Sanskrit is the language of the Vedic culture. It has brought forward an immense treasure of literature, science, culture and philosophy. Outstanding are the Puranas and the 108 Upanisads which form the core of the Vedic philosophy. Equally well-known and important are the two great epic poems named Ramayana and Mahabharata (which contains the famous Bhagavad-gita). We also find many anthologies of fairytales and fables, headed by the Pańcatantra, which served as a source book for many stories in our own culture. Further, there are numerous Sanskrit texts about the various Vedic fields of knowledge, like mathematics, astronomy, astrology, Ayurveda, Vasati (architecture), and so on.

Although quiet a lot of these texts have been translated into the English language, the student nevertheless will derive a considerable advantage in acquiring at least basic knowledge of the Sanskrit language. As a subscriber of one of our Vedic correspondence courses you will find out at the end of this course how your understanding and appreciation for your respective subject will have increased considerably. As an inquisitive contemporary, academic layman, or practicing member of a spiritual Vedic tradition, you will find your access to Vedic knowledge enriched and stimulated.

The name Sanskrit means “joined together, arranged, decorated”. This hints at Sanskrit's grammar being exactly regulated. According to the academic opinion, the today still existing “classical Sanskrit” came about from the old Indian vernacular languages, the so-called prakrta dialects. They were sorted and structured by the grammarians. The most important amongst them was Panini (about 400 BC).Prior to that, the so-called “Vedic Sanskrit” existed, the language of the four original Vedas (Rg-, Sama-, Yajur- and Atharva-veda) which were composed about 1000 BC. Thus, the academic circles date the age of Sanskrit at approx. 2500 years and see it as a “synthetic” language, composed from vernacular dialects.

The Vedic tradition promotes a different image of itself and the origin of the Sanskrit language—an image which is though graded as purely mythological by the indologists. Yet, we want to produce that version, since it is to be found in numerous Vedic scriptures, starting with the Bhagavata-purana, the most important Purana—and since it correspondents no less to the actual empiric presentation of evidence than the academic opinion.

According to this version, right at the beginning of the material creation the Vedic wisdom was spoken by Lord Visnu (God in his creating aspect) directly to Lord Brahma, the creator of this universe. Brahma himself systematically passed this knowledge on to his descendants, thereby creating the Vedas. This original language of the Vedas was then adopted by the devas, the higher subtle living beings which are entrusted with the administration of the universe. Thus, it was called deva-nagari, the language of the devas. It is the original language of the universe.




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