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Bhartiya Scriptures
Descension of
Bhagwan Ram
Hinduism at a Glance
Sanatan Dharm
Sanskrit – The Mother
of All Languages
(I - III)
  Part I
The Origin
 
  Part II
The Perfection
 
  Part III
Unique Features
 
Glossary of Terms

Sanskrit: The Mother of All Languages - Part II of III
A Glimpse of the Perfection of Sanskrit Grammar

Click here to read Part I - The Origin of Sanskrit
Click here to read Part III - Six Unmatched Features of Sanskrit


Sage Panini conceived fourteen very distinct sounds from God Shiv’s damru (small hand-drum which God Shiv holds in His hand) and created the entire Sanskrit grammar called Ashtadhyayi. Those Divine sounds are:

There are total of 52 letters (16 vowels and 36 consonants).
The vowels are:
The consonants are:
 
Sage Panini conceived fourteen very distinct sounds from God Shiv’s damru (small hand-drum which God Shiv holds in His hand) and created the entire Sanskrit grammar called Ashtadhyayi.

A glimpse of the perfection of Sanskrit grammar can be seen by the extensiveness of its grammatical tenses. There are ten tenses: one form for the present tense, three forms for the past tense and two forms for the future tense. There is also imperative mood, potential mood, benedictive mood (called asheerling, which is used for indicating a blessing), and conditional. Each tense has three separate words for each of the three grammatical persons (first person, second person and third person), and it further distinguishes if it’s referring to one, two, or more than two people (called eakvachan, dvivachan and bahuvachan). Then there are three categories of the verbs called atmanepadi, parasmaipadi and ubhaipadi. These forms indicate whether the outcome of the action is related to the doer or the other person or both. In this way there are ninety forms of one single verb.
Sanskrit words are formed of a root word called dhatu. For instance: kri root word means ‘to do,’ gam root word means ‘to go.’ So, there are ninety forms of each of these verbs like, karoti, kurutah, kurvanti, and gachchati, gachchatah, gachchanti etc. In English language there are only a few words like: do, doing and done, or go, gone, going and went; then some more words have to be added to express the variations of the tense like: is, was, will, has been, had, had had, etc. But in the Sanskrit language there are ready-made single words for all kinds of uses and situations.
This is elucidated with an example of kri-dhatu (parasmaipadi).


As far as nouns and pronouns are concerned, there are words for all the three genders and each word has twenty-one forms of its own which covers every situation. Then there is a very elaborate and precise system of composing, phrasing, making a sentence, joining two words and coining any number of words according to the need.
Regarding Sanskrit vocabulary, there is a dictionary of the root words and prefixes and suffixes called dhatu path at the end of Ashtadhyayi. It has an abundance of words and furthermore, Sanskrit grammar has the capacity for creating any number of new words for a new situation or concept or thing.
There is a detailed system of every aspect of the grammar. All the aspects of the Sanskrit grammar along with the dictionary were received as one packet from the very beginning along with the Vedas. Moreover, from the historical and logical point of view, since the very first day the linguists have learned about the existence of the Sanskrit language, they have seen it in the same perfect form. No ‘sound shift,’ no change in the vowel system, and no addition was ever made in the grammar of the Sanskrit in relation to the formation of the words.
In the last 5,000 years, since the Sumerians uttered the communicating words in a very limited scope and their wedge-shaped cuneiform writing came into existence, there has been no such genius born who could produce a grammar as perfect as Sanskrit.
All the languages of the world started in a primitive form with incomplete alphabet and vowels, having only a few words in the beginning which were just enough for the people to communicate with each other. Even the advanced international language of today, the English language, when it took its roots from West Germanic around 800 AD, was in an absolutely primitive form. As it developed, it assimilated about 30% of its words from Latin and numerous words from French and Greek. Slowly developing and improving its vocabulary, the style of writing and the grammar from Old English (which had only two tenses) to Middle English, to Early Modern English, and then to Modern English, took a very long time.
As late as the beginning of the 17th century when its first dictionary was published in London in 1604, there were only 3,000 words. The title of the dictionary was, “A Table Alphabetical, conteyning and teaching the true writing and understanding of hard unusual English wordes, borrowed from the Hebrew, Greeke, Latine or French & c.” Somewhat similar is the story of all the ancient and modern languages which started from a very primitive stage of their literal representation with no regular grammar. Proper grammar was introduced at a much later date as their society reached a significant level of communication.
From the exacting nature of the pronunciation of its 52 letters to the science of word formation, there has never been any kind, class or nature of change in the science of Sanskrit grammar. Sanskrit has been in its perfect form since the very beginning.

Click here to read Part I - The Origin of Sanskrit
Click here to read Part III - Six Unmatched Features of Sanskrit
This article was compiled from, “The True History and the Religion of India” by Dharm Chakravarty Swami Prakashanand Saraswati. This landmark encyclopedia of authentic Hinduism gives detailed information on related topics such as the perfection of Sanskrit grammar, the six unmatched features of the Sanskrit language, and the origin of Sanskrit grammar. © 2004 The Vedic Foundation
This article may be reprinted with permission in writing from The Vedic Foundation.
 
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