Skip to main content

History and Origin of Sanskrit Language

The Sanskrit language is truly a fountainhead if one surveys the three thousand years of its existence. The story of the origin of Sanskrit began right from the Vedic age, sailing through the post-Vedic years and centuries later till today. The Aryans collected the mass of hymns, rituals and poems about their gods in the four Vedas (10th century BC) which document the various dialects that they brought to India (but that wasn’t the Sanskrit we know of today). From the Punjab, where the Aryans settled first after they came from Central Asia, their speech spread along the east as far as present Bihar by about 600 BC. Obviously, this Vedic or Old Indo-Aryan language met with the language of the Dravidians (who were then not restricted to just the southern regions) and Austrics, and some give and take happened. The result was Prakrit or Middle Indo-Aryan dialect which soon engulfed the whole country in the north, east and centre. The Aryan invasion was moving towards completion.

Meanwhile, the ‘pure’ Aryans in Punjab were very unhappy about their sacred language getting ‘defiled’. So between 8th and 4th century BC, they came up with Classical Sanskrit, based on the old Vedic speech. But for all practical purposes, the origin of the language is taken to be the old Vedic Sanskrit.

But Prakrit dialects were already on their steady journey of spreading and mixing. Buddhists picked up one of these dialects around the 6th century BC and developed it into Pali. The process of simplification of the dialects continued throughout the Middle Indo-Aryan stage, culminating in the Apabhramsa stage in 600AD. Further modification of the regional Apabhramsas during 600-1000AD gave rise to the New Indo-Aryan languages of the present day.

But even while other languages were taking shape, Sanskrit continued to be the vehicle of creative and all other scholarly work. The sheer volume of work in Sanskrit is formidable. With the Vedas was laid the foundation stone of Vedic literature and all Sanskrit literature thereafter. From religion and philosophy to grammar, phonetics, etymology, lexicography, astronomy, astrology, sociology, sex, politics, arts and aesthetics, Sanskrit ruled.

Sanskrit is also the language of India’s two most talked about epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The Puranas are perhaps the most interesting collection of works in Sanskrit. The Puranas contain all the fodder for stories about the Hindu gods and goddesses.

Literary activities burst forth with the playwright Bharata’s (200BC) Natya Shastra, the Bible of dramatic criticism. The earliest plays were those of Bhasa but were soon overshadowed by Kalidasa’s Shakuntala, a model for ages. History tells us that Kalidasa was the greatest of fools in his early years. He is known to have hacked at the very branch he was sitting on! Anyway, Shakuntala was a heroic play, while Shudraka’s Mrichchhakatika, was a play of the social class. Bhavabhuti (circa 700AD) was another well-known figure, his best being Malatimadhava and Uttaramacharita, the latter based on the story of the Ramayana.

Some of the greatest Sanskrit poems are Kalidasa’s Raghuvamsa and Kumarasambhava, Kiratarjuniya of Bharavi (550AD), Sishupalavadha of Magha (7th century AD) and Naishadhiyacharita of Sriharsha (12th century AD). All of them draw from the Mahabharata, the source for many writers even today. Shorter poems of great depth were composed on a single theme like love, morality, detachment and sometimes of grave matters. The earliest and best collections of such verses called Muktakas are those of Bhartrihari and Amaruka.

Much of the early prose work in Sanskrit has not survived. Of the remaining, some of the best are Vasavadatta of Subandhu, Kadambari and Harshacharita of Bana (7th century AD) and Dasakumaracharita of Dandin (7th century AD).

The Panchatantra and Hitopadesha are collections of wit and wisdom in the Indian style, teaching polity and proper conduct through animal fables and aphorisms.

With a glorious life of over 3000 years, Sanskrit continues to be a living language even today, bobbing up during Hindu ceremonies when mantras (ritual verses) are chanted. And though restricted, it’s still a medium of literary expression, but ‘great works’ have long stopped being written.

Comments

  1. Nice posting. Do you know about these Sanskrit books?

    http://www.YogaVidya.com/freepdfs.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. no sir, ok i will try to see the page you mention. thanx for reviewing.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Know about the celebrated author Tarab Khan

Tarab Khan (born: 6th December 1983) is an Artist and Author of the book, "DANCING WITH THE CLOUDS" published by Bloomsbury. She began her journey in the Art World in 2013. Many of the leading Art Galleries in India have represented her work, (Sublime Galleria – Bangalore, Visual Art Gallery 'IHC', Lalit Kala Akademi – New Delhi, Nehru Art Centre – Mumbai and other leading private galleries in India). Her work has been collected by Art lovers and enthusiast from various parts of the world including France, USA, UK, India and UAE.
Early Life Tarab was born in a quaint little town of Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. Tarab spent her early years in Uttar Pradesh. When she was six, her family moved to Berhampur, Odisha - a town just few miles by the sea. Tarab believes in nurturing children and shaping minds by taking sessions on Storytelling and on Art. She has been invited as panelist and as speaker to Forums, Schools and Corporates. Tarab did her masters in economic…

Know about the actress Suhana Khan

Suhana Khan is officially an actress now with her first short-film "The Grey Part of Blue" which released on 17th November 2019. Suhana is the daughter of the man who needs no introduction "The King Khan of Bollywood, Shahrukh Khan" and undoubtedly the comparison had to happen and it could be easily observed going through the comments Suhana got on her first short-film.


Bio: Suhana Khan (born: 22nd May 2000) is an actress and is currently studying filmmaking in New york. She graduated from Ardingly College in London. Her acting debut was in a theatrical adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet as the Juliet in the show.




View this post on Instagram
💕 A post shared by Suhana khan (@suhana_khan_officiall) on Feb 8, 2019 at 11:28pm PST

The Grey Part of Blue stars Suhana Khan with Robin Gonella. It is a slow film with just two characters. In the film, Suhana and Robin play a couple who are on a two-day trip to the girl's home. During this trip they …

Kow about an accomplished actor, theatre artist Dipanwit Dashmohapatra

Dipanwit Dashmohapatra (born: 14th August 1995) is an Actor, Director and a renowned theatre artist mostly works for Odia theatre group.




Early life

Dipanwit born in a small town Soro, in Balasore, Odisha to father Jeetendra Dashmohapatra and mother Jyotsna Dashmohapatra. Dipanwit did his schooling from Ramakrishna Sikhshya Niketana, Soro & S.N High School, Soro, He did his +2 from U.N College, Soro. Dipanwit did his B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from ITER College, Bhubaneswar, affiliated to S'O'A University.

Career
B.Tech from ITER(S'O'A University)An active member of JEEVAN REKHA THEATRE GROUP, Bhubaneswar The former member of Uttar Purush Theatre Group, Bhubaneswar.A former Core member of Toneelstuk: The Stage Piece (S'O'A Dramatics club) (2013-2017)


THEATRES
"Andhayug" as an actor for Uttar Purush Theatre Group    Gandhi Chowk as an actor for Toneelstuk: The Stage Piece"Jupakastha" as an actor for Uttar Purush Theatre Group     "SI…

Know about Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi Jayanti and International Day of Non-Violence

'Gandhi Jayanti' is celebrated every year to mark the birth anniversary of Gandhiji (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi), popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi, 'Bapu' or the 'Father of the Nation' in India. Gandhiji is a symbol of peace, non-violence and humanity. He was the protagonist of Peace.

If you land up on this page to know all the recent updates happening in the name of Mahatma Gandhi, this is certainly the best place, as we keep tracking each and every detail of any happenings around the world on Mahatma Gandhi. But if by any chance you land up here for some Mahatma Gandhi Quotes, you can check this link.













Timeline of Mahatma Gandhi (Memories & special mentions of Mahatma Gandhi)↓↓↓


15th June 2007 - The United Nations has also declared October 2 as the International Day of Non-Violence. According to the UN General Assembly resolution of 15 June 2007, which established the commemoration, the International Day of Non Violence is an occasion to "disseminate …

Know about the initiative Pehchaan -The Unsung Heroes Of The Soil

Pehchaan -The Unsung Heroes Of The SoilBeing Social- एक नई शुरुआत is a group of beautiful people with nobel hearts, they are working tirelessly to make a society which will be free of differential treatments to people. They believe and tries to inculcate equality among everyone for every other being with love, empathy and compassion. They are working towards making the world a better place, especially for the underprivileged ones.

One such initiative is "Pehchaan- the unsung heroes of the soil", in this they are working for the upliftment of underprivileged kids, by giving them better opportunities and a chance to rise to the emerging talents, by organizing special annual talent hunt events. The event "Pehchaan- the unsung heroes of the soil" aims to provide recognition to individual identity to the less privileged, unnoticed children.

Pehchaan- the unsung heroes of the soil is being organized by Being Social- एक नई शुरुआत in collaboration with Indian Institute of…