चिट्ठा (Blog)

Narmadāsragvaṇī: Sacred Geography of the River Narmada

This poem on the sacred geography of the Narmadā river (Central India) is an example of modern Sanskrit poetry composed by the Sanskrit scholar and poet Śrī Kuśāgra Aniket (Economist and Management Consultant, New York, NY, U.S.A.). In his own words:
“The composition is an attempt to enrich the tradition of nature and devotional poetry in Sanskrit by drawing inspiration from local cultures and traditions – one of the facets of Sanskrit as a Loka Bhāṣā. The song links the significance of Narmada in popular consciousness of the region to its description in the Puranas (Reva Khanda of the Skanda and Vayu Puranas). It emphasizes the intimate relationship between the “natural” and the “sacred” in Hinduism.
I have set this song to a tune based on Raga Bairagi Bhairava in Hindustani Music. Incidentally, the equivalent Raga in Karnataka Sangeeta is Revati, which is sometimes used as a name for Narmada (besides Reva).

Raghuvīra-Gadyam (Mahāvīra-vaibhavam) of Śrī Vedānta Deśika

Vedānta Deśika (1268–1369) was an esteemed ācārya in the Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta & Śrī-Vaiṣṇava paramparā of Śri Rāmānuja. Raghuvīra-Gadyam, which celebrates Rāma’s valour, was composed when the author was residing at the temple town of Thiruvahindrapuram in Tamil Nadu. The temple has icons of Rāma, Lakṣmaṇa and Sītā, and here Rāma is seen as Kodaṇḍa-Rāma (with a bow in His hand). Inspired by this, Deśika wrote Raghuvīra-gadyam, in which he focuses on Rāma as a ‘mahā-vīra’ (great-hero). Hence Raghuvīra-gadyam is also known as Mahāvīra-vaibhavam. These lessons are delivered in Sanskrit.

Word-generating power of Saṃskṛtam

Chamu Krishna Shastry, one of the founders of Samskrita Bharati, speaks about the prakṛti-pratyaya-vibhāga (morphological transparency) that makes the Sanskrit language sanskritic, and why it is important to preserve that uniquely analytical feature of Sanskrit by coining neologisms in Sanskrit itself rather than adopt modern words (such as electricity, car, train, computer etc) from other languages into Spoken Saṃskṛtam.

Only our collective will can revive Spoken Saṃskṛtam

Chamu Krishna Shastry, one of the founders of Samskrita Bharati – draws a comparison between the revival of Spoken Hebrew as a spoken language by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda in Israel in the 20th century, and the revival of Spoken Sanskrit on a massive scale by the efforts of a small community of commited enthusiasts.