Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Few misconceptions about Sanskrit

Sanskrit is one of the most ancient language, and the language of almost all sacred texts of Hinduism and Buddhism. Many other texts have been written in Sanskrit, so its importance can never  be neglected. To understand history and cultural evolution of Indian subcontinent, profound knowledge of Sanskrit is required. But, scholars of Sanskrit go beyond this. With the widespread dominance of scientific developments, they are trying to prove Sanskrit as the most scientific language. In this article, I will try to write about few misconceptions about Sanskrit.  
Sanskrit is language of supercomputer
What is the language of computer? I don’t know, which device you are using, but I guess, many texts in your device setting are in English. Also you are reading this article in English. But the device you are using does not understand English. Computer uses special language of mathematics which is also known as binary numbers. Whatever instructions are given to the computer, first it converts to numbers, (you can see ASCII code in picture) and stores the data. Whenever the user tries to retrieve the code, again it translates the binary numbers to the texts we can understand using same ASCII symbols. The translation is not visible or observable by user, so they can conclude that the language of compute is English, but actually it is mathematics. So even if output language of computer becomes Sanskrit, computer will use Numbers as its language. 
Sanskrit will be used for interstellar communication
One specialty of Sanskrit is , meaning of sentences does not get altered even if order of words is changed. In English, “Father feeds baby” or  “ Baby feeds father will give different meaning in English but in Sanskrit, alteration of words will not change the meaning of sentence. But some Sanskrit enthusiast claim that Sanskrit is the best language for long distance communication. Their claim is, on long distance communication, the words get altered and message will be corrupted, and Sanskrit can resolve this problem. But reality is, as I have already mentioned, entire information technology is based on numbers, so the alteration will be with mathematics, which can produce different alphabets, and can affect any language. To resolve this, computer engineers has developed a special system that send same data for at least ten times and if it analyzes the transmitted data. For example, if nine data stream contains 0 but one stream contains 1 than it will interpret the data as 0, which can easily resolve the data transmission issue. 
Sanskrit is taught in German university because of its scientific importance
This is what  Harvard tells about its Sanskrit program. They run Sanskrit program as a part of south Asian studies

Yeah, first part  is so true. Sanskrit is taught in many universities across the globe. But, it is  being taught as a part of Indology or South Asian studies. According to Harvard university “Indeed to be a South Asian intellectual was to be a master of Sanskrit, not merely to be fluent in it but to understand the rigorous linguistic underpinnings of the language as well as to absorb the complex theories of aesthetics and hermeneutics that govern Sanskrit texts. “
Sanskrit as south Asian studies or Indian study

Another German university “ludwig-maximilians-universität münchen”  writes in its intoducory page “The field of Indian studies addresses the cultural and historical development of southern Asia from the beginnings of human history into the contemporary age. It adapts a primarily literary and linguistic approach, applying philological and historical methods to the cultural study of the written sources of southern Asia. Sanskrit, the traditional language of India, is taught in a regular two-semester introductory course. When necessary, students can also study the central Indian languages (Pāli, Ardhamāgadhī, Gāndhārī). The contemporary languages of India—Hindi, Urdu and Kannada—are part of the regular offerings, as well. Bengali, Tamil and Telugu are also taught when necessary. At the Institute in Munich there is a cooperation in research and teaching with Tibetology, with the Academy project Buddhist Manuscripts from Gandhāra as well as with the Doctoral Program in Buddhist Studies.” 
So it is almost evident that, foreign universities are not teaching Sanskrit to understand science of Vedas or Upanisads. Their goal is to understand the root language of south Asia, which will help them to understand south Asia. 
All university across Globe run Sanskrit program as a part of south Asian studies

Sanskrit is being studied by NASA
It is one of the most hilarious statement which I have ever heard. In Nepal or India, most of the laypersons know only one research institute, NASA. According to them, NASA predicts earthquake, make vaccines for COVID19 and study Sanskrit. But, NASA is space agency, which studies about space, and some earth related issues which can be done from outer space only. And similar to  NASA  there is Indian space agency ISRO. If Sanskrit had such importance in space research ISRO could have already used it in there research, but no one  talks about it, maybe because they never knew ISRO existed. 
Sun produces  sound  "OM"
I found no article in Official NASA website regarding their research on Sanskrit
I don’t have to say anything about this. I had searched in the official site of NASA, and there is no relevant result , which mean NASA never detected such sounds.
I personally respect Sanskrit as a great language but I believe that beyond its philosophical, linguistic and phonetic uses, it is not more important than other language. If you know some other misconception about this language please leave a comment.

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