Sri Sri Sankaracharya Speaks – An Exclusive Interview By Sri A.S.Raman – August 18, 1963 – Illustrated Weekly – Part 11

Q.: What are Your Holiness’s views on the language question?

H.H.:  You are already familiar with them, are you not? I am an advocate of Sanskrit and English. None of the modern Indian languages—and I know most of them—

I interrupt: “—as thoroughly as those born to them, I understand.”

H.H.:  I don’t know about that. None of them is half as good as Sanskrit and English. Sanskrit is our national lingua franca. It is still a living language, in a recognizable form, in Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, Ceylon and several other countries. When we adopt Sanskrit as a national language, we show our readiness to share the common heritage of all the South-East Asian countries, which will at once accept India as one among them. Russian also contains the number of words deriving from Sanskrit. It is high time we raised our classical language to the status of a modern language for practical, utilitarian purposes. Meanwhile, let us not banish English from our hospitable land. It is a wonderful language, is it not? It is our only medium of communication with the outside world. For international contacts, very few languages in the world are as adequately equipped as English.

Categories: Deivathin Kural, Devotee Experiences

Tags: ,

5 replies

  1. Jai MA

    The reason for my extending this offer is very serious: some very important sermons by SriSriMahaSwami, that i have shared on my website, cannot also be shared easily because they seriously read like complete nonsense coming out of someone who is childish, unintelligent, etc..

    Sorry to be blunt. That is because the fluent, incisive Tamil of Mahaswami is being conveyed in GARBLED CLOWNISH ENGLISH.

    No fault of the translator, who is doing a fantastic first-line effort.

    It is up to US, who can read through the Indianized English and recast it standard English without altering ONE single word or ONE SINGLE thought SriSriMahaSwami

    If you wish, one can submit a sample of the recast essay, which will be much more easily intelligible to readers of standard English worldwide and will show SriSri Mahaswami in His true Glory, His incisive Mind at is best.

    Please take some time to think carefully about this. Is it not our sacred duty to make HIS words truly accessible to as many as possible?


  2. Jai Ma

    If our fellow devotees so wish, I shall feel deeply blessed that SriSriMahaPeriyava is accepting some trivial service, if anyone should want this writer to recast any rough English translation from Tamil into standard English.


  3. Jai MA

    It would not be SriSri MahaSwamigal’s wish that we should learn Sanskrit in a corrupted apabhamsha form. Simplified, YES, corrupted, NO.

    Likewise, we MUST make an effort to learn English CORRECTLY, not in a corrupted pidgin form, Indianized according to our wishes.

    There IS A STANDARD English, and a standard Sanskrit, say, that of the Holy Gita, which is not of the Great Mahabharata style nor as complex as that of the SrimadBhagavata, and not of the Samhita, while not lacking in ChAndasa traits.

    How can we communicate with the world in a garbled language, be it Sanskrit or English created extempore by our whims of the moment?

Leave a Reply