Sanskrit revival is the accumulation of attempts at reviving the Sanskrit language that have been undertaken. This revival is happening not only in India but also in Western countries like Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and in many European countries.
Sanskrit is one of the 22 official languages in India. In 2010, Uttarakhand became the first state in India to have Sanskrit as its second official language. In 2019, Himachal Pradesh became the second state to have Sanskrit as the second official language. There are 2,360,821 total speakers of Sanskrit in India, as of 2011.
- 1 History
- 2 Number of Sanskrit Speakers in India
- 3 Sanskrit revival movements
- 4 Sanskrit revival by states of India
- 4.1 Andhra Pradesh
- 4.2 Assam and Northeast India
- 4.3 Bihar
- 4.4 Delhi
- 4.5 Gujarat
- 4.6 Haryana
- 4.7 Himachal Pradesh
- 4.8 Jammu and Kashmir
- 4.9 Karnataka
- 4.10 Kerala
- 4.11 Madhya Pradesh
- 4.12 Maharashtra
- 4.13 Odisha
- 4.14 Punjab and Chandigarh
- 4.15 Rajasthan
- 4.16 Sikkim
- 4.17 Tamil Nadu
- 4.18 Tripura
- 4.19 Uttar Pradesh
- 4.20 West Bengal
- 5 Revival Outside India
- 6 See also
- 7 Further reading
- 8 References
- 9 External links
In 1891 there was organized activity among the Theosophists in India promoting and participating in the revival of Sanskrit. In 1894 the American Asiatic and Sanskrit Revival Society was established.
In the Republic of India Sanskrit is included in the 14 original languages of the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. Many organizations, like the Samskrta Bharati, are conducting Speak Sanskrit workshops to popularize the language. The "All-India Sanskrit Festival" (since 2002) holds composition contests. The 1991 Indian census reported 49,736 fluent speakers of Sanskrit.
The state of Uttarakhand has become the first state in India to declare Sanskrit as an official language. The Central Board of Secondary Education in India has made Sanskrit a third language in the schools it governs (though it is an option for a school to adopt it or not, the other choice being the state's own official language). In such schools, learning Sanskrit is an option for grades 5 to 8 (Classes V to VIII). This is true of most schools, including but not limited to Christian missionary schools, affiliated to the ICSE board too, especially in those states where the official language is Hindi. An option between Sanskrit and a local language as a second language exists for grades 9 and 10.
All India Radio transmits news bulletins in Sanskrit twice a day across the nation. Besides, Sanskrit learning programmes also feature on the list of most of the AIR broadcasting centres.
Number of Sanskrit Speakers in India
According to the 2001 census of India, 14,135 people who had said Sanskrit was their mother tongue. It increased to 24,821 people in the 2011 census of India. Sanskrit has experienced a recorded a growth of over 70 per cent in one decade. However, speakers with Sanskrit as their mother tongue account for just 0.002 per cent of India's total population. This number rises significantly to 2,360,821 for total speakers (second and third languages) of Sanskrit, accounting for 0.19% of the Indian population.
- Mattur, Karnataka
- Jhiri, Madhya Pradesh
- Hosahalli, Karnataka
- Sasana, Odisha
- Baghuwar, Madhya Pradesh
- Ganoda, Rajasthan
- Mohad, Madhya Pradesh
The Mattur village in central Karnataka, Shimoga district claims to have native speakers of Sanskrit among its population. Historically the village was given by king Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara Empire to Vedic scholars and their families. People in his kingdom spoke Kannada and Telugu.
Sanskrit revival movements
Sanskrit literature movement
There is Sanskrit literature movement to revive Sanskrit. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has started giving "World Sanskrit Award" to eminent Sanskrit scholars to recognise their outstanding contribution to the study, teaching, research in Sanskrit language and literature. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand was conferred the first ‘World Sanskrit Award’ in 2016. In 2017, Robert Goldman was awarded the World Sanskrit Award.
There are also many Sanskrit writers who won Sahitya Akademi Award winners.
Samskrita Bharati is an organization working for Sanskrit revival. It is a tax exempt nonprofit organization with its headquarters in New Delhi, India. The International Centre, “Aksharam,” a complex located in Bangalore, India, is its international centre. It houses a research wing, a library, audio-visual lab, and staff quarters. It also has several state-units spread across the country both in the US and India. The US chapter is a registered nonprofit tax-exempt organization with its headquarters in San Jose, California. Samskrita Bharati functions as an umbrella organization for various organizations working for promotion of Samskrita. Being the liturgical language of Hindus, it is used during worship in Hindu temples in the West. It is taught in many South Asian studies/linguistics departments in universities across the West. Also, Sanskrit revival attempts are underway amongst expatriate Hindu populations in the west. It is also popular amongst the many practitioners of yoga in the West, who find the language useful in understanding the Yoga Sutra.
Modern Sanskrit universities in India
In the last few years sporadic efforts have been made to form Sanskrit universities for Sanskrit studies and vyakarana in India. The Sanskrit Universities Bill is aimed at converting Sanskrit deemed to be universities to central universities. The partial list of such universities is given below in chronological order:
Sanskrit revival by states of India
Assam and Northeast India
Assam and Northeast India, where Sanskrit has reached by the late vedic period, has Kamarupa Anusandhan Samiti which was established in 2012 to research Sanskrit, Ananda Ram Baruah institute of languages publishes Sanskrit manuscripts, and Assam Sanskrit Board is responsible for researching and preserving Sanskrit documents and manuscripts.
Delhi has at Delhi University, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan and Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha (deemed university) undertaking research and teaching in Sanskrit.
Haryana state has over 24 Sanskrit colleges offering education equivalent to bachelor's degree, additionally masters and doctoral level degrees are also offered by the Kurukshetra University and Maharshi Dayanand University. In 2018, Haryana established Maharishi Balmiki Sanskrit University, Kaithal as a teaching and affiliating university for research in Sanskrit, vedas, Indic languages, Indian culture and Indian philosophy.
Jammu and Kashmir
Madhya Pradesh has many Sanskrit institutes, including Maharishi Sandipani Rashtriya Ved Vidya Pratishthan and Maharishi Panini Sanskrit Evam Vedic Vishwavidyalaya.
Punjab and Chandigarh
Rajasthan has many Sanskrit institutes, including Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Rajasthan Sanskrit University.
Revival Outside India
Over 100 institutes outside India offer academic studies in Sanskrit, here is the list of those.
Following nations in the Indosphere offer opportunities for the Sanskrit studies
- Bangladesh: Bangladesh Sanskrit and Pali Education Board
- Bhutan: Nalanda Buddhist Institute undertakes teaching of Sanskrit texts
- Cambodia: After the fall of Angkor Empire in the 14th century, Buddhist monks started learning Sanskrit from early the 20th century, and academic teaching of Sanskrit in modern universities in Cambodia was recommenced in the 1980s at Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University and several public universities including Royal University of Fine Arts and the Royal University of Phnom Penh. Native Cambodian Indologists like Dr Ms. Kunthea Chhom, who has MA in Sanskrit from Magadh University in India and PhD in Sanskrit epigraphy from École pratique des hautes études in France, are trying to revive the study of Sanskrit among Cambodians.
- Indonesia: Udayana University of Bali established a "Chairs of Indian studies" in 2013 which also offers Sanskrit course in Denpasar with the help of Indian government. Several institutes teach Sanskrit and Balinese Hinduism including "Institut Agama Hindu Negeri Tampung Penyang", "Perguruan tinggi Hindu negeri di Indonesia", "Sekolah Tinggi Agama Hindu Negeri Gde Pudja Mataram" and many more. Indonesin languages are heavily influenced by Sanskrit and have numerous Sanskrit loandwords, mottos of institutes and ancient inscriptions.
- Laos: Buddhist studies such as Sanskrit and Pali are usually undertaken at Buddhist monasteries, such as Vientiane Sangha College and Champasak Sangha College.
- Myanmar: Sanskrit is mandatory at bachelor's and master's degree level in the State Pariyatti Sasana University, Mandalay and State Pariyatti Sasana University, Yangon.
- Nepal: Nepal Sanskrit University was established in 1986 at Beljhundi in Dang district, several gompas also understake teaching of Sanskrit texts of primary and secondary school level. Rangjung Yeshe Institute also offers Sanskrit classes. See also List of Buddhist colleges and universities in Nepal.
- Philippines: See also list of Sanskrit loanwords in Tagalog.
- Singapore: Yale-NUS College of National University of Singapore and Yale University and Singapore University of Technology and Design offer Sanskrit studies, Global Indian International School has made NCERT-based Sanskrit a mandatory subject for 1,800 primary school students in Singapore, and Ramakrishna Mission at Bartley Road has been holding weekly Sanskrit classes for over 50 school kids for over 40 years.
- Sri Lanka: Several institutes, including over dozen universities offer bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in Sanskrit.
- Taiwan: National Taiwan University and Fo Guang University of Fo Guang Shan monastic Buddhist order also offer bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in Sanskrit.
- Thailand: Hosts annual World Sanskrit Conference and several universities offer Sanskrit studies at bachelors, masters and higher degrees level such as Silpakorn University, Chulalongkorn University, Mahidol University and many more.
- Vietnam: Under the pressure from Buddhist monks, a "Khmer Buddhist Studies Institute of Southern Vietnam" (called Wicia Stan Butisasana Khmer Vietnam Khang Thhon in Khmer language) was opened in 2007 on 12 ha land of Wat Sanvoar by the government in the Ô Môn District of Cần Thơ province to teach Sanskrit and Buddhist subjects in Khmer language at university level. There are three more Biddhist institutes, one each at Hanoi, Mỹ Sơn and Saigon, in Vietnamese language. Cham Hindus, also called Balamon Chams, who mostly reside in Bình Thuận Province and Ninh Thuận Province are practicing Hindus of Vietnam.
Following nations in Africa offer opportunities for the Sanskrit studies.
- South Africa: St James Preparatory Schools in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg offers Sanskrit classes.
Following nations in Americas offer opportunities for the Sanskrit studies.
- Canada: Concordia University, McGill University, McMaster University, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, University of Saskatchewan, University of Toronto.
- USA: as of 2007, there are about 36 universities which offer Sanskrit education including the Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University etc. In the United States, since September 2009, high school students have been able to receive credits as Independent Study or toward Foreign Language requirements by studying Sanskrit, as part of the "SAFL: Samskritam as a Foreign Language" program coordinated by Samskrita Bharati.
Arab and Middle East
Following nations in the Middle East offer opportunities for the Sanskrit studies:
Following nations in the Europe offer opportunities for the Sanskrit studies, most notable being Germany, France, UK, Italy and Netherlands.
- France: University of Paris, University of Lyon, University of Lille, University of Provence, and École pratique des hautes études.
- Germany: as of 2015, there are 14 German universities teaching the Sanskrit language. Freie University, Bonn University, Freiburg University, University of Göttingen, Halle University, Hamburg University, Heidelberg University, Kiel University, Leipzig University, Mainz University, Marburg University, Munich University, and Wurzburg University. Shree Somnath Sanskrit University at Rajkot signed a MoU with 3 German universities, Heidelberg University, Wurzburg University and Leipzig University, for student and academic exchange.
- Great Britain: In the UK there are four universities which teach Sanskrit including University of Oxford, University of Edinburgh, Cambridge University, and London University. SOAS University of London too offers a bachelor's degree in Sanskrit. St James Junior School in London, England, offers Sanskrit as part of the curriculum.
- Italy: University of Bologna, University of Rome, University of Milan, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, University of Venice, University of Bologna, University of Pisa, University of Naples, University of Cagliari, University of Florence, University of Palermo, and University of Turin.
- Netherlands: Groningen University, Leiden University, and Kern Institute. International Institute for Asian Studies.
- Switzerland: Lausanne University, Zurich University, University of Münster, Tubingen University, and Wurzburg University. * Altindische Grammatik was written by Swiss Indologist Jacob Wackernagel.
Following nations in the Oceania offer opportunities for the Sanskrit studies.
- Australia: Australian National University, La Trobe University, University of Queensland and University of Sydney (Department of Indian Subcontinental Studies) offer Sanskrit courses. The revival of Sanskrit is also driven by the Australian Indian migrants. In Australia, the Sydney private boys' high school Sydney Grammar School offers Sanskrit from years 7 through to 12, including for the Higher School Certificate. Other schools included the John Colet School, Sydney, Australia; Erasmus School, Melbourne, Australia.
- Fiji: Bharat Sevashram Sangha organises Sanskrit lessons for students across several cities. University of Fiji also has the "Department of Hindi Language and Culture".
- New Zealand: Several universities teach Sanskrit including Massey University, University of Auckland, and University of Otago. Ficino School, Mt Eden in Auckland teaches Sanskrit to students to improve English.
- List of Sanskrit loanwords in English
- List of Sanskrit loanwords in Hindi
- List of Sanskrit loanwords in Indonesian
- List of Sanskrit loanwords in Tagalog
- List of Sanskrit inscriptions in the Malay world
- List of institutions with Sanskrit mottos
- List of historic Sanskrit texts
- List of Sanskrit Buddhist literature
- List of legendary creatures in Sanskrit Hindu mythology
- List of Sanskrit poets
- List of languages by first written accounts
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