Let us become nobler

Sanskrit word 'Arya' or 'Aryam' stands for nobility. Let us implore everyone to become noble, the Arya or Aryam. Christians, Muslims, Hindus or Jews, communists or capitalists, rich or poor, clever or dumb, weak, meek or bully. Uncomfortable perhaps are they with other, threatening peace. Ray of hope for the world is ‘include-all’ ideas of ancient Indian wisdom popularly known as Hinduism. Only they knew how to celebrate individuality of each person. Aryas respect ideas of others, respect way of worship of others, help others and become a noble citizen of this wide and varied world. Idea behind this blog is to bring out those ideas and help each of us become better than what we are. 'N' in the 'Aryan', by the way, was a mistake made by colonial 'experts' who wanted to underplay and undermine the culture and religion of those who they clandestinely enslaved.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sanskriti - Why English word 'culture' does not mean the same as 'Sanskriti' ?

Why English word 'culture' does not mean the same as 'Sanskriti' ? Language Sanskrit gives ‘Sanskriti’. Culture is different from ‘Sanskriti’. Culture can be given by any language. Some cultures do not even have any language.

Someone said, if you lose your Sanskrit language you lose your  ‘Sanskriti’ (संस्कृति). It is not the same as saying if you lose your language you lose your culture. The word ‘Sanskriti’ is derived from the word ‘Sanskrit’. Sanskrit is a rich language in continuous existence for thousands of years. First known written work known to the mankind, the Rig-Veda’, was written in Sanskrit Language. Historians estimate that the ‘Rig-Veda’ was written well over 5,000 years ago, although the text itself is of more antiquity, it was available in the oral  tradition for a much longer period.

Following table shows, how, if you lose one culture, you gain another culture but if you lose Sanskrit, you lose ‘Sanskriti’. It means that you still will have some culture, even if you were to lose when you acquire another language. But if you lose Sanskrit, or Indian languages, you lose your ‘Sanskriti’ - and gain some other culture but not the ‘Sanskriti’.

World Cultures
Translation in respective
Pronunciation guide in English Language
How it should be said in Indian Language
English culture
English Culture
English Culture
अंग्रेज प्रकृति
German Culture
Deutsch Kultur
Doeitsch Kultur
जर्मन प्रकृति
Japanese Culture
Nippon Bunka
जापानी प्रकृति
French Culture
Culture française
Coolture Fransez
फ्रेंच प्रकृति
Arabic Culture
الثقافة العربية
Assafaka Alarabia
अरब प्रकृति
Russian Culture
русская культура 
Russkaya Kul'tura
रुसी प्रकृति
Indian Culture
भारतीय संस्कृति
Bharatiya Sanskriti
भारतीय संस्कृति

Indian languages, including Sanskrit, define ‘Sanskriti’ as the Indian way of life, way of thinking and way of worship as inspired from the Sanskrit language. Thus, ‘Sanskriti’ is a ‘top-down’ approach as compared to ‘culture’, which is most often, a ‘bottom-up’ approach.  Culture, as the word means is an ‘auto-development’ of a society living under certain socio-economic-politico situation, almost the same as developing a bacteria culture in a laboratory. That Growth is culture. To its quite opposite is ‘Sanskriti’ which is a life and society patterned after a hallowed inspiration from the lives of Gods and Devas.

Man is a special variety of life among all living entities. An animal eats when it is hungry and does not eat when not hungry. But a man can voluntarily eat even when he is not hungry and can voluntarily go without eating even when he is hungry. In other words, man can defy nature for meeting his objectives. Ancient Indian sages identified this human ability and they challenged humans by setting higher goals to become better beings. That needs voluntary sacrifices, curtailing leisure, beating natural forces of cold, heat, gravity, etc. He was prodded to live for a goal and not succumb to growing like bacterial culture under given situation, rather, create a situation. Development that follows thus, guided by Sanskrit, the language of Gods, is ‘Sanskriti’ and it is essentially top-down, as compared to ‘culture’ which is essentially, bottom-up.

If 'culture' is not ‘Sanskriti’, than, what is the equivalent word for ‘culture’ in Indian languages? Let us examine: What is not Sanskrit is ‘non-Sanskrit’ or ‘Asanskrit’ (असंस्कृत). In Sanskrit literature, the word ‘Asanskrit’ denotes ‘uncivilized’, ‘savage’ ‘uncultured’ etc. However, for those who have developed automatically through natural (प्राकृतिक) process are known as ‘Praakrit’ (प्राकृत), ‘developed naturally as organic growth’. Thus, what is not ‘Sanskrit’ is ‘Praakrit’. It follows therefore that what is not “Sanskriti’ (संस्कृति) is ‘Prakriti (प्रकृति). Indians have been naïve in translating their ‘Sanskriti’ as culture and other’s ‘culture’ as ‘Sanskriti’. It is similar to translation mishap naïve Indians did a few centuries ago, calling religions of non-Hindus as ‘Dharma’. As, Hinduism is not only a religion but ‘dharma’ and the rest, religions but not ‘dharma’, the Indian way of life, the way of thinking and the way of worship is not just culture but ‘Sanskriti’ and the rest is ‘culture’ or ‘Praakrit’. Mis-translation has occurred because; early Indians did not undertake a proper ‘पूर्व-पक्ष’ (‘Purva-Paksha the study of culture of others) when they came in contact of alien cultures. Blame should go to their innocence, naivety and perhaps lack of foresight that they ignored to learn way of life of alien cultures before assigning grand terms of Sanskrit language to other entities.

Apart from these, three words ‘Sanskriti’, ‘Praakrit’ and ‘Dharma’, there are hundreds of other words, wrongly translated and do injustice to India, Indians and Sanskrit language.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

just beautiful !thankyou.