A theory was propounded in the 19th century which stated categorically that Sanskrit has roots linked to European languages. It claimed that Sanskrit and European languages had a commomother. They called the language Proto-Indo-European (PIE).

Wikipedia describes Proto-Indo-European as a hypothetical, re-engineered or reconstructed language. Its reconstruction involved putting all the words in European languages AND Sanskrit together, then looking for words co
mmon to all of them, and formulating a list of words that, it was claimed, would be the closest to a mother of European languages and Sanskrit, if that language had ever existed in antiquity!

PIE was formulated in the mid 1850s when European scholars were already exposed to Sanskrit, its scriptures and manuscripts. Three phonologists or linguistic researchers- Wilhelm Grimm, Rasmus Rask and Franz Bopp – were involved in the ‘reconstruction’. Researcher Winfred Lehmann of University of Texas has this to say about their research, “Grimm, Rask, and Bopp did not even attempt to reconstruct the language from which the (European) dialects developed, assuming it to be much like Sanskrit.” 

And commenting on the work of another phonologist of the 19th century by the name August Schleicher, Lehmann says, “Trying to escape such undue emphasis on Sanskrit, Schleicher reconstructed PIE on the basis of all the dialects.” 

But the truth remains that PIE was reconstructed and developed on the logic and pattern of Sanskrit. Its grammar and the concept of root words is identical to Sanskrit. Had it been developed before the Europeans had exposure to Sanskrit books and manuscripts, PIE would have had earned its credibility. But a look at the process of its reconstruction reveals that it was at best a concoction.

European Scholars had access to
ancient Sanskrit manuscripts
that helped the
m formulate PIE

Does PIE really explain all the words in Sanskrit?  No. Here is a look at just one word, ‘gold’. English dictionaries say that the word ‘gold’ derives from the ‘PIE’ root word ‘ghel’ which means ‘yellow, green’. English etymological sources say that ‘ghel’ is a cognate of Sanskrit ‘hiranyam’, Old Persian ‘daraniya’ and Avestan ‘zaranya’. A cursory look at these words tell us that the Sanskrit ‘hiraniyam’, Persian ‘daraniya’ and Avestan ‘zaranya’ are cognates – ‘ghel’ does not quite fit in.

The question remains what are the root words in PIE for the other 58 Sanskrit words for ‘gold’. There don’t seem to be any in PIE. The next best thing then is to look at 
Latin. Latin has about ‘5’ words for ‘gold’ which include:

1. ‘aurum’ which means gold the metal or the colour, gold money, riches;
2. aurifer, aurifera, auriferum – which mean gold-bearing, producing/yielding gold (mine/country); bearing golden fruit;
3. barbaricarius, barbaricarii which means gold-weaver, embroiderer in gold; gilder;
4. balux, balucis or gold-dust, gold-sand;
5. baluca, balucae or gold-dust, gold-sand;
6. ballux, ballucis or gold-dust, gold-sand

Sanskrit has more than 50 words for ‘gold’. If PIE is the mother of Sanskrit, it must have the root words to the following list.

  1. hyrania (हिरण्य)
  2. svarna (स्वर्ण)
  3. paraj’ (पारज्)
  4. varni (वर्णि
  5. rkhtha ()
  6. garmut (गर्मुत्
  7. dru (द्रू
  8. kakand (ककन्द)
  9. surabhi (सुरभि)
  10. avastambha (अवष्टम्भ)
  11. kandal (कन्दल)
  12. kachigha (काचिघ
  13. dalapa (दलप)
  14. tarkashya (तार्क्ष्य)
  15. tavisha (तवीष)
  16. dhattura (धत्तूर)
  17. piyu (पीयु)
  18. bharu (भरु)
  19. rasa (रस
  20. lohottama (लोहोत्तम
  21. varnavarna (वरवर्ण), also varna (वर्ण)
  22. ri (री) and also ‘ra’ (
  23. marut (मरुत्)
  24. astapada (अष्टापद)
  25. champeya (चाम्पेय)
  26. niska (निष्क)
  27. heman (हेमन्)
  28. kanaka (कनक)
  29. kanchana (काञ्चन)
  30. jatarupa (जातरूप)
  31. surarha (सुरार्ह)
  32. agnibija (अग्निबीज), agnivirya (अग्निविर्य), agnisikha (अग्निसिख), ‘agnibha’ (अग्निभ
  33. amrita (अमृत)
  34. ayas (अयस्
  35. aujasa (औजस)
  36. aruna (अरुण
  37. agneya (आग्नेय)
  38. apimjara (आपिञ्जर)
  39. ujjwala (उज्ज्वल)
  40. karchura (कर्चूर) or karbura (कर्बुर)
  41. kalyana (कल्याण)
  42. kartasvara (कार्तस्वर)
  43. kesara (केसर)
  44. kushan (कृशन
  45. kusumbha (कुसुम्भ
  46. gangeya (गाङ्गेय)
  47. garuda (गारुड)
  48. gairika (गैरिक) or gaur (गौर),
  49. chamikar (चामीकर)
  50. charusar (चारुसार)
  51. jambava (जाम्बव)
  52. tapaniyaka (तपनीयक)
  53. tamarasa (तामरस) or tapana (तापन) or tejasa  (तेजस्
  54. tirita (तिरीट)
  55. diptaka (दिप्तक) or dipta (दीप्त)
  56. dravya (द्रव्य)
  57. narjivana (नारजीवन
  58. pinjana (पिञ्जान) or pinjara (पिञ्जर)
  59. pita (पीत) or purata (पुरट

How does PIE explain the existence of these additional words for ‘gold’. Or for that matter the hundreds of words for ‘water’ or ‘sun’ or ‘sky’ or ‘cloud’ in Sanskrit. What is their origin?

The Rig Vedic literature states that Sanskrit was brought to the earth by Lord Shiva. In the current context, it may not be important as to how the language emerged or who brought it to earth, what is important is to accept that the structure of the language is such that it could not have evolved randomly. It is more than likely that this language was handed over or revealed in one package much like the computer languages of today. 

Click here to listen to the sutra that encapsulates the sounds of the alphabets that Lord Shiva revealed to the seers.   

Interesting, Sanskrit has the power to shed light on words that exist even in Latin. For example, the Latin ‘aurum’ that is ‘gold’ is said to be derived from PIE root word ‘aus’ meaning ‘golden’. In Sanskrit ‘aru’ means ‘sun’, ‘aruna’ means ‘golden’. And it is likely that the Latin ‘aurum’ indeed derives from the Sanskrit ‘aur’ rather than the PIE ‘aus’. But that is not the end of it. There is an ‘aus’
 (ओष) in Sanskrit too, it means ‘shine’.

Here now is a look at the Latin ‘baluka’, ‘balux’ and its other forms which all mean ‘gold-sand’. In Sanskrit ‘valuka’ (वालुका) means ‘sand’ (not gold-sand) and ‘bhalu’ (भालु) means ‘sun’. The 19th century phonologists seemed to have confused ‘valuka’ (वालुका) and ‘bhalu’ (भालु) and interpreted it as ‘gold-sand’ in Latin. And ‘carii’, the suffix in the Latin ‘barbaricarii’ (gold-weaver), means ‘do-er’ in Sanskrit. In fact the Sanskrit word for hand is ‘kara’ (कर) and your actions are karma (कर्म) and the person who does the karma is ‘kari’ (कारि). So a weaver or a mechanic or an artist or an artisan are all ‘kari’. Logical.

No matter what the source of Sanskrit, it is too organized to have evolved from another language. PIE, for one, did not even exist. PIE was propagated in a bid to establish the superiority of the white race and further the cause of the Aryan Invasion Theory – a theory that has floundered in the face of current research on ancient history and archaeology.

The Vedas were passed on by
Shruti (
श्रुति )
 (divine knowledge revealed to the sages), and
Smriti (
knowledge that was derived or inculcated from Shruti)

Suggested Links

1. ‘ A Historical Sense: What Sanskrit has Meant to Me’ – Atish Taseer


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