The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today said that we should all learn Sanskrit so that we maintain a living link with our rich past and truly understand what it means to be an “Indian”. He also called upon the Government and non-governmental organizations to join hands to preserve, promote and propagate Sanskrit language and literature, stressing that ‘we cannot think of India without thinking of Sanskrit.’
Shri Naidu made these remarks while addressing the World Conference 2019 being organised by Samskrita Bharati, in New Delhi today.
Calling Sanskrit a ‘remarkable language’, the Vice President said that students should be encouraged to learn it to understand the depth and richness of Indian heritage. “Governments and Educational institutes should provide an opportunity to learn Sanskrit”, he said.
On this occasion, Shri Naidu also advocated for the need of schooling in mother tongue. “Governments should take steps to have medium of instruction uptill 10th standard in mother tongue”, he said. “There is no problem in learning English or any other language, but the foundation should be in mother tongue.”, he added.
The Vice President appreciated that the Government of India has taken several steps for promotion of Sanskrit. He further urged non-governmental organizations to complement the work of the government and spread awareness about Sanskrit and propagate the rich knowledge that can be accessed through a study of Sanskrit texts.
Talking of the importance of Sanskrit language, Shri Naidu said it has been India’s unseen unifying force. “It has been the vital link between Indian languages in terms of vocabulary. Most of the Indian languages have originated from Sanskrit”, he said.
Almost all of our ancient knowledge and wisdom is in Sanskrit, be it Chankaya’s Arthashastra, or Bhaskaracharya’s Mathematics or Patanjali’s Yoga. With this knowledge, our ancestors enriched our nation. We should also make use of this knowledge treasure given to us by our sages, he said.
On Sanskrit’s contemporary relevance, the Vice President said that today world is facing many challenges relating to environment, water planning and health. Sanskrit has a lot on these issues. Many countries in the world are studying Sanskrit for this reason. Our educational institutions should also carry out similar research.
Talking of the geographical expense of the Sanskrit, the Vice President said that in addition to Indian subcontinent, significant collections of Sanskrit manuscripts and inscriptions have been found in China, Myanmar, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. Sanskrit inscriptions, manuscripts or its remnants, have been discovered in dry high deserts and mountainous terrains such as in Nepal, Tibet, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. Some Sanskrit texts and inscriptions have also been discovered in Korea and Japan
The Vice President said that the Sanskrit was the language of education in the Universities of Nalanda, Takshashila etc. which were teaching almost all the subjects like economics (arthasasthram), warfare (dhanur veda), physics (bouthikam) mathematics (ganitham),medicine (ayurvedam), literature (sahithyam) etc.
Shri Jai Ram Thakur, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Union Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, President, Samskrita Bharati, Prof. Gopabandhu Mishra were among the dignitaries present at the World Conference which saw participation of over 4000 delegates from 593 districts in the country and from 21 countries world over.
Following is the full text of speech –
“संस्कृत भारत को जोड़नेवाली भाषा है। यह देश विविध भाषाओं का है। परंतु सांस्कृतिक एकता हमारा वैशिष्ट्य है। कालडी में जन्मे शंकराचार्य ने देश की चारों दिशाओं में मठ स्थापित किये, दो बार देश की परिक्रमा की। उन्होंने ज्ञान, संस्कृति और अध्यात्म के प्रसार के लिए संस्कृत को ही साधन बनाया।
भारतीय ज्ञान विज्ञान परंपरा संस्कृत भाषा में है। चाणक्य की राजनीती, भास्कराचार्य का गणित, चरक सुश्रुत का आयुर्वेद, पतंजली का योग, पराशर मुनि का कृषिशास्त्र, भरत मुनि का नाट्यशास्त्र ऐसे अनेक विषय संस्कृत में विकसित हुए। इसी ज्ञान विज्ञान के बलपर हमारे पुरखों ने कभी देश समृद्ध किया था। सुवर्णभूमी किया था। यह हमारे ऋषि मुनियों द्वारा विकसित ज्ञानभंडार का हम ने आज उपयोग करना चाहिए। आज दुनिया में उपलब्ध ज्ञान भी ले। और दोनों के बलपर आज की हमारी समस्याएँ सुलझाए। चीन के प्रवासी हु एन् संग लिखते है। ‘भारत में मैने कोई दुःखी आदमी नहीं देखा।’ ऐसा सुविकसित भारत का निर्माण करने के लिए आज युवाओं ने यह ज्ञानभंडार प्राप्त करना चाहिए। संस्कृत भाषा का संरक्षण संवर्धन उस के लिए आवश्यक है।
आज पर्यावरण की समस्या एँ है। जल नियोजन की समस्याएँ है। आरोग्य की समस्याएँ है। इन विषयों में संस्कृत में बहुत कुछ हैं। इसलिए संस्कृत ज्ञानभाषा है। दुनिया के अनेक देशों में उस के लिए ही संस्कृत अध्ययन लोग करते है। इन विषयों में अनुसंधान भी करते है। हमारे शिक्षा संस्थानो भी ऐसे अनुसंधान करना चाहिए।
दुनिया के अनेक देशों में संस्कृत का अध्ययन होता है। यह हमारी भाषा, हमारे पुरखों ने विकसित की हुई भाषा, भाषाशास्त्र की दृष्टि से परिपूर्ण भाषा हम क्यों नहीं सीखे? सरल ढंग से, व्यवहार में भी उपयोग हो सके इस तरह संस्कृत भारती यह भाषा सिखाती है। इस संभाषण आन्दोलन में देशभर हम सभी सहयोग दे।
संस्कृत सीख कर इस ज्ञान विज्ञान का प्रत्यक्ष उपयोजन करने की सुविधा आज की अपनी सरकार करेगी। आज के संस्कृतयुवा यह आह्वान स्वीकारे। सरकार उन की सहायता के लिए सर्वथा कटिबद्ध हो।
Samskrit is the language that is conceived, constructed and perfected by our ancient sages of our great Bharath. In Samskrit “pura API Nava” means though it is the oldest language it is very relevant, modern and scientific language. Samskrit possesses the Vedas, itihasas, puranas, shastras and other lakhs of literary works which are useful to not only to Bharath but to the whole of humanity.
‘Loka samastha sukino bavanthu’ is the message of sages which seeks the well being of not only humanity but the complete Flora and fauna of the whole universe.
The Indian subcontinent has been the geographic range of the largest collection of the ancient and pre-18th-century Sanskrit manuscripts and inscriptions. Beyond ancient India, significant collections of Sanskrit manuscripts and inscriptions have been found in China (particularly the Tibetan monasteries), Myanmar, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. Sanskrit inscriptions, manuscripts or its remnants, including some of the oldest known Sanskrit written texts, have been discovered in dry high deserts and mountainous terrains such as in Nepal, Tibet, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. Some Sanskrit texts and inscriptions have also been discovered in Korea and Japan
Before the Advent of foreign invasion in India Samskrit was the medium of education and lingua Franca of India.
Universities in Nalanda, Takshashila etc. were teaching almost all the subjects like economics, (arthasasthram) astronomy (Surya siddhatham), warfare (dhanur veda), physics (bouthikam) chemistry(rasayanam), mathematics (ganitham),medicine (ayurvedam), literature (sahithyam), art forms (Sangeetha and natya shastra) etc.
Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages in the world, has a body of knowledge that has been an inexhaustible source of inspiration to Indian philosophers and thinkers.
It has been the vital link between Indian languages in terms of vocabulary. Most of the Indian languages have originated from Sanskrit. It has been India’s unseen unifying force.
We cannot think of India without thinking of Sanskrit.
We cannot understand India without reading the classic epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the philosophical treatises like the Vedas and the Upanishads or being overawed by the sheer force of poetic expressions of Kalidasa, Bhasa or Bhavabhuti.
We have the best scientific, mathematical, astronomical and medical texts in this language. In their Foreword to Sanskrit Computational Linguistics (2009), Gérard Huet, Amba Kulkarni and Peter Scharf have said, “manuscripts in Sanskrit number over 30 million, one hundred times those in Greek and Latin combined, constituting the largest cultural heritage that any civilisation has produced prior to the invention of the printing press.”
William Jones wrote in 1786, “The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either”.
With literature dating back to at least 2nd century BC, the Sanskrit language has a vast literature and a treasure house of knowledge.
Will Durant, a famous historian, said, in 1931, that ” India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe’s languages: she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics; mother, through the Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity; mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all.”
If we don’t learn Sanskrit, we cannot fully appreciate the depth and the grandeur of Indian cultural heritage.
We should all make it a point to learn this remarkable language so that we maintain a living link with our rich past and truly understand what it means to be an “Indian”.
Government and non-governmental organizations should join hands to preserve, promote and propagate this language and literature.
Students should be encouraged to learn this language to understand the depth and richness of Indian heritage. We shouldn’t neglect Sanskrit. Governments and Educational institutes should provide an opportunity to learn Sanskrit.
Government of India has taken several steps for promotion of Sanskrit language.
I would urge non-governmental organizations to complement the work of the government and spread awareness about Sanskrit and propagate the rich knowledge that can be accessed through a study of Sanskrit texts.