Sanskrit

Published: 05.04.2008
Updated: 05.04.2015

Primary liturgical language of Hinduism, a philosophical language in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and a literary language that was in use as a lingua franca in the Indian cultural zone.

It is a standardised dialect of Old Indo-Aryan language, originating as Vedic Sanskrit and tracing its linguistic ancestry back to Proto-Indo-Iranian and Proto-Indo-European.

Today it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand. Sanskrit holds a prominent position in Indo-European studies.

The corpus of Sanskrit literature encompasses a rich tradition of poetry and drama as well as scientific, technical, philosophical and dharma texts. Sanskrit continues to be widely used as a ceremonial language in Hindu religious rituals and Buddhist practice in the forms of hymns and mantras. Spoken Sanskrit has been revived in some villages with traditional institutions, and there are attempts at further popularisation.

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  1. Buddhism
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  3. Hinduism
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  5. Vedic
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