Regular BA, MA and PhD courses are being taught in more than 17 Sanskrit universities in the country. Also, part-time sessions are being organized in India and abroad for those interested in exploring the science of Sanskrit.
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The Department of Sanskrit (UOH) at the University of Hyderabad has launched an interdisciplinary open elective course.
Mahabir Agarwal, pro-vice-chancellor of Patanjali University in Haridwar, said earlier perceptions about the difficulty of the Sanskrit language had hampered its popularity. “Three decades ago, a number of organizations realized the hidden information in Sanskrit texts. More people believe that Sanskrit language is a means of observing Hindu rituals.
Agarwal added that every mainstream subject in the field of education is mentioned in the abundance of ancient Sanskrit texts, which attracts students and seniors to the language.
JSR Prasad, Head (Department of Sanskrit Studies (HOD), University of Hyderabad, added that contrary to the belief that Sanskrit texts are religious, Sanskrit0% Sanskrit literature is secular and relevant in various fields.
Link to Ayurveda
Prasad says that in addition to resolving people’s physical and mental ailments, the Upanishads and the Veda tree (plant) provide detailed information about Ayurveda. “Sanskrit is a scientific language, and Ayurveda is considered to be the root of 6,000 years old philosophy. I think even modern medical science lacks the depth that Ayurveda offers, ”he said.
Grammar is everything
Agarwal added, “We need to create a system where grammar is used in Sanskrit (Panini grammar), which acts as a medium between the source language and the target language in the computer.” The advantage of Sanskrit language is that there is no difference between reading, writing and speaking Sanskrit language. So, it’s not as hard as it sounds, ”he added.
Prasad adds that in addition to its use in computers, Sanskrit grammar is the basis of millions of Indian and worldwide words. “Choose any original Sanskrit word, and you can create multiple words that are used in languages around the world,” he says.
Increase in popularity
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has emphasized on inter-departmental courses. “If a student wants to be an expert in science, mathematics, management or human rights, fluency in Sanskrit will open the door to knowledge in Sanskrit texts. This will help the student to become an expert in the chosen field, ”Agarwal said.
Prasad added, “Awareness about the widespread use of Sanskrit, like the village of Mattur in Karnataka, where only Sanskrit is a colloquial language, is also breaking the myth about its popularity.” He said the efforts of the central government, the University Grants Commission (UGC) in the form of junior research scholarships and some foreign scholarships, are also increasing the popularity of Sanskrit language.
Ready for the future
There was a time when Sanskrit was considered a forgotten language, but it is no more. Hara Ram Tripathi, Vice-Chancellor, Sampurananda Sanskrit University, Varanasi, said that students start Sanskrit courses with different objectives in mind. “Many of my students go for civil service exams, choosing Sanskrit as their special subject,” he says.
Apart from academics, Sanskrit scholars have the freedom to specialize in any field of their choice. “Some of my students have gone on to become news anchors on Doordarshan, or become‘ religion gurus ’in the military,” said the vice-chancellor of the country’s 230-year-old Sanskrit university.
Regarding the increase in the number of students studying Sanskrit today, Tripathi revealed that the current batch of his university has a total of 1800 students. “Instead of trying to increase the number of Sanskrit scholars, we should focus on quality. “Anyone who claims to be a Sanskrit scholar can abide by this statement and make the country proud, wherever he goes,” Tripathi said.
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