The language of Sanskrit is of a wonderful structure, more perfect than Greek, more copious than Latin and more exquisitely refined than either.
- Sir William Jones
Sanskrit can be termed as language of scriptures and religious texts.It prevailed as back as beginning years of civilized Indian society. Since, its common use and appearance in abundance can easily be find out in Hindu scriptures, some one has rightly described it as “language of mantra – words of power that are subtly attuned to the unseen harmonies of the matrix of creation, the world as yet unformed.”
It was quite successful in attaining strength during the rule of Hindu kings. The Age of Guptas is often known as Age of Sanskrit. Kalidasa, the tallest literary figure in Sanskrit and author of plays like Meghaduta, Abhijnana-Sakunthalam, Kumara Sambava, and Raghuvamsa existed during the Golden Age of the Guptas. The advent of Muslims and reign for quite a long time even did not affected importance of Sanskrit for the society. After attaining independence, it was declared as one of the official languages of the country. Situations have become tough for it to maintain its earlier status in times when Hindi as a national language is engaged in the same fight.
B Mahadevan, Professor at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore in Relevance of Sanskrit in Contemporary Society has observed that our entire tradition is in Sanskrit only – whether you like it or not, that is a fact. We will get a lot of useful material from the literature, if only we look at it seriously. Prof M A Lakshmi Thathachar at the Academy of Sanskrit Research, Melkote, Karnataka is working with greater commitment, catholicity and religious neutrality for promoting life left in Sanskrit. Apart from place enjoyed in Hinduism, it is also used in the liturgical texts of Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism.
Various measures have been taken to uplift the position of Sanskrit by Government as well as private bodies. The national Anthem of India, Jana Gala Mana, composed by Rabindranath Tagore, is 90% Sanskrit and hence is understood all over India. The’ Government of India have officially adopted Sri and Samriti as official forms of address. The motto of the Lok Sabha is Dharma chakra pravartanaya (“For the promulgation of the Wheel of Law”). The All India Radio has adopted as its guiding principle and motto the Sanskrit expression Bahujana-hitaya bahujana-sukhaya (“For the good of the many and for the happiness of the many”). The Life Insurance Corporation’s motto is Yogaksemam vahamy aham, which is a quotation from the Bhagavad Gita, meaning “I take responsibility for access and security”. The Indian Navy has accepted as its motto the Vedic prayer: sam no Varunah. The great principle of India’s foreign policy is expressed by the Sanskrit term Panca Sila. In several other departments of public life-as for instance on formal occasions like the laying of a foundation stone or the holding of a University Convocation-Sanskrit is slowly coming up, as a fitting expression of our national aspirations. In order to maintain our position in the comity of nations, the use of Sanskrit is supported as being conducive to the restoration of our sense of self-respect.
Since Sanskrit is a repository of unlimited invaluable knowledge of ancient Indian heritage, it must get due respect and regard from all of us. The mindset among a majority that Sanskrit is dead has to be changed by the view that “Sanskrit was part of our lives centuries back and even today in some or the other way , it is connected to us.”