, a curriculum designed by Shruti Foundation based on Traditional Sciences and well as Psychological and Analytical sciences.

It is also training teachers in the Sanghol educational complex, Punjab and providing
educational assistance to village women in Sanghol.

The Importance of Sanskrit – Statements and Quotes by Great Minds

For thousands of years ancient traditions and knowledge were passed on from generation to generation through only one language – Sanskrit. Sanskrit therefore contained in itself the very essence of Indian culture. This was recognized by Macaulay whom we call the father of our Modern Indian Education System. In his infamous Minutes of 1835, he made this historical speech in the British Parliament which struck a blow at the centuries old system of Indian education.

“I have travelled the length and breadth of India and have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.”

Macaulay realized that he could achieve his goal by eliminating Sanskrit from being an essential part of the Indian Educational System. The most important step that he adopted was to shut down several Sanskrit schools and to introduce English as a modern and civilized language. Sadly enough, even today we Indians take pride in speaking English while neglecting our own rich and invaluable language – Sanskrit.


Listed below are a few quotations on Sanskrit highlighting its different aspects:
Sanskrit language, as has been universally recognized by those competent to form a judgement, as one of the most magnificient, the most perfect, the most prominent and wonderfully sufficient literary instruments developed by the human mind.
- Sri Aurobindo

The Mother gave a lot of importance to the use of simple Sanskrit. She believed that no one could claim to be a true Indian if he/she did not have any knowledge of Sanskrit. She was emphatic on this point, “every child born in India should know it, just as every child born in France has to know French.”
- The Mother, 11.11.1967

Sanskrit flows through our blood. It is only Sanskrit that can establish the unity of the
country.

Nobel Laureate, Dr.C.V.Raman, on the need for Sanskrit to be the National language.

Without the study of Sanskrit one cannot become a true Indian and a true learned man.
- Mahatma Gandhi

If you have to adopt a language, why should you not have the world’s greatest language?(while discussing on the bill on the National Language of Bharat in the Constituent Assembly.)
- Shri Najiruddin Ahmed

If I was asked, what is the greatest treasure which India possesses and what is her finest heritage, I would answer unhesitatingly that it is the Sanskrit language and literature and all that it contains. This is the magnificent inheritance and so long as this endures and influences the life of our people, so long will the basic genius of India continue. If our race forgot the Buddha, the Upanishads and the great Epics (Ramayana and Mahabharata), India would cease to be India.
- Jawaharlal Nehru

If Sanskrit would be divorced from the everyday life of the masses of this country, a light would be gone from the life of the people and the distinctive features of Hindu culture which have won for it an honoured place in world-thought would soon be affected to the great disadvantage and loss both of India and of the world.”
- Sir Mirza Ismail

The intellectual debt of Europe on Sanskrit literature has been undeniably great. It may perhaps become greater still in the years that are to come. We (Europeans) are still behind in making even our alphabet a perfect one.
- Prof. Macdonell

Sanskrit is the greatest language in the world.
- Max Muller

Indeed the role of Sanskrit in modern India is very great. In the words of Max Muller, “A people that can feel no pride in the past, in its history and literature, loses the mainstay of its national character. When Gemany was in the very depth of its political degradation, it turned to its ancient literature and drew hope for the future from the study of the past.
- Sri Satyaranjan Banerjee, The Vedanta Keshari, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, Madras, May 1962

Sanskrit was at one time the only language of the world. It is more perfect and copious than Greek and Latin.
- Prof. Bopp

What is wrong with Sanskrit? (when questioned as to why he was among those who sponsored Sanskrit as the official language of the Indian Union)
- Dr. Ambedkar

Even Albert Einstein was well-versed in Sanskrit. One day he tried talking to an Indian
Scientist Dr. B.N.Gupta, in Sanskrit. When Dr. B.N.Gupta confessed that he did not the
language Dr. Einstein was amazed at the poor response of the young Indian Scientist and said, “You hail from India which is the home of Hindu Philosophy, yet you have not cared to learn that language. Come along, see my library which treasures classics from Sanskritam.”
- Samskrita Bharati

Our whole culture, literature and life would remain incomplete so long as our scholars, our thinkers and our educationists remain ignorant of Sanskrit.
- Dr. Rajendra Prasad

Sanskrit is not the language of any particular sect or creed. It is the language of every Indian.
- Fakruddin Ali Ahmed

Sanskrit is the language of every man, to whatever race he may belong.
- Dr. Shaidullah

Sanskrit has moulded the minds of our people to the extent to which they themselves are not conscious. Sanskrit literature is national in one sense, but its purpose has been universal. That is why it commanded the attention of people who were not followers of a particular culture…
- Dr. Radhakrishnan

In the case of an Indian youth, he virtually ceases to be an Indian if he does not have the atmosphere of Sanskrit in his temperament, either directly or indirectly… it is exceedingly important, in order to preserve the sense of self-respect of an Indian educated person, that he should have an acquaintance with Sanskrit and its literature. Young men and women passing out of the High Schools and the Universities without any knowledge of their national heritage as preserved in Sanskrit lack the very essential means to approach the outside world confidently and with a sense of self-respect. The main reason for this is that this Indian heritage has got the power to make those of possess it feel a spiritual and intellectual assurance and self-confidence.
- Report of the Sanskrit Commission, 1956-57, 1958, pp. 89-90

The reasons for studying Sanskrit today are the same as they aver were: that the vast array of Sanskrit texts preserves for us a valuable part of the cultural heritage of mankind, including much beautiful literature and many interesting, even fascinating, ideas.
- Prof. Richard Gombrich (holds the Bolden chair at Oxford)

There is no language in India which can take the place of Sanskrit because no other language has the same intimate contact with the inner spirit of our lives. We may carry the dead weight of English as long as we choose but it is not and can never be an Indian language. It has no roots in our soil. …Sanskrit and Sanskrit alone is associated with the life of the people over the whole country. It is heard in the family circle, in the market place and in the temple. Let us not play with this great heritage. It can never be replaced but once we lose it, we shall cease to be Indians. Even our political independence will be of hardly much value either to ourselves or to the world at large.
- Sri Sampurnananda, Samskritavishvaparishat, Bangalore, May 1966, p. 42

On the practical plane one must acknowledge that in terms of its grammar, phonetics, vocabulary and the Devanagari script, Sanskrit becomes a wonderfully efficient vehicle of communication. It is not surprising that recent empirical studies about the relative
suitability of different languages and scripts for use in Computer programming and operation indicated that Sanskrit in Devanagari script was not only the most suitable but also that it perfectly satisfied every requirement as an optimal medium for use….

The culture of Sanskrit and Sanskrit literature is actually the culture of synthesis and assimilation. The message of Sanskrit literature is one of humanism, of unity of mankind, of values, of peace and mutual understanding and of harmonious development of the individual and the society. Acquaintance with such literature can only elevate and widen one’s outlook. Far from being obscurantist, the Sanskrit literature can be a positive force for progress and growth in the right direction….

It would help us to remain not too far behind those other countries that have surged far ahead of us in reaping the benefits of study of Sanskrit and Sanskrit literature…

It would help reviving the ethos of India because synthesis, harmony, and reconciliation comprise the essence of the culture of Sanskrit. It would help us to unlock the treasure- house of scientific insights and research results concerning positive sciences in our ancient literature. It would help us in using Sanskrit as a medium par excellence in Computer operations and as a language for the new technology.

It would help us to invigorate various languages of India. As Gandhiji said, “Sanskrit is like the river Ganga for our languages. I always feel that if it were to dry up, the regional languages also would lose their vitality and power. It seems to me that an elementary knowledge of Sanskrit is essential.”

It is not sentiment on my part that makes me say so but practical consideration of the utility to our country of this great language and the vast knowledge held in it.
To quote Jawaharlal, “The past is gone and the present is with us and we work for the future.

But I have no doubt that whatever shape that future may take, one of the biggest, the strongest and the most powerful and the most valued of our legacies will be the Sanskrit language.”
- Ex president of India, Shankar Dayal,Sharma “Legacy of Sanskrit,” The Indian Nation, 11 Jan 1988

Sanskrit is thus for India the symbol and substance of its national unity and as a connecting bond with Asia and the world… to study Sanskrit and disseminate Sanskrit among the people,…would not only be a tribute to Kalidasa but a way of preparing ourselves for the future.
- Ex President of India -K.R.Narayanan

The Sanskrit language is the ‘devabhāşā’…It is the language of the Satya Yuga based on the true and perfect relation of vāk and artha. Everyone of its vowels and consonants has a particular and inalienable force which exists by the nature of things and not by development or human choice.
- Sri Aurobindo, ‘Hymns to the Mystic Fire’

Sanskrit ought still to have a future as a language of the learned and it will not be a good day for India when the ancient tongue ceases entirely to be written or spoken.
- Sri Aurobindo, ‘The Hour of God’

The ideal would be in a few years, to have a rejuvenated Sanskrit as the representative language of India, that is a spoken Sanskrit. Sanskrit is behind all the languages of India and it should be that…
- The Mother,11.11.1967

When the great philologists and scholars of computational linguistics whole-heartedly accept Sanskrit as the best and most scientific language of the world, on what basis can one say that Sanskrit is a dead language? …Sanskrit being a natural language, there is no question of its death. It is alive in the heart and mind of the people of India.” As Professor Sampurnananda has said, ‘Sanskrit is not merely alive, it is also a medicine to make the dead alive.”
- Prof. Lakshmikanta Maitra, Samsara, 2 November 1948

The only safety, I tell you men who belong to the lower castes, the only way to raise your condition is to study Sanskrit. Why do you not become Sanskrit scholars? Why do you not spend millions to bring Sanskrit education to all castes of India? That is the question. The moment you do these things, you are equal to the Brahmin.

The very sound of Sanskrit words gives a prestige and a power and a strength to the race. Sanskrit and prestige go together in India. As soon as you have that, none dares say anything against you. That is the one secret; take that up.
- Swami Vivekananda