In the ancient world, looking at any historical account from Rome, Arabia, China or South East Asia, one can find great adoration for India. This is because India was the superpower. Whether it was knowledge or business, India was the leader. The famous study by Angus Maddison clearly shows that India was the economic powerhouse of the world till around 1500 CE. There are many accounts of people who came from other civilizations to study in India. We were the benchmark to aspire to, and our own benchmark was infinity. Whether it was astronomy, spirituality, literature, economics, metallurgy, dance or martial arts, India had a knowledge system for all subjects. Knowledge has been the primary focus of India, so much so, that the country is named Bharat, meaning people for knowledge.
2. INBUILT WELL-BEING
For people dedicated to knowledge, it was important that the language assisted in the process and enhanced the overall well-being of the user. Hence Sanskrit was designed to enhance a person’s physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
Sound of Sanskrit
India has a well established oral tradition of knowledge. Whether they were mantras or shlokas, sounds and rhythms were important components of the architecture of knowledge. Indians clearly knew that different sounds have different effects on the well-being of the mind. Hence Sanskrit was designed so that attributes such as observation, memory, concentration, reasoning, creativity, imagination, original thinking and logical thinking are increased by the systematic study of Sanskrit.
Sanskrit and Yoga
Sanskrit was also designed including the principles of yoga. Many sounds and pronunciations of words were developed to simulate breathing techniques of the different asanas of yoga. So while speaking the language, a person would be doing quasi-yoga.
3. LIVING CIVILIZATION
Sanskrit our civilizational language, how it represents us and ensures our continuity.
The identity of any civilization is its language. The Saraswati Sindhu Ganga Civilization, meaning us, being the oldest living civilization in the world, Sanskrit gives us a sense of identity and continuity which is very important for every Indian. Else a people without a sense of identity are easy prey for dividing and destructive forces.
Language is a recorded history of the concepts and experiences of a civilization. Decade after decade Indians have been losing out on these concepts, emotions, nuances of their civilization and becoming more and more familiar with western concepts and approach. e.g. Namaste, Dharma, Atman, Brahman, and many more are concepts of our civilization, which are not found in the west and get substituted by words that misinterpret their real meanings. This can substantially change the culture of society. I am not against change, my proposal is that A should become a better A, and not B. Because B is working on its own development.
4. TECHNICAL LANGUAGE
The western civilization in Europe and North America use three different languages to cover technical subjects. They are English, Greek and Latin, e.g. Alpha, Beta, Gamma or biological names in Latin and English for descriptions. Indians designed Sanskrit, so that it could be used with the most technical subjects, such as astronomy, biology, metallurgy, mathematics etc. Sanskrit is able to do this due to its inbuilt architecture of word roots, sandhi rules and grammar. All this allows for precise word building.
5. ENGLISH CLASS
The use of English has unknowingly created a class system in Indian society. The classes speak English and the masses speak regional languages. As every society has an aspirational aspect to it, now even the masses are moving towards English. Children are being reprimanded for speaking in regional languages at home, saying that good jobs are only available in English. Every year students have been known to die or go into depression for being rejected at schools, colleges or universities for not knowing English. Looking at the geographical and population size of India, it is most important that every Indian regardless of their background speak a single link language. Countries such as US and China, have English and Mandarin. Sanskrit can be the language that classes or masses, urban or rural, educated or uneducated, from all parts of India can speak. This will greatly synergize and unite India.
6. ENGLISH INFILTRATION
Today it is practically impossible to speak a sentence in any Indic language, without using a word of English. Be it phone, car, film, camera, meeting, breaking news, update, live etc. If this trend continues, it will weaken all Indic languages to an extent when these languages will only be studied in language departments. The beauty of Sanskrit is that it is part of the Indic language system and helps in strengthening them together. The use of Sanskrit, will actually bring all Indic languages back to life.
7. BUSINESS PROVEN
This is a fact of history that India was the economic superpower, when Sanskrit was India’s link language. So Sanskrit has a proven business track record. A big reason for English education is regarding international opportunities. Today only 10% of India knows English, and that too basic words. I would estimate not more than 1-2% of India’s population interacts with any foreigner. Then why should 98% of the population learn a foreign language? Countries such as China, Germany, France, Japan etc. also do International business, without English being their national language.
8. INDIC KNOWLEDGE SYSTEM
It is not a secret that a lot of knowledge was translated from Sanskrit to Arabic to Greek, Latin and other European languages over time. The fact is that India had its own knowledge system and today is dependent on western education. For a given problem, India had its own solutions and many were better than the west. It is time that we switch to our own knowledge systems and advance them for current times. This will remove India’s dependency on the western platform where it is simply a user, instead India will have its own platform, just like it has throughout history.
9. HINDU IDENTITY
With the basic text of Hindus which include Shrutis, Smritis, Itihasas, Puranas etc. in Sanskrit, it is vitally important that every Hindu is able to read them and understand the foundations of their spiritual tradition. Today Hindus are following rituals, chanting mantras without knowing what they mean. Even though the original text is available, they are dependent on hearsay, which is cause for most of the confusion.
10. ENGLISH AND URDU
British and American NGOs are greatly interested in teaching English to Indians. India is a big market. Through English, more and more western culture can be superimposed on Indians. American movies, TV shows, books, music, products and services can be directly plugged into India, without much modification. It saves them cost and gives them access to a big market. This strategy is damaging to India in the long term. The strategy to go from Hindi to Hinglish to English. Sanskrit can block this trend by eliminating English as the link language. Let us advance our movies, TV shows, books, music, products and services for a global audience.
Historically Arab Islam has long tried to have an influence in India. Influencing culture through language has been a political tool. From Hindi to Hindustani to Urdu to Arabic. Since most of north India uses Hindi, more and more Urdu words have entered the vocabulary. In 100 years it is not unlikely that this will completely change to Urdu. Sanskrit can block this trend while maintaining India’s cultural integrity by restricting Hindi and Urdu from becoming the link language of North India and alienate itself from the South and East.
11. MISINTERPRETATIONS AND MISINFORMATION
Indians want to know about their past, they are interested in their identity and want to clarify doubts. This presents two problems. First, the larger Hindu population is misinformed, their knowledge about their own civilisation has majorly comedown to hearsay. Second, those who can read, are reading interpretations of authors. Invariably these authors are not referring to the original Sanskrit text, but are referring to English translations by Europeans or Americans. Some even put a spin on the original text to fit a certain political narrative. The only solution to both these problems is to democratize knowledge, this can only be done by Sanskrit. Because once this is done, every Indian can pick up a copy of the original text and read it like any other book. An individual can then make their own interpretations. This is individual empowerment.
Some topics have become the subject of politics which keep causing disturbances when people would actually like to focus on knowledge and economic growth. The only way to tackle these topics is to democratize knowledge, out from the corridors of power and media, to every citizen. Let them read the original text and make their own decision after all the text is in Sanskrit. I envision that these topics will be greatly clarified once every Indian is empowered to do so. Topics such as Brahmins - Dalits, Hindus - Buddhist, Hindus - Sikhs, Hindus - Tribals, Aryan - Dravidian and many more. As misinformation on these topics is becoming a security and stability threat to the state.
Having stated the reasons why Sanskrit is the only way for India to regain its Superpower status, I would like to put forward a few things that Indians can do. After all Sanskrit is a people’s project, not a government project. The following are some suggestions: 1) I request all authors in India to publish their best seller as an eBook in Sanskrit. This will not only be cost effective, but each book will bring Sanskrit in the current times. 2) I request all HNIs and NRIs to make an effort to bring back lakhs of manuscripts that are in different western countries such as collections, universities etc. so that we can start retrieving, preserving and studying them, lastly 3) I request everybody to watch Sanskrit videos as much as possible e.g. DD Sanskrit news, talks by Aacharya Chamu Krishna Shastry etc. This will allow you to get familiar with the language very quickly. Thank you.
Sanskrit, 1 Language for 1.3 Billion People.
Image Credits: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/02/Rigveda_MS2097.jpg