Vice President calls for a mass movement to revive Sanskrit learning

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The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu
The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu
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Vice President calls for a mass movement to revive Sanskrit learning

“Sanskrit is our intangible heritage; it helps us understand the soul of India,” says Shri Naidu

Sanskrit is the language that brings us together–Vice President

Technology has opened up new opportunities to preserve and propagate our classical languages – Vice President

VP addresses Ninth Convocation and Decennial Ceremony of Karnataka Samskrit University in Bengaluru

Vice President confers honorary doctoral degrees to three eminent scholars – Acharya Pradyumna, Dr. V.S. Indiramma and Vidwan Umakanta Bhat

By PIB Delhi

The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today, called for a mass movement to revive Sanskrit learning where all the stakeholders should contribute to the re-discovery of India’s rich classical literature and cultural heritage. “A language cannot be preserved only by Constitutional provisions or Governmental assistance or protection,” he said.

Addressing the 9th Convocation and Decennial Ceremony of Karnataka Samskrit University in Bengaluru today, the Vice President said that a language lives and gets propagated if it is valued by families, communities and educational institutions. Referring to the rapid technological changes, he said that technology has opened up new opportunities to preserve and propagate our classical languages including Sanskrit. “Digitalization of ancient manuscripts, epigraphs and inscriptions, recording of the recitation of Vedas, publishing books bringing out the meaning and significance of ancient Sanskrit treatises would be some of the ways to preserve our culture embedded in Sanskrit texts,” he added.

Calling Sanskrit as an intangible heritage of our country, the Vice President said that it has been the fountainhead of our knowledge and literary traditions. “Sanskrit helps us understand the soul of India. If one has to understand the Indian worldview one has to learn Sanskrit,” he emphasised. Shri Naidu further opined that to appreciate the literary genius of Indian poets and to research on the civilisational richness of our great country, one has to be a student of Sanskrit.

The Vice President underscored that the usage of Sanskrit was not limited only to philosophical and religious subjects, rather there are a number of treatises in Sanskrit on a wide range of subjects like ayurveda, yoga, agriculture, metallurgy, astronomy, state craft and ethics, which have contemporary relevance. He asked the students to explore these areas of knowledge and discover new facets of our ancient texts.

Observing that India is a country with multiple languages, Shri Naidu said that we are fortunate to have this rich linguistic diversity since earliest times. He said that our ancient languages and their literature have contributed immensely to India attaining the prestigious status of being the “Vishwa Guru” and emphasized the need for preserving these linguistic treasures. The Vice President highlighted that Sanskrit has a special place in our cultural landscape as most of the Indian languages have originated from it. “We can appreciate the Indian ethos and the deep cultural connection that binds all Indians if we learn Sanskrit.  It is the language that brings us together,” he stressed.

Praising the critical role of institutions like Karnataka Samskrit University in preservation of classical languages, he urged the universities to engage in active research on the ancient texts and make the research outcomes relevant to the contemporary world. Shri Naidu also called for efforts to preserve the rich literature of all six Classical Indian languages namely, Tamil, Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Odia.

Describing Karnataka as the land of great saints and thinkers like Adi Shankara, Sri Ramanujacharya, Sri Madhvacharya and Sri Basaweshara, Shri Naidu praised the state for preserving its ancient treasures of knowledge and wisdom.

On this occasion, the Vice President also honoured three eminent scholars – Acharya Pradyumna, Dr. V.S. Indiramma and Vidwan Umakanta Bhat – with honorary doctoral degrees.

Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, Governor of Karnataka and the Chancellor of the Karnataka Sanskrit University, Professor K. E. Devanathan ji,  the Vice Chancellor of Karnataka Sanskrit University, Members of the Governing Bodies of the University, teachers, students and their parents were among those who attended the event.

Following is the full text of the speech:

“Sisters and Brothers,

I am pleased to join this momentous occasion of Ninth Convocation with young graduates, members of the faculty and Sanskrit scholars. I am happy to note that this event coincides with the decennial celebrations of this prominent seat of learning. I congratulate the students for crossing an important milestone in their educational journey. I compliment their parents for encouraging them to succeed an/d extend my felicitations to the Vice Chancellor and the faculty members for creating a congenial academic environment for the students to excel.

Dear students,

You are fortunate to have been students of this prestigious university located in a state well-known for education.

You have been educated in the Tapobhumi of Karnataka. It is a land of saints and thinkers who gave the humanity sublime philosophies. It is the land of Adi Shankaracharya, Shri Ramanujacharya, Shri Madhvacharya and Shri Basaveshwara. It is the land which has preserved the ancient treasures of knowledge and wisdom.

While Adi Shankara established the vidya sharada peetha in Sringeri, Sri Ramanujacharya chose Melkote as the center of his teachings for many years and guided king Vishnuvardhana of Hoysala dynasty and Sri Madhvacharya propagated his philosophy in Udupi. Sri Basaweshara taught his philosophy, along with Allamaprabhu, Akkamahadevi and others in Anubhava Mantapa in Karnataka. You are fortunate to be the proud inheritors of this great lineage.

Karnataka saw a new dimension of shastric and samskruta learning under the patronage of Mysuru kings like Mummadi Krishanaraja Wodeyar, Nalwadi Krishanaraja Wodeyar and others. Mysore is hailed as Dakshina Kashi because it was a renowned seat of learning. It is heartening to note that Karnataka Samskrit University is continuing this great legacy of Samskrit learning.

Dear young friends,

Sanskrit is an intangible heritage of our country. For ages, it has been the fountainhead of our knowledge and literary traditions. Even UNESCO has recognized Vedic recitations in Sanskrit as an intangible heritage. 

Sanskrit helps us understand the soul of India. If one has to understand the Indian world view one has to learn Sanskrit.  It one has to appreciate the literary genius of Indian poets, one must be familiar with Sanskrit.  If one has to research on the civilisational richness of our great country, one has to be a student of Sanskrit.

Sanskrit is known as “Dev Bhasha” because most of our scriptures are written in Sanskrit. Though initially the Buddhist and Jain scriptures were written in Prakrit, in the later centuries most of the Buddhist and Jain commentaries and literature were written in Sanskrit. The usage of Sanskrit was not limited only to metaphysical and philosophical subjects and religious scriptures like Puranas and Epics. There are a number of treatises in Sanskrit on a wide range of subjects like ayurveda, yoga, agriculture, metallurgy, astronomy, state craft and ethics, which have contemporary relevance. You, young graduates, must have explored these areas of knowledge and I am sure that you are certainly going to continue further study to discover new facets of our ancient texts.

Dear sisters and brothers,

Language is a vehicle for the expression of ideas, thoughts and feelings. It is the voice that gives shape to the collective experience and cultural traditions of a community.

Sanskrit has been an important language because of the extraordinary creative works that have been written in it.

We must preserve these linguistic treasures. There is such a rich history waiting to be discovered.

We are a country with multiple languages each of which has a distinct richness.

We are fortunate to have this rich linguistic diversity in our country since earliest times. Every language has its unique structure and literary tradition. Our ancient languages and their literature have contributed immensely in India attaining the prestigious status of being the “Vishwa Guru”.  Sanskrit, a classical language from which most of the Indian languages have originated, has a special place in our cultural landscape.  We can appreciate the Indian ethos and the deep cultural connection that binds all Indians if we learn Sanskrit.  It is the language that brings us together.

Our Constitution recognizes 22 Indian languages, including Sanskrit. We have also identified 6 Classical Indian languages namely, Tamil, Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Odia for special efforts to preserve their classical literature. It is essential that we preserve and protect Sanskrit and our other classical languages.

A language cannot be preserved only by Constitutional provisions or Governmental assistance or protection.

A language lives and gets propagated if it is valued by families, communities and educational institutions. It gets rejuvenated if the nation values the cultural heritage that has been transmitted in this language.  It gets preserved if educational institutions build a strong research base and engage in active research on the ancient texts and make the research outcomes relevant to the contemporary world.

We are living in an age of fast changing technology. During the pandemic, when everyone was working from home, we have realized the importance of communication revolution. The same technology can help us in learning new languages like Sanskrit online, in our leisure time.

Technology opens up new opportunities to preserve and propagate Sanskrit.  Digitalization of ancient manuscripts, epigraphs and inscriptions, recording of the recitation of Vedas, publishing books bringing out the meaning and significance of ancient Sanskrit treatises would be some of the ways to preserve our culture embedded in Sanskrit texts.  We must make it a mass movement to revive Sanskrit learning where all the stakeholders should contribute to the re-discovery of India’s rich classical literature and cultural heritage.

Universities like yours have a critical role to play in this effort.  You must make good use of technology along with traditional methods of knowledge acquisition.  You must try to draw the essence from the ancient texts and make it easily accessible to as many people as possible. ‘Swadhyaya’ and ‘Pravachana’ must continue with greater dedication.

On the occasion of Decennial celebrations, I am happy that the Karnataka Sanskrit University is honouring three eminent scholars with honorary doctoral degrees. I congratulate the recipients of this honour Acharya Pradyumna, Dr. V.S. Indiramma and Vidwan Umakanta Bhat and  compliment the University for honouring their scholarship. I also congratulate the students who will be receiving degrees today, their Acharyas and their parents for their academic accomplishments and wish them success in their future endeavours.

Jayatu Sanskritam, Jayatu Bharatam

Jai Hind.”

About Post Author

Suman Munshi

Founder Editor of IBG NEWS (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018). Recipient of Udar Akash Rokeya Shakhawat Hossain Award 2018. National Geographic & Canon Wild Clicks 2011 jury and public poll winner. Studied Post Graduate Advance Dip in Computer Sc., MBA IT,LIMS (USA & Australia), GxP(USA & UK),BA (Sociology) Dip in Journalism (Ireland), Diploma in Vedic Astrology, Numerology, Palmistry, Vastu Shastra & Feng Sui 25 years in the digital & IT industry with Global MNCs' worked & traveled in USA, UK, Europe, Singapore, Australia, Bangladesh & many other countries. Education and Training advance management and R&D Technology from India, USA, UK, Australia. Over 30 Certification from Global leaders in R&D and Education. Computer Science Teacher, IT & LIMS expert with a wide fan following in his community. General Secretary West Bengal State Committee of All Indian Reporter’s Association
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