Sanskrit – Language of the Gods (Part 1)

Sanskrit – Language of the Gods (Part 1)

Sanskrit is the sacred language of India; the language of much of holy literature, philosophy and religion.

Sanskrit is supposed to have originated from a very early Aryan tongue which was perfected, polished to express the truths of the seer-sages of Ancient India.

Hence it’s etymological meaning ‘perfected’, ‘polished’, from the verb-root kri plus the suffix san meaning ‘to make perfect, complete’

The Sanskrit Script

The Sanskrit script is known as Devanagari from deva – God, naraga – city. Several modern languages of India use varied forms of Devanagari, such as Hindi.

The script may be older than the language itself, having originated in still unknown clouds of our past history.

Essential Sanskrit Terms to Understand Various Indian Religions

Term Meaning

Ārya A holy man; a man of the highest aspiration, noblest religious dispositions along with an undaunted courage in the upward march of the human race, and one with self-surrendered to the Divine Will. (from the verb-root ri to rise upward)

Ārvyvārta Land of the Holy, and an ancient name for India

Anarya Unholy, unaspiring, (an – not)

Bhāratavarsha The land (varsha) of the Bharatas (the descendants of the great Bharata), a name for India

Bharata Bharata was a mighty and celebrated hero and monarch of ancient India

Bhātratas The people of India

Dharma Duty, righteousness, law, order (from verb root dhŗi – to hold or to establish).

Dharmas Used in the plural means the ordained duties of religious and social life

Sanātana Dharma The ‘Eternal Religion or Truth”, used as a synonym for Hinduism

Adharma Non-righteousness; the shadow and denial of truth and divine values; the reactionary force which makes for evil, ignorance, darkness and resistance to growth.

Svadharma One’s own (sva) law of action and being in harmony with the Divine intent

Satya ‘That which IS’, Truth, Reality. (Sat is the present participle of the verb-root as – to be)

Satyāgraha ‘Holding on to Truth’ (from the verb-root grah – to seize, hold)

Mahātma Gandhi Mahātma Gandhi began a campaign of Satyāgraha.Its major aspect was the non-violent disobedience to unjust laws

Ahiņsā Non-injury, non-violence. (from a – not and hiņs – to injure

Ŗishi A Truth-Seer. A Seer-Sage. One who see the true law of being directly by inner vision

Āchārya A spiritual guide; a teacher who invests the young student with the sacrificial thread and instructs him in the Vedas, the oldest wisdom writings of India, and teaches him the laws of sacrifice and religious mysteries.

Bhakta A devotee of God, or a representative or symbol of God

Bhakti Devotion (from verb-root bhaj – to love, revere

Sādhu A holy man, a saint

Mahātma A great soul. A magnanimous, exceedingly wise man. A title of respect

Svāmi A lord, owner, a spiritual preceptor, a learned Brahmin

Guru A spiritual preceptor or guide. (gŗī – to invoke, to praise)

A Guru is one who has the capacity to pass on his realizations to those who seek him for wisdom.

There may be the outer Guru or Guide who removes ignorance by the radiant light of his divine wisdom of the inner Guru (or Ātman – Self) who is the spiritual Guide working through the intuitive part of man.

Gurudeva The Divine Teacher, a divinely illuminated being