|there are as many as 30 million Sanskrit manuscripts with around 7 million manuscripts preserved in India itself. This precisely means that the magnitude of work in Sanskrit surpasses that of Greek and Latin put together!
By Priyanka Shah
During our school days, the word “Sanskrit” used to sound like missile attacks. Those alien words never really made sense to most of us, and how we would shudder at the thought of writing the class tests, let alone examinations.
However, things change with time—the case is strangely similar with Sanskrit, too. With time, we have not only grown a fondness for the Sanskrit literature but have also harbored a deep respect for the language itself—the oldest in the world!
If you are wondering what made this language such an endearing and respectable one, we have compiled a series of incredibly amazing facts about Sanskrit just for you—
1) Wondering which is the mother of all modern languages? Well—it’s Sanskrit!
With UNO confirming Sanskrit having influenced at least 97% of the world’s languages, you will surely be interested in knowing more about the language.
2) Learn Sanskrit and pave your way to learn the modern European and Indian languages way faster than ever!
After all, most of them are the direct descendants of Sanskrit!
3) The Vedas, oldest extant texts in any language, were written in Sanskrit.
What’s more amazing is the fact that in spite of preserving orally, it remained absolutely unchanged for more than a millennium.
4) The attention devoted to the grammar and linguistics in Sanskrit is believed to have been unprecedented until the 20th century.
The fact that modern linguists like Chomsky and Kiparsky acknowledge Panini as their influence vouches for this.
5) With over 100 common meters and with the prosody books listing over 600 meters, poetry in no other language is perhaps as diverse as in Sanskrit.
After all, how many languages can illustrate numerous stories through one by the dazzling use puns?
6) Talking about puns and synonyms, do you know Sanskrit possibly has the vastest treasure trove of synonyms for a single subject?
For example, the word “elephant” has as many as 100 synonyms!
7) Sanskrit culture had a great reluctance towards writing, and this continued for at least a millennium before the first texts were penned.
Yet there are as many as 30 million Sanskrit manuscripts with around 7 million manuscripts preserved in India itself. This precisely means that the magnitude of work in Sanskrit surpasses that of Greek and Latin put together!
8) The influence of Sanskrit had spread all the way to Cambodia and Laos without any forceful invasion.
Now, that’s something absolutely rare!
9) Well, you may not term Sanskrit as the mother of the Dravidian languages, but it won’t be wrong to term it as the “foster mother”.
After all, an amazing body of words and their usages has been directly borrowed from Sanskrit.
10) One of the most amazing features of the language is that it never really had a definitely script of its own till printing was introduced in India.
The Devanagari script that you see today is only an extension of the popularity of Hindi in India along with the fact that most of the printing presses were located in Bombay where Devanagari is the script of their local language, Marathi.
11) According to the Forbes Magazine, Sanskrit is by far the most computer-friendly language.
According to the Katapayadi numbering system in Sanskrit, a number is ascribed to every letter of the script. It is this principle on which the ASCII system of Computer Science is based.
12) Furthermore, if you replace the letters in the following sloka with their corresponding numbers in accordance with the Katapayadi System, you get the accurate value of pi. It is a 31-digit number.
Here’s the sloka for you:
खलजीवितखाताव गलहालारसंधर ॥
Gopibhagya madhuvrata srngisodadhisandhiga|
13) Sanskrit has been proven to aid speech therapy.
After all, it is the only language which accelerates all the nerves of your tongue.
14) According to the NASA Scientist Rick Briggs, Sanskrit is the only unambiguous language in existence.
The large body of work on grammar and prosody vouches for the same, doesn’t it?
15) With 14 Universities in Germany offering courses on Sanskrit, Germany is trying to hard to meet the demands of people wanting to learn the language.
And, we are still hooked on to English, Spanish and French. Lord help us!
16) Do you know Sanskrit was our National language?
Well, until, of course, the Arabs invaded our territory.
17) Do you know there is a newspaper published still now in Sanskrit?
It is Sudharma; available online even now.
18) At an age when the Indians are on the brink of forgetting the language altogether, Uttarkhand has named it as its official language.
Kudos to you, Uttarkhand!
19) You would be delighted to know that the people of Mattur village in Karnataka still now speaks in Sanskrit.
20) Sanskrit is the scholarly language of not one but three major religions of the world: Hinduism, Jainism (along with Prakrit) and Buddhism (along with Pali).
Long live Sanskrit!