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Our Mother Tongue: 108 Facts about Sanskrit
6 minutes | Nov 22, 2020
Fact 4 – Sanskrit of the Vedas (Vedic Sanskrit) is not very different from Classical Sanskrit
It is important to note that the gap between Vedic and Classical Sanskrit is not as great as is made out by the Western authorities. The difference between Vedic Sanskrit and Classical Sanskrit is not as great as between Old English and Modern English. The key changes from Vedic to Classical are losses rather than additions - the loss of the pitch accent (this is a big loss, as the accent had very significant grammatical and semantic functions); the loss of the subjunctive mood (again a big loss; the kind of nuances of meaning that the subjunctive could express was lost); the loss of various kinds of infinitives and the loss of certain sounds. There are also some other small changes - the change in articulation of certain sounds; and some changes to declensional and conjugational endings and formations. And, of course, the language of Classical Sanskrit, as is known now, is completely bound within the confines of Pāṇini’s grammar. As in any language, many new words have crept between the old and the new language -mainly borrowings from languages of the people the speakers of Sanskrit came into contact with. And, there is a difference in the style of expression and rendering. The main features of Classical Sanskrit style are: the rigorous use of Sandhi (euphonic combination); the use of the past participle instead of the finite verb; use of the passive rather than active forms; frequent use of compounds and use of long, many-part compounds; the liberal use of absolute constructions (especially the locative absolute); use of indeclinable participles instead of subordinate clauses; absence of indirect construction (speech); not using the subjunctive mood; predominance of coordination and the use of periphrastic verbal forms. [We will see what each of these beasts mentioned are, later.] In Vedic Sanskrit there was more use of the middle voice, fuller use of the tenses, moods, infinitives, inflected participles and genuine prepositions.
4 minutes | Nov 10, 2020
Fact 3 – Sanskrit of the Vedas (Vedic Sanskrit) developed into Classical Sanskrit
The R̥g Veda represents the oldest stage of the language, and the Yajur and the Atharva Vedas represent the next. You can see the language changing a bit as you go from the R̥g Veda through the Brāhmaṇas, the Āraṇyakas and the Upaniṣads. [The Brāhmaṇas and the Āraṇyakas are a collection of speculations about the meanings of the various parts of the Vedas, and the Upaniṣads are texts that contain the beginnings of the vast philosophical systems of India.] The Vedic Sūtras, which are manuals for performance of the various rituals, ways of the right conduct of life, and mathematical treatises, represent the transition between Vedic Sanskrit and Classical Sanskrit, which is Sanskrit as is used now. Classical Sanskrit proper begins with the Code of Manu, and continues with the epics, the law books, the Purāṇas, and then the other great works of literature (poetry, drama etc.), and many technical works.
8 minutes | Nov 1, 2020
Fact 38 – Yāska was the greatest etymologist of our Mother Tongue
This episode discusses the contributions of Yāska, the greatest etymologist of the ancient world. The Nirukta of Yāska is a treatise on etymology and semantics, explaining how words in the Vedas got their meanings. There were many etymologists before him and Yāska built his theories over the vast amount of work that existed before him. Gārgya was one such ancient etymologist Yāska quotes but disagrees with. Yāska claims to be a successor of Śākaṭāyana, an early etymologist, who also he quotes. In comparison, the earliest western etymologist was Plato, and Yāska predates Plato by many centuries. The basic premise of Yāska’s study was that all words in a language can be reduced to a set of basic elements called roots. No word in a language is underivable from some root or other. He enunciated three general principles for deriving words from roots. Tags: 108 facts, about Sanskrit, anaptyxis, assimilation, Durga, etymology, Greatness of Sanskrit, haplology, History, History of Sanskrit, Indo-European, metathesis, Mother Tongue, Nirukta, our mother tongue, Revival of Sanskrit, Sanskrit, Sanskrit Language, Sanskrit Literature, syncope, Upcoming book, Vedas, Vedic Sanskrit, Yāska
10 minutes | Oct 23, 2020
Fact 26 – There is an amazing amount of literature in Sanskrit
This episode looks at introducing the great amount of literature that was available in Sanskrit. Sanskrit has a tradition of being the vehicle for reporting on a great many areas of research and literature. Some of the outputs of these researches and literature are: the Vedas, the Brāhmaṇas, the Āraṇyakas, the Upaniṣads, epics like the Rāmāyaṇa and the Mahābhārata, Purāṇas like the Bhāgavata, the Viṣṇu Purāṇa and many others, Buddhist writings and literature, literary outputs like poetry, drama and prose writings, works on medicine, eroticism, aesthetics, logic, astronomy and astrology, tantra rituals, music, sculpture, painting, philosophy, theology, devotion, dictionaries, thesauruses, etymology, mathematics, architecture, law and many other areas. The Vedas and other religious texts are chanted regularly in many Indian households even now. Enjoy. Visit my websites oursanskrit.com for Sanskrit lessons and other interesting inputs and my author website paramukurumathur.com for details of my books Tags: 108 facts, about Sanskrit, Greatness of Sanskrit, History, History of Sanskrit, Indo-European, Mother Tongue, our mother tongue, Revival of Sanskrit, Sanskrit Language, Sanskrit Literature, Upcoming book, Vedas, Vedic Sanskrit
8 minutes | Oct 5, 2020
Fact 2 – It is possible that the people of the Indus Valley civilization spoke Sanskrit
This episode explores the possibility that the people of the Indus Saraswathi (Indus Valley) civilization spoke a variety of Sanskrit. It talks of a continuity of Sanskrit tradition from 6000 years ago to now. It uses Michel Danino's speculations, internal evidence of the Vedas, archeological evidence and the evidence of the Sutras to do this. Enjoy. Visit my websites oursanskrit.com for Sanskrit lessons and other interesting inputs and my author website paramukurumathur.com for details of my books Tags Indus-Saraswati civilization, Indus Valley civilization, Aryan invasion, migration, dravidian, brahui, indus valley script, Bogazkoy, vedas, Danino, Sutra, Parpola, Ostler
12 minutes | Aug 17, 2020
Sanskrit Fact 1 - Sanskrit is 6000 years old or older
This episode establishes the fact that the Rig Veda and parts of the Yajur Veda were composed over 6000 years ago. The arguments presented to for this include: Bal Gangadhar Tilak's findings That the Vedas were composed before writing was invented The episode also argues that the findings of western Sanskritists that the Vedas were composed around 3500 years ago are wrong. Enjoy. Enjoy. Visit my websites oursanskrit.com for Sanskrit lessons and other interesting inputs and my author website paramukurumathur.com for details of my books Tags: 108 facts, about Sanskrit, Greatness of Sanskrit, History, History of Sanskrit, Indo-European, Mother Tongue, our mother tongue, Revival of Sanskrit, Sanskrit Language, Upcoming book, Vedas, Vedic Sanskrit
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