Sanskrit as Bharatiya Sanskriti: Shri Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji

At the online launch of the much-awaited book ‘Sanskrit Non-Translatables – the Importance of Sanskritizing English’ the co-author Shri Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji spoke on why the Sanskrit language is crucial to preserving not just the Bharatiya Sanskriti, but also the human civilization at large.

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Vrindavan, 2020-11-19 (Ashee Sharma): The much-awaited book ‘Sanskrit Non-Translatables - The Importance of Sanskritizing English’  authored by Rajiv Malhotra and Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji, which is being described as a “path-breaking and audacious attempt” at Sanskritizing the English language and enriching it with powerful Sanskrit words, was launched online by renowned luminaries Swami Govind Dev Giri (trustee and treasurer of the Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra), Indian computer scientist and Padma awardee Dr. Vijay Bhatkar and RSS Sarsanghchalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat recently.

The book is being described as a ‘movement’ for preserving the Vedic/Indic/Hindu Sanskriti that is rooted in the Sanskrit language. “Our culture can be protected only by protecting the Non-Translatables. The ideas presented in the book, if imbibed by every Indian, will help in reclaiming the narrative from the powers that want to declare Sanskrit, and ultimately the Bharatiya Sanskriti, dead,” said Shri Rajiv Malhotra.

Sanskrit as Bharatiya Sanskriti: Shri Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji

Commenting on the importance of Sanskrit for our Sanskriti, learned Sanskrit and Guadiya Vaishnava scholar and the co-author on this volume, Shri Satyanaryana Dasa Babaji said “Our sanskriti is rooted in the shastras, all of which are written in Sanskrit. There’s no way it can survive without the language. Modern education which ensures that practically nothing about either Sanskrit or Sanskriti is taught in schools makes children estranged from their roots from a very early age.”

He further went on to explain that when young Indians hear the word ‘culture’ they think of art, music, dance or similar things, but that’s culture, not ‘sanskriti’. The words Sanskrit, Sanskriti and Sanskaar come from the same root ‘kri’ which is applied in the sense of improvement, refinement or purification. It works in two ways, removing the negative or adharmic values and cultivating positive or dharmic ones, because neither Sanskrit nor Sanskriti is independent of ‘dharma’.

In the Vākyapadīya on Sanskrit grammar and linguistic philosophy, Bhartṛhari writes, ‘upasniyam yatnena shashtram vyakranam mahat’. Addressing Sanskrit grammar as ‘mahat shashtra’ is acknowledging it as a great, core shashtra in itself. Another sage, Patanjali has used the words ‘atha shabdanushasanam’ for it, which means that it is not just any other set of rules for yet another language, but a code of conduct, a way of life, and discipline that must be followed if human beings want to understand the meaning and purpose of their existence and learn how to lead a life in order to reach their highest potential, both materially and spiritually.”

One who is not ‘sanskritised’ i.e. purified or refined will act in an ‘asanskrit’ way. ‘Asanskrita kriya hina tamasa rajasa vrtah’, or a person who is asanskrita is ‘kriya hina’. This does not mean that he will not act, but the actions he performs with the body, mind and speech will not be beneficial for self or society. He will act in the modes of ‘rajas’ and ‘tamas’ thus inviting more troubles for everyone. It is said, rajasastu phalam dukham, agyanam tamsah phalam’; actions performed in the mode of ‘rajas’ will result in ‘dukha’ (sorrow, grief, suffering), and those in the mode of ‘tamas’ will lead to ‘agyaan’ (ignorance).

Today, with the notions of self being centred on the mind, body, family or field of action, everyone is acting selfishly. This is the root cause of all ills. Sanskrit teaches us to go beyond the limitations of body and mind to realise the universal, undivided consciousness in the entire creation and beyond it. Once such a realisation dawns all discrimination and exploitation stops. Selfish actions rooted in ‘agyaan’ may give momentary pleasure, but ultimately they will lead to suffering.

It is hence essential to study and preserve the Sanskrit language in order to understand our sanskriti and ‘Dharma’ which strives for the benefit of the unitary collective, and not merely the isolated individual. The Veda- Vedangas, Upanishads, Itihasa-Puranas and all other shastras were written for everyone, not just Bharat or Bharatiyas. But nothing can be more unfortunate than being born in this great land and remaining oblivious to its ethos that is encoded in Sanskrit, which is what makes the language non-negotiable, non-translatable.

The book can be ordered online at www.jiva.org

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