Sanskrit is known as Gods language. It is also a root of many languages in India. It’s like latin of the east. Sanskrit is considered as oldest language in the World and originated in India. Sadly it’s losing it subsistence from its original place, India itself.
Once upon a time it was an elite language of ancient India. It was the main language used by scholars and was sometimes referred to as devabhasha – the language of gods. Sanskrit belongs to the Indo-Aryan group of languages.
But now, Sanskrit no longer enjoys the dignified status which it once had. Youth don’t find much career scope in Sanskrit except for professor jobs and/or for performing pujas.
Nowadays Sanskrit is mostly used by Hindu priests during religious ceremonies. Only 1% of Indians speak Sanskrit today.
In such circumstances, Mattur is a village in the southern state of Karnataka, India, where Sanskrit is spoken for day-to-day communication even today, in spite of the fact that the general language of the state is Kannada. This village is in Shimoga district, about 186 miles from Bangalore, State capital.
Mattur is a very cultured village having various temples. Away from the hustle-bustle of the city. Mathur is situated along the Tunga River with a garland of areca nut and coconut plantations.
Mattur is one of the rare villages in India where Sanskrit is spoken as a regional language. About 150 of 400 children study Sanskrit as their first language with English as the second language and Kannada or Tamil or any other regional language as their third language.
In Mattur the walls are painted with various slogans such as ‘Keep the temple premises clean, ‘Keep the river clean, ‘Trees are the nation’s wealth, etc in Sanskrit.
It is said that the Vijayanagar emperor gifted Mathur and neighbouring Hosahalli the centers for learning Sanskrit and Vedic studies from time immemorial, to the “people” in 1512. The archaeology Department has preserved such gift deed inscriptions on copper plates. Mattur is also called Sanskrit village.
Sanskrit is learned from Montessori level. Kids are taught rhymes and told stories in Sanskrit even Chandamama comics are printed in Sanskrit. Teachers and students communicate in Sanskrit with each other. Even the ordinary shopkeepers and agricultural labors speak in Sanskrit – or at least understand it. The children also manage to speak the language fluently.
With the dawn, one can hear the Vedic chants from around many Brahmin houses. And at dusk, the melodious chanting of the Vedas emerges from around the banks of the Tunga.
Many foreign students visit Muttur for crash courses in Sanskrit.
Mathur has reportedly produced over 30 Sanskrit professors who are teaching in Kuvempu, Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore Universities, besides many software engineers.
In a while, arguments were raised that alike European languages are spoken in Europe, we also need to speak in Sanskrit following the controversies of Government taking steps to replace German/French languages with the Sanskrit language in the academic syllabus. Sanskrit is a language that will help in understanding not just Indian languages but also German or French languages and many other foreign languages. For instance, German grammar tables are identical and derived from Sanskrit grammar tables.
Mattur village has a very strong influence of Sanskrit. Migrated agricultural labors find it tough to speak Sanskrit but claims that their children can speak it fluently as they learn Sanskrit in School and colleges.
Sanskrit scholars say that Sanskrit is a language that teaches old traditions and values and that it’s a language of the heart and cannot die.
Many of Mattur’s youth traveled abroad are of the view that Sanskrit has aided them to understand different languages around the globe. Those who have gone into Vedic mathematics which dates back to a time in ancient India when Sanskrit was the main language used by scholars have certainly got a logical mindset that helps in information technology, claims one of the Computer Science engineers.