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Today the correctness of Sanskrit language is tested upon the touchstone of Panini’s Ashtadhyayee. It was first used in Vedas and thereafter it has been the means of expression in other fields.
William Jones, who was already familiar with Greek and Latin, when came in contact with Sanskrit, remarked that Sanskrit is more perfect than Greek, more copious than Latin and more refined than either. It is noteworthy that though ancient and classical, Sanskrit is still used as medium of expression by scholars throughout India and somewhere in other parts of the world e.g. Sanskrit is included in the list of modern Indian Languages in the eighth schedule of the constitution of India. Pali and Prakrit were first to develop from Sanskrit.
As per the Indian tradition Sanskrit Language has no beginning and no ending. Pali was taken as means for exposition of Buddhistic ideas and Prakrit was used for the spread of Jain doctrines.
Sanskrit language must have evolved to its expressive capability prior to that.
The Pratishakhyas explained the forms of the words and other grammatical points. During this period a vast literature -Vedas, Brahmana-Granthas, Aranyakas, Upanishads and Vedangas had come to existence which could be termed as Vedic Literature being written in Vedic Sanskrit. C.) was a great landmark in the development of Sanskrit language.
Most of the Buddhistic literature is written in Pali and that of Jain cult in Prakrit.
A vast amount of Buddhistic and Jain literature was also written in Sanskrit simultaneously.These Prakrits were used for writing ornate poetry like Gaha Saptashati and Karpur Manjari and also in Sanskrit drama as dialogues of ladies and illiterate characters.From each type of Prakrit various Apabhramsha languages developed bearing the same name as Paishachi Apabhramsha, Shaurseni Apabhramsha and so on.Sanskrit literature first of all presents Vedas which are the basis for Dharma. There are four Vedas Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda, and Atharvaveda.Brahman granthas explain the Vedic literature and give the detailed process to perform the Yajnas.It is said that all the modern Indian languages used in north part of India are evolved from Sanskrit and the other Modern Indian Langauges of South India- Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu are evolved from the Dravidian family of languages.The South Indian MILs are well enriched and nourished by Sanskrit language. There are four aims of human life which are called Purusharthas. Dharma stands for the duties and responsibilities of man.Harishena and Vatsabhatti were also prominent writers.Some other divisions of the classical literature and some names of the classical writers are: Kalhan and Bilhan in the field of historical Kavyas : Bhartrihari, Amaruka, Bilhana, Jayadeva, Somadeva etc. The Brihatkatha, Romantic and Didactic Fables, erotic poetry, champu kavyas, works on poetics and anthologies, gnomic and didactic poetry etc. The Scientific Literature covers Lexicography, Metrics, Grammar, Law, Science of Politics, Love, Philosophy and Religion, Medicine, Astronomy, Astrology and mathematics etc.Modern Indian Languages are developed from these Apabhramsha languages.Hindi, the official language of India, is developed from Shauraseni Apabhransha.