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Sanskrit is the ancient language that was and still is the means for expressing the teachings of the Vedas. The word Sanskrit is an Anglicized version of the word Saṁskṛtam (when written in IAST).
The word Saṁskṛtam means ‘highly refined’, and indeed, Sanskrit is a beautifully refined language. Unlike most languages which were developed primarily for commerce.
Sanskrit was specifically designed to express subtle philosophical and metaphysical truths, and it indeed excels in expressing such truths.
Sanskrit may be written using any system that has the capacity to express its numerous phonemes.
Sanskrit was originally an oral tradition with no accompanying script. An ancient script called Brāhmī was adapted to express Sanskrit in a written form.
Brāhmī evolved into a form which we now commonly associate with Sanskrit called Devanāgarī.
The reasons to study Sanskrit, as a student of Vedānta, are numerous. The sacred texts for all things Vedāntic are the Vedas, which are expressed using the Sanskrit language. Within the Vedas live the Upaniṣads; the core Vedāntic scriptures. Sanskrit is also the language for almost all supporting, non-Vedic texts, including thehighly revered Bhagavad Gītā.
Even a rudimentary knowledge of Sanskrit will give the aspiring student a greater insight into the knowledge ‘hidden’ within these works.
It used to be a purely oral language. Only after many years were the teaching, practices and mantras written down on palm leaves.
The Vedas, the Upanishads, the ancient texts and beautiful shlokas (hymns), chants, mantras and yoga are all revealed in Sanskrit Language.
Today we have a vast literature available to us where we can revel in the priceless teaching and the heart opening, healing mantras provided by the Vedas.
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