This village speaks gods language

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by arnabmit, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    This village speaks gods language - Times Of India

    Siddique Ahmed and Kysar Khan, both Standard IX students of Sharada Vilas School, recite shlokas effortlessly along with their classmates. Even after lessons, whether they are at play or back home, they slip into Sanskrit. Indeed, they are even teaching their parents the language. "Our elders began with a smattering hold over it but can now manage to talk," they say.

    Walk down a few paces from the school where you touch the Ratha Beedhi (Car Street) and graffiti on the wall grabs your attention: 'Maargaha swacchataya viraajithe, gramaha sujanai viraajithe' (Cleanliness is as important for a road as good people are for a village). Other slogans such as 'Keep the temple premises clean', 'Keep the river clean' and 'Trees are the nation's wealth,' in Sanskrit are painted on walls everywhere.

    That Sanskrit is the language of Gods need not apply to Mathoor. It is the vernacular of a majority of the 5,000 residents of this quaint, sleepy hamlet situated a little over 4 kms from Shimoga. Away from the hustle-bustle of the district headquarters, Mathoor sits pretty with a garland of arecanut and coconut plantations along the Tunga river, which has now been swelling thanks to a good monsoon.

    At the door of K.N. Markandeya Avadhani, a well-known Vedic scholar, a sticker in Kannada greets you: 'You can speak in Sanskrit in this house'. He says, "This is to tell visitors that in case they are fluent in the language, they can converse with us in Sanskrit."

    Perhaps this inspired BJP leader Sushma Swaraj to deliver a 20-minute power-packed speech in Sanskrit when she visited Mathoor in May during campaigning for the Shimoga by-election.

    The practice wasn't born yesterday. History has it that the Vijayanagar emperor gifted Mathoor and neighbouring Hosahalli, known as centres of learning for Sanskrit and Vedic studies from time immemorial, to the "people" in 1512. The gift deed inscriptions on copper plates have been preserved by the archaeology department.

    Mathoor's Sanskrit-speaking habit got a further boost when Pejawar mutt Pontiff Vishvesha Theertha visited the place in 1982, and christened it 'the Sanskrit village'. For long a colony of Sanketi Brahmins, the village is now home to different communities including backward classes, Muslims and Lambanis.

    Yet conversing in Sanskrit isn't an adult quirk. Study of the language begins from the Montessori level, where kids are taught rhymes and told stories in Sanskrit — even Chandamama comics are printed in Sanskrit. While Sanskrit is a compulsory subject in school, teachers and students even talk to each other in this language.

    At the crack of the dawn, the village resounds with Vedic chants in the many Brahmin households. (Homes are named Trayi, Pavanatmaja, Chintamani, Prasanna-Bhaskara Nilayaha.) in pursuit of higher education. Some are teaching Sanskrit in universities across the state and many others have found jobs as software engineers.

    "After completing my engineering course, I came back to stay in Mathoor. I tend the land now and live with my family — about 20 of us across four generations," says Gopal Avadhani, who is in his late 60s.

    Meanwhile, Rukmini, another family member, pipes in: "Coffeya chaaya kim ichchathi" (What'll you have, coffee or tea)?" Outside, children play and giggle, calling out their names: Manojava, Savyasaachi, Ikshudhanwa, Niharika.

    Avadhani recalls the names of many foreign students who stayed with them in true guru-shishya tradition to take crash courses in Sanskrit — "Rutger, Kortemgorst and Vincent came down from Ireland last year". Vincent, he says, surprised everyone by speaking in Sanskrit at the farewell function. And as people go about their daily routine soon after, there's more Sanskrit to be heard. At times, the whole village seems like a pathashala — everybody, children and menfolk alike, dressed in white dhotis and angasvatra greeting each other with 'Hari Om' (hello) and 'Katham aasthi?' (How are you?).

    Mathoor, though, isn't a cloistered hermitage shy of the outside world. Many of its youngsters have moved to cities in search of greener pastures or John Mar, a Sanskrit professor from England, was also in the village for a speaking course.

    Samskruta Bharati, a New Delhi headquartered association involved in promoting the language, has a branch here and Srinidhi, its secretary, runs the show. The organisation teaches functional language for day-to-day conversation.

    At dusk, the melodious chanting of the Vedas emerges from around the banks of the Tunga. The river is unusually calm. And the stillness removes one from modernity to another era when Sanskrit reigned and when there were no mobile phones. Or, as the residents of Mathoor would put it, when there was no "nishtantu dooravani"!
     
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  3. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    @arnabmit .......... My uncle had letter marks in Sanskrit..Not sure whether it was a main subject in those days or he took it as optional...However I was very poor in it... We had to study it in 7th and 8th standard and I got 32 in all four exams (Half yearly and annually); as our teacher used to add few extra marks (instead of zero) in oral so that I could pass...

    BTW...doesn't God speak other language? I am scared...I dont know Arabin either ... :scared1:
     
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  4. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    haha I dont know Sanskrit either... Still interesting that there is a remote village in India where the near-fossilized language Sanskrit is still the primary language.

    God's language and all are just religious romanticism...
     
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  5. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    When I was a kid in 4th standard..A Moulavi used to come in the morning to teach us reading Quran (however I couldn't go beyond the preliminary book)...He used to say when a person goes to grave , two farista (angels) come and ask the dead man some questions in Arabic...the answer decides the fate of the dead man (heaven and hell)..... I used to get very tensed thinking whether I could understand Arabic and reply properly...........:scared2:

    Howevr I took admission Howrah Zilla School after few months where the primary section is in morning...thus I got relieved of that torture.
     
  6. Sunder singh

    Sunder singh Regular Member

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    Sanskrit is tough made my score worst but I would love if I could have learned it
     
  7. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well, this is not an isolated phenomena. I know of a couple of villages in MP & UP where majority of school-going children & several elders are fluent in Sanskrit & adoption is increasing gradually...
     
  8. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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