View Full Version : The mystery of the difference between Saṃskṛta and Hindi

17 October 2015, 10:55 AM
Namaskāra everyone (notice I write all the words in Saṃskṛta and not Hindi?),

I'm in the process of trying to learn Hindi again, and what has tripped me up in the past is the schwa syncope rule - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwa_deletion_in_Indo-Aryan_languages

Just this morning, I wanted to pick up again on a Hindi lesson, and I decided to google for something more complete in the understanding of how to apply this rule. Right here - http://www.aclweb.org/anthology/W/W04/W04-0103.pdf

The reason I bring this up is because Saṃskṛta is a perfect language, and it is based on the science of sound and its effects. Is it possible that the beginning of the language of Hindi spelled the beginning of corruption and the loss of power through intentional deletion of certain vowels in the words?

What would happen if the majority of people readopted Saṃskṛta as their primary language?


17 October 2015, 12:06 PM

Is it possible that the beginning of the language of Hindi spelled the beginning of corruption and the loss of power through intentional deletion of certain vowels in the words?
That sounds like a very valid assumption. But as the authors in their research paper note, '......a diachronic and sociolinguistic phenomenon that facilitates faster communication through syllable economy'; the intent of a common person on the street is always faster communication through shortcuts and not necessarily retaining the power inherent in the correct/full pronunciation of words. The same phenomenon of lazy/economical pronunciation extends to adopted words too - birthday is mostly pronounced as bur-day in the Hindi heartland.

What would happen if the majority of people readopted Saṃskṛta as their primary language?
I for one think that readopting Samskrta would bring people closer to the divine scriptural verses thereby rekindling their awareness. At a gross level, that would result in calming of the soul, an uptick in civil behavior, a general elevation in the quality of life of the population and a stronger nation through the convictions/confidence of its citizens. At a higher level, there would be more realized souls. But readoption of Samskrta is a tall order.


17 October 2015, 01:33 PM
If the assumption is valid, then what I think happened is for some reason, people speaking Saṃskṛta started to lose their powers in one of several ways I can think of (I didn't say, "one of TWO ways" because I might find something else as I think this out):

1) Something happened to begin stunting their powers, and the loss of those powers probably involved patience required to sound out every single syllable of each word. As a result, they started dropping their vowels to speed up speech because they found themselves in a hurry (why would they be in a hurry?), and very likely because Saṃskṛti started to degrade, unsavory behavior was starting to show up in larger numbers, like in Europe where there was warfare, slavery, all kinds of bad things. As a result, from this perspective, Saṃskṛta started to "devolve" into the various modern languages spoken today. One feature of this "degradation" is the usage of the schwa syncope rule. You MUST know when to apply it correctly and where to apply it. Some languages apply this differently than others, which means this can be used to help screen out potential enemies and spies trying to scope out the weaknesses of a given village/city in preparation for an attack. I cannot help but notice a very narrow time frame in which the arrival of Muslims in India and the emergence of the first Hindi poet, Siddha Sarahpa both occur. Muslims arrived on Indian shores around 630, and Sarahpa lived sometime in the 700s CE, so there had to be time in which the behaviors of Muslims were becoming known and spread eastward over time. You had foreign invasions and disharmony within the society to contend with.

2) The stunting of the powers was accidental, in that the schwa deletion rule might have been applied to everyday words not directly related to SD or the other spiritual paths at first, so the effect of dropping the sounds might not have had an effect or little in some unnoticeable ways, then people who were further removed from relying on Saṃskṛta (because they were not temple priests) probably went ahead and applied the rule to more and more words, causing these people to lose their powers. As it became habit, the ratio of enlightened people dropped because it was forgotten why it was important to maintain the language usage as it originally was.

Just ideas I have here...

17 October 2015, 10:18 PM
just found something here:

https://vedantasundayclass.files.wor...sciousness.pdf (https://vedantasundayclass.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/fd9e4-some_theses_on_colonial_consciousness.pdf)

"From what I know, there is very little empirical support to the hypothesis that the Islamic colonialism had a great impact on the fertility of the Indian intellectuals. Indian intellectuals continued to produce original theoretical tracts under the Islamic colonial rule. There is one hypothesis I have come across that tries to explain this: Rajiv Malhotra’s claim that these contributions were merely the results of the earlier investment made by the Indian culture. The Muslims prevented any further investment in this area by the Indian culture. So, after a couple of centuries of their rule, intellectual life in India came to a standstill. Once this happened, something peculiar happened in the Indian culture that the British built further on. Before seeing what it is, let us notice very clearly that we need to investigate the Islamic colonial rule from the following point of view: which mechanisms did they use to prevent the further growth of theories and speculations in the Indian cultures? How did the intellectual circles die in India? There would have to be at least two indicators of this state of affairs: the loss of fecundity in the debates within the Indian traditions, and the disappearance of centers of learning from the Indian culture.

"12. For the time being, I will assume this hypothesis as true (and requiring further investigation to prove its truth or falsity). Islamic colonialism prevented access to our experience by arresting or impeding the transmission of theories that alone could help us make sense of experience. The question is: why should the death of intellectual life in India lead to this state of affairs? There are two factors to consider here. One is that intellectual life was mostly tied to the experience of daily life. (This has to do with the specificity of the Indian culture, more about which later.) The death of such an intellectual life (it must have been a massive social process) also severed intellectual research from daily life: the emergence of a class of ‘pundits’, isolated and removed from the experiences of daily life and concerned only with interpretations and reinterpretations of texts, is a phenomenon (I speculate) that made its appearance as a distinct social phenomenon under the Muslim colonial rule. The second factor is partly related to the first and partly to the nature of the Indian culture. When intellectual research divorces itself from daily life, the concepts and words used in daily intercourse between people lose their transparency and become ‘dead’, as it were. They cease signifying units of experience because the theories they depend on are not accessible to the people anymore."

18 October 2015, 12:09 AM
Namaste dA,

In my opinion, the reason why Samskrit slowly gave way to other languages derived from Samskrit was human tendency to take an easy way out. Samksrit grammer is not easy. The rules are rules of mathematics. You have to memorise various forms of nouns, verbs etc. to be able to correctly interact in Samskrit and imo, that would not have been easy for common people. In earlier days, Rishis used to teach children all the subjects and that included Language (Samskrit), Grammar, Mathematics, Astronomy, Astrology, Vedas and other scriptures etc. Such schools were not available to each and everyone. Therefore, learning Samskrit properly must have been quite difficult and the common people might have developed some easy form of languages like PrAkrit. In fact, Samskrit literally means, "Polished" / "Formal". This itself suggests that there must have been some other languages which common people might have been using.

These languages which might have been developed earlier without much of grammar and rules might have got their own grammar and rules over a period of time and so, could have got popular due to being much easier to learn and interact.


18 October 2015, 02:00 PM
hariḥ oṁ

devotee wrote,

The rules are rules of mathematics. You have to memorise various forms of nouns, verbs etc. to be able to correctly interact in Samskrit and imo, that would not have been easy for common people

Pāṇini's grammar (7th century B.C.) is called aṣṭādhyāyī; a book 8 chapters long. It is a rule bound description of spoken language (bhasa) and composition ( vaidiki); this book outlines the rules or 3,959 of them.
I have been studying this as of late and consider myself only an entry level student ( śiṣya) at best, I know just a handful of rules by memory.
One luminary of modern time purportedly knew all 3,959 and committed them to memory. This was svāmī lakṣman-jū. How can this be done ? No differently ( I will assume ) than the paṇḍita ( some write pundit) that commit all 10,552 verses of the rig veda to heart.

iti śivaṁ