The Mother Language of Yoga

Sanskrit is one of the oldest known Indic languages, with examples of Vedic Sanskrit dating back to approximately 1500 BCE and possibly even earlier eras which are difficult to determine because the language was spoken and sung long before it was written. Indic languages, also known as Indo-Aryan languages, are a large and diverse branch of the Indo-European language family, and Sanskrit is one of the most famous and culturally important of these languages.

The word “Sanskrit” is translated in several different ways, as “complete,” “perfect,” or “pulled together.” The origins of this language appear to lie in vulgar dialects which were organized and codified, first into Vedic Sanskrit and later into a more modern form around 500 BCE. For Hindus, Sanskrit is tremendously important because the Vedas and other Hindu religious texts are in this language, and some Buddhist religious texts are in Sanskrit as well.

This language is the classical language of Ancient India. It was used by all refined and cultured members of society, and continues to be used today in religious liturgy and certain types of high discourse, much like Classical Arabic in the Middle East. Several Indian languages including Bengali and Hindi are descended from Sanskrit, and while the language is not widely spoken in India today, there have been some movements to revive spoken forms, and the influences of this language can be seen on many levels of Indian culture and across Southeast Asia.