Sanskrit – a living language – both ancient and modern
Many, if not most people who are aware of the existence of the Sanskrit language, are under the wrong impression that Sanskrit is a "dead" language existing only in the ancient scriptures of India. While the truth is that the Sanskrit language is very much alive and is being used as a practical day to day language by hundreds if not thousands of people.
The numbers of people who know Sanskrit and use it in daily life is growing constantly while many children are growing up with Sanskrit as their mother tongue.
It is true that the in comparison to most modern languages the numbers of people speaking Sanskrit in daily life is still very small, but nevertheless it is more than enough to declare this language as both ancient and modern.
Sanskrit grammar is very systematic and flexible at the same time. It contains complete sets of rules for creating new words so that the language can very easily expand to include all sorts of modern ideas, concepts, inventions and developments.
The beauty is that modern Sanskrit is not that different from the ancient language. It is the same language. It has the same grammar and same structures and the only difference is in style and the addition of modern words.
As in any other language, changes occur with time – some forms of words are being used less, while the use of others increase, some aspects of the grammar are expressed to a greater degree while others become more dormant.
Even within the ancient scriptures of Sanskrit such differences of style are to be found. There are different styles in different eras – but they are all well within the range of the same one Sanskrit language. The same applies to the modern days Sanskrit.
Those who are still doubting the fact that Sanskrit is a living language that is used in practical daily life by many people, can dispel their doubts very easily by searching youtube.com for video clips in Sanskrit. They will be amazed to see how much Sanskrit is alive as a spoken language (Soon we will place some links on this website).
in the year 2001 we had the privilage to spent some time in the center of the Samskrita-Bharati organization in Bangalore.
We studied with them and met many people who lived Sanskrit in their lives. The experience of meeting them, seeing their daily life centered around Sanskrit, and even interacting with them in Sanskrit, was a very inspiring, elevating and educational experience.
We highly recommend anyone who is truly interested to learn more about the revival of Sanskrit, not only to view sanskrit video clips on youtube but also to travel to India and to visit some centers of Samskrita Bharati in order to have the direct experience of seeing Sanskrit breathing and alive in the present – just as we could imagine it to have been in ancient times.