Toddler learns 4,000 verses of ancient language by heart

Andrew Glass asg at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Thu Feb 6 18:57:30 UTC 2003

A three-year old girl in India has become famous for her ability to recite thousands of verses in a dead language.
Shraddha Vajapeyee can recite up to 4,000 verses called sutras from the Ashta adhyayi even though she cannot read the ancient language Sanskrit.

The text is a monumental Sanskrit treatise on grammar and linguistics, authored by Acharya Panini, a scholar who lived in the sixth century BC.

Her father, Ravi Shankar, an insurance agent at Janakipur near Lucknow, says his daughter learnt the entire tome by heart when she was two-and-a-half years old.

Since then she has been displaying her talent in various public functions across the country.

At a recent conference on the ancient text the child surprised Sanskrit scholars with a "flawless" rendering of the text.

Professor Ramakrishnacharya of the Sanskrit University in Tirupati told the Newindpress website: "It is a great thing to happen. I have never seen such an exhibition of talent.''

Her mother Aparna said: ''I would like to see my daughter as a Sanskrit pundit.''

Story filed: 17:03 Wednesday 5th February 2003


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