The Ancient Language of India

About Sanskrit

Sanskrit is an ancient Indo-Aryan language. It is written with different alphabets based on region. Some of the regional alphabets include Sarada from northern India, Bangla from eastern India, Gujarati in the west, and Grantha in the south. The southern Grantha alphabet was made specifically for the purpose of writing Sanskrit. Devanagari, however, is the most commonly used alphabet to write Sanskrit. The grammatical structure of Sanskrit is similar to other ancient languages such as Greek or Latin. It has masculine and feminine forms, as well as neuter. Although Sanskrit is an ancient language, it is still used for scholarly and literary purposes, as well as in television, radio, and movies.
The Devanagari alphabet is commonly used to write Sanskrit texts.

Sanskrit in Literature

Sanskrit has been used to write literary pieces as old as the sacred Vedas. Rigveda, the oldest of the Vedas, was written in Sanskrit around 1500 B.C. The Vedas were written in a form of Sanskrit called Vedic Sanskrit. Vedic Sanskrit was used between about 1500-200 B.C. Two other important literary pieces written in Sanskrit are the epic poems Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The first version of the Mahabharata was written around 400 B.C. and the Ramayana around 300 B.C.
An excerpt from the Rig Veda

Sanskrit in Religion

Sanskrit is used to write texts for more than one religion. Hindus are the primary users of Sanskrit texts, and many Hindu hymns and myths have been written in Sanskrit. In one myth it is said that Brahma introduced Sanskrit to sages. For Hindus, Sanskrit can be considered a sacred language. The Buddhist and Jaina religions also use Sanskrit in their sacred texts. Mahayana Buddhists use Sanskrit and other Indian languages to write their texts.

Did You Know?

The name 'Sanskrit' come from the Sanskrit word samskrta, which means "adorned, cultivated, purified."

Sanskrit is also called Dev Vani, which translates to "language of the gods."


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