The Vedic tradition informs us that human beings in former ages were physically and intellectually by far more able than nowadays. Knowledge was passed on by oral reception since the disciples were able to remember everything by hearing it once. Thus, no writing was necessary. But at the dawn of the present age—the kali-yuga, or “age of quarrel”—human mankind degraded more and more and gradually lost all good qualities. The duration of life decreased, and with the loss of the keen remembrance the traditional system of acquiring knowledge ceased to be applicable. In order to prevent its decay, the Vedic wisdom had to be conserved in written form. This happened about 5000 years ago by the divine incarnation Srila Vyasadeva. He compiled the presently existing Vedic literature, namely the four Vedas, the Upanisads, the Puranas and the Mahabharata. Thus, he created no new knowledge but rather tried to preserve the original wisdom of human mankind for the oncoming generations.

At that time, devanagari was the language of the whole civilized population of the earth. But due to lack of training and careless pronunciation, the uneducated people began to develop numerous dialects. Before, such lingual alienation had been carefully avoided since it was well-known that the material and spiritual power of the language greatly depends on its purity. Now, however, various dialects came up which, after gradually deviating from the original language, could not be called devanagari anymore. New languages, called prakrta, came forth.

With the further progress of kali-yuga, these prakrta dialects spread more and more, up to the grade of dominating the original pure language. Finally, they were adopted even by the educated circles. The sages and scholars of that time became alarmed. Together with its language, they foresaw the dying-out of the root of Vedic culture. Thus, they invested enormous time and effort to design a standardized grammar, with the aim of preserving the devanagari language in its original purity. Although unnecessary before, this measure seemed to be the only means of counteracting the increasing cultural, intellectual and spiritual decay of the society.

The most successful, hence most prominent amongst these grammarians was Panini. His grammar, surpassing all others in tightness and precision, became the standard and remained so undisputedly until today. Panini was able to joint the original devanagari language into an exact framework of rules, thus preserving it for the posterity. Since his time, this language is called Sanskrit, “joined together, refined”.

Thus, according to the Vedic version Sanskrit is not the result of the prakrta languages; rather, they in opposite have developed from the original Sanskrit language, called devanagari. The present-day Sanskrit is nothing more than the successful attempt to conserve the original language and to prevent its further alienation. And the development of scriptural record is not at all considered as a progress of human civilization—rather, it is a symptom of the increasing degradation of human qualities.

Following this tradition, Sanskrit is the original language of the Vedas. They were transmitted directly from the spiritual world at the dawn of creation. Therefore, their language bears the power to connect the reciter and the receptors of mantras and slokas with the eternal spiritual reality—especially if the mantras contain one of the numerous names of God. Consequently, Sanskrit produces a transcendental sound vibration which is able to liberate the living entity from the material existence called samsara, the circle of repeated births and deaths.

No more than now, as we are forced by an increasing number of archeological discoveries to date the age and origin of human mankind more and more backwards, this version appears to be absurd by no means. At least, no valid empiric reasons force us to dismiss it as mythological.

No matter, however, if we accept the academic opinion or the promotion of the Veda's own version—we have to regard Sanskrit as one of the great original cultural languages of this planet. It has influenced vast realms of our thinking and cognition and is still spoken by many scholars in and outside of India. Without knowledge of its Sanskrit culture, the present India and its traditions are not to be understood.




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