Sanskrit is a language that originates from the rich Vedic culture and is one of the oldest Indo-European languages. The word Sanskrit, i.e. saṃskṛtam, comes from the verb root kṛ, which means orderly, processed, perfect. The West became acquainted with Sanskrit only in the 19th century, when the development of Indology in Europe began. The unusual similarity of Sanskrit and other Indo-European languages is explained by Indologists with the theory that in the 2nd century BC Sanskrit was brought to India by nomads from the European north, a nation called arya – noble.
However, there is practically no empirical evidence that would reliably confirm this theory, so it is mostly a matter of guesswork. On the other hand, Indians who still follow Vedic culture believe that Sanskrit is not of human origin, apauruṣeya. The Vedas themselves describe themselves as eternal, saying that they are not part of this “temporary material world.” The word Veda means knowledge and comes from the verb vid -to know (lat.video). So the Vedas are the only source of eternal knowledge. The mentioned corpus represents a very extensive, layered and complex area.
The message of the ancient Vedic scriptures in Sanskrit, according to the Vedas themselves, was first transmitted for many millennia as an oral tradition from teacher to student. Special memorization techniques are also supposed to be used, which are supposed to enable an individual to remember to an extent that exceeds our ideas. As a result, the writing of the Vedic message is said to have come very late, especially in view of the otherwise very long-standing Vedic culture and literature.
In India, an awareness developed very early on that Sanskrit is a language that needs to be studied in depth and preserved. The latter led to the development of the most elaborate grammar in human history. The oldest surviving work on Sanskrit grammar, Aṣṭhadhyāyī (Eight Chapters), was written by Pāṇini. The prevailing opinion is that he lived in the 2nd century BC, but there is no doubt that the grammatical tradition he wrote is much older, as he mentions his 64 predecessors and himself as their successor. Sanskrit grammar consists of 4000 rules (sūtri) written in meta-language with a message in a highly condensed form.
Many believe that this grammar is one of the largest and most complex group intellectual creations in the world, as it is built on the consensus of a really large number of people over a long historical period. All later forms of grammar of the East and the West take this very grammar as their foundation. Sanskrit, with its sophisticated structure, rich complexity and unique beauty, ranks first in linguistic expression.
Sanskrit describes words, technical and philosophical concepts, states of consciousness, and concepts that do not exist anywhere else, not even the richest languages of mankind possess them. Moreover, Sanskrit knows the concepts and ideas that today’s scientists, whether in the field of nuclear physics or modern psychology, are only now discovering. One of the first Indologists, Sir William Jones, said of Sanskrit (S.W. Jones, Discourses delivered before the Asiatic Society, 1824, p. 28):
“Sanskrit, no matter how old, has beautiful structures – it is more perfect than Greek, richer than Latin, and purer than both …”