I don’t remember exactly in which class Sanskrit was introduced in my school. May be in class V or earlier. I attended a Montessori school in RailwayGunj, Hardoi, UP then another school in Sarvodaya Nagar near Kakadev, Kanpur. Later attended Campus School and Kendriya Vidyalaya IIT Kanpur. Obviously most part was under CBSE and NCERT pattern. They were the recognized National Bodies.
Mrs Pathak was my class Teacher in class III at Campus School IIT Kanpur.
When I was in montessori school i was graduated to class V (i think) within one year. When first 4 monthly exam was held and after that i was shifted to class IV. I just remember that after some months i was siting in class V with only 5 students in class. I used to carry a TIN box, a small suit case type. It was my school bag. All the books, notebooks, geometry box, wooden pen and ink pot has to be carried.
But when we shifted to IIT Kanpur, i was admitted in the class III, I was not found suitable for class IV. My English might not have been up to the mark for class IV standard at Campus School IIT Kanpur. That is a basic difference i found in Montessori school and other schools.
When i was in Class X, i took the decision to study Sanskrit and not Hindi. The Hindi teachers at KV IIT Kanpur felt very sad over our decision. They did try to motivate and told us that in future it will be a problem for you. But at that age we rarely bothered about pros and cons of future!!! I appeared at class X exam. It was very tough. Since it was an impression that whatever we write examiner will not give maximum marks. They have to cut the marks. Then only it will be considered that they have actually examined the answer sheets. In those days rarely we found that students got 100 out of 100. Everyone is not ABHAY SHUKLA!!! In our KV IIT Kanpur there is a board listing the names of highest scorer. The name of Dr ABHAY SHUKLA Bhai saheb is there.
But at home there were numerous occasions where we got opportunity to hear Sanskrit. All the puja, festivals ceremonies, all SANSKARs etc the chants with rituals were all in SANSKRIT.
Later I heard Shri VidyaNiwas Mishra. He was a good speaker, orator, whatever you call but he was a learned and great master of words. I think i have heard him speak at IIT Kanpur in one seminar(??)
While studying Sanskrit, i got infected with some “virus” which always tried to learn, read, hear or see or search about Sanskrit. I also bought many books written in Sanskrit.
When i was attending PPN College at Kanpur, At parade area in Kanpur on the road there was a big market of old things, be it military, police cloths,etc. I was fond of music and dance. There was a market of old LP Records also, in parade ground opposite to Naveen Market near IMA Kanpur. I used to visit that market and bought many LP records of Dance songs of films. There was one market of old books also. I bought a book ABHIGYAN SHAKUNTALUM another i bought KADAMBARI.
The language in which the Shakuntalum is written is difficult to understand for normal person. The Sanskrit used in the play is different than what we were taught.
Doordarshan later introduced the NEWS in SANSKRIT. It was a happy development. But the language has become different. As if they are translating from English and Hindi. May be to make it more popular and understandable .
William Jones and persons in his times are responsible for revival of heritage we have now. As in 1783 (if i am correct) he translated the Shakuntlam and published in English as “Sacuntala”
The work of Panini is the greatest achievement in field of language. Most scientifically he and people of his times have written and described the grammar of Sanskrit. After those times Sanskrit has seen many centuries till now. But this century had been the saddest for Sanskrit. She needs a new life. I also admire King Shalivahana. I remember him as a greatest reformer. Since he grew in house of a potter, played with commoners, boys of his neighborhood, they belonged to the lowest section of society. He used to sit on a branch of tree and play with boys, acting himself as a KING and all his friends as warriors of his army. Later people knew this tree as Shali (saal is the name of tree i know now, but was it that tree i dont know?) That’s why his name was Shali Vahan. One whose vahan (vehicle) is shali tree. or just the saal which may be the word used for branch of tree.
Later with his popularity among his society, they got united and fought against big army of King Vikramaditya. King Vikramaditya lost, as i read somewhere, later King was killed at hands of Shalivahana. Then we know that there was an AKASHVANI or a prediction, which King Vikramaditya already knew, that he will be won over and killed by a commoner. A boy of girl of eight years ( I don’t know how much truth is there in it??). But now days society has changed. We hear that in Bangalore small kids (3 to 8 years) were raped in school. and it is happening all over. Now it must have been happening in NORTH WEST, portions (Iraq etc) under attack of few terrorist. BBC shown the news of HARAM who has kidnapped many girls. Recent is the case where some part of Iraq has been captured by terrorist.
But what i found unique is that from Kasmir to Kanyakumari, from Manipur to Gujrat, everywhere in nook and corner of this land- “Bharat” all the invocation to lord- the all mighty are pronounced in SANSKRIT.
In her memoirs “Song Sung True” the famous Malka Pukhraj wrote about the Bhajans sung in the temples accross Jammu. Our beloved Jewel of India, the Bharat Ratna Smt M Subbulakshmi (she was known as MS) sung the shrotas and Vishnu Sahastranam, Suprabhatam and many others in pious SANSKRIT. In Kanya Kumari Puja is performed in SANSKRIT.
A saint and holy atma (soul) from down south India came and roamed whole India, and established KedarNath-BadriNath etc MATH, where he appointed priest also, and popularized the SANSKRIT, I mean he popularised the culture of BHAKTI, thus the BHAKTI element became profound in SANSKRIT Bhasa. You all know the great saint?? The Adi Sankaracharya. I call him a great social reformer who united all parts of India.
SANKAR DEV from Bengal/Orissa took the path of Krishna Bhakti and popularised the Krishna Bhakti in MANIPUR, ASSAM and NORTH EAST INDIA. The Bhasa was SANSKRIT and other languages also.
In what language JAIDEV had written on Bhakti. His famous “Geet Govind” Thus SANSKRIT had been the langauge of Bhakti all over the sub continent. this language has suffered a lot, the most sever onslaught during the last half century.
When I wanted to study SANSKRIT in class XI and XII, I was told that there is no teacher- how can you then opt for SANSKRIT. I had taken BIOLOGY, MATHEMATICS, PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY, (ENGLISH- since it was compulsory). few of my friends took MATHS and dropped the BIOLOGY and in addition opted HINDI.
Did anyone of you have read works of King Bhartihari (who became a sanyasi), or RAJTARANGINI written by KALHAN a great writter from KASHMIR?? SAMVED?? or Natya Shastra?? Ayurveda all are in SANSKRIT. Even the ArthShastra by Kautilya?
GRAMMER, PHILOSOPHY, METALLURGY, SURGERY, ART, even the art of KAAM, the kamasutra), SHILP or STHAPATTYA (down south people are known as STHAPATHY), POETRY and PLAYS (MEGHDOOT, SHAKUNTALUM, RAGHUVANSH, KUMAR SAMBHAVAM), MUDRA RAKSHAS, MRICHKATIK and many more are all written in SANSKRIT. SANSKRIT transcends the boundaries of religions, Regions, CULTURES, all the barriers. Thus i wish one day can i write a blog in SANSKRIT and wish that all people read it in SANSKRIT and offer their feedback in SANSKRIT.
Sansarasya sarvasu bhasasu prachintam asti iti?