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Re: When Sanskrit ceased to be spoken?

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  • Ravi Chaudhary
    ... cease ... of ... period ... Couple of points for you 1. Sanskrit does not appear to have lingered on !!!!! It was the official court language,
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 1, 2002
      --- In IndiaArchaeology@y..., "ymalaiya" <ymalaiya@y...> wrote:
      > An interesting question is sometimes asked - When did Sanskrit
      cease
      > to be a naturally spoken language?
      >
      > A possible clue is provided by Kalhana who describes Samkaravarman
      > (883-902) thus (Stein's trans.):
      >
      > "Thus this [king], who did not speak the language of the gods but
      > used vulgar speech fit for drunkards, showed that he was descended
      > from a family of spirit-distillers".
      >
      > kalyapaalakule janma tattenaiva pramaaNitam
      > kshiivochitaapabhramshokterdaivii vaagasya naabhavat 5-206
      >
      > This refers to the fact that the power had passed to the brothers
      of
      > a queen, who was born in a family of spirit-distillers.
      >
      > Since Kalhana was writing a chronicle (and not a drama), and
      > Samkaravarman lived not too long before his own time, his account
      > suggests that around this time, it was common for Sanskrit to be
      > spoken in noble families, where it was apparently learned by
      > listening.
      >
      > Use of Sanskrit lingered on in Kashmir even during the Muslim
      period
      > as is observed by use of Sanskrit on Muslim tombstones and in
      > official documents.
      >
      > Yashwant


      Couple of points for you


      1. """Sanskrit does not appear to have lingered on !!!!! ''''

      It was the official court language, for 200 hundred years after the
      Muslim rule took hold in Kashmir, and the language in which the
      official business was conducted.

      The Muslim administration was in the hands of the Brahmins and the
      Kayastas, who were now serving their Muslim masters.

      The question is whether Muslim rule would have been as successful as
      it was if it was not fully supported by the above two groups?.


      2. There was also a tendency to denigrate rulers who did not pay due
      homage to Brahminical Priests/administrators. The only recorders of
      the events( chronicle ??) was this group, and Kalhana fits in to this
      category.

      So should one take his assertation that Samkarvarman came from a
      family of Spirit Distillers, with a liberal pinch of salt.

      I would ask, which family it was, what was their Gotra, and how did a
      lowly spirit distillers son/daughter/ brother rise to the position of
      a king?

      What does kalhana say about that ?


      Rather it seems that he did not speak Sanskrit, but a foreign tongue,
      and the recorder of the Chronicle Kalhana tailored the Chronicle to
      suit his own fancies.

      Either that or the manuscript was altered in the seven hundred years
      that passed since his death.

      The people ruling Kashmir were outsiders, Turuskas, from NW India,
      Afghanistahn, Balkh, and Sanskrit was most probabaly not a spoken
      language with them.

      Unless you could show that Kaniska, the Huns, etc spoke Samskrit?



      Ravi
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