Srila Prabhupada on Sanskrit

Sanskrit should be compulsory for all our children.   Letter, February 28, 1972

It was my intention in presenting the books that anyone who would read would learn Sanskrit.   Letter, September 26, 1975

The real meaning of Sanskrit is reform. It is not whimsical, just like in the English language, b-u-t = but, p-u-t = put. It is not like that. Every word, every syllable has a symbolic meaning.   Lecture, January 19, 1969

Syamasundara: Today when we were looking at the Sanskrit slokas, I suddenly realized that this very strict form of slokas made it easy for the people to memorize.

Prabhupada: Yes, oh yes. That Sanskrit sloka is so made that if you repeatedly chant five, six times, it will be memorized. And once it is memorized you will never forget.

Syamasundara: Then you can pass it down and you don’t have to write it.

Prabhupada: No that requires only memory. That was the system, sruti. Once hears from the spiritual master, it is memorized for good. The memory was so sharp, and the memory was prepared by this bramacarya.

Syamasundara:and the grammatical rules are so arranged to make it easy to memorize- natural rhythm.

Prabhupada: Natural, quite natural, natural rhythm. It’s not artificial.

Syamasundara: Whereas our western poems are all so different lines, lengths, rhythms.  You can’t remember them

Srila Prabhupda: There is no standard. There is Sahitya Darpana, there is a book. So many words; the first pronunciation five, secondpronunciation seven, like that. There are different kinds of sandhi (ways of conjoining words).

Syamasundara: So it’s mean for hearing and memorizing.  Veda base; no date supplied

Yes, Sanskrit is spoken not only in Krsna-loka but also in higher planets of the demigods. It is called the language of God and the demigods. It was spoken also on this planet. When people where all godly they used to speak in Sanskrit. Sanskrit is the origin of all languages of the civilized people. It is most perfect, not only descriptive; the word Sanskrit means the most perfect. Because not a single word you can pronounce without having a bona fide principal. It is not like English language: but/put with an irrational difference in pronunciation; no principles. Sanskrit is not like that. Therefore it is perfect. It is not whimsical. English poetry has one line one-inch long; next line six hundred inches long. Sanskrit is not like that. There are strict principals and it is so beautiful. Therefore in Sanskrit no ordinary man can become a poet. No other language of the world can compared with it. No other language of the world is so perfect as Sanskrit. Any language near to Sanskrit is nearer to perfection. Sanskrit is pronounced the same way here or there it is standard.      Letter, February, 1, 1968

This is our program. We have not come here to exploit your country, but to give you something substantial. This is the Krsna consciousness movement. So read Srimad-Bhagavatam, pronounce these verses nicely Therefore were repeating. You hear the records and try to repeat.   Lecture, April 14, 1973

Sanskrit should be compulsory for all our children to learn, anyone who has an elementary knowledge of the alphabet and grammar can begin to teach it.   Letter, February28, 1972

… If you can understand Sanskrit grammar, then you can read all the Vedic literature without any translation. Simply by studying. Therefore the Sanskrit scholars are first of all taught grammar. And when one is expert in reading grammar properly, then all Vedic literature becomes very simplified.  Conversation, May 6, 1975

It is the practice of the Brahmans to be conversant with the science to pronounce a Vedic mantra in the right accent. The combination of the mantra and Sanskrit words must be chanted with the right pronunciation; otherwise, it will not be successful. Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.13.27, purport

I am happy to learn that you have begun to teach our students Sanskrit pronunciation. Please see that they can pronounce very nicely the Sanskrit verses.    Letter, April 17, 1970

The League of Devotees, therefore, will maintain a Sanskrit academy and a degree college especially for the purpose of the disseminating the benefit of this great language to all.  On the mission of the League of Devotees, 1953

Sanskrit is compulsory for all our children.

Srila prabhupada

The duty of a brāhmaṇa is to become learned in the Vedic literature and teach the Vedic knowledge to other brāhmaṇas. In our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we are simply teaching our students to become fit brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas. In our school at Dallas, the students are learning English and Sanskrit, and through these two languages they are studying all our books, such as Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā As It Is and The Nectar of Devotion. It is a mistake to educate every student as a technologist. There must be a group of students who become brāhmaṇas. Without brāhmaṇas who study the Vedic literature, human society will be entirely chaotic. CC Adi 17.253 Purport

Every one of you… We are repeating this verse again and again so that you are expected to chant these mantras. Not that the book is kept… “I’m very learned scholar.” What kind of learned scholar? “If I find the book, then I can speak.” That is not scholarship. You must chant. Therefore we are teaching in our Dallas children simply to learn Sanskrit. We have nothing to do anything else. They are not going to be technologists, or servant of everyone. No. We want some generation who can preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So if they learn simply English and Sanskrit, they will be able to read this book, and that is sufficient. We don’t want anything. All informations are there. Throughout the whole world, whatever knowledge is there, in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, everything is there. April 14 1973 Los Angeles

Vedānta. It is the explanation of Vedānta-sūtra. Vedānta means the essence of cream of Vedic knowledge. That is Vedānta. That cream of Vedānta knowledge is further explained in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So we are publishing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Our students specifically, they should take care of reading Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. We have therefore prescribed in our school, Dallas, that let them simply learn Sanskrit and English, because English translation they will be able to read, and the Sanskrit verses are there. And from the very beginning, if they begin education with Bhagavad-gītā and then comes to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and reads the whole literature, then they will be more than M.A., Ph.D. More than. The knowledge will be so advanced. June 12 1974 Los Angeles

Woman (1): If you don’t pronounce the Sanskrit prayers that are in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, if you don’t pronounce them properly or…

Prabhupāda: Why not? You can pronounce them properly. Everything you can learn. Just like I am speaking in English. English is not my mother language, but I have tried to learn it, and I am doing my business. That’s all. Similarly, you can learn any language. You can learn Sanskrit. You can pronounce very nicely. It requires learning. That’s all. June 12, 1968 Montreal

Prabhupāda: Everywhere. Everywhere. But you make higher study, higher study, higher study.

Gurudāsa: Māyāpur can be the highest.

Prabhupāda: (indistinct), or everywhere this existence(?) should be lower class, higher class. But our all institutions should be for giving spiritual. We have got so many books. Simply he has to learn English and Sanskrit, that’s all. (indistinct) So we are not going to follow the university curriculum, no. We have got our own. October 25, 1972 Vrindavan

Prabhupāda: We are training every day.

Mother: But then, this is languages. You’ve got to, you’ve got to study languages. You can’t just be taught…

Revatīnandana: Yes. So a few of us, so the few of us who have an aptitude for Sanskrit language are studying Sanskrit language.

Prabhupāda: We are teaching Sanskrit, we are teaching English. Especially. Especially we are giving training to our boys to learn simply English and Sanskrit. Then they will be help. By learning Sanskrit, they will be able to read. June 25, 1973 London

Prabhupāda: We have got a school in Dallas, America, but we are trying to open a school here, also. (French)

Yogeśvara: This school is for all ages or just for children?

Prabhupāda: No, all ages. Children means they learn Sanskrit and English. And they are taught our books. You show our books, all books. These are… Other books. We have got eighty books like this. So if a student reads all these eighty books, he becomes Doctor of Philosophy. Ph.D. Beginning from A,B,C,D, up to Ph.D., all, everything is there. June 11, 1974 Paris

Prabhupāda: Why? Nobody taught them. You are chanting. How you are chanting? Nobody taught them. That is the difficulty.

Jayapataka: Why the Germans are good Sanskrit scholars? Why?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Because they had very good tendency for learning Sanskrit to know so many things. That was their research. They knew it that in Sanskrit language there are so many wonderful things.

Dr. Patel: Now, sir, they say that in American universities also, many universities have started teaching Sanskrit.

Prabhupāda: Yes. In every school, every college, every university, there is Sanskrit. Hare Kṛṣṇa. Jaya. Morning walk, November 20,1975 Bombay

I shall be glad to know how you are making progress, and I am anxious that you are still feeling pains. I am glad to know that proper care is being taken, and you are not going up any stairs, that is very nice. Your endeavors to learn Sanskrit is very encouraging. We want somebody in our society to know Sanskrit well enough for reading, not to be a great scholar, but just enough as needed. Letter to Pradyumna, San Francisco 8, April, 1968

I am very glad to receive your letter dated April 4, 1969, and I eulogize your attempt for improving the Columbus center. Do it very nicely, and when I go there I shall see that you have done so much for Krishna Consciousness. I shall also give you one very nice brahmacari from Los Angeles, Jaya Gopala. He is trained in Sankirtana Party and in cooking, so you can leave him for taking care of the temple affairs when you go to work. Besides that, if you have learned Sanskrit, I can give you one brahmacari, 12 years old, named Birbhadra, whom I want you should teach Sanskrit from the very beginning. We want a few students who know Sanskrit and Bengali, or at least Sanskrit. Most probably the boy will go with me there, and if you think you can take charge, he can also remain there. Letter to Pradyumna, New York 10 April, 1969