Sanskrit is the language of the Vedic texts; the ancient and timeless works on practical knowledge and supreme wisdom. Even though written millennia ago these Vedic texts continue to benefit humanity.
Zero, a Vedic invention, is the foundation of modern digital technology. Ayurveda pioneered surgery as a scientific discipline. Yoga practiced by millions of people around the world has its origins in these Vedic knowledge traditions. The most ancient texts on leadership, management, politics, and diplomacy was written in the same language and transmitted over generations.
Today there exist handful of people who can even claim to understand and translate this language. As a result some even have gone as far as to suggest that it is a “dead language.” But is Sanskrit dead?
Over the past few years a lot of offline and online courses have begun to pop up claiming to teach “spoken Sanskrit.” Interestingly, neither the teachers nor the students of these “Sanskrit courses” seem to have the ability to read or decipher the Sanskrit texts. Interpretation and translations by a great many acclaimed academicians have not gone beyond presenting some chauvinistic, or naively “mystical” interpretations and conclusions. Why is it so?
Most translators of Vedic texts follow a book called Panini’s Ashtadhyayi which was written around the same time when last Vedic text – Kautilya’s Arthashastra – was being written. Given this: is it logical to use Panini’s Sanskrit to translate timeless Vedic texts?
What kind of mistakes, misinterpretations, misuse, and abuse have this folly caused? What have we missed? Have we been misled? These are the unasked, yet crucial question which U. Mahesh Prabhu will try and answer in this short online video course entitled “The Tale of Two Sanskrit.”