Sanskrit – Connecting Sound and Form
Sadhguru looks at the nature of the Sanskrit language, and how it was a powerful tool to experience a deeper dimension of existence.
Sadhguru: The Sanskrit language is a device, not necessarily a medium of communication. Most of the other languages were made up because we had to refer to something. Initially, they started with just a handful of words and then multiplied them into complex forms. But Sanskrit is a discovered language because today we know that if you feed any sound into an oscilloscope, every sound has a form attached to it. Similarly, every form has a sound attached to it. Every form in the existence is reverberating in a certain way and creates a certain form. This happened to me as a child: I would be staring at someone who would be talking. Initially, I heard their words, then just the sounds. After some time, I just saw some crazy patterns happening around them which so engrossed, amazed and amused me that I could just sit staring at them forever, not understanding a single word because I was not listening to the words at all.
Sanskrit is one language where form and sound are connected. In English for example, if you say “sun” or “son,” in utterance it is the same, only in spelling it is different. What you write is not the criteria. The sound is the criteria because today modern science is proving to you that the whole existence is just a reverberation of energy. Where there is a vibration, there is bound to be a sound. The whole existence on one level is in sound form. When you realize what sound is attached to a particular form, you give this sound as the name for that form – now the sound and the form are connected. If you utter the sound, you are relating to the form – not just psychologically, but existentially, you are connecting with the form. If you have mastery over the sound, you also have mastery over the form. Sanskrit is like a blueprint of the existence. What is in form, we converted into sound. A lot of distortions have happened. How to preserve it in its right form has become a challenge even today since the necessary knowledge, understanding, and awareness is largely missing.
That is the reason why when Sanskrit is taught, it has to be learnt by rote. People just chant the language endlessly. It does not matter whether you know the meaning or not. The sound is important, not the meaning. Meanings are made up in your mind. It is the sound and the form which are connecting. Are you connecting or not? – That is the question. That is why it has become the mother of almost all Indian and European languages, except Tamil. Tamil did not come from Sanskrit. It developed independently. All the other Indian languages and almost all the European languages have their origin in Sanskrit.