The Importance of Sanskrit Language in the Modern World
While the world looks to India and ancient Indian texts for the advancement of the existing scientific knowledge, we are busy aping the west only to find that their scientific investigations lead back to our own ancient repositories of knowledge. Sanskrit studies are becoming increasingly popular in the west while India is lagging far behind in the race and losing out on its wealth.
The country has suffered a long ordeal of linguistic oppression and a resultant inferiority complex. English has pervaded our education and administration and has acted as a instrument to subjugate the masses and enslave the educated elite. With each passing decade, the number of foreign language learners increases manifold with India’s obsession with everything European. Learning one’s own mother tongue seems to be a matter of distaste and disdain – while learning English and European languages is a matter of pride and prestige for many.
As we approach the change of times and as Indians rediscover their roots in their collective consciousness, we begin to reflect why and how the Europe-centric mindset has pervaded and distanced us from our own languages, culture, traditions and knowledge.
More and more countries are popularising the study of Sanskrit, not just for the spiritual, cultural and literary interest in the language, but also for the wealth of scientific knowledge available in Sanskrit texts and which were hitherto written off as rudimentary by ‘modern’ scientists and intellectuals who were unable to grasp the depths of the knowledge contained in them. Perhaps the knowledge was way ahead of their times and it is only now that modern science has reached a level of understanding and ability to align its scope.
NASA is researching the Vimana Shastras (the scriptures of aviation science) with astonishing breakthroughs in design and functionality. Research in mathematics and astrophysics is looking to Sanskrit texts for deeper understanding. Alchemy, medicine (Ayurveda) and Yoga are being researched at higher depths today. Consciousness studies are a pertinent science in the modern world, and Vedanta is becoming more and more apt in today’s world – as much as it was in ancient times. Linguistics, psychology, poetry, political science and diplomacy are being resurrected from the confines of the past and revived with great rewards. Even information technology finds Sanskrit amenable to natural language processing and see it as a potential for future interactions with machines.
The one country that still regards Sanskrit as a classical language containing merely religious literature is India. We have not yet woken up to the idea that Sanskrit is a treasure and very relevant in the modern knowledge-society and is perhaps the future for science and technology. Many universities in Europe and America are raising the level of Sanskrit proficiency in their departments, while India is still treating it as a third language meant to enhance scores in school transcripts, without real application.
If there is one language that can be called the language of the future, it is undoubtedly Sanskrit. People are not yet aware of its potential and the research that is currently going on with the sciences, which unfortunately, remain encrypted for want of Sanskrit scholars who can approach the texts in a secular and empirical manner. The potential is vast, and it is only a matter of a decade or two before this becomes an established and widely accepted fact. Parents and educators should make themselves aware of the potential that Sanskrit studies offer to their children and MUST suggest it in addition to a foreign or regional language or two in their curriculum.