July 02, 2006

Learning Sanskrit

I came across an article in Wikipedia titled "Contribution of Vedic Civilization". It explains to us some of the ancient Indian Vedic knowledge, and how it relates to the modern world. One of the impressive topics in this article is the research/experiment "Scientific research on Reading the Vedic literature at MUM" conducted by Travis F.T., Olsen T., Egenes T., & Gupta H.K. This research proved that reading Sanskrit does more good to human health than many other modern languages. Here is an excerpt...

Scientific research on Reading the Vedic literature at MUM

Travis, F.T., Olsen, T., Egenes, T., & Gupta, H.K. (2001).

Physiological patterns during practice of the Transcendental Meditation Technique compared with patterns while reading Sanskrit and a modern language.

International Journal of Neuroscience, 109, 71-80.

This study tested the prediction that reading Vedic Sanskrit texts, without knowledge of their meaning, produces a distinct physiological state. We measured EEG, breath rate, heart rate, and skin conductance during: (1) 15-min Transcendental Meditation (TM) practice; (2) 15-min reading verses of the Bhagavad Gita in Sanskrit; and (3) 15-min reading the same verses translated in German, Spanish, or French. The two reading conditions were randomly counterbalanced, and subjects filled out experience forms between each block to reduce carryover effects. Skin conductance levels significantly decreased during both reading Sanskrit and TM practice, and increased slightly during reading a modern language. Alpha power and coherence were significantly higher when reading Sanskrit and during TM practice, compared to reading modern languages. Similar physiological patterns when reading Sanskrit and during practice of the TM technique suggests that the state gained during TM practice may be integrated with active mental processes by reading Sanskrit.


Today I started learning Sanskrit from the book titled "Introduction to Sanskrit, Part 1" written by Thomas Egenes. I purchased the book last week, after browsing through the good reviews in Amazon.com. In my earlier blog-post, I mentioned my desire to learn this language.... and today, I am putting it to action.

2 Comments:

Boet said...

Learning the devanagari script is quite a lot of work. I have trained for a month now, and have not even learnt all the basic signs yet. So I think you need it: Good luck!

. said...

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