Sanskrit in Western countries


In India, the situation is complicated. While the deeply embedded culture and civilization is soaked in Sanskrit, at the “pop culture” level it is not so “fashionable” due to the influx of western culture and languages for more than 150 years. The material culture representing Sanskrit had suffered debilitating losses and had begun to lag behind the material culture representing English. So English started gaining favor as a means to prosperity.

A bigger problem is the lack of a clear, homogeneous national consciousness about our ancient cultural foundation. Although a long period of foreign rule can be partly blamed for this fractured national consciousness, there haven’t been any serious and strong-willed attempts at rebuilding this national consciousness. Every great nation exists because its citizens have a good understanding of the deep foundation of its culture, and not just superficial aspects. If we look in history, all the great Indian empires and kingdoms prospered because the population had a strong integral consciousness about what is important. In contrast, today’s population is fractured and deluded with remnants of colonial theories and ideas, and has neither the insight nor the courage to “excavate” its ancient foundations and rebuild this crucial national consciousness. Today’s population is reeling under the obsession to appear intellectually sophisticated in the eyes of an ostensibly enlightened West. So while we are forgetting our own genuinely sophisticated knowledge base, we are also not enlightened enough in the ideas & theories of the West to critically analyze their worth.

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