Myth of Mother Sanskrit Theory

Is sanskrit mother of all Languages. Various theories are being floated. Let us see them.

Mother Sanskrit theory is a Myth
  1. Vedas - The word `Sanskrit' does not occur anywhere in the Vedas. Not a single verse mentions this word as denoting a language.
  2. The Vedic language was referred to as Chandasa even by Panini himself [ Chatt., p. 63 ], and not as `Sanskrit'.
  3. The Buddha was advised to translate his teachings into the learned man's tongue - the `Chandasa' standard [ Chatt., p. 64 ], there is no mention of any `Sanskrit'. The Buddha refused, preferring the Prakrits. There is not even a single reference in any contemporary Buddhist texts to the word `Sanskrit'. This shows that Sanskrit did not even exist at the time of the Buddha.
  4. The word `Sanskrit' occurs for the first time as referring to a language in the Ramayana : "In the latter [Ramayana] the term `samskrta' "formal, polished", is encountered, probably for the first time with reference to the language"
  5. The first inscriptions in Indian history are in Prakrit and not in Sanskrit. These are by the Mauryan King Ashoka (c. 273 BC - 232 BC ), and number over 30. The script utilised is not `sacred' Devanagari, and the language is not `Mother' Sanskrit. They are mostly in the Brahmi script, while 2 inscriptions are in Kharoshtri. They are in various Prakrits and some in Afghanistan are in Greek and Aramaic [ Bas,. p. 390-1 ]. In fact all inscriptions in India were in Prakrit till the early centuries AD : "[T]he earlier inscriptions up to the 1st century AD, were all in Prakrit"
  6. The Satavahanas, the first historical dynasty of the Deccan, also used a Prakrit language. There is no usage of Sanskrit.
  7. The Nanaghat cave inscriptions in Poona distt. are in Prakrit and are the work of the Satavahana Satakarni I. They have been dated to the first half of the 1st century BC. The contemporary relgiion of this region was Vedic. Indra and Vasudev are mentioned as the Vedic gods then worshipped [ Bas, p. 395 ]. The later cave inscriptions of Nasik in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD are in the local Prakrit [ Bas, p. 395 ]. Thus, although the Vedic religion was followed in the Satavahana regions, Sanksrit was not in use.
  8. Kharavela's Kalingan inscription of the 1st century BC were in a Prakrit of the east indian type.
  9. First Sanskrit Inscription : 150 AD - The earliest inscription in Sanskrit is by the Saka
  10. Brajbuli dates to 1000 BC - A central assumption of the MST is that all Prakrit vernaculars must be of a very late date. With the first mention of `Sanskrit' in a Ramayana dating to the ealy centuries AD, any Prakrit existing prior to this necessarily contradicts the Mother Sanskrit Theory. Brajabuli, the precursor to the modern Braj Bhasa, is said to have been used by Krishna and the gopis of Vraja (Vrindavan, whence Braj) and it was thus popular amongst Vaishnava poets [ Assam, p. 422. n3 ]. Krishna is dated to ca. 1000 BC, and this internal evidence would imply that Braj Bhasa dated to 1000 BC. Recently, Krishna's city, Dvaraka, has been excavated, showing that he probably was a historical person. The stories are hence based on fact, and this evidence cannot be dismissed as a `myth'.
  11. Prakrit' = Vernacular - The term `Prakrta' or Prakrit means `common', `natural', while the term `Samskrta' or Sanskrit natural means `polsihed, refined' [ Up. 164 ]. Thus Prakrit refers to any of the natural languages, while Sanskrit refers to the `purified' language. This etymology itself indicates that Sanskrit is derived from Prakrit rather than the other way around. This necessarily implies that Sanskrit is, like Old Church Slavonic, a polished version of various vernaculars.
  12. Apabrahmsa is a Prakrit - Apabrahmsa, which in the MST is seen as a derivative of Prakrit, is in fact itself a Prakrit known as Abhiri. It was actually comtemporary with all the other Prakrits, and the view that it succeeded Prakrit is wrong. Several dramas have characters speaking Apabrahmsa and Prakrits side by side. This shows that Apabrahmsa is not the second stage in the development from Sanskrit, but was merely another Prakrit dilect.
  13. As per the MST, the Prakrits are all dead languages, having `degraded' into the modern Indo-Aryan tongues. However, Prakrits never disappeared. All the modern Indo-Aryan (IA) languages are Prakrits (Bengali, Marathi etc.). The ancient Prakrits are the direct precursors of the modern languages, thus Vangi - Bengali, Odri - Oriya, and Maharastri - Marathi. All these so-called `Prakrits' such as Vangi, Odri and Maharastri, can all be understood by the speakers of their respective IA languages with the same ease with which a modern speaker of English can understand Anglo-Saxon. This fact alone is sufficient to refute the MST. Far from being dead, Prakrit is still spoken in all parts of India just as it has been for thousands of years. The word Prakrit itself merely means `natural' and refers to all the Indo-Iranian languages as spoken by the common man in India. Thus, even the literal meaning of the word `Prakrit' implies that it is far from dead.
  14. Prakrit Older than Sanskrit - The MST claims that Sanskrit is older than Prakrit. However, it is Prakrit which is older than Sanskrit, since several features of Prakrit can be traced to the Rig Veda, which are not found in Sanskrit.
  15. Pali poses another problem for the MST. As per the MST, it is an independant derivation from Sanskrit, and is not a Prakrit. However, Pali is in fact a dialect of Magadhi Prakrit and not a separate language as evidenced by the mutual comprehensibility between these two tongues.
Sanskrit is the mother of all languages
  1. The sound of each of the 36 consonants and the 16 vowels of Sanskrit are fixed and precise since the very beginning. They were never changed, altered, improved or modified. All the words of the Sanskrit language always had the same pronunciation as they have today. There was no ‘sound shift,’ no change in the vowel system, and no addition was ever made in the grammar of the Sanskrit in relation to the formation of the words. The reason is its absolute perfection by its own nature and formation, because it was the first language of the world.
  2. The morphology of word formation is unique and of its own kind where a word is formed from a tiny seed root (called dhatu) in a precise grammatical order which has been the same since the very beginning. Any number of desired words could be created through its root words and the prefix and suffix system as detailed in the Ashtadhyayi of Panini. Furthermore, 90 forms of each verb and 21 forms of each noun or pronoun could be formed that could be used in any situation.
  3. There has never been any kind, class or nature of change in the science of Sanskrit grammar as seen in other languages of the world as they passed through one stage to another.
  4. The perfect form of the Vedic Sanskrit language had already existed thousands of years earlier even before the infancy of the earliest prime languages of the world like Greek, Hebrew and Latin etc.
  5. When a language is spoken by unqualified people the pronunciation of the word changes to some extent; and when these words travel by word of mouth to another region of the land, with the gap of some generations, it permanently changes its form and shape to some extent. Just like the Sanskrit word matri, with a long ‘a’ and soft ‘t,’ became mater in Greek and mother in English. The last two words are called the ‘apbhransh’ of the original Sanskrit word ‘matri.’ Such apbhranshas of Sanskrit words are found in all the languages of the world and this situation itself proves that Sanskrit was the mother language of the world.
I feel the debate will continue for a long time, as there is a absence of written records. But here distinction should be made between vedic and sanskrit. Sanskrit starts with Panini which he calls Chandas.




  1. Hi,

    I am new to history and the topics you have written about. I find your blogs intriguing. In this article under the first topic point no 10, u have mentioned Dwaraka is beig excavated. Can you mention more on this.


  2. Hi,
    Fully agree with what is said in the article.
    Samskrit is the first langauge in known history to have a proper grammer. (Rules for writing, reading and unambiguous expression.) It is very likely that there was no commonly accepted script in use when Samskrit was created. (This is the reason we see Lnaguage Samskrit, written in Brahmi, Sharada and Kharoshti) Earlier attempts to write rules for expression have been mentioned by Panini in his monumental un- paralleled work. Panini's phonetics required rewriting of earlier theories propsed in the Pratishakhyas. (I wish I was younger and could have written more about it). Budha Charita most probably is the first work written in Samskrit follwed by Jaya or Ramayana.
    ...more of controveries.

  3. I am not an expert, but a devoted student of languages. I agree with you that Pra-krit (first born/ natural/ crude) is older than Sams-krit (composite/ evolved). I wonder why people fail to see such an obvious etymological evidence. On a forum on the Net ( I came across a debate on the same topic. Maybe you will find it interesting.

  4. I have just been going through your site many topics but i observe your bias on certain topics are amply over emphasised than other.I do not know the reason for instance i observe while you want to pose a contest on Sanskrit and Vedas and Aryan theory yet either you are deliberately mild or lack information to contest.
    Oct 28 2011, 10:19 PM
    While you take on topics of dravidian,Tamil right royally as if the conclusion you make is finality.
    Oct 28 2011, 10:22 PM
    Your apprehension on tamil as i read and comprehend is Tamil is derivative of Kannada or Malayalam or Tulu and its literature are either 100 years old(over emphasised) or not in antiquity as projected,the same logic you would not extend to Vedic period-Aryans and Sanskrit either passively letting into the theory of propagationb of sanskritist or aryans.
    Oct 28 2011, 10:22 PM
    However your indepth positioning of views on topics related to Tamil is interesting to read, aside your biased conclusions.
    Oct 28 2011, 10:23 PM
    Will be great to chat with you specially on Tamil as a Independant stream of language with sisters in Kannada and tulu and malayalam.

    The truth is many things we feel myth may be reality and it is just our emotions that lead to a situation where we indulging in demolition of theories(as you say),like wise many falsity may stand testimony to truth(as you quote)and well constructed over a period and this cannot be selective to a theory or a set of theories(such as Tamil you emphasise)it should be global and the evidence you repeated ask from Tamil should be well hold good when addressing Kannada tulu and malayalam issues so is sanskrit Aryans.Though your global heading is apt on churning controverises yet they are not (as i understand)impartial to sublime falsity across board.We cannot risk deconstructing a falsity perceived to generate another set of falsity and inconsistencies.


  5. Hi Veera
    Most people who accuse me of Bias are biased themselves. When I say tamil literature is not as old as being projected, I become the mortal enemy who must be demolished at all costs.

    We in India are following theory that is dished out by western intellectuals. Their theory is Dravidians were home to India and Aryans Invaded and occupied the country. That is just simply stated, the issues are for more complex. Many people agree to the demolition of AIT. But dont seem to be comfortable to demolishing AIT sibling Dravidian Homeland theory. Mainly Tamil who derive their antiquity based on this speculative theories. When I am demolishing these two theories, I will end up hurting some and earning the hate of some. Which I am willing to take for the sake of the country.

  6. The fundamental problem with India is that we still rely upon the west to provide us with our 'theories' and our 'models', our 'philological hypotheses' and our 'linguistic reconstructions'. Everything from the terms that we use to the utterly ridiculous and materialistic, pseudo-intellectual garbage that we are fed comes from the West. We are by now incapable of coherent thought, and our historians, linguists and so on blindly follow the West in making their assertions and 'proving' a shitload of inane theories.

    As a follower of Sanathana Dharma I am ashamed that I was born in in an era when the west was dominant and on the ascendant. This is the same west that once upon a time came up with a 'scientific theory' to explain how a 'white race' had 'invaded and brought civilization to Egypt': even a fool wouldn't buy this horseshit these days, when archaeological evidence has rubbished this sort of nonsense.

    It is my hope that something similar happens in the case of India, and soon, so that my descendants may look back and laugh at those wogs in India who lapped up every materialistic theory the west came up with. These albinos look at a shaft of light and see the colours of the rainbow in it, appalling that a people so ancient and so great as Indians so easily fall into this trap.

  7. Hi Vidura
    Course correction happens, if you take the path and decide to pursue in all vigor, Not by complaining about the present state of affairs

  8. I hope this comment makes it to the open unlike some of my other comments.

    1. Talking of the sound, sanskrit says the letter "ka" is a basic one. Whereas in tamil it is got by combining ik + Ah = Ka. When you pronounce ka itself u will end up saying "Ah" in the end. It cannot be a basic word. The basics itself has gone wrong in saskrit. They will be saying one letter called "Half ka"(what a joke!!!) but when pronouncing it they will do it differently, Actually they are pronouncing "ik" wrongly.

    "The reason is its absolute perfection by its own nature and formation, because it was the first language of the world."

    Are you trying to make some joke here, Who told nature is perfect, Nature has perfected itself over the years according to its situtations. If you have to natural then u can't be rigid. Thats what all the natural adaptations teach you. This itself is enough to prove that
    sanskrit is not natural.

    2. U r talking abt root word analysis. Many of the words in sanskrit doesn't have roots in sanskrit. Sanskrit has about 1800 root words. Ask any language reasearch scholar, if a language has these many root words then it shd be an artificial language. 90% Tamil's words has roots in tamil and tamil's root words are around 180 only.

    3. If there has not been any kind of change then either the sanskrit speaking ppl were rigid in accepting it or it was not used that much or it has copied all the good things from surronding languages and tells that it is theirs. Wake up man sanskrit created by god is all belief, they don't have a proof for the same. Don't mix research with proof.

    4. What is the proof?

    5. qualified ppl? really !!!, hw then sanskrit was formed. Every language in this word has evolved from being a sign language and then a very primitive language then only it gets perfected. Please don't tell your godly tales for this also, give atleast a minimilistic proof before talking like this.

    And also sanskrit has pronounciation for everything in the world is also not true(I have seen some ppl telling abt this, so answering for that also). Sanskrit doesn't have a letter for tamil "zha", it cannot pronounce letters which are in arabic which are talked with their nose. Many of the european languages has a unique pronounciation of their language.

    Maxmuller himself didn't accpet Sanskrit MST theory in his last days.

    In this section the arguement which you have kept against sanskrit looks valid and logical. But arguement in favour of sanskrit is just assumptions, any one with a neutral view can understand that.

    1. Well Ganesh

      1. If you don't know the difference between script and language, then there is no discussion on this point.

      2. Prakrit is language. Sanskrit is stylized, intellectual form of prakrit, similar to Tamil and Senthamil(modelled on sanskrit). if we go to root words of sanskrit or senthamil, we have to go to the original languages. You seems to be so certain of numbers. Even experts can't give such precise numbers.

      3.There is belief that tamil was created by Shiva, this theory also goes out of window. You want to believe what you want to. if you talk intellectually, then forget these arguements. Go to Myth of divine tamil article.

      4.Rig veda and upanishad has existed from time immeorial in the form of sutras. Rig veda is in vedic sanskrit. Now don't mix Vedic sanskrit and Classical Sanskrit.

      5.sanskrit or Classical sanskrit is formed same way the senthamil was formed.

      Okay let us ask one question.
      There is Madras tamil, Coimbatore tamil, Thanjavur tamil , Kanyakumari tamil etc. and there is senthamil. Your theory is of attacking sanskrit is attacking senthamil.

      Put senthamil in Sanskrit place and you will see my point. before going to zha, which is a script. palam and Pazham or pillu and Pullu. Some body who pronounces Pazham and pullu thinks he/she is superior to someone who pronounces pillu and palam. That is similar to Sanskrit and prakit debate.

      Now do you get the point, I am not explaining any further.

    2. Now thanks for including my comment.
      1. I never talked abt script. I was talking only abt sounds. Unfortunately I have written it and show it to you. And also your argument that "Sounds never changed" doesn't mean that it is the mother of all language. It only means that it was not ready to accept change.
      2. So senthamzhi and tamil are different language, who has said all these things. Even the ppl who knows English cannot understand Shakespeare work as it is, does that mean that Shakespeare hasn't written in English. The difference between senthamzhi and tamil are only vocabulary and the creativity with which the poet has written it. The poets who were interested in tamil increased their tamil vocabulary knowledge and they also used their creativity to use a word in unusual situations and created poems. If an oridinary tamil guy increases his tamil vocabulary, he can also understand senthamzil. I donno who has started this argument in the first place. Even now in kannada, if a poet writes a poem ordinary people might not be able to understand that. Does that mean that poem is not in kannada.
      Is this is the same difference between exists between sanskrit and prakrit. They both are identified as different languages not like the difference between Sentamzil and tamil as you have told.
      "if we go to root words of sanskrit or senthamil, we have to go to the original languages", what do you mean by this. There are a looot of words common between sanskrit and tamil. Initially without any research the sanskritarians told that, tamil has copied these words from sanskrit. But when root word analysis was done in tamil, it was found that most of them were tamil words.
      Example: Suriyan - tamil and Suyra - sanskrit. both refers to sun. Su is basically a word for heat in tamil, say Surunguthal, Suram, Sudu, Surrer, Sundal, Sunduthal, Sulunthal. Basically there are soo many words in tamil which refers to heat but sanskrit doesn't have words like that.
      It looked logical for me too. Like this many(we can aslo say most) of the words are based out of tamil.
      I don't know why can't you precisely tell the root word number. Dictionaries and root word analysis were done for both sanskrit and tamil language. Most of them have been identified. Only one language in the world, with which you can analysis the origin of language itself it is tamil. Scholars were able to find how tamil words emerged from a single sound Ah, EE, and UU.
      3. I understand there is belief. There is belief for everything. In tamil nadu villages even now some ppl believe that MGR is alive. So do you think we shd argue with them. No, its not abt beliving. It is abt separating belief and research. It shd not be mixed. Let them believe tamil is from Shiva but let’s not put it in a research article.
      4. What is the proof? That’s what I have been asking.

      5. Which means was there some language available from which sanskrit was perfected. I gave my response for centamzil in my prev points itself.
      There is Madras tamil, Coimbatore tamil, Thanjavur tamil , Kanyakumari tamil, yeah you are write but in this case if any of the tamil speaking guy wanted to write a poem or some cappiyam, they will use centhamzil. But many poems and proses have been written in both sanskrit and prakrit.
      Infact it is doubted that many of the litereray works in sanskrit were only translations of prakrit(I am just sharing the doubts, I am not saying it).

    3. 1. "Talking of the sound, sanskrit says the letter "ka" is a basic one." Letter is not script! That is new

      2. My Point is "Senthamil and Tamil are same language", similar to Sanskrit and Prakrit, inspite of whatever Indology scholars say or South Indian scholars, particularly Tamil scholars who know only sanskrit existence say.

      4. Sutra Literature predate classical sanskrit literture.

      5. There are three main religions in India since Ancient times. Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism. Hinduism recommends Sanskrit, Jainism recommends Ardhamagadhi , Buddhism recommends Shuddhamagadhi. The clergy support the literature in their particular form.

      Prakrit like colloquial tamil to tamils can be easily understood by comman man. So Buddha recommends his monks to teach in Prakrit instead of Sanskrit. Sanskrit is stylized with Strict grammar and Pronounciation. This is naturally used by Learned persons. This is the reason it is popular all over India including tamilnadu. Even later day buddhist used sanskrit.

      You can visit detailed analysis of scripts in this article. "Was Ancient India Literate ||"

  9. 2. My problem is the boundary, Nobody(don't mention tamil or south indian scholars here) sees sanskrit and prakrit as the same language. Simple I can read that prakrit also has a grammer and literature assosicated with it. So the comparsion of Sentamil, tamil and sankrit, prakrit is not the same.

    Even if you take your argument. Centamil was perfected only after Konduntamil. So then Prakrit is before Sanskrit right?

    4. Sutras in vedic literature was not in sanskrit itself initially, it was in vedic language which was to an extent similar to sanskrit. The aryans moved into india as tribal groups(It can be proved by the chromosomal study, people with M18(common in upper caste) chromosomes were around 10% in number in india and they moved from Afghanistan around 1500 BC) (Don't confuse it with Aryan Invasion Theory).
    The aryans work shipped fire and were chanting vedas(in vedic language ). There were fight between Aryans and the local people in india at that time at certain places obviously due to the real estate constraints. (Even in some purananuru padal also records the fight between Aryans and the local people and how the north indian kings started favoring the aryans ritual workships). They learnt the local languages like tamil and prakrit and then made a artificial language called Sanskrit(It can be proved from the root word analysis - nearly 70% of the root words for sanskrit can be explained only by tamil and prakrit, remember - It is a proper etymological analysis)

    5. I can accept that hinduism used sanskrit and through sanskrit only they made jainism and buddhism as minorities in india. It is famous in tamil nadu and india bcoz they were able to get near and dear to the kings. They went close to the kings by saying that doing yagas would save the kingdom and all those superstitious beliefs. Thats why they ruled over india. They said learnings is only confined to the Upper caste people. Thats how they stopped the thinking capcity of the all the other caste.
    Prakrit also had its grammer and literature. I dont think anybody will buy this argument of colloquial tamil and prakrit.

    1. 2. If you apply standards of Tamil to Sanskrit, then of course there will be differnces. But every language is unique and has its own history. What happens when you apply English standards to tamil. You can prove anything, is it not? If you don't respect another language, then you can't evaluate it.

      3. "Sutras are in sanskrit", you can believe whatever you want.

      The lineages M2, M3, M4, M5, M6, M18 and M25 are exclusive to South Asia. You are saying M18 came from outside, from where?

      Purananooru records fight between Ariyar (Learned noble king) and locals. I have a article who are aryans, you can have a look.

      You can also see date of Purananooru article

      Well Tamil is also considered one of the prakrits.

      Rootword analysis is BS!!! You take ten words and say they are from tamil to sanskrit. I can take another ten words and say these are from sanskrit to Tamil. Who is right. Moreover Tamils are the most biased, you can't have rational arguement with them.

      4.Pandiyas are jains. Pallavas are jains. Most of the karnataka empires which ruled Tamil nadu are jains. Why Buddhism is not dominant religion or why Jainism lost out to hinduism is a big subject, cannot be trivialized to few sentences. Hinduism is only uppercaste, will demeaning the other caste. You have name Ganesh, but you speak like a Christian missionary.

  10. At some point you say that Rigweda is dated 1900 BC & at another article you say that Sanskrt Language is not that much old just because it hadn't been called as such in the vedas. So what do you want to say? Vedas were not written in Sanskrit? Remember that any language takes birth first & it is named very later. So only the fact that the word 'Sanskrit' was not mentioned in the years before Christ doesn't prove it's non-existence.o And every language goes through the process of evolution as like human beings, so whether it's Vedic Sanskrit or Classical Sanskrit, its Sanskrit. And Sanskrit Language has many Synonyms like 'Geervan Vaani','SurBharati' etc.But all those words denote the same. language. So this indicates that Sanskrit Language is as old as Vedas. If you find any Indian Treatise written prior took Vedas then only you can say that the language of that book predates Sanskrit, Otherwise not. A

    1. Go to Date of Rig Veda Article for Rig Veda Date. Where did you get the 1900BC ? as having said by me.

      Now in this article, I have not given any of my views. I have just summarized the theories from Each side.

      Go through this articles for more info
      Was Ancient India Literate
      Brahmi Script Origin
      Indus Script Myths

      Obviously you are not able to understand, What I have written, giving explanations would be waste of Time.


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