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Sanskrit – Does God have a special language?

Sanskrit blogging on the rise by Debashish Chakrabarty

Sanskrit (samskrta = cultured, perfected, in contrast to prakrta = uncultured, popular) is the sacred, ancient language of Hinduism.

One school of thought believes that an early form of Sanskrit originated with Aryan invaders and their Vedic hymns around 2,000 BCE.

Another view suggests that an early form of Sanskrit existed within the Indus valley. And the entire Aryan invader thesis has been questioned.

Regardless of its disputed origins, the speakers of Sanskrit believed, as do many Hindus today, that the correct pronunciation of this language may elevate individuals to higher planes of consciousness, leading to greater spiritual awareness.¹

In Hinduism the Vedas, Shastras, Puranas and Kavyas were composed in Sanskrit.

Although Pali is the primary language of Buddhist scripture, some Mahayana texts were composed in a hybrid Sanskrit.

Sanskrit has also found its way into Jain scripture.

The earliest surviving character of its unique Devanagari (language of the gods) script is dated at 150 CE.

Not unlike Latin in the Catholic Church, Sanskrit remains sacred and prestigious among teachers and students throughout India and beyond.²

¹ This kind of claim is not unique to Hinduism. Not a few adherents of different religions believe that their own special language is the key to higher consciousness, awareness or God. I personally think it’s a joke to assume that God would prefer one “special” language over another. In Catholicism, some speak of the Latin Mass as if it has some kind of special sanctity. But what these people forget is that Jesus and his message is for anyone who wants to hear it. That’s why I applaud Catholic Bibles translated in any language and see them as equally valid as ancient Greek (original language of the New Testament) or Hebrew (original language of the Jewish scriptures and the Christian Old Testament) manuscripts. Some contemporary religious scholars use the language-game-power-trip to try to raise themselves above and literally intimidate others. But again, that is contrary to the Christian message.

² See https://www.highly.co/hl/58014caafb56eb5a9b00007e

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Purusa (or Purusha) – From cosmic man to universal self

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Purusa is a Sanskrit term that in the Hindu Vedas means “divine body” or “cosmic man.” According to a Vedic creation story, this primal man was sacrificed to create all life, a theme echoed in Norse myth, and arguably within the Christian story.

By the time of the Upanisads, purusa came to mean “an abstract essence of Self, Spirit and the Universal Principle that is eternal, indestructible, without form and all pervasive.”¹ And its precise meaning continues to be debated among scholars and believers today.

¹ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purusha

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Rajas – The active force in Hindu belief

Rajas is a Sanskrit term from the Samkhya philosophy of Hinduism referring to “excitement, action, passion or force.” It is one of the three gunas (sattva, rajas and tamas), which together constitute all of the attributes of nature and the psyche.

Samkhya Yogi women who have taken celibacy vows and devoted their life to temple, idol of Ghanshyam Maharaj has been installed in Kalupur Swaminarayan temple and served by Sankhya Yogi women devotees.

Rajas is not to be confused with Raja (a king or prince). However, a monarch is likely to be well endowed in qualities traditionally ascribed to rajas. Saints would be stronger in sattva. And sloths in tamas.

Rajas also refers to a mysterious force said to be contained in vaginal fluid, which some yogis allegedly take inward through the urethra to facilitate mystical union. This may seem like a strange claim, but one has to remember that some yogis apparently perform unusual or amazing feats involving a level of mind and muscular control beyond the reach of most of us. Couple this with the Hindu belief in essential male and female forces, and the practice becomes more understandable.

Related » Caste, Sattva, Tamas


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The Ramayana – ancient Sanskrit allegory

The Ramayana is a Hindu epic poem about Rama and Sita, written in Sanskrit. The story is ascribed to the poet Valmiki, who allegedly received it from the gods while residing in Northern India, c. 300-400 BCE.

Valmiki, a contemporary of Rama composes the R...

Valmiki, a contemporary of Rama composes the Ramayana. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Ramayana tells a story about banishment and return. It deals with ethics, lies, gossip, unusual spirituality, and Hindu beliefs about purity of dharma.

A good, basic summary can be found here » http://hinduism.about.com/od/epics/a/ramayana_story.htm. It should be noted, however, that there are different versions of the tale, different plot developments, and so on.

Sourav Roy adds:

After some exhaustive research, I have reached to a conclusion that versions of Ramayana exists in many languages, including Annamese, Balinese, Bengali, Cambodian, Chinese, Gujarati, Javanese, Kannada, Kashmiri, Khotanese, Laotian, Malaysian, Marathi, Oriya, Prakrit, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sinhalese, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, etc. In Sanskrit itself there are 25 different versions. According to A. K. Ramanujam, more than 300 tellings of Ramayana exist.

Each has newer dimensions, more fascinating than the other. Read them in reverse order here- http://souravroy.com/?s=too+many+ramayanas ¹

Artists performing dance drama on Ramayana at the Central Park in New Delhi.

Along with the Mahabharata, the Ramayana is considered one of the great treasures of Hindu religious literature. Together, these epics continue to exert a huge influence on contemporary Hindu culture. Every Hindu child knows the story, just as most Western kids know about Adam and Eve.

¹ https://earthpages.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/ramayana/#comment-12835

Related » Abyss, Avatar, Hanuman, Hinduism, Mahabharata, Myth, Puranas


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Sutra

A sutra (Sanskrit = thread, twine, string; related to woven) is a highly condensed verse, loaded with spiritual significance for believers, respectively, in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain sacred scripture.

The Hindu Upanisads (end of the Veda) are written in sutra form. Each sutra properly corresponds to a specific Veda.

Detail of Elder Subhuti, from the famous Dunhu...

Detail of Elder Subhuti, from the famous Dunhuang Diamond Sutra (Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra), the first known printed book. The picture is derived from the second chapter, in which Subhuti asked the Buddha how bodhisattvas can achieve enlightenment. “From the midst of the great multitude, Elder Subhūti arose from his seat, bared his right shoulder, and placed his right knee on the ground. With his hands joined together in respect, he addressed the Buddha…” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Note – This is another mini entry from the far back of our catalog. We’re now updating the very oldest entries at earthpages.ca. Some of these have been neglected, perhaps because I wasn’t terribly interested in them anymore, or perhaps because I just didn’t feel ready to add any more info, or perhaps because they were “stubs,” as Wikipedia puts it, that are more fully explained by clicking on related entries (listed at bottom). Rather than ignore and leave these short entries at the far back of the blog (almost limbo), I thought it would be refreshing to update, as I say, from the very oldest entries.


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Tapas

Scriptures AS

Scriptures AS (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Hinduism, tapas is sacred heat or power within the universe. It is a wide-ranging concept, with derivative forms each having special, unique meanings.

According to Walter Kaelber,[11] and others,[15][18][19] in certain translations of ancient Sanskrit documents tapas is interpreted as austerities, penance, asceticism, or mortification; however, this is frequently inadequate because it fails to reflect the context implied, which is of sexual heat or warmth that incubates the birth of life.¹

¹ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapas_%28Sanskrit%29

Related posts » Evil, Power, Siva


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Vedanta

English: Photograph of Radhakrishnan taken at ...

Renowned Indian scholar, Radhakrishnan, at a reception in Stockholm, 1949. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vedanta is a school of Hindu religion and philosophy and a Sanskrit term meaning “the end of the Veda.” Its three main texts are:

  1. The Upanishads, known as Upadesha prasthana (injunctive texts), and the Śruti prasthāna (the starting point of revelation)
  2. The Brahma Sutras, known as Nyaya prasthana or Yukti prasthana (logical text)
  3. The Bhagavad Gita, known as Sadhana prasthana (practical text), and the Smriti prasthāna (the starting point of remembered tradition)¹

¹ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedanta

Related Posts » Veda, Atman, Hinduism, Radhakrishnan, Sankara, Upanisads