Sanskrit, is called the mother of all languages
truly does justice to the name. It is the primary sacred language used in Hindu scriptures. Its use is not limited to Hinduism alone; it also served as a philosophical language in Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. Sanskrit literature is even known to have found its way into poems, dramas, scientific, technical, philosophical, and religious texts. Although it is listed as one of the scheduled languages of India today, Sanskrit still holds a prominent position in Indo-European studies.
So, what does the Sanskrit vocabulary look like? Well, Sanskrit’s grammar has a number of very interesting components within its format. It has ten forms of verbs included in its grammar. These verbs can be divided into two major categories: thematic and athematic. A thematic verb is basically a verb with a central theme vowel between its stem and ending, which makes these verbs very regular. While athematic verbs lack a central theme word, which makes them a little irregular in their form. Verb conjunction is done with the help of prefixes, suffixes, infixes, and reduplication.
The grammar includes four tenses based on the difference in stem forms used in conjugation with the root word. The verb tenses seem to provide an inexact application of words, since more than one modification is expressed by a single word. Sanskrit has a highly developed system of differentiating words into three genders: masculine, feminine, and neutral; two numbers: singular and plural; and EIGHT nominative cases: accusative, nominative, vocative, locative, dative, instrumental, genitive, ablative, locative. Because of all this characteristics, this language has a very large vocabulary compared to the other languages.
The Sanskrit language has been the point of reference for many languages, both Indian and Western alike, thus the tag “mother of all languages” has been earned by it. For example, Hindi can be called a Sanskrit-translated version of the Khariboli dialect. All Indo-Aryan languages of the modern society, including Munda and Dravadian, have many words derived, either directly from Sanskrit language, or indirectly via Indo-Aryan languages. Among foreign languages, Sanskrit has influenced Tibetan languages via the translation of Buddhist texts. Some Sanskrit words have also found their way into the Chinese vocabulary, like the word 剎那 (chànà; that instant).
Other languages such as Thai, Lao, and Khamer also, have not remained unaffected by the rich heritage of the Sanskrit literature. Many Austronesian languages, like Javanese, have a large portion of its vocabulary derived from this language. Even English language, has some words of Sanskrit Origin. These evidences go a long way in helping us to comprehend how influential and vital this language has been throughout the course of our history.
Although today, Sanskrit is not used very often in day-to-day conversations, and has been limited in usefulness as only a ceremonial language used in hymns and mantras, the rich literal legacy of this language has still left a permanent mark in the minds of every Indian. The evidences of such remembrances can be drawn from the facts that our national anthem “Jana Gana Mana” is a basically a Sanskrit-version of Bengali. In addition, our national song, “Vande Mataram” is in Sanskrit, which symbolizes a tribute from us to the mother of all languages.
In today’s world, that is considered to be a “dead” language. But, the language still continues to persist in our society as a prominent part of our literary cultural heritage. Many new initiatives are also being taken to promote the language, and prevent any further decline in its prominence in the society. The Government of India enthusiastically promotes this historical language as a third language in the primary education system, and the scholars across the globe have now begun to study the language, and also encourage conversations in this language, among a seemingly fast growing student community. It seems most probable that Sanskrit will endure the current difficult phase and continue the literal legacy of our ancestors for centuries to come.
Image Source : ShiveshPratap