Presents a linguistic journey of Sanskrit and European languages into the past millennia, the dynamic role played by Sanskrit, affinity of verbal roots, prefixes, suffixes and generative systems, comparative linguistic studies such as Sanskrit with Baltic and Lithuanian, tracing linguistic roots 111 of European languages, a study of Romanian language from the philosophical perspective on its case structure in the light of Panini's grammar, modern scientific philology and linguistics, Sanskrit studies in European countries inside mota and outside the university systems, their objectives, scope, perspectives and outcome. It also presents proximity and percolation of Sanskrit roots and words into European languages, followed by definitions, dictionary meanings, word formations, changes undergone, the researches done over the past centuries, the passion for Sanskrit scriptures in the world, a specially drafted course for Rroms, as their language is closer to Sanskrit than Indian languages. The book highlights the problems in the field of lexicography to meet the demands of the modern age. It discusses the ancient Celtic languages, the problems faced by the Baltic countries and their linguistic connection with Pre-Vedic India.
Discovery of Sanskrit was the culmination of the quest of the foundations of European civilization which were laid between the late Roman and 10-11th centuries.
The word Europe was taken from Homer in the 9th century to distinguish the inhabitants of the European continent from Islamic lands and the Greek speaking Christian empire of Byzantium. Transition from the middle ages to the Revival of Learning in the 13th century was the recovery of classical culture and the vital energy that brought the modern world into existence with re-awakened grasp of the realities of human nature and the world. It was followed by changes in the intellectual attitude of the West known under the generic term of Renaissance or `re-birth. It was the rebirth or punarjanma of free exercise of faculties away from the thralldom of the medieval period. It was the decay of the church and empires. The mental barriers imposed by medieval orthodoxy were shattered. Renaissance took human self-esteem as the ideal of modern civilization. Humanism was liberation from theological despotism and an effort to regain letters leaning to the side of man than of divinity. New learning introduced by humanists awakened free thought, encouraged curiosity, and cosmopolitan expression. The presence of Naturalism in the Latin songs of wandering students who styled themselves Goliardi derived their inspiration from pagan times. Haunting taverns, treading forests by their vagrant feet, these songsters showed that the deities of Greece and Rome were not in exile, but at home within the hearts of living men. The Revival of Learning in Italy was the renewal of understanding the Latin classics in the right spirit. The odour of sanctity around these relics of the pagan past was substituted by humanism, recognition of the divinity of man and nature as displayed in the great monuments of Greek and Latin classics. Revival of Learning was an "emancipation of enslaved intelligence" by medieval orthodoxy. Petrarch pointed the right interpretation of Latin classics and also divined the importance of recovering knowledge of Greek literature. From decadent theological scholasticism it was the fountain of renascent youth. The 15th century was a revitalizing faith that scholarship was restoring humanity to its birth right after the expatriation of ten centuries. Scholars like Politian, Lorenzo Valla thrilled Europe by pagan melodies in verse and prose in both Greek and Latin. Italy was the great seat of new learning, and the German, French and Spanish nations were invited to its feast. The central ideas of enlightenment reach deep into ancient Greece. Greek philosophers discovered regularity in the processes of nature and concluded that the ordering principle was intelligent mind. The idea of intellectual progress became transformed in the general progress of mankind. European mind was moving away from the neo-classicism of the 18th century with the movement of romanticism that the Europeans had migrated from a distant unknown land. The supreme architect of the romantic movement Friedrich Schlegel coined the term `comparative grammar'.
The seminar "Sanskrit and Europe" takes us into the past millennia when Sanskrit played a dynamic role in the development of cultures and civilizations. Its history goes back to the 4th century BC when Greeks had admired India because Socrates had discussed philosophy with an Indian. They said India is the source of all philosophy. When Europeans became passionate to search their roots, they came to the threshold of India. They were mesmerized by the affinity with Sanskrit and were filled with enthusiasm, feeling proud of going deep and being close to Sanskrit. A number of Sanskrit classics were translated into European languages and comparative linguistic studies were undertaken. Sanskrit words were found as their millennial roots that have reached deep into the endless time.
Arthur Schopenhauer, the German scientist studied Upanishads. He was so fascinated by Bhagavadgfai that he recited a gloka from it. When he first witnessed the blast of an atom bomb-
Divi surya sahasrasya bhavedyugapadutthita/ yadi bhah sadro sa syat bhasastasya mahatmanah//
If the effulgence of a thousand suns simultaneously were to blaze forth in the firmament then that light be compared with the effulgence of the ultimate Personalities universal form.
The first chapter written by Shashibala presents background of the volume. The second by Prof. Dr. Lokesh Chandra "Sanskrit and Renaissance in Europe" presents an in-depth research on the dynamics of Sanskrit in Greek and Latin. According to him Sanskrit verbal roots, prefixes and suffixes as well as generative systems became the building blocks of European languages. The analysis of Greek vocabulary reveals multiple layers- pre-Sanskrit, Sanskrit and post-Sanskrit. He states that Indo-European is a construct of imperialism with unexpressed but implicit assumptions. While discussing about Indo-European as the marginalisation of Sanskrit he worries that there is no detailed study of two distinct and separate types of vocabulary -the specific vocabularies of Hellenic, Romance, Slavic and Germanic languages and their common basic vocabulary. He presents pre-Indo-European names of rivers going back in time to fifth-sixth millennium BC. Vedic deities were invoked by Hittites in 1380 BC. The names of Mitanni kings were Sanskrit. The Cassettes, ruling Mesopotamia worshiped Sun and Marutah. A close linkage between Sanskrit and Avesta points to transportation of Sanskrit words to the Iranian lands. Sanskrit became the trans-creation of European languages. One can see four ascending strata in developing languages, evolving from tribal roots to classical idioms, and to contemporary sophistication of natural sciences and abstract conceptualizations of philosophy and sciences.
Prof. Dr. Audrius Beinorius presents his research on Sanskrit and Lithuania: Linguistic, Historical and Cultural Relations. The Linguistically relations between Sanskrit and Lithuanian languages has been stressed since the very beginning of Indo-European studies in Europe in 19th century. In contemporary Lithuania everyone is feeling proud to mention this affinity as a one of significant signs of Lithuanian cultural identity. In spite of this evident and enchanting relations till now only few Indian scholars have been seriously dealing with this topic. Among them a special place is occupied by an Indian linguist and educationist Sunita Kumar Chatterji (1890-1977) who has written a unique book Balts and Aryans in their Indo-European Background (1968) in which he was trying to describe those linguistic and cultural correspondences on the basis of this own academic explorations done in Lithuania and Latvia during the Soviet times. He has called an ancient Lithuanian songs (daina) a Baltic Samhita. In his presentation he dealt with the issue of the historical reasons of this linguistic affinity and cultural links by providing the textual and religious/mythological examples and trying to answer the question: why even nowadays Lithuanian Christians are praying: Viegpatie Dievel He concludes with Sanskrit studies in the 20th century.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
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