[INDOLOGY] sanskrit and computers?

Robert Zydenbos zydenbos at uni-muenchen.de
Mon Apr 13 16:52:37 UTC 2020

On 2020-04-13 22:25, Antonia Ruppel wrote:

> […]
> Mostly what *I* find sad is that there are so many unquestionably 
> wonderful things about knowledge of Sanskrit that go happily ignored by 
> a public apparently interested in Sanskrit - and instead, it's this 
> misinformation that takes root. I'm always happy when I hear about 
> initiatives such as Patrick's that try and do something against this - 
> it would be such a shame to just cede the field to those with 
> political/nationalist agendas.

That indeed is included in my remark "[n]othing really good comes from 
such publications". That article reminds me of a paṇḍita (no, I will not 
say who) who told me that he wanted to use the computers in his 
institution to show that Viśiṣṭādvaita is the one true, correct style of 
Vedānta philosophy. This sort of talk turns away people who would like 
to be seriously interested in Indian philosophy.

Meanwhile the modern myth of 'Sanskrit as the ideal computer language' 
(instead of the usefulness of ancient Indian theories of language, as 
Briggs wrote -- quoted in the article, and then… how shall we call it: 
'creatively re-interpreted'?) seems to be so firmly entrenched in 
certain circles that it is beyond criticism. Criticizing it is like 
criticizing Donald Trump: the believers will vilify the critic, the 
popularity of the myth will be strengthened, and the crazy caravan moves 

> All the very best,


Prof. Dr. Robert J. Zydenbos
Institute of Indology and Tibetology
Department of Asian Studies
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (University of Munich – LMU)

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