Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kshama Dayaa Taap Tyaag - A moving poem by Ramdhaari Singh "Dinkar"

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क्षमा, दया , ताप , त्याग , मनोबल सबका लिया सहारा 
पर नर व्याघ सुयोधन तुमसे कहो कहाँ कब हारा? 
क्षमाशील हो रिपु समक्ष तुम हुए विनीत जितना ही 
दुष्ट कौरवों ने तुमको कायर समझा उतना ही 

अत्याचार सहन करने का कुफल यही होता है 
पौरुष का आतंक मनुज कोमल होकर खोता है 
क्षमा शोभती उस भुजंग को जिसके पास गरल है 
उसका क्या जो दंतहीन विषरहित विनीत सरल है 

तीन दिवस तक पंथ मांगते रघुपति सिन्धु किनारे
बैठे पढते रहे छंद अनुनय के प्यारे प्यारे 
उत्तर में जब एक नाद भी उठा नहीं सागर से 
उठी अधीर धधक पौरुष की आग राम के शर से 

सिन्धु देह धर त्राहि-त्राहि करता आ गिरा शरण में 
चरण पूज दासता ग्रहण की बंधा मूढ़ बंधन में 
सच पूछो तो शर में ही बस्ती है दीप्ति विनय की 
संधिवचन संपूज्य उसीका जिसमे शक्ति विजय की 

सहनशीलता, क्षमा, दया को तभी पूजता जग है 
बल का दर्प चमकता उसके पीछे जब जगमग है 

-रामधारी सिंह "दिनकर" 

Mercy, resolve, tact, tolerance you've tried everything and some
But o my king of men when did Suyodhan succumb?
The more forgiving you were In your humane compassion
The more these rouge Kauravas pegged you as cowardly ashen

This is the consequence Of tolerating atrocities
The awe of machismo is lost When one's gentle n kindly
Forgiveness is becoming of The serpent that's got venom
None cares for the toothless, Poisonless, kind, gentle one

For three days Lord Raam kept Asking the ocean for a passage
Sitting there he petitioned Using the sweetest words to engage
When in response there was Not a whisper from the sea
A raging fire of endeavor Rose from Raam's body

The ocean took human-form 'N supplicated to Raam
Touched his feet, was subservient A slave he had become
Truth be told, it's in the quiver That lies the gleam of modesty
Only his peace-talk is reputable Who is capable of victory

Tolerance, forgiveness and clemency Are respected by the world
Only when the glow of strength From behind it is unfurled

Poet - Ramdhaari Singh "Dinkar"

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Engineered Language of Sanskrit

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.

In continuation with the thoughts from this article.

Sanskrit is the language which is seen to be used by all post Paninian composers. Prior to codification of grammar by Panini, there were similar languages prevalent in subcontinent. The vedic language and the many forms of Prakrit languages were extent in the subcontinent and beyond. The new language which emerged after its coding by Panini, managed to incorporated and created following things..

1. alphabets which accommodated the linguistic patterns and requirements of many of the contemporary languages spoken (including Vedic "Vaak"). 

2. it created a means to use many of the customized Prakrit words in context one wished to use for describing an emotion OR a phenomenon OR an idea. Few syllables were omitted, few vowels were omitted which were not utilized by bulk of Indian populace. It is similar to way we twist and bend English language today to put in whatever words we wish to use. The Indian OR the Mumbaiyya English is an example of that "tendency" of human beings. I feel similar tendency existed then, although not as mundane as mumbaiyya. I know it is a clumsy metaphor but nonetheless..

Thus there was a language which was partially "engineered" and not completely evolved by random process of natural selection as is the case with Prakrit language (the very word Prakrit says that it is naturally evolved language). Since this language was engineered, it belonged to no one and everyone who understood it. It could be used with extreme flexibility and accommodation for describing very complex emotions and ideas which otherwise would have remained abstract and "asphuta (unspoken)". 

Sanskrit was not to be used by sabziwalas.. when chanakya's mother went to buy commodities in market of Patliputra, she must have conversed with the merchants in Ardha Maagadhi language. Even chanakya spoke with his disciples and public in similar local languages. But he had Sanskrit available to write his "arthashastra". This Sanskrit could be accessed  and understood perfectly by that class of society which was trained in grasping this knowledge. It was duty of this class of society to "download", translate and simplify whatever knowledge was "uploaded" on Sanskrit to his local language and disperse it amongst his audience and pupils. Thus, Sanskrit was a common platform where everyone "uploaded" the fruits of their deliberations. And this is what is the primary function of this language. Much similar to today's computer languages like COBOL and C++ etc...

The fact that a particular database is accessible to all who can use it, is easy to compose poetry in and hence easy to memorize, easy to write (extremely phonetic) and easy to speak marks the features of this common linguistic platform. 

The question "what was" or rather "who was" being linked is very important and pertinent one. What is the purpose and motive behind "linking" people OR certain set of people from different "Jaatis"?

As I said in previous paragraph, those who could understand this language flawlessly were linked. It takes 6 years to learn and understand Sanskrit grammar with all its complexities. Hence "Vyaakarana" is one of the most important domains of knowledge in Indian system. There was a large pool of individuals who had taken this intensive training in this language present all over India. This pool was networked by means of their schools, universities and laboratories. Whilst I do not much know whether the technology too was uploaded on Sanskrit platform, the presence of books like "Vaimanika Shastra" give us the hint that it was so. But we do not have much of the technological literature available in Sanskrit which was uploaded by the technologists (mostly from various trade guilds categorized as Vaishya and Shudra varna) then. But then we have also the record of millions of manuscripts burnt down when our temples and libraries were destroyed in medieval era. The contemporary people chose what to save and what not to save based on their ability, capacity and inclination. But that is different matter altogether.

Pool of individuals is made up of individuals and individuals are born in Kula/gotra/family belonging to particular group. This group is what we call as "Jaati". When a particular member of a particular "Jaati" get connected to this "Sanskrit platform", it is natural his immediate family will be connected too. it is also logical to expect that the member will teach the language to his progeny, if progeny is interested. Hence the progeny might "think" of connecting to the network by following the foot-steps of his/her father. Once this becomes widespread, there arises a new "Jaati" of those who has access to this database. 

They again might be proficient in local language, but they might start indulging in marital relations with those families which are similar to them in access to this platform and ideas therein. This is where the varna turns into a new "jaati". If this continues we have network of these newly formed "Jaatis". This defeats the original purpose but still keeps the system vibrant as long as the members of these "Jaatis" are at least proficient at what they are "reputed" of doing. Most of the "brahmin" jaatis were and are unable to speak OR understand Sanskrit in medieval and modern times. This is complete defeat of the very reason why this idea of varna, ashrama and purushartha were propped up. The moment this started happening, Sanskrit stopped "linking" and necessity to engineer and create a new "Sanskrit 2.0" arose. That necessity still has not been met yet.

We need a Panini 2.0 today. I have an idea of "Panini Project". But then it is too big, slightly abstract and will require refinement and inputs in terms of ideas, finance and efforts from many influential players. But time to create a new "Sanskrit 2.0" has come. A new "further refined" language (Pra-sanskarit) which will accommodate the needs of modern India which is trying to rise above the abrahmic shackles of previous millennia. A language which will be as flexible as Panini's sanskrit to accommodate new words, phrases and ideas of Greek, Latin, Germanic, English, Arabic, Persian and Indian origin, complex clauses, poetic and technical flexibility and huge "Bandwidth" to carry the ideas generated by modern day intellectuals. 

This is one of the most important steps towards tackling deracination. We need Maharshi Panini to reincarnate in spirit...