28 December 2013

Swami Vivekananda's Quotes On Sanskrit Language

In this article we'll make a collection of Swami Vivekananda's quotes and comments on Sanskrit language.

Swami Vivekananda on Sanskrit language

Painting, a man and a horse, Sanskrit scripts in background
Sanskrit and prestige go together in India.
—Swami Vivekananda
Image source: Wikimedia Commons 
Swami Vivekananda told—
  • God spoke once. He spoke in Sanskrit, and that is the divine language.[Source]
  • In our country, owing to all learning being in Sanskrit from the ancient times, there has arisen an immeasurable gulf between the learned and the common folk.[Source]
  • Just look at Sanskrit. Look at the Sanskrit of the Brâhmanas, at Shabara Swâmi's commentary on the Mimâmsâ philosophy, the Mahâbhâshya of Patanjali, and, finally, at the great Commentary of Achârya Shankara: and look also at the Sanskrit of comparatively recent times. You will at once understand that so long as a man is alive, he talks a living language, but when he is dead, he speaks a dead language.[Source]
  • Sanskrit and prestige go together in India.[Source]
  • Sanskrit is the divine language.[Source]
  • Sanskrit is the language of God.[Source]
  • The great difficulty in the way is the Sanskrit language — the glorious language of ours; and this difficulty cannot be removed until — if it is possible — the whole of our nation are good Sanskrit scholars. You will understand the difficulty when I tell you that I have been studying this language all my life, and yet every new book is new to me. How much more difficult would it then be for people who never had time to study the language thoroughly![Source]
  • The one idea the Hindu religions differ in from every other in the world, the one idea to express which the sages almost exhaust the vocabulary of the Sanskrit language, is that man must realise God even in this life.[Source]
  • The Puranas were written in the language of the people of that time, what we call modern Sanskrit. They were then meant not for scholars, but for the ordinary people; and ordinary people cannot understand philosophy.[Source]
  • The very sound of the Sanskrit is musical.[Source]
  • The very sound of Sanskrit words gives a prestige and a power and a strength to the race.[Source]
  • This Sanskrit language is so intricate, the Sanskrit of the Vedas is so ancient, and the Sanskrit philology so perfect, that any amount of discussion can be carried on for ages in regard to the meaning of one word. If a Pandit takes it into his head, he can render anybody's prattle into correct Sanskrit by force of argument and quotation of texts and rules.[Source]

Sanskrit and other languages

Swami Vivekananda told—
  1. In philology, our Sanskrit language is now universally acknowledged to be the foundation of all European languages, which, in fact, are nothing but jargonized Sanskrit.[Source]
  2. The Sanskrit language has made room for the Persian and the Arabic.[Source]
  3. Whenever in Sanskrit there is an "s", in ancient Persian it changes into "h", so that "Sindhu" became "Hindu"; and you are all aware how the Greeks found it hard to pronounce "h" and dropped it altogether, so that we became known as Indians.[Source]

This page was last updated on: 14 May 2014, 10:41 am IST (UTC+5:30 hours)
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