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Samskrita Bharathi

A DiscoverBangalore Special Feature




DiscoverBangalore is pleased to bring a special feature on Samskrita Bharathi, an organization based in Bangalore since 1981 striving to bring Samskritam, the greatest language of the world back into daily life through its natural and effective listen-speak-read-write technique. Githa.U.Badikillaya brings you this exclusive feature.

India’s civilization, cradled in the lap of Samskrit formed its Spirit, binding the different peoples, and the bedrock of national solidarity. It is the voice of India’s Soul and her wisdom. There was a time when Asian scholars with a deep understanding of Samskrit would come to famed Indian institutions to soak and absorb the fabulous thought processes in beautiful expressions from Upanishads, epics texts etc that have exercised fascination for centuries. Pythagoras, the Greek mathematician and philosopher of 6th century BC learnt his geometry basics from the Sulva Sutras. Arthasastra, the treatise on polity, was discovered as late as 1909 due to the efforts of Sanskrit scholars. There are any number of documents and texts that are waiting to be discovered, and understood that will have a bearing on our lives. We lose the ideas if this language is given a burial.

Samskrit is all the more needed today, both with short and long term perspectives. Somewhere down the ages it ceased to be of any significance and today we ask- what is its relevance in today’s wealth creating patterns, introduced by the swirling winds of globalization?

History has shown that technological changes are very intensive and extensive, leading to sharp dichotomies within the society. But this can be tempered by an awareness of our past from a realistic assessment

Reasons are galore for learning Samskrit, outside the realm of religion and spiritual domain. As Prof.Mahadevan (IIM-B) says, “the documented knowledge in the Ayurvedic texts are enormous which if neglected will be a great loss. This text influenced Greek and Chinese medicine. One of the most important contributions that India has made to mankind is in the field of mathematics and astronomy. I hear about Aloha, Abacus etc but there are amazing structures and principles buried in Vedic Mathematics. The next 30 years of this country should be characterized by professionals like us, who should actually learn Samskrit in a big way and unearth all these.”

Mr.Anant.R Koppar, CEO, KTwo Technology Solutions, while at Mphasis, had incorporated two Management principles from Samskrit texts in his corporate administration in a holistic way with amazing results that saw nil attrition at the higher levels. Team building with laissez faire is very visible. He says “Western management is task and individual oriented and not suitable to India. The concepts of the Panchabhuta, within us, its interpretation and of Ardhanareswara that is an amalgamation of the male and female elements within us ensures a happy relationship with a meaningful outlook of life”. A mural in their head office of an ardhanareswara depicting the five elements is an expression of their belief in sound business principles.

In our Scriptures we find that our ancestors have not been wanting when it comes to the spirit of inquiry. The Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita answer many questions of life. In Prashno Upanishad, the six disciples discuss some of the toughest ideas about nature, God and the universe with their teacher. Perhaps on a different day if we take up topics of public administration, science, Management, mathematics, or astronomy, we may be in a position to argue in a very similar fashion. Undoubtedly our repository of knowledge is all preserved and buried in the medium called Samskrit.

On the other hand, the existing infrastructure for imparting Sanskrit education is abysmal. It’s not the government, but each one of us, the educated strata who must realize the benefits that can accrue from our ancient wisdom and the Professionals who must learn Sanskrit to bring interesting ideas from the Samskrit texts into the mainstream. If we make a conscious effort to take forward this movement the relevance of the language and its utility in these trying times will be as attractive as English.

Towards this end, Samskrita Bharati is doing yeoman service in promoting Samskrit, as a spoken language besides encouraging research activities. Their classes are participative through oral drills and situational conversations with a unique methodology of teaching, making it easy for the learners. Over five million students have benefited. Software professionals from Oracle, Intel, Mphasis etc have appreciated these courses conducted in their premises. 20, 000 teachers have been trained who are full time volunteers whose enthusiasm and dedication are commendable. Their correspondence course currently conducted in 7 languages has benefited 50,000 enthusiasts. An experiment in Kundapura village near Udupi has a majority of its people routinely conversing in Samskrit, dispelling the myth that only the privileged can speak it. They are also experimenting teaching at a slum in Malleswaram that has been well received by the children.

The Speak Samskrit Movement took off in 1981 in Bangalore through Samskrit Unit of Hindu Seva Pratishthana. The Speak Samskrit Movement has grown in a huge scale due to the greatness of Samskrit and the interest of people all over the world in learning spoken Samskrit. The movement which took off in Karnataka in 1982 has spread world-wide within last 15 years.

The main thrust was to make Samskrit a conversational language and bring about a social change through the medium of spoken Samskrit. "Samskrita Bharati" - a national level organization was constitued at New Delhi in 1995.

"Let service to Samskrit not stop at just praising the language -- instead of speeches about Samskrit, everyone should speak in Samskrit. Simple Samskrit should be taught, the medium of instruction has to be Samskrit and conversational Samskrit has to be taught. To achieve these objectives, Speak Samskrit camps should be organized on a large scale. Through these camps, we have to build a team of motivated, dedicated volunteers who will devote their lives to the cause of Samskrit." - This was the basic guideline of the movement.

The movement witnessed phenomenal growth from the very beginning itself. The contributions of organizations like Bharath Samskrita Parishad, Samskrit Unit of Vidhya Bharathi, Vishwa Samskrita Pratishhtaanam (Kerala), Swaadhyaayamandalam (Paaradi) have been significant in accelerating the propagation of Samskrit.

As part of their completion of 25 years, they have embarked on a year long Shambhasanam Shibira varsham from Feb 2006 – April 2008, and organized 308 shibhirs in Bangalore city from Apr 3-12, 2008 culminating in a Samskrita Shobha Yatra and grand closing ceremony on April 14, at the Ramamandir Grounds,Malleswaram. Interestingly, very few know that it was Dr.B.R.Ambedkar who tried his best to include Samskrit as the national language in the Constitution.

Samskrita Bharati extends an invitation to Discover Bangalore readers to attend the closing ceremony besides seeking assistance to volunteer time and effort on April 14 2008. Also to donate Rs 5000/- and above for the teachers expenses.

Sankara. Mahadevan (Former Copy Editor, INDIA TODAY TAMIL)Chennai writes :
SAMSKRITA BHARATI, a DiscoverBangalore Special Feature by Githa.U.Badikillaya
helps one gain knowledge about quite a few unknown facts about
i) Samskritam,
ii) effective language teaching, and last but not least,
iii) the 25 year long hard work by thousands of lovers of Samskritam in modern Bharat that resulted in 50 lakh persons securing a charming introduction to the ancient but modern language.

Both DiscoverBangalore.com and Smt. Githa deserve the heartfelt gratitude of innumerable admirers of Samskritam like me. Please accept my pranams.

Karishma Rao - very well written article. got to know a lot about sanksit which i had no clue about before. keep such articles coming. kudos to mrs. githa.

Samskrita Bharathi acknowledging the article writes - Namaste.
Bhavatam web-page drushtavanta:.Bahu santosha:.Nirantaram etadrushavartam prakasayantu iti prarthayama:. namaste.

Vist Samskrita Bharathi's Website for more details
Contact: Sri.Satyanarayana Bhat, 26721052/26722576, 9448396100
e-mail samskritam@gmail.com

Please E-mail your comments/feedback about the above write-up.




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