Why schools outside India teach Sanskrit?

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Author: Smt. Venetia Ansell (http://venetiaansell.wordpress.com)

St James’ Schools, London, age 4-18

It has a perfect system of sound and grammar which gives the child an excellent base for the study of all languages. Children love the order and beauty of the sound and the letters.

The language is sound-based and helps to sharpen listening and speech skills. There is a wider range of sounds and letters than in most other languages and this enables the child to grow quickly in precise speech.

Studying Sanskrit gives children access to one of the greatest stores of literature available and the children love the stories.

“It gives them brilliant linguistic training. Sanskrit scriptures are inspiring and full of philosophical concepts, which is why we teach it,” – Warwick Jessop, head of St James’ Sanskrit department

[quote taken from NDTV article 28th June 2010 - http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/sanskrit-thriving-in-uk-schools-34267]

Erasmus School of Primary Education, Melbourne, preparatory to grade 6

Sanskrit, being the oldest known language and the foundation for many modern languages, including English, presents a rich source of study and inspiration for children.  It is recognised by scholars as having one of the most perfect systems of grammar. Children enjoy the beautiful and pure sounds of Sanskrit which they begin to recite in their first year at school.

John Scottus, Dublin, primary and secondary school

The qualities of Sanskrit are the qualities you want your child to have. It is full of principle, precision and flexibility. It has a rich and uplifting effect even if you hear its sound without meaning.

The meaning of its vast literature is both deeply philosophical and utterly practical. It spells out every area of human life, including Ayurvedic medicine, psychology, yoga, vedic maths, rhythm, music, dance, etymology, grammar and methods for self-knowledge.

It is made complete in every way: it has a structured grammar covering every nuance, letter, word and sentence composition. The meaning of the word ‘Sams-krit’ is ‘made completely’.

It is often referred to as the language of the gods. Its effect can be felt immediately.

It makes you flex your mental muscle in an age when we have become too reliant on machines to do the thinking for us and where we have adopted ways of speaking which require minimal intelligent application. This gives the Sanskrit speaker a sharper mind which is able to retain vast amounts of knowledge with the ability to produce more harmonious and rich speech.

John Colet School, Sydney, primary school

The classical languages of Latin and Sanskrit are studied because they provide not only a background to the cultures of Europe and Asia, but an understanding of grammar, the basis for all future language learning.

Philosophy Day School, New York, nursery – fifth grade

(Sanskrit) is an astonishingly ordered and beautiful language, and its study is a brilliant training for the mind, affording unmatchable insight into the very nature of language itself. Its grammar is unrivalled in its comprehensiveness and refinement. Its sounds are pure and have remained unchanged over the ages.

The structure of the Sanskrit alphabet, which children are introduced to in Kindergarten, is scientifically ordered in its differentiation of mouth positions. The sounds of the alphabet are comprehensive in their range, and considerably broaden the linguistic skills of the children at an early stage.

Sanskrit has one of the richest and most extensive literatures of all known languages, such as the The Ramayana and The Mahabharata. It introduces children to vast epics, profound scripture, subtle philosophy, voluminous mythology, exquisite poetry and much else.

The practice of Sanskrit calligraphy is an art in itself. The study of Sanskrit enhances and provides an excellent grounding for any other language the child studies later on.

3 Responses to “Why schools outside India teach Sanskrit?”

  1. A.Gajanana

    I will summarise the answer for this question by quoting a Kannada proverb ” hittala gida maddalla”- “What is grown in your backyard is not medicine”. The import of this statement is that, that which is available easily has no value. Only if you buy paying a price it will have value. similarly, Sanskrit is widely and freely available in India has no value. But its value is realised has been in other countries.


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