World Sanskrit Day: World Sanskrit Day, also known as Vishva-Samskrita-Dinam is an annual event focused on the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit.
- The event incorporates lectures about the language and is aimed to promote its revival and maintenance.
- The basic objective of celebrating Sanskrit Day and Sanskrit Week is to spread the word of the Sanskrit language.
- It is celebrated on Shraavana Poornima, which is the full moon day of the Shraavana month in the Hindu calendar.
- The Sanskrit organization Samskrita Bharati is involved in promoting the day.
- In the year 2021, this day is celebrated on August 22.
- This year, India is observing the Sanskrit Week from August 19 to August 25, 2021, to promote, popularize and cherish the importance of ancient language.
The Government of India (GoI) decided to celebrate World Sanskrit Day in 1969, on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan that falls on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravana.
Why was Shraavana Poornima chosen as Sanskrit day?
- Shravani Purnima i.e. Raksha Bandhan is considered to be the festival of remembrance and worship of sages and worship for their dedication.
- In Vedic literature, it was called Shravani.
- On this day, before the study of Vedas in Gurukulas, Yajñopavita which is a sacred thread is worn.
- This ceremony is called Upanayana or Upakarma Sanskar.
- The old Yajñopavita is also changed on this day.
- Priests also tie Raksha-sutras to the hosts.
- Rishis are the original source of Sanskrit literature, hence Shravani Purnima is celebrated as Rishi Parv and World Sanskrit Day.
- This day was chosen because the academic year in ancient India started on this day.
- On this day the students start the study of Vedas in the gurukuls.
- From the full moon of the month of Paush to the full moon of the month of Shraavana, the studies are stopped to learn other Vedantic scriptures.
- This tradition is still unbroken in modern Vedic schools.
- The New Education Policy (NEP) has laid an ambitious path for “mainstreaming” Sanskrit.
- NEP also stated that Sanskrit universities will be turned into multi-disciplinary institutions of higher learning.
Purpose of Sanskrit Day Celebration:
Sanskrit language, which has the status of Dev language, is now losing its existence.
In India too, the number of people who read, write, and understand it is very less.
Sanskrit day (Sanskrit Diwas / National Sanskrit Day) is celebrated to remind society of the importance and necessity of Sanskrit.
So that as time progresses people do not forget that Sanskrit is also a language.
Origin of Sanskrit language:
- Sanskrit is known as the “mother of all languages” is now one of the least spoken.
- Numerous languages arose from this language.
- The Sanskrit language has the largest vocabulary of about 102 Arab 78 crores 50 lakh words.
- The term Sanskrit is derived from the conjoining of the prefix ‘Sam‘ meaning ‘Samyak‘ which indicates ‘entirely‘ while ‘krit‘ indicates ‘done‘.
- In terms of communication, reading and hearing Sanskrit term indicate perfectly or entirely done.
- It is believed to be an Indo-Aryan language, which is said to have originated around 3500 years ago.
- However, in the scriptures, the Sanskrit language is thought to have originated in the second millennium BCE, when the Rig Veda was composed.
- This Indo-Aryan language has been designated as a classical language recognized for its scientific composition and is in high demand all over the world.
- This language is also termed Dev Vani means God’s language.
- It is believed that the Sanskrit language has been generated by the God Brahma who passed it to the rishis or sages that were living in celestial abodes and further they communicated it to their earthly disciples from where it spread on the earth.
- In the written form the origin of the Sanskrit language is traced back to the 2nd millennium BCE when the Rig Veda a collection of hymns is assumed to have been written.
- Sanskrit in literary terms is classified into two different periods,
- The Vedic period
- The Classical period.
- In the Vedas sacred texts, Vedic Sanskrit is found mainly in the Rig Veda, the Puranas, and the Upanishads.
- The Vedas were composed in the period 1000 to 500 BCE.
- The language impressed some Europeans.
- Sir William Jones, an English scholar, arrived in India in 1783 as a judge of the British Supreme Court in Calcutta.
- He was the Asian Society’s founder.
- He translated the Sanskrit author Kalidasa’s Abhijnana Shakuntala and Ritu Samhara as well as Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda into English.
- Manusmriti was also translated into English by Jones.
Some interesting facts about Sanskrit language:
- The Sanskrit language has an organized grammatical structure.
- Even the vowels and consonants are arranged in a scientific pattern.
- It is said that a person can express himself or herself in Sanskrit in one word only.
- In the English language too there are words whose origin can be traced back to Sanskrit like bangle from bangri, sugar from Sakara, cash from karsha, etc.
- In Karnataka, everyone in the village is Mattur in Shimoga district speaks in the Sanskrit language.
- The Sanskrit language is declared the official language of Uttarakhand.
- Sudharma is the only daily newspaper in the world in the Sanskrit language.
- It has been published since 1970 from Mysore, Karnataka and is available online.
- In classical music that is in the Carnatic and Hindustani, Sanskrit is used.
- It has the largest vocabulary of about 102 arab 78 crore 50 lakh words.
- The most computer-friendly language is Sanskrit.
- According to NASA scientist Rick Briggs, Sanskrit is the only unambiguous language in existence.
- There is a University in America dedicated to Sanskrit.
- Also, NASA has a department for research on Sanskrit manuscripts.