Learn Sanskrit in London

London School Makes Sanskrit Compulsory

In the heart of London, a British school has made Sanskrit compulsory subject for its junior division because it helps students grasp math, science and other languages better.

“This is the most perfect and logical language in the world, the only one that is not named after the people who speak it.  Indeed the word itself means ‘perfected language.” –Warwick Jessup, Head, Head, Sanskrit department

“The Devnagri script and spoken Sanskrit are two of the best ways for a child to overcome stiffness of fingers and the tongue,” says Moss.  “Today’s European languages do not use many parts of the tongue and mouth while speaking or many finger movements while writing, whereas Sanskrit helps immensely to develop cerebral dexterity through its phonetics.”

Hat Tip: Charity Focus

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5 responses to “Learn Sanskrit in London

  1. gajanan

    BR Ambedkar a visionary for Sanskrit.
    http://tilak.sulekha.com/blog/post/2007/08/bheemayanam-a-biography-of-dr-ambedkar-in-sanskrit.htm

    A dispatch of the Press Trust of India (PTI) dated September 10, 1949 states that Ambedkar was among those who sponsored an amendment making Sanskrit as the official language of the Indian Union in place of Hindi. Most newspapers carried the news the next day, i.e., on September 11, 1949 (see the issue of Sambhashan Sandeshah, a Sanskrit monthly published from Delhi , June 2003: 4-6).

    Other dignitaries who supported Dr Ambedkar’s initiative included Dr B.V. Keskar, then the Deputy Minister for External Affairs and Professor Naziruddin Ahmed. The amendment dealt with Article 310 and read: 1.The official language of the Union shall be Sanskrit. 2. Notwithstanding anything contained in Clause 1 of this article, for a period of fifteen years from the commencement of this constitution, the English language shall continue to be used for the official purposes of the union for which it was being used at such commencement: provided that the President may, during the said period, by order authorise for any of the official purposes of the union the use of Sanskrit in addition to the English language . But the amendment was defeated in the Constituent Assembly due to the opposition of the ruling Congress Party and other lobbyists.

    If Ambedkar had succeeded, the renewed interaction between Sanskrit as the national language and speakers of other languages would have initiated a sociological process of upward and downward mobility. While rulers, pilgrim centres, and temple complexes used to be the traditional agents of such interaction, the state operated broadcasting agencies, school textbooks, and the film and music industry would have emerged as new agents facilitating that interaction.

    Here is another reference from AN Haksar in his review of ” The Modernity of Sanskrit ” by Simone Sawhney ( who is an acdemic in USA and has written that Sanskirt has been hijacked by Hindu Nationalists) . She misses the point that Dr BR Ambedkar wanted Sanskrit as a national language. Mr AN Haksar has rightly pointed this out. Here is the reference.
    http://venetiaansell.wordpress.com/category/books/page/2/
    Extracts below in ” For example….. India’s modernity ” from the review of AN Haksar of the book Modernity of Sanskrit in the web site above.

    “For example, while the author dwells on the exchanges between Gandhi and Ambedkar on caste and reservation, she omits any notice of Ambedkar’s proposal in the Constituent Assembly to make Sanskrit the official language of the Indian Union. Nor does she note the rich tribute to Sanskrit paid by Nehru, the acclaimed symbol of India’s modernity”

    The author here is Simone Sawhney and the reviewer AN Haksar.

    Now you see the reply of Prof Romilla Thapar to Dr Yvette Rosser when she queried about Sanskrit. Here is the reference , See page 2 & 3 in the following pdf file.

    http://www.infinityfoundation.com/indic_colloq/papers/paper_rosser.pdf

    From the above web site
    Page 2 , scroll and look down in the page and read.

    “However, it is ironic to note, that though JNU offers advanced degrees in Indian history it does not offer classes in Sanskrit, even though there have all along been degrees available in both classical and modern Arabic and classical and modern Persian at JNU. It has been proposed
    several times in the past, certainly prior to the BJP’s ascent to power, that Sanskrit be added to the available classical languages students can take at JNU, thereby facilitating the analysis of ancient texts in the study of Indian history”

    Then in the same web site.
    Page 3 , right at the start.
    “When I questioned Romila Thapar5, a well know historian from JNU, about this issue during July 2000, she explained that if students want to learn Sanskrit, “there are so many Maths and Piths around where they can go”.6 She added that most of the regional colleges have some kind of Sanskrit program. However, the fact remains that the primary tool to study ancient India, namely the
    Sanskrit language, has not, in all these years, been available to students attending JNU. At India’s premier academic institution–famous for its cutting edge Social Science excellence– students are not offered courses in Sanskrit, the root language of Indian culture. And significantly, implementing the study of this quintessential part of Hindu tradition was time and again vehemently opposed by the faculty”.

    BR Ambedkar , who rose like a phoenix from the ashes, did have a genuine greivance against the upper caste for treating his communiity badly and denying them a lot of good things. But one must at the same time appreciate BRA’s great gesture in 1949 to make Sanskrit a national language. The reply of Prof Romila Thapar to Yvette Rosser that Sanskrit is available in Mutts and Piths and they can go there. She then says that regional colleges have some Sanskrit program. The reply looks that the study of Sanskrit should not come to the mainstream.

    Now BRA did not want Sankrit to remain in the realm of Mutts and Pitts. He wanted to bring Sanskrit into the realm intellectual and educational discourse and not just remain in religious discourse. This was a remarkable idea for man denied to learn Sanskrit when he was young.

    Readers should just compare the reply of Romila Thapar to Yvetter Rosser and BRA’s exemplary effort. In 1949, there were eminent personalities who could recite verses in Sanskrit. None of these personalities supported BRA in his effort. The Bill was never passed. 60 yrs have passed. If the bill had been passed , probably , there would have been great insights given to Sanskrit language in the portals of India’s leading universities.

    Now coming to another point. Prof Ed Bryant , Associate Prof of religion says in
    http://www.indiawest.com/readmore.aspx?id=953&Sid=8
    dwin Bryant, an associate professor of religion at Rutgers University and the author of two books on the Aryan invasion, went to the heart of either argument in his presentation of the “Intellectual History of the Debate.”

    The issue was one of the most hotly contested debates throughout the 1990s. “The debate has died down in Western academic circles somewhat recently, not because it has necessarily been resolved decisively in the minds of everyone, but in part because scholars became exhausted with the polemical and emotional tenor of the discussion and the missionary zeal which the opposing views were pursued,” he stated.

    To determine the origin and culture of the earliest inhabitants, the philological method was applied to Sanskrit text. “We must recall that the equation of language with race was rarely brought into question until relatively recently,” he pointed out.

    Most of the arguments raised by the detractors of the Indo-Aryan migration theory rely on archeological evidence “partly due to the fact that there has been so little opportunity available for the study of historical linguistics in India,” Bryant noted.

    In India, there are only three institutions devoted to the study of Indo-European linguistics, “and this whole issue is a linguistic issue, and it’s a shame (there are not more institutions), because Indians with their knowledge of Vedic have a head start in this whole field,” Bryant contended.

    “It would be nice if at least that point was somehow stressed in conferences such as this, that somehow encouragement be given to Indian academic institutions to establish departments of historical linguistics.”

    Now to start department historical linguistics as said ny Prof E Bryant, one must have Universities with Sanskrit depts, which is not there and he admits that Indians have head start in Vedas as everyone agrees that Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas. He also says that it is a shame that there are only three institutes devoted to study of Indo-European languages. Prof Ed Bryant is neutral when it comes to the AIT or OIT theory. His lament now , was the vision of Dr Ambedkar. So long, they give a communal color to the study of Sanskrit in India, it would be difficult to transfer the study of Sanskirt from relgious discourse to a rigorous intellectual tour de force.

    The bill of BRA should have been passed. By now , we would have many Indians in India counteracting to the barbs of dismal interpretations of Sanskrit both in India and the West.

  2. Surendramohan Mishra

    Samskrit(not sanskrit) is the greatest language the world has today : as a language in phonetic,syntactic and semantic ingenuity and the widest morphological verity she surpasses all.She justly represents the best that has happened to humanity in the millenia past,she clearly and unequivocally vouchsafes to humanity the most sought after ideas and idioms till eternity offering panacea to mostly self-created vexing problems of today,individual,national or international.She puts forth a just humanity and a just world order on the way to a golden mean between materiality and spirituality.

  3. Anurag Lamichhane

    Dear sir,,
    i am Anurag Lamichhane from nepal and i want to learn again sanskrit in uk so what i have to do to study Sanskrit ? .. i have passed in B.A (sastri) in varansi in india please tell me guru g…

  4. Viswam

    After reading these lines, it once again confirms my belief that Indians did not act in a way to project India’s greatness and retain the country’s nativity which is recognized and accepted by foreigners and we have done all that we can, to belittle ourselves and disgrace ourselves. we are still emotionally in slavery only to western culture.

  5. Nanu Asari

    5,000 goats sacrificed at temple fest
    TNN Apr 28, 2012, 03.35AM IST
    http://erode.tamil-nadu.news.in/news-20120428-7254-5000_goats_sacrificed_at_temple_fest_Times_of_India.html
    ERODE: At least 5,000 baby goats were slaughtered at a temple festival at Poosariyur near Anthiyur here on Friday and their blood was consumed by the priests and a number of devotees. Childless women too drink blood to invoke the blessings of the deity, regarded locally as the giver of fertility.
    The ritual was conducted to usher in prosperity to the local agrarian community. Friday was the 17th day of the Tamil calendar month of Chithirai and it was auspicious for Semmunisamy, presiding deity of the ancient temple. Devotees started gathering from the morning with baby goats and they were sacrificed at the temple altar. Priests drank the blood and handed over the rest to the devotees. The meat was distributed free of cost to all.

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