Re, visit

schopra at schopra at
Tue Jul 16 09:21:44 UTC 1996

Dear Avinash,
I have just joined your discussion group and as such missed the previous
discussion.  Please forgive me if I am repeating things which have already
been discussed ... I believe that Sanskrit is a language that grew to its
glory in India. There seems to be no trace of any accomplishments in this
language outside India, no known literature.  What I understand from my
memory of early history of India is that the Aryans who migrated to India
were nomads.  Now nomads, due to their unsettled way of life, here one day
and there the next ... there is no time to create, store, warehouse ideas or
material things.  They could not have I believe have much with them when
they came to India.  It is in India where they settled down.  And had
intercourse with a great civilization that was flourishing in India ..
Harappa and Mohenjo Daro may be windows on that civilization ... the
language of this  civilization which existed in India was probably Tamil or
its parent ... It is the interaction between this highly developed
civilization and the Aryan nomads that created this major creative period of
Man .. I think Sanskrit - Aryan link is a myth. All the great literature in
Sanskrit was created in India.  And that is when Sanskrit grew.  I think it
never was a lingua franca, it was a language of learning, a lanugage of
thinking,  a language of the scientists we call rishis, the "Seers".  I do
not think that we should give too much weight to the theory that Sanskrit as
we know it was brought to India by somebody from outside. It is conceivable
a "primitive language" did in all likelihood come with the nomads from
central asia.  

I believe the creation of Panini vyakaran is one of the greatest scientific
achievements of the human mind.  The begining of the scientific logic,
analysis and development of one of the first sciences ... the science of
language.  I believe the conception and the development of a Grammar was a
major breakthrough of Man.    Panini is a giant of a genius ... and then
there are hundreds of others who in their humility did not leave their name
on their creations ... because these creations were their offerrings in
their Brahmayoga.  I believe the creativity of the human mind unleashed in
India during the time  that Sanskrit classics were created  was of the
highest order ... and I also believe this creativity is a function of the
language, Sanskrit.  

I would very much like to know of Madhav's book, its title, and where I can
get hold of a copy.  I am interested in the discussion on the exceptions
mentioned in Ashtadhyayi, I would love to read about them in case someone
has got them.   Thanking you in advance, regards.  

>Dear Madhav,
>I got all the instructions. We will show up as early as possible
>(without getting a speeding ticket!)
>I just finished your book. It has a far greater reach than what the
>title suggests. If I would have realized this - or if Shashi would
>have reported more extensively, I would have read it much sooner!
>Some curious thoughts/comments:
>1.	I see the discussions only after some viyaakaraNa(this does
>sound better!) discussion or some light topics. Does it mean there was
>not much discussion after other topics - or was it too difficult to
>condense? I am particular thinking about the relation with the Vedas
>and the linguistic reports.
>2.	I did not understand Bhagvat guruji's question or your answer
>about agnim.h iiLe etc. I better ask this in person.
>3.	I was certainly not aware of the many extremely detailed
>exceptions mentioned by Panini. "naadinyaakroshe .." etc. One question
>came to me rather strongly, if these were intended as the ONLY known
>exceptions, then the language seems extremely precise and not much
>like a living language. If these were intended as samples, then I
>would have an opposite view. What is closer to the truth? Many of the
>examples sound rather odd, in the sense, they don't sound like
>commonplace examples of speech! I read that there are possibly about
>300+ such suutraaNi, surely someone has listed and analyzed them all!
>I would like to see the details.
>	Perhaps, the grammar was only of a written language (at least
>a language of the books) and the regional references may mostly refer
>to regional literature - rather than speech! Just a thought! If true,
>this may explain many of the questions as well as Patanjali's strong
>position about shishhTa!
>4.	I am extremely curious about the variations of the Vedic
>pronunciations/texts. I hope you have (or can give me access to) some
>of the references. One question that did not get answered is the
>following: If, as proposed, the Sanskrit was not really the
>bazaar-language, so to speak and if the praakR^ita was probably the
>common language for most people, then how did it evolve. The Jain's
>claim that it was the original (and self transforming) is rather
>magical, but what is the intended explanation? After all, if the
>Aryan's brought the major language with them, how did the locals
>(presumably Dravids) dropped all their Dravid roots, but did not quite
>pick up the full sanskrit? In other words, was Sanskrit always the language
>of the high priests and some version of praakR^ita always for the
>	Also, why would they call it "ardha"magadhi, when they meant to
>glorify it so much, or did the jains have other names for the
>4a.	I have a different idea about why people were trying to give
>strange etymologies for the vedas. This may have little to do with
>their understanding of the meaning, perhaps they were playing the
>hardaaasi/puraaNika game of using a word or a R^ichaa  to give a
>speech - pravachana! Many upanishhadas certainly have this character.
>Whether the meaning was actually packed in the original or not is
>irrelevant, these were just thoughts inspired while reading the
>R^ichaa. I see this all the time. The so-called vedic gaNita is a
>prime example. I even heard Tai do this in a talk the other day. She
>said she reads some thing from GYaaneshvarii and sits and ponders and
>whatever comes to her is - in her view - part of the meaning! If she
>does it again another day and gets a different meaning/thought, that
>is good too! The people claim to get insight by yoga in a similar
>fashion.  Perhaps kautsa knew the full truth, except he said it
>slightly differently. It is not that the vedas are meaningless, it is
>that their natural/true meaning has no bearing on its use, so why
>bother? Save it for some MaxMuller or Whitney etc. (:-)!
>5.	Your comments about the "engineer" bhaTajii can be applied to
>any bhaTajii around, except for a few specially imported ones. As you
>pointed out, most people don't care, and don't even want it repaired.
>Devotion is a wonderful tranquilizer!
>6.	One peculiarity of the Marathi language is the use of the
>plural - the aadaraarthii bahuvachana! All the modern scholars earned
>it - or even nonscholars for that matter, but the great sages don't!
>I started thinking that perhaps the aadara is really
>Anyway, it is clear that your book deserves the prize and more! many
>parts even deserve expansion/translation - or perhaps they are already
>published by you. (I am thinking about the ones which are not special
>to Marathi.)
>P.S.  I saw your remark on the net about the books for Marathi. I
>recently came across the book by Nemade and kind of liked it. What do
>you think of that one?
>More later.
>|Avinash Sathaye Phone:(606)277-0130(Home), (606)257-8832(Office) |
>And now, the next thought is from our CPU ...
>Oregano, n.:
>	The ancient Italian art of pizza folding.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list