Importance of Sanskrit - importance of sanskrit

Importance of sanskrit

Importance of Sanskrit


Importance of Sanskrit is universally acknowledged; cultural heritage of India is rooted in Sanskrit, and development of Indian genius owes overwhelmingly to Sanskrit, not only in the fields of spirituality and philosophy but also in the fields of art, poetry, and literature as also of science, ethics, and systems of pure and practical knowledge. Indian temperament has been formed by Sanskrit and even the modern languages of India bear in them the impact of the magnificence and richness of Sanskrit. Today when the Indian spirit has re-emerged and begun to express a new life and a new creation, the need is felt to draw fresh energy from the language and to enhance the ability of the people of India through the aid of that language.

Sanskrit is an incomparable language remarkably perfected, cultivated and refined. In the words of Sri Aurobindo: “It is perhaps the most remarkably finished and capable instrument of thought yet fashioned…lucid with the utmost possible clarity,

Importance of sanskrit

importance of sanskrit

precise to the farthest limit of precision, always compact and at its best sparing in its formation of phrase, but yet with all this never poor or bare… a capacity of high richness and beauty, a natural grandeur of sound and diction inherited from the ancient days.” William Jones found Sanskrit to be “more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either.” As the East and the West are drawing together, and as the message of India has begun to bring to the world the quiet content of her unacquisitive soul, and pacifying love for all living things, the excellence of Sanskrit as a language and its inexhaustible inspiration is bound to become a living vehicle of the world-spirit.

The knowledge contained in the Sanskritic and allied works is manifold and covers practically every field; it is also on a large scale, and it manifests much attention to completeness of detail. In the spiritual and philosophical domains, the knowledge measures the finite and casts its plummets far into the infinite; it covers the upper, middle and lower seas of the superconscient, the subliminal and the inconscient.

The great mass of Sanskrit literature is a literature of art and science of human life. If the

importance of sanskrit

importance of sanskrit

theme of spiritual release was dominant, it also looked deeply at ethics, law, politics, society, arts and crafts, even science and art of love. Even the themes such as those of breeding horses and elephants were dealt with in detail and with scientific rigour.

In the scientific field, this knowledge went farther than any country before the modern era. The medical knowledge and knowledge of surgery was well-equipped. Ayurveda survives to the present day and is recovering its vitality with great rapidity.

In mathematics, astronomy and chemistry, this knowledge anticipated some of the ideas and discoveries, which Europe first arrived at much later. That the earth is a moving body – chalā prithvi sthīra bhātī was declared by the Indian astronomer many centuries before Galileo. Sayana cites in his commentary on the Veda a formula well-known in his time concerning the speed of light, ─ which approximates what is acknowledged today by contemporary science. Much earlier, in the Rigveda we have a verse of Bharadwaja, which declares that all physical speeds are measurable by light.

The decimal notation in mathematics was a special contribution of ancient Indian mathematics.

importance of sanskrit

importance of sanskrit

The so-called Pythagorean Theorem is actually a more ancient theorem formulated in Sulva Sutra. Aryabhata, Brahmagupta and Bhaskara contributed a number of inventions and creations, such as the radical sign, several algebraic symbols, conception of a negative quantity, rules for finding permutations and combinations, and the square root of 2 in the eighth century, Indian mathematics solved indeterminate equations of the second degree that were unknown in Europe until the days of Euler a thousand years later. Madhava anticipated by three centuries Newton and Leibnitz in respect of Calculus.

Priority in the discovery of knowledge is a matter of glory in itself, but what is important is to delve into the methods of knowledge which enabled these Sanskritic scholars to make their pioneering discoveries and inventions. Investigations into these methods can profitably be recommended to the contemporary scholars, since it is bound to lead us on the path of acceleration of our pace of progress.

It must be remembered that the Sanskritic and allied texts have suffered colossal attacks and what remains today is only a fragment, and what is known of that fragment is merely a fraction, since a large number of manuscripts have not yet been studied

importance of sanskrit

importance of sanskrit

and scrutinized. In this context, an exciting programme of research needs to be chalked out at the national and international level. And this justifies insistence that the study and knowledge of Sanskrit should be spread all over the world.


The one theme that promises today to become the theme of momentous interdisciplinary research is that of Consciousness. Thanks to the great work of the Indian scientist, Jagdish Chandra Bose unity of life and mind and even of matter and life has been demonstrated to the scientific world. Modern theories of evolution beginning with Darwin and culminating with Teillard de Chardin and Sri Aurobindo have provided a sound basis to posit consciousness as the underlying driving force of evolution. The work of Heisenberg and Bell’s Theorem in Quantum Mechanics has reiterated the ancient Indian perception of the operations of consciousness even in sub-atomic matter. Researches in higher levels of the mind have led to the increasing acknowledgement of consciousness. And if there is one language where endless writings have continued to pour on the theme of consciousness, it is Sanskrit.

importance of sanskrit

importance of sanskrit

From the dateless antiquity when the Vedas were composed up to our own day, millions of varieties of experiences and realisations of various levels of consciousness have been inquired into and verifiable statements regarding them have been recorded which will need to be studied by all who belong to the frontier areas of research. Consequently, this will have multiplier effect on all interdisciplinary studies. Inescapably, Sanskrit will become a leading world-language.


It is clear that that the high tide towards Sanskrit is inevitable, and we need to chalk out a path and a programme so that the tasks we have to undertake are carried out systematically and as rapidly as possible.

It is a mistaken idea that Sanskrit is a dead language or only a classical language. For Sanskrit has continuously been developing. In spite of the heavy blows cast on it by misfortunes of various kinds, it connects our long past history with the present.

It is also necessary to mention that in the early part of the modern period, we had prolific authors

importance of sanskrit

importance of sanskrit

in Sanskrit like Apayya Dikshit, Nilakantha Dikshit, Bellukonda Ramarai, Radha Mandalam, Narayan Shastri, Mahamahopadhyaya Laksmisuri, Pandit Madhusudan Oza, and others who have written in Sanskrit, each between 60 and 140 volumes.

In the later of part of the modern period, the output was still considerable, as is evidenced by several histories of Sanskrit literature, such as those of Dr. Krishnamacharya, Dr. Shridhar Bhaskar Varnekar, and Dr. Hira Lal Shukla. The writings of Dr. Venkataram Raghavan as also the recent two volumes of Dr. Varnekar’s “Sanskrit Vangmaya Kosh” have sharpened our awareness of the living force of Sanskrit and continuity of the Sanskrit literature.

It may be noted that Sanskrit poets of our times have adopted contemporary themes for the Mahakavyas, and some of the Sanskrit dramas come nearer to the modern taste. It may also be mentioned that some genuine lyricists have produced remarkable lyrics. Appa Shastri’s Panjarabaddah Shukah has often been quoted as an example of the lyrics, which deal with the burning problems of the present. One may also refer to Dr. Varnekar’s Teertha Bharatham, Sri Rama Sangitika and Sri Krishna Sangitika and several others which continue the tradition of Jayadev’s Geet Govinda with

importance of sanskrit

importance of sanskrit

refreshing beauty. Novels such as Shivaraj Vijaya of Pandit Ambika Dutta Vyas and Anandavardhana’s Kusumalakshmi reflect refreshing advance in the needed new directions.

It is also acknowledged that there is a good crop of short stories in recent times and some of them show admirably the technique and spirit of innovative modern short story.

It is also noted that the publication of journals in Sanskrit has been a remarkable phenomenon. Regular broadcasts and telecasts in Sanskrit on radio and television have provided rich material for enriching the language.


The Sanskrit Commission Report of 1957 has underlined the excellence of the Sanskrit language and its historical importance. That Report will be reviewed and recommendations that underline the importance of Sanskrit and promotion of Sanskrit will be reiterated and implemented.

In the 1968 Education Policy, it was stated:

“Considering the special importance of Sanskrit to the growth and development of Indian languages

importance of sanskrit

importance of sanskrit

and its unique contribution to the cultural unity of the country, facilities for its teaching at the school and university stages should be offered on more liberal basis. Development of new methods of teaching the language should be encouraged, and the possibility explored of including the study of Sanskrit in those courses (such as modern Indian Philosophy) at the first and second degree stages, where such knowledge is useful.”

The 1986 New Education Policy stated:

“Research in Indology, the humanities and social sciences will receive adequate support. To fulfil the need for the synthesis of knowledge, interdisciplinary research will be encouraged. Efforts will be made to delve into India’s ancient funds of knowledge and to relate it to contemporary realities. This effort will imply the development of the facilities for the intensive study of Sanskrit.”

The Indian Constitution lays down that the Union in fulfilling the duty of promoting the spread of Hindi; it would draw, whenever necessary or desirable, for its vocabulary, primarily on Sanskrit.

Encouragement to Sanskrit is also implied in the fact that it is one of the languages given in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.

importance of sanskrit

importance of sanskrit

The first Prime Minister of India, Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, had pointed out that the greatest treasure which India possesses and what is her finest heritage, is the Sanskrit language and literature, and all that it contains. He has stated: “This is the magnificent inheritance and so long as it endures and influences the life of our people, the basic genius of India will continue.”


The factors that underline the importance of Sanskrit and which inspire and strengthen the motivation to turn to Sanskrit and to encourage the study and spread of Sanskrit in the country will receive special emphasis, and these will include a national awakening to the following:

  • The earliest composition that is available in the world consists of Vedic Samhitas, the language of which is Sanskrit. In order to determine the nature of the thought and aspirations which are embedded in the Vedic texts, the knowledge of Sanskrit is indispensable. Again, considering that these thoughts and aspirations contain a system of knowledge connected with self-culture and self-perfection, and considering that that knowledge is directly relevant to the solution of some
importance of sanskrit

importance of sanskrit

of the deepest maladies of the contemporary humanity, the value of the Vedic knowledge and therefore of Sanskrit is greatly enhanced.

  • Vedas are being now acknowledged not only as a part of the ancient Indian literature but also as a part of the world literature. Hence, the time is ripening when people of the world will turn to Sanskrit with increasing interest.
  • As far as India is concerned, it has to be noted that Sanskrit has always been an all-India language and it has universal appeal all over the country; even in the early part of the modern period we have had profound authors in Sanskrit who wrote profusely. It is also to be noted that Sanskrit is the one speech which, in spite of the heavy blows cast on it by misfortunes of various kinds, and even after centuries of decline, connects our long period of past history with our present.
  • All that pre-eminently constitutes India as a nation has been expressed continuously through the Sanskrit language. Three greatest national poets, namely, Valmiki, Vyasa and Kalidasa have written only in Sanskrit, and it may be stated that without the knowledge of Sanskrit,
importance of sanskrit

importance of sanskrit

at least at the minimum level, one cannot easily enter into the spirit that is so vibrant in the writings of these three great poets.

  • At a time when it is increasingly recognised that India needs to recover a great store of knowledge that has been expressed through Sanskrit in course of the long period of its history, and when it is recognised further that that knowledge needs to be revived, reformulated, enriched and made to run on new lines by absorbing what is best and valuable in the modern currents of various disciplines of knowledge, we can hope to succeed in this task only through a widespread knowledge of Sanskrit among students, teachers, scholars and general public.
  • At a time when the importance of Sanskrit is gradually gaining ground, and when the greatest demand that is being made on the modern mind is that one should combine the sublimity and luminosity of the heritage of the Sanskrit literature with modernity, it is indispensable that the country reorients its system of education in such a manner that Sanskrit is learned not only at a minimum level but even at increasing higher levels.
importance of sanskrit

importance of sanskrit
  • It has also been realised that it is very difficult to master the Official Language of India, namely, Hindi, without adequate mastery over Sanskrit, and also that all the other national languages can be mastered only when one has adequate grounding in Sanskrit.
  • The idea that Sanskrit is to be retained as only a language for the scholar is erroneous, since large manifestations of Indian culture involving masses of common people, inevitably invoke expressions in Sanskrit. Even ceremonies of various kinds in which common people participate collectively and massively demand some knowledge of Sanskrit so as to make them truly intelligible and enjoyable.
  • It has also been noticed that in regard to the computer technology, which is fast becoming the universal instrument of transmission and communication, Sanskrit has been found to be an ideal language. With the development of this technology, the importance of Sanskrit will increase, and there is a great possibility that Sanskrit will become a modern living international language.

As noted above, Sanskrit was in the past a Pan-Indian

importance of sanskrit

importance of sanskrit

language, and even today there are people in all parts of India who know Sanskrit or have acquaintance with Sanskrit. This Pan-Indian character of Sanskrit needs to be studied and reiterated so as to provide unprecedented impetus to the cause of national unity and integrity.

importance of sanskrit

Back to Content