Learning Sanskrit increases the size of portions of our brain relating to understanding or cognition as explained by neuroscientist James Hartzell. New ideas and methods of communication are further enhanced by learning Sanskrit. Once someone learns Sanskrit, it becomes much easier for him/her to learn any other language. The language is highly structured and has a clear process by which compound words can be formed by combining the more simpler words. There is also further evidence which indicates that Sanskrit as a language is highly suitable for artificial intelligence systems. But to me, the highest advantage of Sanskrit is that it opens up our mind to thousands of years old knowledge on practically any subject on this planet including Mathematics, Technology, Languages, Spirituality, Religion, Philosophy, Engineering and Science.
For the last several decades, there has been a growing interest in learning the Sanskrit language in many parts of the world. In this article, I will go over the key advantages of learning Sanskrit for a college student or an adult learner.
THE TIME IS RIGHT
Ideally, it is best if you can start learning Sanskrit in your school years. College is yet another great time to start learning the language. College is one major step towards the completion of formal education and it is also a time when the mind is sharp and clear, and free from most societal pressures. So college is definitely a good time to benefit from a knowledge of Sanskrit and it will enable you to better learn any other subject in college with ease.
In fact, many schools in Europe have introduced Sanskrit and some schools in England have made Sanskrit compulsory for kids since it helps students to grasp Maths, Science and other languages better upon learning and chanting Sanskrit texts.
SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY
Apart from improving your brain’s ability to learn new subjects, there are also a variety of ancient Sanskrit texts on numerous topics. If you are interested in medicinal knowledge of Ayurveda, or vedic Mathematics or ancient Science, or Astronomy or Astrology, you can refer to the original Sanskrit texts upon learning the language.
So by learning the language, you will be able to research and further expand mankind’s knowledge of the various sciences as is practiced in the current times. Here are a few additional resources on Sanskrit and Science:
1) Sanskrit and Science by V.Kameswari
2) IIT Indore’s Sanskrit Science courses
3) Mathematics and Astronomy from numerous worldwide sources
PORTIONS OF THE BRAIN ACTIVATED
Upon doing MRI scans of the brains of Sanskrit scholars and pundits, it was discovered that they have more grey matter in their brain than general people. The thickness of their cerebral cortex was also found to be much more than other people. The grey matter in areas of the brain responsible for long-term and short-term verbal memory was also found to be much higher. These findings were noted in independent studies conducted by the neuroscientist James Hartzell.
MULTI-LINGUAL IN A GLOBAL WORLD
Learning multiple languages creates global integration and sharing of knowledge and ideas. For this, knowing Sanskrit can be highly beneficial since many European languages and even English contains many words from Sanskrit. Therefore, learning Sanskrit makes it easy to learn many other languages and is a great foundation to have for language formation and verbal memory. That’s the reason why many Indians can fluently speak English and many other European and Asian languages. This is also a reason why many top universities across the world have Sanskrit courses and faculty.
SEMANTICS OF LANGUAGE FORMATION
Sanskrit alphabets are carefully structured around numerous sounds that originate from our mouth, nose and throat. This makes the language very structured and easy to grasp, though it often appears a bit complex for beginners.
Panini’s grammer which was widely adopted in many ancient Sanskrit texts is well thought out and precise and due to this fact, the language is still exactly in the same form today as it was thousands of years ago.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SYSTEMS
As detailed by Rick Briggs, the tremendous precision and versatility of Sanskrit makes it suitable for computer processing and artificial intelligence. Words carry the same meaning irrespective of the context or where they are placed in a sentence. It is also possible to create short compound words or sentences in Sanskrit by combining many other simple words.
LANGUAGE OF THE HEART
All human emotions are beautifully expressed with Sanskrit words. There are many Sanskrit seed sounds that create the environment depicted by the word, for example, shreem stands for adundance. Chanting Sanskrit mantras can create a profound state of relaxation and calmness.
Sanskrit mantras are mind tools that help calm and purify one’s body, mind and soul. Simply reciting the mantras or being in an environment where these mantras are recited creates sound vibrations that connect our mind and soul to the mantra’s inner state of being. Therefore, a good knowledge of Sanskrit can be very helpful for a joyful and natural state of being.
POWER AND EASE OF COMMUNICATION
Most Sanskrit learning begins with the alphabets and by learning simple Sanskrit spoken words. So the best way to quickly gain confidence in Sanskrit is to attend a spoken Sanskrit class either in a regular class or at an online class. Most of these classes also teach simple Sanskrit songs for beginners which makes it easy for anyone to start speaking a few lines in Sanskrit. There are also a variety of certificate courses that gradually take beginners towards proficiency in Sanskrit.
BEGINNER SANSKRIT LEARNING
I’ve been lately very interested in Sanskrit and in my family, we’ve all attended spoken Sanskrit classes and I’ve also written a few exams at Samskrita Bharati. My husband has completed a variety of Sanskrit exams and we’ve made it a habit to speak at home in Sanskrit to the extent possible. So far, I’m amazed by Sanskrit and have the urge to constantly learn more of it.
Though I’ve grown up reading, speaking and writing English most of my life, learning Sanskrit was not as difficult as I thought. The spoken Sanskrit classes at Samskrita Bharati have been very helpful as a beginner. Samskrita Bharati centers are available all over the world and it is also very popular in a number of US states. There are also online classes and distance programs offered by Samskrita Bharati US for a nominal fee.
OTHER SANSKRIT RESOURCES
There are numerous Sanskrit texts available all over the world and large digital repositories that hold ancient Sanskrit manuscripts. Here is the most extensive one I’ve found so far. Many US universities and UK and German universities also regularly conduct Sanskrit courses. However for a beginner the best introduction to spoken Sanskrit can be found at Samskrita Bharati.
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