Sanskrit – What is this language I hear during a yoga class?
You may have heard of the Sanskrit, or this may be unfamiliar to you. You may have heard some of the terms or words being spoken about during your asana practice and thought what is this foreign language you speak of – it is Sanskrit! Asanas will be sometimes described in English or in Sanskrit, for example, Downward Facing Dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana.
Sanskrit is the ancient language associated with India, which is considered to be the oldest language in the world, being at least 6,000 years old, and probably much older. Sanskrit is made up of the primordial sounds, and is developed systematically to include the natural progressions of sounds as created in the human mouth, and is considered to be the language of the Gods.
Some interesting facts on Sanskrit;
- Sanskrit has a vast paragon of synonyms for each subject. For example, the word ‘elephant’ has 100 synonyms. An amazing wealth of words and synonyms gives a great versatility to the expression of power. With 65 words for the earth, 70 words for water,15 words for gold,122 words for the verb “to go”. The seventy words for water multiply into 280 words with prefixes for specific descriptions of rainfall (dharma, karakam, thousaram, haimam) etc.
- Sanskrit has two major divisions. The Sanskrit language also, like the literature collected in it, falls into two major divisions-
- The Vedic Sanskrit. Vedic Sanskrit (the form of Sanskrit spoken in Iran before Sanskrit as we know was created) = Anglo Saxxon language (the form of English spoken in England before English as we know now was created)
- The Classical Sanskrit. Classic Sanskrit (what Dravidian speakers did with primitive form of sanskrit ) = Indian English (what Indians do with English)
- Oldest Language. Older than Hebrew and Latin, Sanskrit was the traditional or classical language of India.