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Monday, March 14, 2016

Language - why we cannot blame any language

We cannot blame any language.

All languages have their own multiple functions, immense importance in certain domains and geographical locations, strengths and weaknesses and so on.

 It is our attitude that needs to be blamed.

It is a major weakness in certain countries, India is one among them, of giving more importance to tongue in which something is spoken than the talent, thoughts, truth that are conveyed .

Besides all languages are vulnerable to the understanding capacity of the brain; frames of reference of the mind; interpretations of the mind out of context which again may be influenced by various identity based factors like culture, religion, social mores and collective prejudices and trends.

Generally people get angry when I indicate this as a symptom of a disease that most Indians, especially the elites suffer, that of pushing to the back ground the intrinsic aspects, main concepts and contents, purpose and pay more attention to the outward exhibition of rituals like what type of saree to wear for a specific occasion and what menu to cook for any festival and so on.

So, the fault lies in our attitude.

I have enjoyed and remember the songs rendered by Rafi and Mukesh when I never knew a word of Hindi; Songs of Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna without knowing a word of Telugu; I love and wish everyone adopts the great social philosophy and sophistications of romance that Tituvalluvar writes without ever having a  very clear understanding of  the wonderful , chaste and highly literary Tamil in which Tirukural is written; the plots of many Shakespeare’s plays without having a perfect understanding of his poetic English that he uses; for that matter the great  philosophical concepts in Mahabaratha without clear understanding of Sanskrit.

Plants, vegetables, fruits, automobiles, rockets, electricity, petrol etc speak no language but we like, love and live with them for their inherent attributes and utility.

There is on whole tribe called, ‘Munduruku whose language has no tenses; no plurals and no words for numbers beyond five’ [Alex’s Adventures in NumberLand] and the best part is they count and give their produce running into few lakhs every week and they are considered one among the smartest tribes in Rain forests.

There is no need to put down or develop any animosity towards anything irrationally when that thing did nothing wrong, in this case a particular language English, but our attitude did it.

Heart itself is wonderfully referred to as HRUDAYA in Sanskrit which is one of the most perfect terms to indicate both the physical and psychological functionality of the heart.

Besides these surface meaning there is also an esoteric meaning in most of the Sanskrit words.

Meaning of "Hrudaya" from the Bruhadaranya Upanishad:
'Hru' means to bring. This involves bringing impure blood from the body to the heart.
'Da' means to give, involves giving pure blood to the body.
'Ya' means to set right all the activities and maintain the stability of the body. 

There are some wonderful and worthy observation from an excellent  blog maintained by my friend

Mike Magee [don’t miss to see his page] about some aspect of Sanskrit language 

One of the unique but mysterious features of the Sanskrit language is how many words can be used at three separate and distinct levels of thought. Even whole verses have this remarkable feature. It is one of the factors which have made translation into other languages so difficult. The difference presupposes three groups of people. First there is the literal meaning intended for the householder or worldly man, and a guide to better thought and action. The second is the meaning on a higher level intended for the mumukshi or hungry seeker for God. Here the same words take the reader from the mundane level to the higher level, and the implications. The third is the meaning intended for the soul who has attained or is nearly ready to attain liberation”. 

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