Saturday, 24 October 2015

Revisiting Sanskrit Classics

Sanskrit is the language which carries the immense heritage, culture, values and traditions of ancient India. Some of the myths about sanskrit (sadly even with Indians themseleves) are the follows:

Myth: It is associated with religious stuff. Meh... 

Truth: Sanskrit literature is exceptionally diverse! 

Some of the puranas make high-fantasies like LOTR seem dull. The emotions in Shaakunthalam (Kalidasa) would put our bollywood movies to shame. Of course, all of us have enjoyed stories from panchatantra, ramayana and mahabharata when our parents or grand-parents narrated them while putting us to sleep. For economics and politics we have arthashastra. Works like leelavathi where bhaskara teaches algebra to his daughter! (mind blown? ) Which other language can boast of having an encyclopedia as early as 500 AD? 

Myth: It is a dead language; there is no use learning it.  

Truth:  Sanskrit is not only living but it is going strong!

This myth is by far the most common excuse for people to not learn sanskrit. It is still a popular choice among many students to study it as their first language (like me! ). People in the village of mattur, Karnataka still speak sanskrit for daily transactions. Surprised?

Without realizing you would have uttered a significant number of sanskrit words when you speak your mother tongue. (Some languages like Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam have more than 60% of their vocabulary coming from sanskrit! ) 

OK OK, I am interested. But where is the time?

Totally agree with you! 

That is the point of this blog. We will be posting one verse per week (bonus verses if we can! ) with it's gist in English. We will initially start with the magnum opus raghuvamsham by kalidasa (by far the most well-known poets in sanskrit). I am sure you have heard of the king vikramaditya from vikram-betaal? Kalidasa is believed to have been his court poet.

We are working on adding support in regional languages too! Trust me it's easier in regional languages because of the huge amount of common words. However, how many of us can fluently read our mother tongues? 

You are encouraged to comment and add to the discussion with your 2 cents or with questions for us! 

PS: First verse is up right this week! Feel free to start your journey! :)

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