By S Swaminathan

The Sanskrit language is the oldest, most systematic language that has survived the longest period through history. It is called Deva Bhasa-Language of the Gods. It is full of wonders, puzzles, riddles and miracles. It has got an ocean of treasures for anyone interested in any subject under the sun. No one has listed all the books in this language, because it is impossible to do so. This was the richest language in the ancient world. Even before Homer started writing his Iliad and Odyssey in 800 BC, Sanskrit had copious literature in the form of Vedic Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads.


Brihadaranyaka Upanishad written at the time of Homer, lists more than 60 generations of teachers! It means Hindus had proper schools for thousands of years even before others thought of writing books! No wonder still Mahabharata is the largest epic in the world with 100,000 couplets.


It has scored several firsts. First grammar book in the world: Ashtadyaye of Panini, First sex manual in the world: Kamasutra of Vatsyayana, First philosophical work: Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, First Story Collection in the world: Somadeva’s Katha Sarit Sagara, First religious book in the world Rig Veda and First Dance manual in the world Bharata’s Natya Sastra and First Dictionary of Synonyms Amarkosa. We can go on adding medical, aeroplane manuals etc. No Gilgamesh can even come nearer to Sanskrit literature. When other parts of the world dealt only with religion we started writing secular books.


Sanskrit has the power of expressing all types of thoughts in their appropriate terminology- from mythology to literature, science to philosophy, poetry to prosody, astronomy to anatomy, as well as genetics, mathematics and cosmology.


An amazing wealth of words and synonyms gives a great versatility to expression of power. With 65 words for earth, 70 words for water,15 words for gold,122 words for the verb “to go”, imagine its vastness!!

The seventy words for water multiply into 280 words with prefixes for specific descriptions of rainfall (dharma, karakam, thousaram, haimam) etc.

The Sanskrit speakers belong to India. Their civilization originated on the banks of Ganga, Sindhu, Saraswati (which disappeared 3000 years ago) and Yamuna. All these rivers were mentioned in Rig Veda, the oldest book in the world. They were so obsessed with water, they used it in all their ceremonies from birth to death. They used it to donate money or lands.They used it to give boons or curses. They used it in their weddings (Kanya Dhanam). This shows very clearly that they did not come from arid deserts or snowy regions. Without water a Hindu can’t do any ceremony.


Look at the  synonyms of water given below:

Amrutam ,Ambhaha, Arnaha,Apaha, Bhuvanam,Vanam,Kabandham, Kapandham,Udakam,Paathaha,Pushkaram,Savaram,Toyam, Dakam, Kambalam,Syandanam,Sadanam,Ira,Ambu,Kam,Jadaha,Somam,Vyoma,Naram,Kaharam,Saraha,Neeram,Udam,Saram,Rutam,Vaaha,Vaari,Salilam, Kamalam,Payaha,Keelaalam,Salam,Uurjam,Ghrutam,Vaajam,Sarilam, Jadam,Sambhaha,Andham,Kusham,Karburam,Ksheeram,Taamaram,Hriveram,


Peeppalam,Kaandam,Krupeetam, Jeevanam, Komalam, Ghanisaasam, Krupperam, Repaalam, Akkam (colloquial in Brahmin families, might have given the word Aqua)


I have explained in another article that the word Neer/ water is not of Tamil origin ,because it is found in Greek as Nereids (water nymphs=Narayana of Hindu literature).

Compiled by S Swaminathan from various sources. For more Sanskrit Wonders read my blogs or contact swami_48@yahoo.com or Swaminathan.santanam@gmail.com



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1 Comment

  1. R.Veeraraghavan

     /  July 18, 2012

    Viewing single words in comparison with other languages is no Linguistics unless is structure is studied independantly.The Subject and Object basis of deriving a word is common to human languages Sanskrit was never a Spoken Language and Manufactured for high level communication and hence cannot be categorised as a natural language.Explaining Hoary antiquity without substantive evidence in favour of a language will not hold much water.India Suffers dark ages beyond 300 BC.
    Neer should not be compared in isolation without the string of words in the groups that represent it.Neer-Nirai,Nilam-Nilay,Neruppu-Nerukku,Neer could have setlled in sanskrit because of the influence of Tamil at the base of sanskrit.

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