What was the objective behind the formation of the Samskrita Bharati and how far you have been successful in achieving that objective?
Samskrita Bharati was formed to make Samskrit an official language of education as it was before the British period. In English, we learn ‘Laukik Shastras’ (worldly knowledge), but in Samskrit we learn both ‘Laukik’ (worldly) and ‘Alaukik’ (non-worldly) knowledge. For that, spoken Samskrit has to be taught to everyone regardless of caste, creed, educational background, gender, financial position, etc. The second step will be to teach Samskrit or related subjects in Samskrit medium. Then Samskrit will be a link language for all the Bharatiyas. At present, there is no link language in Bharat. Hindi is not accepted in all parts of the country. Samskrit is not only accepted but also respected throughout the country. If Samskrit is introduced in homes, it will impart sanskaras to the entire family, which is a primary need of the present day. Those who are capable of speaking Samskrit may opt for learning Shastras. They may become an epitome of living style as expected by the Shastras. For example, if one commits a mistake he will perform ‘prayashchita’ on his own. In that way, the members of the society will lead a pious life. The ‘Laukik Shastras’ will be helpful for a worldly prosperous life. By acquiring both ‘Samutkarsh & Nishreyas’ Bharat will present an ‘ideal life structure’ before the world. If other countries follow us, we will become the mentor of a prosperous and happy world. So, our ultimate aim is ‘Vishva Kalyan’ and the instrument for that is Samskrit.
What are the major achievements of Samskrit Bharati during all these years?
We have developed 35,970 people who can speak fluently in Samskrit. There are 1,896 Samskrit families in which at least two members talk in Samskrit. There are many children whose mother tongue is Samskrit. A total of 1,706 teachers belonging to formal educational institutions teach Sanskrit in ‘Samskrit Medium’ only. Also, we have developed two ‘Samskrit Villages’—one is in Mutturu in Shivmoga district of Karnataka and another is Jhiri in Rajgarh district of Madhya Pradesh. We are successful in teaching spoken Samskrit to those who even didn’t go to school. Samskrit Bharati has published more than 300 books, CD’s, DVDs. The language used in those books and teaching material is very simple and hence easy to understand. The books are attractive and are cheaper as compared to any other language books. We organised a World Sanskrit Book Fair in 2011 at Bengaluru. It was a grand success. There were 152 stalls. All publishers went out of stock. There was a business of more than one crore rupees. No one imagined that people would purchase so many books. We have developed an ever-expanding all India organisation covering 79 per cent of the districts of all states except Mizoram and Nagaland. A strong organisation will achieve all the goals. Work of Samskrit Bharati has also grown in 17 countries of the world other than Bharat. They include the USA, Canada, UK, Kenya and Mauritius, all Gulf countries except Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia.
We have organised over one lakh ten-day Sambhashan Shibirs throughout the country. Lakhs of people have attended those Shibirs for two hours a day. So, they talk in Samskrit. Around 50,000 people registered Samskrit as their mother tongue in Census-2011
A large number of people still believe that Samskrit is a dead language. How this perception will change?
We have organised more than one lakh ten-day Sambhasha Shibirs throughout the country. Lakhs of people have attended those Shibirs for two hours a day. So, they talk in Samskrit using simple sentences. Then they attend residential classes varying from three-days to twelve-days. In those residential classes, they have to compulsorily speak Samskrit only. So, they pick up the habit of speaking Samskrit. Around 50,000 people have registered Samskrit as their mother tongue in Census-2011. So, how can it be called a dead langue?
What do you expect in the new National Education Policy to promote Samskrit?
We expect that Samskrit and English along with mother tongue should be taught throughout the country as three language formula. Because the English language can give access to worldly Shastras, Samskrit can teach both worldly (Laukik) as well as non-worldly (Alaukik) Shastras. For example, worldly Shastras in English are Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Zoology, Botany, Pharmacology, Engineering, Medical, Management, Law, Agriculture, etc. Worldly Shastras in Samskrit are Ayurveda, Jyotish (Austro physics+Mathematics), Vastu Shastra, Engineering, Dharma Shastra (Law), Vaisheshik (Physics), Rasayan Shastra (Chemistry), Tark Shastra (Logic), Gandha Shastra, Krishi Shastra (Agriculture), etc. Non-worldly Shastras are Vedant, Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Meemansa, Shaiva Darshan, Jain Darshan, Tantra, etc. Mother tongue is used in daily routine. So, a student should be equipped to acquire whatever he wants to learn. Language should not be a barrier for him. This can happen from 6th standard to the last level of learning. Because the research work, done nowadays, is of an interdisciplinary form. So, they should have access to all Shastras. Bharatiya languages should be taught in pure form. There should not be a mixture of various languages in a language.
Today, those who know computer and English are not aware of Samskrit and who know Samskrit are not aware of computer and English. How this gap can be bridged?
This is a completely wrong notion. Majority of the Samskrit learning students are from the mainstream of education. They learn English and Computer Science as a subject as well as Samskrit. Few students learn in traditional schools called Pathshalas or Gurukuls. Those are also learning computer and English. For example, Ved Vijnan Gurukul at Chennanhalli near Bengaluru has students who can give a presentation in English as well as Samskrit with the help of PPT.
What are the future plans of Samskrit Bharati?
We want to make the organisation stronger. Therefore, young full-timers will be brought and trained. We are translating NCERT books of every subject in Samskrit, taught from 6th to 10th standard. Majority work has been completed. Those will be required when Samskrit will be the medium of instruction in those classes. If all subjects are to be taught in Samskrit we will require a glossary of Samskrit words. Hence, we are running a project as ‘Shabdashala’. A new dictionary will come soon having such words. We all know that Samskrit language has got the tremendous capability to coin new words. Therefore, there is no need to accept the current English terminology within Samskrit or any Bharatiya language. We will be arranging an international conference of our karyakartas having some responsibility and fluency in the Samskrit language for the first time in Delhi. Our theme is ‘Vishve Sanskritam’. There will be an exhibition showcasing the contribution of Samskrit for the world.
Any other issue you wish to mention about Samskrit Bharati?
Samskrit Bharati karyakartas are devoting time for teaching Samskrit to the masses. To organise classes, residential camps, travelling for strengthening the organisation, etc. we need resources and money. We are in dire need for it. We don’t have offices in every state capital. Wherever we have the office, they are not in proper shape to perform all types of activities. We have started building a central office in New Delhi. Earlier, it was in a temporary shade.