Śāstram is an educational text book. Don’t term it religious.

img_0553The worst occurrence in the abolishing of a cultural identity is to disconnect the present generations from their ancestoral roots, and the easiest way is to change the language. The way the ancestors spoke should no longer be understood to the new generation! How important it is to recognise that language controls the generation! It modifies with time, but to make the child in a family begin to think in an acquired language which his parents or grandparents did not know of! This is sure staple for a gap in thought.

All Vedic śāstram is in Sanskrit language. Actually, there is a Sanskrit specifically devoted to the Vedās, it is referred to as the Vedic Sanskrit or also termed the classical Sanskrit. Almost all the spoken languages in India, and neighbouring countries are rooted in it. (Some say, even far of foreign languages also, like German, but I am not qualified to comment on that). This classical Vedic Sanskrit graduated to the modern spoken Sanskrit whose grammar rule were codified by the great Pānini. Most of the now available śastrās are written in this and thus are still capable of being understood!

But, in the history of India, we find there have been centuries of infiltrations, and in their attempts to know the culture, have eroded it gradually. And in the very recent times, what has completely usurped us from our roots in thought, is the fact that I am writing in it and not in my mother tongue or Sanskrit. Infact I am made to believe it is my primary language. I have an aunt who does not know it! How can this then, be my primary language?  That besides, when our principal texts, our śastrās got translated, here is where the seed for a ‘confused generation hereforth’, in terms of knowing their śāstrās, got sown. Many a word in the Sanskrit language have no parallel word in English, how can they then be translated??

This where Bhagavad Gītā, got or was, falsely or deliberately, covered in a religious robe! Every word in language is nothing but a representation of an idea in thought. Take the example of the word Dharma. Vedās talk of Dharmas. Dharma is a whole concept which has a certain flexibility to its meaning. It adapts its meaning to the context in which it is used! The context automatically gives away the meaning to the one who knows the language completely. But imagine 350 years ago, some Englishman, who saw on the banks of river Gangā, some people performing their early morning sun worship! He is alien to such an action! Worshipping the Sun! And in his attempts to know genuinely, he believes they are praying. And praying is religious to him. And when he asks the person, what are you doing?” That person must have answered “I am only doing my Dharma.” Our Englishman got confirmed that Dharma means religion! And thereafter, till today, in all the translations, whereever word Dharma comes, it is translated as religion! It has got so accepted, that we have forgotten what Dharma means! We can’t pray to the Sun now without being religious! Utter confusion!! How would the dear English soul know, Dharma is a Karma. And Karma is not action. Even praying is a Karma. 🙏  Namaste! …… is also a greeting, not a prayer.

Deepti Vishwanath

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