Sanskrit is the oldest and the most continually used language in the world, certainly since 1500 BC. The word ‘Sanskrit’ means ‘perfectly constructed’. Sanskrit possesses a remarkably fine grammatical structure giving insights into all language learning. Study of its grammar brings order to the mind and clarifies the thinking.
It is made up of the primordial sounds, and is developed systematically to include the natural progressions of sounds as created in the human mouth.
The ancient Indians attached a great deal of importance to sound, and hence their writing, poetry or prose, had a rhythmic and musical quality It is the olderst and most systematic language the world has known (yes, it surpasses Greek!)
The alphabet is written in Devanâgarî (the language of the gods: lit. ‘god-city.’) and is based on scientific principles. It commences with the vowels, each of which has a short and long form — the latter being distinguished by a diacritical mark. The order of the consonants runs according to the means required for pronunciation, commencing with those which are sounded at the very back of the mouth, in the throat (the Gutturals) moving forward position by position — i.e., to the Palatals, Linguals, Dentals — to the sounds made against the lips (the Labials). Then follow the Semivowels (one for each of the above positions of the mouth), and the Sibilants, concluding with the Aspirate — h.
Pronuncing Sanskrit words is simple when the principles governing the alphabet are known and when the system of transliterating the Devanâgarî characters is understood. There are no ‘silent’ letters as in English and every letter or every combination (of letters) always has the same sound without variance.
The Sanskrit language is full of beauty: beauty of sound, of structure, of script, of poetry and of prose.