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Address by the Chief Guest Lyonpo Thakur S Powdyel,...
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Sanskrit: The Voice of the Sacred

In the beginning was the voice looking for a form. The voice was God’s. The form was Sanskrit. The utterance of the divine through Sanskrit thus became Dev Vani. This explains the sacred origin of Sanskrit as the earliest of the languages received by the humans. 

As the Age of Truth dawned, the language of gods became the medium of the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Gita, Ramayana and Mahabharata, Arthasashtra and myriad epics, scriptures and legends of centuries. Over time, Sanskrit became the gold standard for conveying the most profound and subtle ideas that govern the celestial and the human realms and their relationship.

While the universe evolved and the marvels of human genius sought expression in diverse ways, the voice of gods became the voice of man and granted its grace to serve the affairs of the world. The majesty and magnanimity of Sanskrit provided limitless scope for the manifestation of creative genius in art and literature, philosophy and science, music and mathematics and indeed in countless other realms.

For the sheer economicity of expression to say more with less, for the incredible discipline of its grammar, amazing power and precision in its articulation, above all, for the grace and dignity of its communicative facility, Sanskrit has few rivals.

Otherwise, how could one embrace the whole world in just eight syllables of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्? Or proclaim the victory of truth in satya meva jayate सत्यमेव जयते with a mere seven? We can affirm the fundamental relationships with our beloved mother and dear motherland so beautifully by confessing janani janmabhumishcha swargadapi gaariyasi. जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी

As I pray, I experience a blessed feeling when my offerings become dhupam, dipum, pushpum  धूपम् दीपम् पुष्पम् rather than the ordinary dhup, diya and phool! धूप दिया और फूल  

From fixing the precise location of the astronomical entities and deciphering astrological signs and symbols to foreshadowing the future of digital revolution and the arrival of Little Guru, Sanskrit is the undisputed universal language that commands unmatched versatility and remains an unfailing point of reference.

In the secular and social spheres, the inherent organising and moderating principle of Sanskrit could serve our societies and nations well when things so often seem to “fall apart and the centre cannot hold”.

It is in the fitness of things that the mother of all languages is reclaimed and re-celebrated to serve the compelling needs of our time on multiple fronts – human, environmental, social, political, and ethical, above all.

Sanskrit could indeed be the greatest gift of ancient India to the world and unto herself. In the words of Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, “If I was asked what is the greatest treasure which India possesses and what is her greatest heritage, I would answer unhesitatingly that it is the Sanskrit language and literature and all that it contains. This is a magnificent inheritance, and so long as this endures and influences the life of our people, so long will the basic genius of India continue.”

In my own country Bhutan, Sanskrit forms an important base of our scriptures and rituals. It may be worth-noting that the Ministry of Education launched a special scholarship in 2011 as part of the celebration of the Royal Wedding under the auspices of the Queen’s Endowment for Cultural Studies whereby five students would be sent to pursue undergraduate studies in Sanskrit and Pali every year.  

As we launch Little Guru on this auspicious day, I would like to commend the most timely and important initiative of the Government of India to make the learning of this precious heritage of humanity fun and fulfilling.

I wish Little Guru great success in its mission to create a new awakening into and appreciation of the timeless relevance and infinite resources of the language to serve the needs of succeeding generations of literary, linguistic, and digital enthusiasts who receive and relish the inexhaustible nectar from the bottomless ocean called Sanskrit.

Haardik Dhanyavaad and Tashi Delek!

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