Making the Argument for Sanskrit

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at CHELLO.NO
Mon Jan 15 16:24:41 UTC 2007

I support George Hart's point of view here. The strongest argument for
Sanskrit is the fact that the language is fundamental to the understanding
of India's cultural and religious tradition, combined with the fact that
India is an emerging global power with a vast economic, military and
political potential. Understanding India is important, not simply for
intellectual and philosophical reasons, although they are important enough,
but because it is materially important for ourself. Trying to deal with
societies which we don't understand can easily set us on the road to
perdition, as we have seen clearly during the last few years.

Lars Martin Fosse


From: Lars Martin Fosse 
Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114, 
0674 Oslo - Norway 
Phone: +47 22 32 12 19 Fax:  +47 850 21 250 
Mobile phone: +47 90 91 91 45 
E-mail: lmfosse at


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Indology [mailto:INDOLOGY at] On Behalf Of 
> George Hart
> Sent: Monday, January 15, 2007 4:42 PM
> Subject: Re: Making the Argument for Sanskrit
> I find myself perplexed, to say the least, that apparently 
> the most potent argument for Sanskrit is that it has 
> influenced a few (dead) white men.  Surely Kalidasa and 
> Ilango did not care in the slightest what white people would 
> think of their work.  And certainly any dean approached about 
> the importance of Sanskrit would be puzzled at these 
> arguments.  South Asia contains about 1.5 billion people. 
> Their cultures and ways of thought have been deeply 
> influenced by the classical tradition contained in Sanskrit 
> (and Tamil).  Are we then to argue that the importance of 
> Sanskrit is that it influenced Oppenheimer or Eliot in some 
> minor way?  Is this not slightly narcissistic?  George Hart

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