Sanskrit – the most ancient language in the world. The other name for Sanskrit is “Mother of all languages”. It does enjoy a good reputation among the many languages of India. Put simply, the status of this ancient language is at par with ancient Greek and Latin.
The ancient language is also the foundation of many ancient religious texts of India. Sanskrit is more than 3500 years old. In ancient times, knowing this language was a symbol of status and elegance.
You might wonder –
What Does That Have to Do With Yoga?
The majority of yoga asanas carry a Sanskrit name. Also, the majority of modern Indian languages have their roots in Sanskrit.
Whether you want to learn Astrology, Yoga, or even read any of the ancient texts; knowing the Sanskrit language is must. Even the universal sound of OM has its origin in Sanskrit. The RYS Academy can help you learn and understand this ancient language and its link to the yogic tradition.
Let us now take a look at the origins of this ancient language.
The Origins of Sanskrit Language
Ever heard about Vedic Sanskrit? It is the oldest form of Sanskrit. The 4 Vedas of the Hindu religion have their foundation in Vedic Sanskrit. The compilation of these 4 ancient texts took place between 1700 to 1200 BCE.
The four vedas are – Rig Veda, Sam Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda. All four contain hymns, incantations, guidance, and philosophies for a Vedic priest.
Around 1000 BCE Vedic Sanskrit changed from being the 1st to the 2nd language. During 500 BCE the ancient scholar Panini developed grammar. This later gave birth to the Classic Sanskrit language. This is the Sanskrit which everyone has heard of or knows about in today’s date.
It is time we know a little about the alphabets, grammar, and vocabulary of the Sanskrit language.
Sanskrit Language – The Alphabets, Grammar, and Volcabulary
The Sanskrit language has 46 alphabets in its vocabulary. The vocabulary has its foundation in the Devanagari script.
Devanagari script is the same one in which the majority of Indian languages are. This script follows a left to right writing style. The vowel length makes a difference in the meaning of a word.
Sanskrit uses prefixes, suffixes, infixes, and reduplication to form a word. The grammar comprises of 3 nouns – single, dual, and plural. The verbs have 2 groups – thematic and athematic. When you form a sentence in Sanskrit, the verb comes at the end. But, at times, there are exceptions to this rule.
It is time we look at the relationship between this ancient language and yoga.
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Sanskrit and Yoga – The Link
Like Sanskrit, yoga is also thousands of years old. You can find mention of yoga in the ancient Hindu scriptures. The scriptures have Sanskrit as their main language. Thus, it makes sense that yoga asanas would also have a Sanskrit name.
The teachings and practice of yoga from teacher to student occurred in the same language. It is what keeps the yogic tradition alive. The RYS academy can help you understand the deeper link between yoga and Sanskrit.
It is time we check out some of the most common words of Sanskrit present in the yoga community.
Common Sanskrit Words Used in Yoga
Yoga experts have come up with some common words in yoga.
Pronounced as yo-gaa which comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj” meaning unite or to join. This word does not have an English name. The aim of yoga is to help unite your mind, body, and spirit.
Pronounced as “Na-Ma-They”. Namaste is the most common form of greeting in yoga circles. The Sanskrit translation of this word means – I bow to you.
This word can also mean “the divine light within me bows to the divine light within you”. It is a yoga version of saying Hello or Hi.
Pronounced as “Mun-Truth”. The word Mantra refers to words or a group of Sanskrit words with spiritual resonance. Mantra has a profound effect on your mind during meditation or yoga sessions.
Do you want to know what makes Sanskrit such a powerful language? Enrol in a certified RYS academy to learn everything about this ancient language.