16 February 2015


I promised myself that I will not enter this debate again. My experience has been that the debate on 'Sanskrit' is hard to win because the other party never responds to your evidence. When you tell them that learning Sanskrit has X benefits, they think your claims are ill founded and are coming from a sense of patriotism and not from a sense of pragmatism. They don't doubt scientific inquiry as a process, they doubt the end results of your scientific inquiry.

Today, I came across an interesting piece on the 'Relevance of Sanskrit in Contemporary Society' by B. Mahadevan. Mahadevan is a professor at the IIM-B. The write up is the most honest piece I have ever read on the subject. I just had to share it. Take out sometime and read it :


Here are some excerpts :

- So what I am trying to say is that this business of saying, ‘you can translate what ever is in Sanskrit into some other language and solve the problem’, will not solve the problem. It can actually create a whole set of problems which we may have to solve.

- A bee makes a lot of noise as long as it sits on the flower and begins to suck the honey. Once it starts eating honey; there is no noise. The same way, without tasting this nectar of Sanskrit in its entirety, we are making a lot of noise. It is only required that we spend our time drawing from this great source, which we have never attempted.

- So what is dead? Our entire sanskriti is in Sanskrit only. Our entire tradition is in Sanskrit only – whether you like it or not, that is a fact.

-There is a German firm, which has patented the Gayathri Mantra – what it means is that everyday when I do the Sandhya Vandanam, I should pay them – fortunately I think India is excluded from that. Just as Gayathri Mantra the term ‘Veda’ has also been patented.

I would appreciate that you don't ad-hominem the professor by tracing his political connections or schooling or other ideological leanings. If you have a problem with the arguments, respond to those. There is no need to get personal.

Hope you like it.

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