Sanskrit- its importance and its future, was the agenda on the eve of ‘Sanskrit day celebration’ organized at ISKCON Bangalore in association with Karnataka Sanskrit University and Maithreyi Sanskrit Foundation, in an attempt to pay due respect to the divine language. “Sanskrit has a rich cultural and aesthetic history, being one of the most ancient languages; it must be practiced in day-to-day life to ensure that it does not fade away”, this was a unanimous call by all the scholars present there to promulgate the legacy of the language. Honorable Governor of Karnataka, His Excellency Hansraj Bhardwaj, who presided as the Chief Guest at the event, glorified the richness of Indian culture and said “About 5000 years ago, India was a rich nation and was referred to as ‘Jagathguru’ by the other part of the world. The rich heritage and culture captured the attention of the west and inspired them to voyage here.” Inspired by his family, the Honorable Governor earned his first master’s degree in Sanskrit. But due to lack of opportunities he decided to pursue Law. He said that he is reading Sanskrit books to enhance his knowledge in the language. Emphasizing the philosophical value of the language, he said “Sanskrit is a language which shows you the direction to attain salvation.” He was also concerned that this rich historical language is diminishing and efforts should be in the direction of protecting it. "To preserve our Vedic culture, one has to practice Sanskrit in day-to-day life. Sanskrit being the root language is dying out. We have to save our roots" he added.
Sri Madhu Pandit Das, President of ISKCON Bangalore spoke about the foundation of Sanskrit and said that Sanskrit was the origin of all languages and never a derivative of any. He said “Sanskrit words are found in plenty in all languages of the world and this in itself proves that Sanskrit is the mother of all languages spoken in different parts of the world.”
Madhu Pandit Das highlighted that Sanskrit remained in its original form in India, the country of its origin, but suffered a setback in its prevalence among the common folk due to foreign invasion. It has now remained prevalent among the priestly class who were tied to it by virtue of chanting mantras and shlokas. This also became a reason for the common man to remain distant from our vedic scriptures. He laid emphasis on the importance to promote this divine language to preserve our vedic culture. “Sanskrit is undoubtedly an absolutely perfect language by virtue of its own natural characteristics and origin” he added.
The Founder Acharya of the Hare Krishna Bhakthi movement, His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivendanta Swami Prabhupada has also made a colossal contribution to Sanskrit by propagating the nectar of our vedic scriptures, to the people of the world, by his expert translation of the same in English. This wisdom handed over to the world has touched and changed the lives of countless souls.
On the occasion, six scholars who have immensely contributed to the revival and wide-spread of this ancient language were conferred upon with honorary awards. The awardees included Prof T N Prabhakar, Principal, Hassan Government College, Prof C Nanjundaiah, Principal, Sri Kalabhairaveshwara Samskritha Veda Agama Mahavidyalaya, D N Chandrashekaraiah, Principal, Sri Siddalingeshwara Vedasamskrita Mahavidyalaya, Prof Gajanana Lakshmi Narayana Bhatt, Principal, Srimatha Sanskrit College, Prof K Shivaruddraiah, Lecturer, Maharaja Sanskrit College and Sri S Venkatesha, Rtd Superintendent, Central Government. All the revered scholars were honored by His Excellency, the Governor of Karnataka.
Eminent scholars, including Prof Mallepuram G Venkatesh, Vice Chancellor of Karnataka Sanskrit University, Prof H Venkateshappa from Bangalore Government Arts College and Prof M K Sridhar from Akhila Karnataka Sanskrit Parishad also took the opportunity to discuss the importance of Sanskrit in one's life, thought and expression and also about ways to preserve the ancient language in India.
Prof M K Sridhar pointed out that “In the past several languages in the world like English used Sanskrit as a base to be nurtured but in the present day the importance of Sanskrit has lessened to an extent that it is using languages like English for its revival.”
With similar programs headed in the direction of uplifting the lost legacy of this great divine language and other organizations pooling in efforts to simplify and make Sanskrit suitable for day-to-day affairs, Sanskrit will emerge out from the realm of recede to become a progressive bond connecting cultures to their roots.