History of Sanskrit
Where did Sanskrit come from?
Sanskrit is an Indo-Aryan language and also the primary religious language used in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.
8 Amazing Facts About Sanskrit
- Sanskrit is included in the 22 scheduled languages of India and is also the official language of Uttarkhand.
- Sanskrit as a language holds an important place alongside other founding languages such as Greek and Latin.
- It holds an important place in India, similar to that of Latin and Greek in Europe.
- Sanskrit has had a significant influence on most modern languages of the Indian subcontinent, primarily in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
- The pre-Classical form of Sanskrit is known as Vedic Sanskrit, with the language of the Rigveda being the oldest and most archaic dating back to as early as 1500 BCE. Rigvedic Sanskrit is therefore documented as one of the oldest Indo-Iranian languages, and also one of the earliest members of the Indo-European language family, the family which includes English and most European languages.
- Sanskrit even today is widely used during Hindu ceremonial rituals and Buddhist practices in the form of hymns and mantras. Spoken Sanskrit is still used in a few traditional institutions in India and several attempts are being made for its revival.
- The oldest surviving Sanskrit grammar is in Panini’s “Eight-Chapter Grammar” which is essentially an authority defining correct Sanskrit.
- Knowledge of Sanskrit marked the fact that a person belonged to a certain social class. Sanskrit then, was mainly taught to members of higher castes, through close analysis of the works of Sanskrit grammarians such as Panini.
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