Pre-read for Online Sanskrit Session 3 – 19th July 2014

The structure of Sanskrit language being very strong, there are many rules to remember while constructing a sentence (and more rules in poetry). As in the case of most of the other languages, where we have only two cases – singular and plural, in Sanskrit there is a third case – dual. The genders in Sanskrit are as the same as in other languages – masculine, feminine or neutral. But the way a word gets a gender is totally different from other languages. For example, ‘Vrikshah’ (tree) is a neuter gender in other languages but in Sanskrit it is masculine. This happens because, the rules in Sanskrit grammar gives the gender to a word according to the construction (or form) of the word and not as per the form or nature of the object that the word represents.

Like the other languages, Sanskrit also has first, second and third person. But here the difference is that ‘He’ Prathama Purusha (first person), ‘you’ becomes Madhyama Purusha and ‘I’ becomes Uttama Purusha. In English, prepositions are different words used along with a noun or pronoun. But in Sanskrit, the when the prepositions are to be attached to a noun or pronoun, the noun/pronoun changes its form. So, one has to learn by heart all these forms that a word attains after the respective prepositions are joined. On top of that, these new forms (after the change that has happened after attaching the prepositions) will attain a form according to the construction of the original noun. For example, ‘of Rama’ and ‘of Sita’ will carry different representations of the word ‘of’ in both cases because Rama is masculine gender and Sita is feminine gender. Again, so many different permutations and combinations of words appear in present, past and future tenses.

In short, what happens is that while a person uses Sanskrit language, his brain is very alert because construction of sentences requires a lot of skill. With practice, a person becomes skillful with less effort. There’s a lot of mapping that the brain does while using Sanskrit language and all the mapping is done based on the structure of a word. If put in words of computer programming, for every sentence construction in Sanskrit the brain has to use a lot of ‘if…then…else…and…or’ conditions. And that is why it is considered for coding in computers.

If a child (or even an adult) learns Sanskrit, then
• He has to make use of his brain more. This would naturally result in use of more grey matter.
• Logical skills get developed faster.
• Brain learns to map.
• Mathematical ability goes up because the structure of Sanskrit grammar is mathematical in nature.
• Lot of rules means lot of things to memorise. This will increase memory power.
• Fluency in uttering different sounds which enables a person to learn any other language.
• One starts understanding to go to the verbal root and etymology of a word (in any language) for understanding the meaning of it.
• Lot of insights into computer programming can be derived.
• A computer can understand the structure of a word and not what it means. Since Sanskrit grammar deals with the structure of the word and accordingly the rules are applied in sentence formations, the computer doesn’t have to be programmed to understand the meaning of the word. It just has to understand the word’s structure and the computer can be instructed what operation has to be performed. This, Sanskrit can be one of the most efficient languages for computers.
• Once we have dealt with Sanskrit which has got so many rules, learning any other language becomes very easy.

~ Learnings from ‘Learning Sanskrit Language and Structure: Theory and Application’ a two-week residential camp at Chinmaya International Foundation from 16th – 30th June 2014.

Register for the Online Classes at http://tinyurl.com/ojwaqap

Link for class on 19th July 2014 http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/2023008-sanskrit-level-1-session-3

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