[INDOLOGY] The study of Sanskrit as the epitome of uselessness

Will Sweetman will.sweetman at gmail.com
Wed Mar 25 15:32:20 EDT 2020


While I'm loving these examples of the uselessness of Sanskrit (and see the
first chapter of Fred Hardy's The Religious Culture of India: Love, Power
and Wisdom for another example from Canetti's Die Blendung), I'd also like
to note something Mark Allon told me some years ago, when we introduced
Sanskrit at Otago. Apparently in one or other of the various international
university rankings, teaching Sanskrit was one of the things which elevated
a university's rank. Perhaps it was a sign the university was wealthy
enough to expend resources on something useless? A sort of costly
signalling. The peacock's tail of academia, as it were.

Best wishes to all

Will

On Thu, 26 Mar 2020 at 06:51, James Hartzell via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> As Sanskrit students at Harvard back when Ingalls was chair, the word
> around campus was that the Harvard Business School used Sanskrit as the
> example of the completely useless subject
>
> > On 25 Mar 2020, at 18:39, Jayandra Soni via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
> >
> > When in the 1980s I bought, second hand, Lanman's A Sanskrit Reader,
> the previous owner wrote this in clear writing on p. xv below Lanman's
> Introductory Suggestions:
> > Quit now before it's too late!
> >
> > Scanned and attached the first paragraph.
> > I didn't follow the advice to quit.
> > Jay Soni
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > <Written below Lanman's Introductory Suggestions.pdf>
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