Sanskrit and Russian: Ancient Kinship

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by IBSA, Nov 4, 2014.

  1. IBSA

    IBSA Regular Member

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    Sanskrit and Russian: Ancient kinship
    November 3, 2014 Rakesh Krishnan Simha
    The striking similarities in Sanskrit and Russian indicate that during some period of history, the speakers of the two languages lived close together.

    [​IMG]
    A Sanskrit inscription. Source: Getty Images/Fotobank

    When was the last time you had a shot of vodka? Well, next time you have one, remember that this Russian word has its origins in the Vedic Sanskrit word for water – udaka.

    The classical Sanskrit word for water is jal and is familiar to most Indians. But the fact that the Russian word for water voda is closer to the Vedic Sanskrit word points to the close – and ancient – kinship between the two languages.

    While it is commonly known that both languages belong to the Indo-European family of languages, most people believe the relation between Russian and Sanskrit is as distant as that between Persian and Sanskrit or Latin and Sanskrit. Linguist and author W.R. Rishi writes in his book ‘India & Russia: Linguistic & Cultural Affinity’ that Russian and Sanskrit share a deeper connection.

    According to Rishi, the relation between these two languages is very close and correspondence between these two languages is so minute that it cannot be attributed to mere chance. “The facts…lead us to conclude that during some period of history the speakers of Sanskrit and Russian lived close together.”

    Rishi points to another feature of the Indo-European languages – the power to form compounds of various words. Such compounds have been carried on from Indo-European to Greek, Sanskrit and Old Church Slavonic.

    The origin of the Russian word gorod (Old Slavonic grad) meaning ‘city’ can also be traced. In ancient Russia and in India the cities were built to serve as forts for protection and defence against aggression from an enemy. The corresponding word in Hindi is gadh which means ‘fort’. In modern Russian the suffix grad and in modern Hindi the suffix gadh are used to form names of cities: such as Leningrad (the city of Lenin), Peterograd (the city of Peter) and Bahadurgarh (the city of the brave).

    The two languages have two broad similarities. One, Russian is the only European language that shares a strong common grammatical base with Sanskrit.

    Secondly, both Russian and Sanskrit are pleasing to the ear. The very name ‘Sanskrit’ means carefully constructed, systematically formed, polished and refined. Colonial era linguist William Jones wrote: “Sanskrit language is of a wonder structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin and more exquisitely refined than either.”

    Admirers of Russian are equally liberal with their praise. In a lecture at London University in March 1937, philologist and linguist N.B. Japson said: “It is nevertheless a matter of common experience that a person completely ignorant of Russian, who for the first time hears the language spoken by a native, will voluntarily exclaim: “Why, how melodious Russian sounds.” Novelist Ivan Turgenev wrote: “But it is impossible to believe that a language was not given to a great people.”

    Linguist S. Zharnikova writes in Science & Life: “There are many Russian names and words in Russian the origin of which can easily be traced with the help of the Sanskrit language. For example, it is linguistically possible to find traces of the name of the Russian river Volga. Herodotus calls this river by the name of Oaros which can be best explained with the help of the purely Sanskrit word var meaning water.”

    What explains the similarities? Vedic Sanskrit was spoken as late as 300 BCE but its antiquity may stretch back thousands of years from that date. Russian may either be the result of ancient Indians taking their language and culture from the banks of the Saraswati river to the banks of the Ob. The discovery of Shiva statues in Central Asia and Russia points to the spread of Hindu culture far beyond the Indian heartland.

    There is the other conjecture that Vedic Sanskrit was introduced to India by blond Aryans who originated from southern Russia. This idea is popular with Europeans, including Russians, despite clear evidence that the current belief in an Aryan invasion of
    India was the result of a body of lies developed by English and German scholars.

    While DNA evidence is gradually chipping away at the notion that Aryans brought civilisation to India, scholars such as Shrikant Talageri have analysed the Vedic texts and showed how the older books talk about places in eastern India whereas the later ones provide descriptions of the geography of northwestern India. This can only mean one thing: the ancient Indians moved into Central Asia and perhaps then on to Europe.

    While it may take decades to settle the issue one way or the other, it is a fact that Vedic Hindu civilisation was spread over a great area. According to Bulgarian linguist Vladimir Georgiev, geographical names are the most important source for determining how a group of people acquire their ethnicity. This can originate through a process of self-identification or it could be the result of outside identification.

    Georgiev says the most stable – or longstanding – names are that of rivers. “But in order to preserve the names it is necessary to maintain the continuity of the population, transmitting these names from generation to generation. Otherwise, new people may come and give it their own name,” he says.

    Georgiev illustrates that in 1927 a detachment of geologists "discovered" the highest mountain in the Urals. The mountain was called Narada by the local population, and interestingly the ancient Indian epics describe the great sage Narada as living in the north. But since it was the 10thanniversary of the October Revolution, the geologists decided to mark the event and rename the mountain as Narodnoy – or People. And that’s what it is now called in all geographic references and on all maps.

    Luckily, many other words remain unchanged. Russian scientist and academician AI Sobolewski provides a list of Russian water bodies with Sanskrit names. In his article ‘The Names of the Rivers and Lakes of the Russian North’, he gives the names of the following rivers and lakes: Vaja (from vaja - strength), Valga (from Valgu - simple), Ira (a refreshing drink), Karak (karaka - water jar), Cala (black), Lala (lal - play), Padma (lotus), Punk (silt), Sagara (ocean), Sarah (sara - juice), Sukhona (suhana - easy) and Harina (goose).

    The uncanny similarities between Sanskrit and Russian clearly indicate a close kinship between the two nations in the distant past. That could explain why Indians and Russians get along so easily compared with any other nation. For, both nations are sisters under the skin. As the science of language and DNA studies progress, more secrets will tumble out, providing us a better picture of the past.

    NO MERE CHANCE

    Russian Sanskrit English
    Naš Nas Ours
    Svoi Sva One's own
    Ty Tvam Thou
    Tebya Tva Thou
    Brov Bhuru Brow
    Dever Dever Brother in law
    Govorit Gavati To speak
    Grabit' Grabhati To seize, loot
    Griva Griva Neck
    Krov Kravya Blood
    Myaso Mansa Flesh
    Zhizn' Jivana Life
    Nosorog Nasasringa Rhinoceros
    Okhotnik Akhetika Hunter
    Nebo Nabhas Sky
    Veter Vata Wind
    Gora Giri Mountain
    Bog Bhaga God
    Pochitaniye Pujan Worship
    Noch Nakta Night
    Ogon Agni Fire
    Dver Dvara Door
    Soyuz Samyoga Union

    Sanskrit and Russian: Ancient kinship | Russia & India Report
     
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  3. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    The Russians are descendants of people who originated in central Asia. It is a fact that Russians and many Indians (not all) are close genetically.
     
  4. Simple_Guy

    Simple_Guy Regular Member

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    Vedic Origins of the Europeans: the Children of Danu

     
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  5. Simple_Guy

    Simple_Guy Regular Member

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    duplicate deleted
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  6. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    The Balto-Slav languages (and peoples) seem to be closely related to Indo-Iranian ones.

    For example "Danu" is a goddess in the Rigveda. The word was associated with waters and rivers. There are several rivers in Eastern Europe (Slavic stronghold) which uses that root like: Dnieper (Danu apara: river on far side), Dniester, Don, Danube.

    Some similarities in the gods of the Slavic system (which was wiped out by Christianity but is making a comeback these days.)

    Some similarities include: Bog meaning God. And the equivalent in sanskrit is Bhaga or Bhagwan meaning God.
    The Thunder God- Perun, (Perkunas in Latvian): Parjanya who is also a thunder god. (maybe another name of Indra )
    Veles, enemy of Perun: Similar to Vala (asura) enemy of Indra.
    There are some more that can be found in the following links.

    https://borissoff.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/russian-sanskrit-nouns/#more-806
    https://borissoff.wordpress.com/2012/11/18/russian-sanskrit-verbs-3/#more-659

    The links above show a lot of words of common origin.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
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  7. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    There is a lot to learn from this thread.

    Kudos to @IBSA. Despite being from a far away land, it is really heart-warming to see him take so much interest in India.
     
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  8. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    Supposedly the similarities were not limited language but also in artwork:

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    Left: Russi; Right: Indian

    [​IMG]
    Up: Russi; Bottom: Indian

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    UP:Russi; Down: Indian. Swan like bird

    More here: https://borissoff.wordpress.com/tag/similarity/
    @pmaitra : There is info about how swastika might have formed in that link. You might find it interesting.

    [​IMG]

    All image credit Constantine Leo Borissoff (link)
     
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  9. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Hey folks, did you know Sukhoi means dry in Russian, just like Sukha in Hindi means dry?
     
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  10. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    I didn't know that and it isn't mentioned in that list I posted above.

    Some common stuff I found from that list:
    The names Svetlana and Shwetha may be related, both indicating brightness/whiteness .
    The word Dvyar in Russian means door, and Dvar in Sanskrit means door or entrance.
    Even the word slav (meaning glory) is related to srav in Samskrit meaning the same.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  11. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Shwet means bright, or white. In Bengali we say Shwet-Pathar, which comes from Shwet-Prasthar, which translates into White-Stone, but it is used specifically for Marble.

    Dwar means door, and the German word Tür also means door. BTW, Tuyere is a door used to blast hot air in an iron and steel factory to convert iron ore to steel.

    BTW, @arpakola likes the words "Slava, Slava, Slava." I think he should visit this thread. :)
     
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  12. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    Linguistics is a very interesting subject. :yey:
     
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