Samskrit scholars and people dedicated to its promotion assembled at the three-day national convention of Samskrita Bharati in Udupi, resolved to release Samskrit from the locks of learned and Pandits and make it a language of the masses
Devidas Deshpande in Udupi
It was a collage of Bharat in all its hues and colours. The variance of cultures and plurality of the traditions were more than evident. The only thing that stood out here was the absence of variety of languages that is the hallmark of Bharat. They all spoke one language — literally — when more than 2,000 delegates from every corner of Bharat descended in Udupi, the tourist city in Karnataka known mainly for Sri Krishna Temple.
They all came for the Akhil Bharatiya Adhiveshan of the Samskrita Bharati. For three days from January 6, they deliberated the current status of the language in the country and the future plans for the promotion of this ancient and sacred language. Many a dignitaries personally visited the venue and expressed support for ‘this noble cause of reviving Samskrit, the breath of Bharat’ as the Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said. Not stopping at just discussions, the event was marked by a grand exhibition where the ancient treasure trove of the Samskrit
manuscripts, books and terms for various things used in daily life. A special stall provided the information of the Samskrit wikipedia to give it a modern flavour as well. Not to be missed were the cultural performances, including Samskrit Yakshagan, that provided a peep in the respective state’s culture.
PM’s Tweets Enthuse Samskrit-lovers
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi took special note of this Convention by posting a series of tweets in Samskrit. These tweets were shown on the main screen in the Rajangan Hall drawing a huge applause from everyone present. “I am very happy to learn that Samskrit Bharati's convention is organised at Udupi. May this convention be successful and beneficial to the Samskrit researchers,” said the tweet.
And this was not the only prototype that it sought to destroy. The entire three-day event was marked by defying various conceptions and misconceptions held by the common citizens of the country. For example, it demonstrated how the children as young as toddlers were taught to speak in Samskrit fluently; how Tamil Nadu, a land hitherto considered to be hostile towards Samskrit or any supposedly North-Bharatiya entity was making strides in the promotion of the God’s language and how people of far away north-eastern region are leaning this language. It also shattered the myth that Samskrit had no takers with young students — both girls and boys — thronging to the venue and book on sale registering impressive sale.
Samskrit Translation of Guruji’s literature
One of the main highlights of the convention was release of the Samskrit translation of second RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Guruji's literature. It has been translated by Dr Vishwas. The entire translated literature
The Convention was blessed by all the eight Mutts around Sri Krishna Temple in Udupi. Especially, it was the patronage of Sri Sri Vishweshteerth Swami, the pontiff of Paryaya Shree Pejawar Adhokshaja Mutt, that saw the event coming in actuality. The dignitaries who addressed the gathering during the course of three days included the Lok Sabha Speaker Smt Sumitra Mahajan, Union Minister of Human Resources Development Shri Prakash Javadekar, MP from Mangaluru Shri Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP of Udupi-Chikmagalur Shobha Karandlaje, Fisheries and Youth Empowerment Minister of Karnataka Shri Pramod Madhvaraj, Adviser to Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Dr K Lakshminarayan, RSS Sah Sarkaryavah Shri Suresh Soni, Chancellor of NITTE University Dr N Vinay Hegde, Jagadguru Shri Shri Dr Channa Sidha Rama Panditaradhya Sivaacharya Mahaswami, Srishaila Mahapeeth, Srishailam, Shri Vidyasagar Teerth Maharaj of the Krishnavar Mutt; Shri Shri Nirmalanandnath Mahaswami of Adi Chunchungiri Mahasansthan Mutt, Shri Dharmapalnath Swami of the Shakha Mutt among others.
‘Time-bound programme for Bharatiya languages soon’
Union Minister of Human Resource and Development Shri Prakash Javadekar said, “The Union Government has prepared the vision document for development of Bharatiya languages including Samskrit. The time-bound programme for the development of these languages will be unveiled soon.”
On the first day itself, Lok Sabha Speaker Smt Sumitra Mahajan won the hearts of the audience by giving almost half of her speech in Samskrit. “The study of Samskrit helps in character building and Samskrit is the breath of the Bharat. The modern scientists are trying to analyse the intricacies of the universe with the help of ancient literature, most of which is in Samskrit. It is possible that one day Samskrit will be the global language and Samskrit Bharati has a crucial role to play in it,” she said.
Strong & virtuous Bharat need of the universe
RSS Sahsarkaryavah Shri Suresh Soni emphasised on Bharat's strength and virtues. “Bharat is an eternal nation, it is the soul of the humanity. And to make a strong and virtuous Bharat is the need of the universe. This can be achieved only by making the people understand the basic tenets of Hindu dharma and only Samskrit can be vehicle for this change,” he said.Quoting Will Durant, Shri Soni said, “Today's Bharat is a mixture of two streams — there is a weak but thriving spiritual tradition while another stream is of the customs and beliefs inherited from the aggressors for the thousands of years. The national men and the spiritual men are the first need of a strong Bharat.”
However, it was Madhvaraj who surprised all by his all out rooting for the language. “Not learning Samskrit is the biggest regret of my life. This is not just mine, but the regret of crores of people,” he said and announced that 3.5 lakh students in the National Service Scheme in Karnataka would be taught Samskrit Subhashitas henceforth.
Sugunedrateerth Swami said Samskrit is a beautiful and easy language. “In a certain global conference, I talked in Samskrit and the foreign attendees told me that they understood 50 per cent of it. All languages in the world are regional languages but Samskrit is the universal language. Therefore, Samskrit should be declared as the global language”.
‘Parampara’ Steals the Show
A day prior to the inauguration of the convention, ‘Parampara’, the exhibition put up by the Samskrita Bharati was inaugurated by Pejawar Adhokshaj Mutt's Shri Shri Vishweshteerth Swami.
Shri Vishweshteerth Swami said there are many sources of light that illuminate the world, but the lotus blooms only with the sunlight. Likewise, every language gives the light of knowledge but Samskrit is necessary for the blooming of the heart-lotus. “The promotion of Samskrit is the duty of every Indian. All of us have our mother tongue but Samskrit is the only language that crosses all barriers. Everyone of us should think Samskrit as our mother tongue. Today, this language is locked in the discourses of learned and pandits. Our task to release it and make it the language of the masses,” he added.
Shri Sivacharya Mahaswami said: “Samskrit is not an Indian language but the language of Indian culture. Samskrit is not a dead language but the daddy language. It is God’s language but we have to make it people’s language. The attraction of Samskrit is lessening today and Samskrita Bharati is playing a great role in overcoming that trend.”
Sivacharya Mahaswami underlined the significance of the occasion by pointing out that no pontiff from the Shaiv Sect had entered a Krishna mutt before. However, he came and that was only for the sake of Samskrit. Taking a cue from this, Shri Vishweshteerth Swami said Vaishnav and Shaiv Sects had come together. Heads of all sects should take note of this and should
discard their differences. “Today, we are seeing the dominance of the evil forces. All of us should come together to fight evil forces,” he said. About Samskrit he said, “Samskrit is the soul while our
culture is body. If there is no soul, there will be no body. The Samskrit poses no threat to mother tongue; it is the English language that does. Samskrit language is a great wealth of us Indians and we will be propelled in a deep darkness if we lose it.”
Shri Vidyadheeshteerth Swami explained the nuances and beauty of the Samskrit language while Shri Ishpriyateerth Swami said that Samskrit is God’s language because one becomes godly when one learns it. Shri Vinay Hegde started with saying that he believed that India had lost a great treasure of knowledge contained in Samskrit. “Sometimes I feel I have lost something important by not knowing Samskrit. The tragedy of this country is that we are brought up in the anglicised culture and lifestyle. The language must be made compulsory at least in the schools,” he said adding that Samskrit lost its glamour because it was restricted. Let the Udupi convention be the first step towards revival of Samskrit, adding that every house in this nation must have at least one Samskrit word in it. n